TODAY: When a company met angry blogger

When a company met angry blogger


In the age of the Internet grapevine, know your stuff before tackling customer complaints on the Web

IT HAS been said, and quite often by bloggers, that businesses ignore blogs and online discussion forums at their peril. (Try a Google search with the term “businesses ignore blogs at their peril”, and you will see what I mean).

News sites abound with tales of companies which either ignore, or do not wake up to, the extent of customer dissatisfaction until it is too late. But what happens in the rare case — at least in the local experience — that a company actually responds to rumbles of consumer discontent online?

Judging by the reaction when one company did so last week, is it a case of “damned if you don’t, damned if you do”?

One apparently disgruntled customer of a company that provides protective wrapping for mobile phones, PDAs and other similar devices posted his complaint on a discussion forum. Now, what typically happens in an instance like this, is that other forum members might commiserate or disagree with a customer’s complaint, or share their own experiences. But what happened this time was that a representative of the company decided to respond to the allegations by emailing the original poster — with interesting results.

Read more here.

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Monday macchiato nosso good

Scary Mechanical Tiger

There’s a scary looking mechanical tiger in United Square at Novena that has scary bloodshot eyes and wheels on its paws. Apparently the handlers of this tiger charge $5 for a ride on it. Siao!

Then there were the staff of the Haagen Dazs cafe who said they couldn’t serve me a double shot macchiato because it wasn’t on the menu, even if a single macchiato was. Even after I explained that a double macchiato was like a double espresso, only you put a small spot of foamed milk to mark the espresso, making it a macchiato, because a macchiato in Italian means ‘spotted’. I even offered to pay 50 cents for the spot of foamed milk. But, cannot, said the waiters.

To their credit, the waiters told the cafe manager, who suggested I order a cappucino instead. I said, ‘nair mind, I’ll have a double espresso’. To his credit, the manager asked again what it was I really wanted, and I said ‘double macchiatto, which is like a double espresso, only you put a small spot of milk to mark the espresso, and I’ll pay 50 cents for the milk’.

And the manager said ‘ok’, and instructed his waiters to make me a double macchiato with no extra charge for the spot of milk.

Good job, manager of cafe! 100 points for effort. Zero for the waiters who served me a double macchiato with enough foamed milk to spot twenty espressos.

Double Macchiato
Dude, where’s my coffee?

iTunes Party Shuffle is playing a copy of The Look Of Love from the album “Music To Watch Girls By (Disc 2)” by Dusty Springfield

Please don’t flambée my backside, the food’s quite good

I am thankful for a lot of things, really. Like having enough money to give myself a treat after a reasonably crappy day at work. And what treat did I have enough money to give myself, you may well ask?

Well, I went and had dinner at that venerable Russo-Hainanese institution that serves the best borsch bar none: Shashlik Restaurant. If you’ve been there, you’d know the food’s real good, and you’d immediately forgive the late 70s lighting, the late 70s furnishing, the late 70s crockery and the late 70s waiters.

I’ve heard before about how rude and brusque the waiters at Shashlik were, and I’d like to clarify one thing: the waiters aren’t rude, they’re just Hainanese. They’ll stand around the bar and talk loudly in Russian because they think they’re the best Russian restaurant in town, and they’d be right.

And one of the fabulous things about the brusque borsch serving waiters is that even when there’s a bunch of them talking loudly in Russian at the bar, there’s still a couple of them brusquely pushing borsch, shashlik, and all manner of flambé on squeaky trolleys around the restaurant.

If you were to go there, on the 6th floor of the Far East Shopping Centre (not Far East Plaza, which is the cool and funky place with the funky clothes and the funky people selling funky clothes to funky people), I’d recommend you have the borsch to start with, then the shashlik beef/lamb, and then the flambéed banana/cherry/alaska for dessert, topped off with the best Hainanese Russian kopitiam coffee this side of Ya Kun’s.

I really think this is the best Russian restaurant in town, and I’m not saying this because I’m afraid the Hainanese waiters might flambée my backside if I said otherwise. Dinner was good enough for me to want to dine there again soon, which is significant in itself because before tonight, the last time I dined there must’ve been twenty years ago.

Got dress code one leh

Quite dark, until the flaming trolley comes by

Shashlik Restaurant
Then they take the stuff off the flaming trolley onto your table: Banana Flambé

Shashlik Restaurant
The coffee’s nosso good if you’re expecting espresso

Must be nice to the waiters, else they flambée your backside
Surf stop: Majulah Singapura’s Journal

iTunes Party Shuffle is playing a copy of Smoke from the album “Whatever And Ever Amen” by Ben Folds Five

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It is Wednesday and the weather is gana sai

So my blains been boiling the past two days on account of the weather. It was also good to know I wasn’t the only one.

Overheard in the lift of my office building was this exchange:

“Gana sai”

“Simi gana sai?”

“Wedder lah”

“Orh. The heat”

“The heat is sibeh hot”

“This morning got haze some more”

“Got meh?”


It really, really isn’t conducive for work, this weather. Or for decent conversation either. Or for blogging.

The Imperial Cafe & Pub
The Imperial Cafe & Pub, MacCallum Street. Hot place. No, really.

Surf stop:

iTunes Party Shuffle is playing a copy of And So It Goes from the album “Greatest Hits Vol. III” by Billy Joel

P.S. Yes, I know there was an earthquake in Miyagi.

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TODAY: All abuzz over no poll or no holiday?

Chip off the blog 17 August 2005


This week opinions and impressions of the Singapore Presidential candidates made up quite a few blog posts, with sites such as Newsintercom (www.newsin even creating a mock-up online polling system, complete with buttons and live results — albeit with only one candidate for readers to “vote” for.

Read more here.

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