Friday, August 04, 2006

Good service!

After a dramatic day yesterday, today started really well. I took my kids to the new Tesco down the road from my place. So nice to walk into a supermarket that is spacious and well stocked. Ample parking space and trolleys that didn't have squeaking wheels! As I was walking down the aisles, especially in the produce section, I can't help thinking "these are ingredients which Jamie Oliver uses!". The choices! Wow! Made a mental note to visit that store again the next time I need to do my grocery shopping.

Last weekend, I was at Ikea to get some shelving system as well as bookcases. Sale on in Ikea ma. I was there on a weekend with my children, so needless to say, I was muddled and made some mistakes with my choices lah. Problem was, I had the things delivered to my house. Read: Big items. The bookcases came in long boxes. Fortunately, those were not the mistakes. I'd bought some IVAR shelf 'coz I already have one set. I was hoping to add on to my existing shelves to organise my tiny store area including corner shelves. There was only one piece of the corner shelf left. I bought it thinking I can use it. Then when I got it, it suddenly clicked. Duh! How to use a corner pole with ONE corner shelf? So I had the brilliant idea of getting a furniture maker to cut me the corner shelves according to the piece I had. It cost too much! The size of the other shelves that fitted the corner shelf was too big too. So those shelves and poles had to be returned. Fortunately they could fit into my car! I love my 7-seater car!

Before I left, I called Ikea to ask if I will have any problems exchanging the items, or bringing the items up as I'll be by myself. The customer service personnel told me exactly what I could do. Excellent! Drove down to Ikea and viola, someone was there to help me unload and watch my stuff while I go park the car. Go up to the Exchange & Return counter, got a number and was attended to in no time. The person who attended to me, Lily, was very helpful. She explained that the corner shelf and corner pole I bought was sale items so I couldn't exchange or get a refund for them. I was going to see if I could find something else which complemented those items so I can use them.

Once inside, I asked an Ikea staff where I could find a leaflet on the shelves. She gave me very precise directions to get there. Wow! The staff knew the store well. I tried to figure out what I needed with the information Ikea has on the leaflet, which is complete with measurements, drawings, etc. No luck. I cannot visualize 2-dimensional pictures. Duh! So off I went to where the products were stocked. Caught hold of another staff and shot questions at him. This are my measurements, how many of this and that do I need? Can I use this with that? Are these sturdy enough? How many cans of stain paint do I need for what I want to do? and so on. He answered every single one of my question and gave suggestions. Wow! I was very impressed. Finally got it all figured out and got my stuff on the trolley. Then I spotted something else I needed to get but it wasn't the colour I wanted. Caught hold of another staff to ask where I could find the item. He gave precise location - aisle number and which shelf. I was blown away! Third staff who knew their job!

So of I went to the cashier, paid for my item the whole time thinking I've blown RM70 'coz I won't be able to return and cannot use. Oh, the Exchange & Return personnel who attended to me (Lily) let me keep my stuff behind the counter as they were bulky items. Even put them on a trolley for me so I could just wheel it to the car when I was done inside the store. So I made my way back to the E&R counter to collect my things. I told Lily I couldn't find the items to be used with the non-returnable items. One of the items I had has been discontinued (not producing anymore). *sigh* Then Lily said, "Let me see what I can do". She went into the office for a short while then told me she'd explained my predicament to her superior and they were going to refund my money! Yay!

It's been so long since I've been to a store which have knowledgeable staff, courteous, intelligent and go the extra mile for their customers. I love it!

Thank you, Lily and the other staff who helped me today. You made my day!


Blogger Nicholas said...

Wonder if it'll affect Ampang Grocers and Hock Choon's business tho :P

9:35 am  
Blogger me said...

i guess that's why their business is so good. and also no salespeople to hound you and follow you everywhere whilst you do your browsing slowly. support support.

10:23 am  
Blogger Min said...

Nicholas, Ampang Grocers and Hock Choon have their regular customers who don't mind paying a little extra. Good for nipping in and running out again. I think I'll probably use Tesco for when I need big time grocery shopping. On a week day for now 'coz being new, it's probably a mess at the weekend.

Ya lor, me aka lenglui. People do not mind paying a little extra for that kind of service. Actually, comparable to kedai perabut also. And a certain sense of achievement when putting the furniture together. I'm speaking for myself lah.

7:18 pm  
Blogger Vien said...

Wow, I'm amazed you're able to find a salesperson to help you. The Ikea at E.Palo Alto here is always busy at the service counters. Maybe we always go at the wrong day (the wkends).

9:45 am  
Blogger Min said...

Vien, the first time I went (the day I made a mistake with my choice) was a Sunday. I managed to get someone to help me too. That's why I'm so amazed with Ikea's service. Weekend, during their sales and I could get service.

OK, I must clarify. I'm NOT getting a commission from Ikea :D

1:33 am  
Blogger Mama22Beas said...

Min...I've been a hardcore fan leh, but my new house though 95% Ikea stuffs, still does not look like a showhouse;)
One more thing is, my kids it too.

6:32 pm  
Anonymous kat said...

This Tesco off MRR open already? Passed it, looks mighty big!

I also would rather pay a bit more and be assured of aftersales service at Ikea. Most probably will get my kitchen from them.

1:49 am  
Blogger Min said...

Kat, good idea to get your kitchen from there. It doesn't cost so much that you will feel sayang if you want to renovate next time. Looks good too. I SHOULD have gotten my kitchen from there. You can bring in your floor plan and get the kitchen staff to help you "design" your kitchen.

2:29 am  
Blogger OldFunk said...

I am not sure about Hock Choon as I have not been there for quiet a while. TESCO has really eaten up a lot of Ampang Grocer's clients including me. The vegetables are sooo cheap and fresh... I mean if you know how much you spend in average for what. If you go to Ampang Grocers, you would notice that most of their vegie's are old now and the meat turns into a darker brown. I salute them though for not being like Isetan KLCC or most Giant supermarkets for not putting red coloring on the meat to make it look fresh. The worst is still Isetan KLCC where you can see sometimes the meat being artificially "red traffic light red".
In my opinion, TESCO will kill Ampang Grocer's business unless they come up with a new strategy.

6:46 am  
Blogger Min said...

Ampang Grocer isn't very friendly. Rather snooty in fact.

You're serious about red colouring on meat? Eeww! I am very disappointed with Giant. They used to be really good, when it was still owned by the Teng family, even when they started the hypermarket. Now, the fresh food section is pathetic. Food not fresh, poor quality and the price *rolls eyes*

I've shopped in Tesco more frequently now. Definitely enjoying the experience!

9:58 am  
Blogger OldFunk said...

Hi Min,

The red coloring stuff is no longer done in Giant, but take their meat and use the light reflection , you would see some goldish color... surely not something you see on normal meet. They certainly use some preservatives of some sort. The red coloring is a speciality of Isetan KLCC now, go to the red meat section and you would see the discusting display.

Yes, Ampang Grocers are not very friendly, specifically that old man and his wife. The kids are making efforts though.

I have learnt from my years of shopping that each supermarket or hypermarket is specilized in specific products. i.e:

During non sales period, Giant are the cheapest in terms of cosmetics, shampoos, baby milk...

Carefour (Wangsa Maju only, the Cheras one I find it useless) have the best fish. They have improved a lot in terms of meat. Sometimes you can find good deals for furnitures as well. Some of their own brands are good as well. However, be careful, their tagging system is not very accurate, so check the price of the items when you take them from the shelves. If the price is different, by law they should go for the cheapest of either displayed or scanned. They used to have a great choice of cheese which had dropped. Carefour is overall cheap in terms of food. Non food items are at normal price or higher.

Makro... they are pulling out from Malaysia and I heard that Giant is taking over the facility (yet to be confirmed).

Tesco has the cheapest vegetables around. Some of their Tesco own brands are good and cheap. The check out queuing time is very short compared to any other hyper/super markets of the sort. They are somrhow poor in terms of customer information. Most of their staff are foreigners who barely speak good English. I do not expect much from them. So far, their tagging system is accurate and no mismatch between the tag and the scan in terms of price. they are still new in the neighbourhood, so let's talk about them again in let's say... a year from now ;)

p.s: What I really enjoy about Tesco si that I can go there at 8.00 a.m to do my shopping. The best time to shop there in my point of view is about 10.00 a.m.

7:41 am  
Blogger OldFunk said...

... speaking of Ikea... I just buy accessories if I need anything. For furnitures I had two bitter experiences which made me think twice before buying big stuff from them. Yes, they deliver, but my shoe-rack door was damaged. Sure, they can replace it, but I have to drive all the way from Ampang to bandar Utama. It happenned that they did not have anynore stock for that item, so I asked for a reverse of charge to my credit card, which they did.

We do not need much now, but most of our furnitures where bought at Home Point (Home Life). Once I stopped buying stuff from them (because I had bought it all), they shifted out of the area... because I stopped giving them business I guess (hehe).
I believe the quality at Home Point was/is much better.
As for our kitchen cabinets and two other built-in cabinets, we had them done in a workshop next to Pantai Cheras. The design was ours and the quality depends on how much you are willing to spend on the wood. Accessories were bought from a small hardware store. It has been 4 years now for the kitchen and it is still standing strong.

8:02 am  
Blogger Min said...

Wow, OldFunk, you sure know your way around this area. Where were you when I was preparing to move in 5 years ago? LOL Well, I wasn't blogging yet so wouldn't have had the pleasure of knowing you.

10:13 pm  
Blogger OldFunk said...

Well Min, take it this way... you are making a great contribution now, your suffering will help people wanting to shift to Ampang now ;)
Hey, BTW, it would be nice if IKEA had a "Retrun Item Center" somwhere nearer in town... just a thought.

12:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Hock Choon supermarket in Ampany, definetly think they will loose out, not only do they provide items from all over, but they have the worst service... thats what will probably put them out of business, yea, ppl dont mind paying a lil bit more for everyday grocery, but the difference is, with Tesco down the road, Cold storage & Carrefour... Hock Choon better shape themselves, for they are not only loosing customers, reputation as well...

12:31 pm  
Anonymous oldfunk said...

Hello there,

It has been a while since I haven't come here. Still in Ampang dwelling with my wife and two kids.

I cannot remember when was the last time I have visited this place/blog.

I guess it has been more than a year. I have been busy I must say. Hoping that you are all fine.

Just a slight small bit of remark... I found this site: , wondering what they are planning to do .

Cheers, and see you soon!

12:22 am  
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