Poor Customer Service at Guardian 1 Utama

I usually go to Guardian Pharmacy to buy fish oil and multivitamins because they offer discounts when you buy them in packs. These supplements are beneficial to my health and wellness because with the strict high-protein diet I am currently at, I do not get enough micronutrients from chicken meat. Also I have been missing out the fatty fish from salmon and tuna because I have not been to the wet market recently.

Earlier, Guardian showcased their Make Over booth at the old wing of 1 Utama mall. Though it was already 8:40 PM, I went to the booth to check out. One thing that caught my attention was the big pack of fish oil. I was already running out of these so I decided to take a look at the price. From the normal 130++, they dropped it to 100++ RM. The sales lady was aggressive enough to upsell the multivitamins pack. I always buy Blackmores because they’re cheap, reliable and have gained good response online.

I didn’t have enough cash and I didn’t load enough money on my MY debit card. So I used my Citibank Card which was issued from the Philippines. Whenever I buy from the same store (not from the same branch) they used to swipe the card easily and ask for my CVV for the transaction to be valid. Noted that all credit cards and bank cards issued by Philippine banks do not have a 32 or 62-bit chips not like here.  I was hoping that they could use the magnetic strip of the back of the card and do the same process, but they didn’t.

Ok, considering they have modified their policies in such instances, I agreed to have my card verified. The store manager-in-charge said that they will call the bank even after I mentioned that my card was issued from the Philippines and can accept foreign transactions. (Hello, I have been here for more than a year and I have swiped it a lot of time, I mean a lot!)

The cashier rushed to the nearby Guardian outlet. I didn’t consider the fact that my card can be replicated but since it is a Guardian employee, I had my trust. Enduring more than 15 minutes of waiting, I was looking at my clock, I was already late for work. When the cashier arrived, she spoke in Malay to the store manager-on-duty and she, the store manager, proceeded with the usual-cashier-work-serving-other-customers while I was waiting for an answer. It was only when the Blacksmores sales lady offered help and talked to the store manager. It was, then, I found out that the 172.90 RM transaction was declined. Out of her frustration, she threw my card away from her.

Now, when I called the bank, I had to perform additional actions by making an international call because my card was blocked for apparent reason. So, I do not know how many times they tried swiping the card with an invalid CVV2, but it was the most recent failed transaction I have done on a couple of hours.

Opportunities

  1. The store manager could have provided and ETA considering that the retail store is a few minutes walk from the booth. Operations Research have discussed that queueing time and waiting time greatly affects customer experience.
  2. For security purposes, the cashier should have not just walked away with my card on her. They did not invite me to go with her. It was my fault partly because I didn’t run after her. She was already a few feet away.
  3. The store manager should not be doing the cashier alone. Neither leaving the cashier place with one person attending a number of customers. When they setup a booth, it was already given that additional manpower should have been allocated considering that they have to run another retail store. The booth attracts more customers and, this in fact, require more people to serve the customers.
  4. Cashiers should be oriented how to properly process credit card transactions, whether it was locally or internationally issued.
  5. That annoying attitude from the manager, driven by the pressure from the cashier queue and I, patiently waiting beside the cashier stall. She should have given at least decent empathic statements which could have lifted my spirits up. But no, in fact, she threw away my credit card because she lost a sale.

It was only a good thing that the Blacksmores sales lady kept my composure throughout. She had a decent utter like she was putting herself on my shoes in spite of the inconvenience. She is one of the best reasons why the service industry progresses. She should be given a commendation. Too bad, I didn’t get her name.

Working in a service-related industry for years have driven me to write this lengthy rant. May it reach to the related incidents so we can have some continuous improvement especially when dealing with customers on the spot.

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