Your experience with Taiwan Trade Offices (TECO, TECRO etc.) abroad

I’m sure some of you had to go to a Taiwanese Trade Office aka Embassy at one point or another for visa issues, legalization etc. How was your experience?

I had to go a couple of days ago to notarize some documents and I almost couldn’t believe how rude and unhelpful the clerk was. I was already aware that they wouldn’t help me at all, since the email conversation prior to the meeting didn’t get me anywhere. Every question i asked was replied with a “search it yourself” or “we don’t know”. So I had to find the required documents myself, which wasn’t easy. You know, taiwanese government websites haven’t been updated since the internet was invented.

Anyways, so I get all the documents together and try to fill them out as best as I can. Then I mailed it to that clerk and ask if this is filled out correctly. The answer was “Make sure everything is filled out correctly”. I’m like, is it or is it not?? well, i don’t have time to play games. So i go to the meeting. after a very cold welcome, i show the clerk my documents and i ask her if i filled it out correctly again. “What do you think?” I could’ve bursted in flames in that moment(couldn’t you told me that in the email??). She pointed at a blank gap, which supposedly was for the document number. So i asked if i could just handwrite it in the gap. “i don’t know, i have to ask my boss”.

then she asked me for additional stuff like envelope, stamps, passport copy. I didn’t bring any stamps or passport copies with me, and she 翻白眼ed so hard, it’s like she heard that for the first time in her life. she began scolding me “now I!! have to copy your passport”(that takes you like 5 seconds,ma’am…) and “We don’t have stamps here, we now have to buy stamps especially for you, someone has to go buy them in a shop” she literally said that(you’re a F#@!$# office, of course you have stamps!!).

Just wanted to let off some steam here. But is there any way to make an official complaint, maybe at the MOA. Because employees like that are really bad representatives of Taiwan. I guess, those embassy clerks(not just taiwan) know there’s no way around them so they can behave as shitty as they want to but that doesn’t make it right.

Maybe I was just lucky, but I dealt with 3 separate ones recently, and on all occasions everything was processed quickly and correctly. They answered my questions promptly and politely and even mailed additional documents to me at their expense upon my request. No complaints here.

I’ve been to probably 6 different TECOs in the US, Europe and Asia, and have always encountered friendly and helpful staff that go above and beyond.

I would absolutely report this person to BOCA and/or MOFA with a detailed letter of what exactly happened. I’m sure there are email addresses on their websites.

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Playing devil´s advocate here:

Of all parts of the gummit, ofices abroad are understaffed and overworked. They are on call 24/7. Patience they have vey little, with Taiwanese abusing the system, losing an average of one to 5 passports a day, aside from treating the offices as their private travel agencies. So a little leeway can be given…

Moreover, most normal Taiwanese have little to no understanding of visa and other foreigners related stuff, based their knowledgge on hearsay from 20 years ago. The officials going abroad take a month course and are told all information is online. You and I know it is not true, and that if there is anything at all, the most updated info is in Chinese.

That said, when you feel wronged, you should write a detailed letter to teh respective agency -most probably BOCA- expalining what went wrong. Emphazise teh infornmation was not given AND IT IS NOT AVAILABLE on line. They always assume it is there… when it is not.

I created an international incident in one once. Found myself stuck in Canada on a visa run when they closed the borders to countries with cases of SARS. That, unbelievably, included Canada. So I went to the media, told my story, they went to the TECO for a reaction and I got my entry visa an hour or two later.

From this old thread.

In HK they don’t even offer copies, you need to go outside and pay for them yourself.

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Went to Dubai TECO same shit. There were Taiwanese who were super helpful but the non-Taiwanese clerk who filed visa and other applications was similarly rude.

HK Teco were notorious assholes for years and years.

Very good experience with TECO in New York recently. I will say they are probably better in Chinese than in English – not that they’re not happy to help you in person in English, they were – but when I got a follow-up phone call, it really sounded rude. I suspect it was really just the way the woman was speaking English and she didn’t mean to be rude at all. They were really very, very helpful when I was in the office, even though they (legitimately) had no idea how to do what I needed to get done (employment Gold Card passport review). And they got the job done in the end, too.

My theory is that it comes from having angry English teachers in childhood. :2cents:

It would be interesting to do some linguistic analysis on that. English speakers sound angry in Spanish to Spanish speakers because they tend to use the same intonation in phrases as in English, which match “angry” signaling in Spanish.

I’ve gone to 2 offices and called to 2, and I didn’t have any bad experience. Many were friendly, some were blunt, but none of them were rude nor arrogant. They were very patient to understand what I said.

I’ve had a good experience with TECC in Chennai.

Complaining about copies or stamps - please. Go look at the way they treat you in other consulates like the US, UK or Italian one. I’ve experienced all of them. They’ll throw you out and ask you to reschedule even if one small thing is missing. They won’t bother to make any copies for you, give you stamps or even a freakin pen. Those things are reserved for theuir use, not yours.

The people at TECC were way friendlier, IMHO.

A few years ago- not particularly friendly in HK, but very efficient. I suppose it’s the workload. Offered me the same-day rush option for my visa.
Very friendly and helpful last year in Vancouver, especially when I spoke to them in Chinese. They fairly quickly switched to English, though, which probably says more about the state of my Chinese.

Canada one was fine, in-and-out in 5 min (Taiwanese clerk). Tokyo was fine too but maybe that’s because I got brownie points for speaking jap (and I think the clerk was local).