Monday, July 06, 2009

Eye yay yaaaay

I went to Hassans Opticians in Muthanna. I have been ordering my contacts at the Sharq locations (where I've always had great customer service) for years since they are the agents of Bauch & Lomb. I know I spelled that wrong. I did it on purpose. I can't see to google. Fekit.

Did you know that contact lenses are cheaper in Kuwait than they are in 'merica? Yup. Its true. Cheaper in price - a whole lot more expensive in terms of the Frustration Factor.

Isn't that true of a lot of things in Kuwait? Items/services are cheaper but then you factor in the frustration you have to go through to get it; is it all worth it? My sofa was - I love that thing - but OMG what I had to go through to get it made! sheeesh. I'm like the most patiently impatient person I know since I came to Kuwait.

I digress.

I figured that it was time to get my eyes tested again since I hadn’t done it in a few years, so I went to Muthanna where it is usually quieter. Dr. Dude did a quick exam and Sales Dude showed me frames. They explained that it could take “up to” 2 months to get my lenses. They’ve said that before, but I never had to wait that long. I found a pair of oo la la Escada frames; after much salesmen up-sell. They started me off at the KD 200 and up case. I was tired, I have only myself to blame; I paid more than I really wanted to pay, but whatever. They said the frames would take 20 days.20 days? For glasses??? So much for “Hour Eyes”! Jeez. In the States, you get them in an hour and sometimes while you’re waiting. What a crock. Anyhooooooo

My last pair of frames – 8 years ago – cost a whopping 10 KD from Noor Opticians. The only person who sees me in them is my dog. I just use them at night to watch TV before going to bed. They don’t have to be beautiful, but they are comfortable and after 8 years are still just fine.

After few weeks, I called back to see if the lenses might, by chance/by luck/by the Grace of God, be ready yet. Dr. Dude got on the phone and started shouting at me, “I TOLD you 2 months! ... and after my response of "unacceptable!" "LISTEN TO MEEE!” Oh no, he di’in’t. Kuwait’s faaaaaaaabulous customer service strikes again. Hey you with the money – give it to me now and then go to hell. In the world of sales, this is called “sell and go to hell”. Yessirreeebob. That’s what they expected me to do…. After KD 164. Cha-ching. It doesn’t even cost that much to go to the US on United right now (Summer fares are 150 KD r/t). Do you think that Hell is closer? Hmmmm. Subject to interpretation (or "Interpellation" since we are in Kuwait and they so love that word in the media).

Yet anyhooo again…. I, being the Angry White Woman that I am, called back and got their head office number. Talked to the receptionist who swore she could handle my problem. Talked to the HR manager who swore she could handle my problem. (No apologies so far…. ) Then I sent a fax to the owner. Somebody called me back and swore he could handle my problem. The next day, I get an e-mail from somebody else (how many? I lost count) who said that my contact lenses were in Customs. Whaaa - they can't see either? I waited… Ok so all told, it was purty dern close to 2 months when I finally got them. I got the glasses sooner, but no one would make eye contact (ha ha - no pun intended. really.)/look at me when I walked in the store and no one asked if I would like to have my glasses fit (which you’re supposed to do because as it turned out – they weren’t a good fit).

Please pardon my spelling mistakes. You see (I can't), as I write this, I can’t see my monitor (I know it is the big thing behind my coffee mug). Dr. Dude F’ed up – adding insult to injury or injury to insult as the case may be. They gave me the wrong prescription. I have headaches and I can't see. It's bad. I'm like Helen Keller behind the wheel: one hand on the wheel, the other on the road. I should fit in really well with everyone else out there.

I digress. As usual. B M C....
Blogs are so much better than comment cards because they are great therapy (and people see them).

I called the Muthanna branch to get my prescription and asked them to fax it or e-mail it to me. I literally couldn't get the lady to understand me. 12 (I counted) times, I tried in vain to give her my e-mail address. Nervous giggles at the other end of the phone. I finally asked her name. She was a DOCTOR somebody. WTF?! I asked where she got her degree and then gave up. In the Western world, if you are Dr. (firstname), you know you are screwed (like, "Dr. Jeff" or "Dr. Mindy"). Here, it seems to be the norm. Regardless, I knew I was screwed.

The Man is pleading with me to go back down to Hassans and fight for my money. I am so angry and I feel that I have been completely taken advantage of, but at the same time, not one person in that entire organization was an actual help to me. If anything, I’ve been yelled at (yo! me = customer) and no one has even said they were sorry. The Man is up for a good fight; I’m so close to vacation time that I don’t want to deal with their BS.

I can’t SEE! I have headaches. I hate Hassan’s.

I went back to Noor Opticians in Salmiya last night – to Dr. Vaheed, who has been there for 25 years. He remembered me when I walked in after 8 years. He smiled. He listened. He tried different things. He fit my glasses for me - making me more comfortable. He spoke to me calmly and without any quick movements. THAT is customer service. He is going to try to get me something else before I leave this week.

Don’t vendors understand the concept of competition? Don’t they realize that customers will just go somewhere else when they don’t get what they want? Make your customer happy; he/she'll come back.

I wrote back to the head office of Hassan’s and guess what – no response. Thanks. Another customer goes to the competition. Seeeeee ya (ha ha - I meant that)!


Q8Sultana said...

I usually get my glasses at Pearles or whatever the AlShaya optics place is called. I got 2 glasses from them, one in Kuwait and one in Abu Dhabi, and they were always ready in like 3-4 days. They also always seem to have a promotion and at least they made me believe that I got a bargain, which is always a good feeling. Both glasses were under KD100, and they of course did the eye test, the eye pressure test, and they even checked if my old glasses were still appropriate for my eyes.
Andtheir selection is huge.
From my experiences I think AlShaya does take customer satisfaction seriously.

nYx said...

I digress toooooooo:
A shop which borrowed (READ STOLE) the same Font type as of Harrods of London is not going to get my business!

Moreover if a salesman / customer service rep / or optician "scolds" me; that "Kharbaan Raya'al" is bound to get my shoe lost in his rear!

Laslty: for heavens sake stop getting wantoned by these big name whores who are out to suck out the last penny from you; and I'd agree with the man: Am up for a fight. My ega'al is out and craving for a fresh layer of skin!!

Anonymous said...

The sales staff in Hassans / Muthana Center have an attitude problem.

I was treated in the same manner as you wre when I wanted to buy some expensive Mont Blanc eyeware. Needless to say, I f***ed them off and hightailed it out of there.

A few eeks later I happened to be walking by the Hassans shop when I noticed the salesman giving me the evil eye stare. So I walked over and asked why he was staring. At that point he let out a venomous stream of rants and curses in Arabic and English. To which I kindly returned in Arabic and English.

It turns out he hates the USA and thus he felt compelled to hate me.

Desert Girl said...

Q8Sultana - Shaya does care about their customers. I know several people in their HR department and they go out of their way to train to that direction.

Anonymous 7:38 - wow. They do get a lot of Western customers I've noticed and I've never noticed that the sales staff were particularly kind to them, but your experience goes above and beyond.

I got my contacts at Noor last night and IMMEDIATELY noticed the difference. I could SEE. It's a MIRACLE!

LolaCabana said...

Customer service in Kuwait does stink for the most part. I got a pair of fabulous Dior frames in the old souk but was unable to get them fitted--they said they didn't have anyone that could do that and had to send them out. It took 2 weeks for me to get them back--luckily they fit, but how can you fit someone for glasses if you aren't trying them on their face?? When I got them back--they delivered them by cab at midnight. Ahhh only in Kuwai!

abolesanzalef said...

mmmmmmmmmmm look amer..
there is a new one called Maghrabi.. 2 branches in Avenues and the newest one in salmyia beside Eurika...and I know the service there is too nice and much respect you have there...anyway.. if you need any help there just let me know.. the director is my friend.. have a nice glass!!!

Shanna said...

international optique at al kout mall in fahaheel is THE BEST! i went in expecting to have to wait to see a dr. but he was like come on back and let's get your eyes checked. we went through the test and he explained everything he was doing and how my eyes had changed. i was super comfortable with him and really wish i remembered his name. then he helped me pick out frames; 300 something KD for 2 pairs of glasses and 1 pair of sunglasses. they were ready the next day! when we went to pick up my glasses he talked me into trying contacts; a quick eye test, a free pair of lenses, and lots of instruction i was sold. i walked away with a 30 day supply of lenses and 2 pairs of non-prescription sunglasses for 180kd. (btw, they gave us discounts both times). we had such a great experience there that my son has to stop in and visit with them when we go to al kout!

Mohammed said...

International Optique Co. have excellent service, plus you can even buy stuff from them online, but I have no idea where/what the location is called, I'm new in Kuwait