A common topic of discussion on which I have written before is the strange and disappointing nature of customer service in Singapore. Examples abound. But let me just give one mini-example to set the stage.
To get a Singapore driver’s license I had to register for classes online. The webpage registration failed. But not before the charges were deducted from my checking account. When I called the support number they told me I would have to go to the main office to ask for a refund. The office is 30 minutes away by cab and much longer by public transportation. I do not have a car (as my pursuit of a license makes obvious).
Despite my requests, my pleas, and ultimately my screaming, they had no better way for me to get my money back. They said there was not even a phone at the office that could help with a refund. They screw up, I lose 90 minutes of my work day. End of story.
I love the Samsung Galaxy Note I purchased a few weeks ago. It was not an easy product to buy. Despite its general “First Worldness”, there are a whole bunch of things that Singapore has not yet figured out. You cannot use any ATMs in Singapore except for the one that issued your ATM card. Taxis are unavailable in the rain. Customer service is frequently bad. And its not so easy to buy a phone.