Horrible customer service

I took a taxi just to make it to my 4:00 appointment at DermLink, a small dermatology clinic along Arnaiz Ave. near Park Square 1. I made it there by 4:05. The receptionist retrieved my record, which indeed had "Tuesday 4:00" written on it. However, there was no available slot, so they asked me to wait.

After finishing an entire magazine (cover to cover, including articles on swimsuits and makeup and all of these things I'd ordinarily not even glance at) and sketching a stool (complete with shadows from two light sources), I looked up at the clock. Thirty minutes had passed without a word, an apology, or even an estimate of how much longer I would need to wait.

Eventually the middle bay cleared and I was asked to recline on the elevated bed. I had scarcely settled in when the assistant was told to transfer the person in the far bay to the bed I was in the process of occupying, so I put my glasses back on, gathered my things, and moved to the next bay.

As the assistant smeared cream on my face and wiped it off with a sponge, she kept asking me: "Are your meds complete?" It took me a while to realize that she was asking about my medication. I said yes. Not that I would know if it was complete or not, but hey, we sat through the song-and-dance yesterday and my mom bought whatever the dermatologist was pushing. A short while later, she (or another assistant) asked again, "Are your meds complete?" I was starting to get really annoyed about the hard sell, but I decided that it wouldn't be wise to piss off people who are working on your face.

So I patiently waited... and waited... and waited... I even fell asleep at some point. When I woke up, I heard the whir of machinery from the next unit. After a short pause, I heard the dermatologist's voice from the unit near the door, giving another consultation. It was probably the exact pitch she'd used on us last week; no questions, but rather just a high-speed rattling-off of things one needs to buy.

I turned my head and affixed the assistant with an impatient glare. That netted me nothing more than a perfunctory "Please wait a while." I tried to settle back down, but I simply couldn't stand that kind of service. I got up, pulled the towel headband off my hair, and stormed off, telling them I really couldn't wait any longer and that their customer service could _really_ be improved. Then I left. Looking back, I wish I'd said something stronger, but disappointment choked my voice and I still haven't gotten over that innate dislike of making a scene.

I stalked through Glorietta searching for some place that would make me feel like they valued my business. I was annoyed. No, I was more than annoyed—I was aggravated. I felt terrible wasting all that time at DermLink. I thought going to a regular dermatologist would be better than just going to a skin clinic and having a facial, but that place just sucked. This wasn't the first time I'd had to wait without explanation, and I should've clued in that first day and refused to go for any more treatment there. Sheesh.

I ended up going for a really painful facial at Let's Face It, but at least people there smiled, attended to me promptly, and explained what they were doing.

If I'm going to go for this entire dermatology thing, I'd like to have a dermatologist who'll ask me about what I eat and how I live; who'll find a way for me to keep eating chocolate, who'll tell me what to do when I have pimples the day before I expect pictures to be taken... If I can't have that, then I'd rather not have clear skin than put up with customer service as bad as DermLink's.

Moral lesson: Customer service is very important. Keep your customers in the loop. Don't let them feel neglected. Care about them; make them feel special instead of just another source of income for you.

ARGH.

I was thinking of heading back to DermLink and really giving them a piece of my mind, but then I passed by National Bookstore and I got sucked in. Still.

Oh, well. Good lesson in how personally annoying bad service can be.

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Warren also grips:

I don't think companies in Manila understand the meaning of "customer service". A very good example is PLDT :). Another one is one of the biggest bank in Manila; METROBANK. They have like 40 clients in queue and they only have 1 teller serving them. My GOD!!! I don't know where the Managers/Supervisors of these organizations obtained their degree.

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