A Tale of Two SAs - The Nasty One With an Attitude Problem vs. The Super Duper Helpful
16 September 2010

A Tale of Two SAs – The Nasty One With an Attitude Problem vs. The Super Duper Helpful

Meant to blog about this earlier, but put this post on hold because I wanted to do an MJ Runway review of his S/S 2011 collection instead.

This is a true story and based on my encounters with SAs on the very same day, during the weekend. To protect the brand’s and SA’s anonymity, I will only name the one who gave me excellent customer service.
———————————–A Tale of Two Sales Assistants
Over the Hari Raya weekend, I traipsed over to Pavilion and Star Hill. On that very same day itself, I had 2 very different encounters with SAs in terms of their attitude.
First up, the super-duper helpful SA.SA’s Name: LeAnne Brand: Celine @ Pavilion
I haven’t really been loving Celine for many years now, since Michael Kors’s departure, but my interest in the brand has been revived after the appointment of Phoebe Philo. Loving their “Luggage” collection, and spotted a few fashion editors with them at New York Fashion Week.
Having received a mailer from Celine a while back inviting me for their new F/W collection preview (I didn’t go because I didn’t have the time), I decided to check out their new collection last weekend because I really really love the leopard print haircalf zippered tote (shown below).I went into the store, and upon realising that this tote wasn’t on display, I decided to ask them if they had it. I didn’t have a picture of it on me, all I did was describe it to SA LeAnne. She immediately knew what I was talking about, even produced a picture from the catalogue to confirm that it was indeed the bag I was asking for, but regrettably informed me that they will not be bringing this into KL. I asked if they have it in Singapore (it being a Sunday), she told me that she’ll give me a call the following day after she’s called them and checked with them. She also added that if they didn’t, she’ll check all Celine boutiques throughout South-East Asia to let me know which store/country has the tote (at this point I was really super impressed at her enthusiasm), and then, if I still want it, she would go ahead and proceed with the order for me. Super excellent customer service, and an SA who definitely knows her stuff.

Experience Number 2: The Bad and the Ugly.
Brand: — no names, to protect anonymity. The only clue is, that it’s a brand I’m not particularly in favour of because it’s just everywhere.
SA’s Name: Let’s just call him Mr. E
After lunch, I decided to pop into the “brand that I’m not particularly in favour of’s store” just to check out what’s new. I usually only enter this brand’s store only when I know the new collections have arrived just to update myself on what bags are available here in KL. After all, I blog about bags, don’t I? 😉
So I walked in, had a little walk around the store, and decided to ask for a bracelet my friend expressed an interest in; a bracelet she saw in one of the brand’s Ad campaigns. I already had a feeling that Mr. E was nasty, because while I was walking up to him and waiting for him to finish his story, he was actually bitching quite loudly with a fellow SA about a previous customer that he had served.
Mr. E was not happy to serve me, gave me the once over when I approached him and decided I was snub-worthy just because I did not have a bag from his brand on my arm. Instead, I was toting my Balenciaga (which he probably didn’t know of anyway since it’s a Limited Edition, not your regular “motorcycle” or “city”, and didn’t have the brand’s logo or monogram splashed across the whole bag) which he stared at, squinted and decided, I wasn’t worth his attention. Well, I didn’t let that scenario deter me from asking him about the bracelet anyway.
I described the bracelet to him, and he just dismissed me with a bored look on his face that said “why are you asking me because you probably can’t afford it anyway?” and but instead uttered “I don’t know, haven’t seen it” in a dismissive manner, and didn’t even offer to ask other staff who might know about that bracelet. After having that wonderful encounter with SA LeAnne from Celine, Mr. E really pissed me off. So I gave him a lecture about how he should know about the brand’s ad campaigns because he is a) representing the brand and b) he should know because it’s his job to help customers and not dismiss them just because he didn’t see that campaign.
Mr E then answered, “we have so many ad campaigns this season, they’re all different”. Well I was thinking to myself “hell-lo, of course they are different. That’s why they are called ad campaigns and not posters. Hey, flip through magazines and you’ll see them all”.
I replied: Yes, but you should still know what they are, and if you don’t at least ask someone else in the store – it’s your job to help customers and give them information and not the other way around!
Mr. E reluctantly said “ok, fine. What does the bracelet look like, is it for men or women?”
He then asked someone else (via the ear-piece walkie talkie thingy that all SAs have) and rolled his eyes and asked them “hey a customer is asking about a bracelet she saw in an ad campaign apparently it looks like this *fills in my description of the bracelet* and then proceeded to roll his eyes in front of me. 5 seconds later, he tells me “oh no, we haven’t seen it, and we probably don’t have it anyway” but his body language and facial expression said “yes,-so -you’re- probably- delusional -and- can’t- afford- anything -from- my- store -which- is -why- you’re- asking -for -a non-existent product- that -no -one- has -seen- but -you.”
I’d just like to say that this brand is particularly notorious for giving bad customer service, especially if you don’t dress up or are not spotted with a bag of theirs on your arm. A similar experience happened to a friend of mine – she was in the midst of looking at a bag and the SA just snatched it away from her and put it back on the shelf when she wasn’t even done looking when in fact she’s a customer of that brand but wasn’t dressed up on that day when she entered the store.
And so that was my weekend experience with the Horrible SA with the attitude problem and the lovely LeAnne from Celine.

Note SAs and brand representatives who are reading this: Please train your SAs and inform them about what’s new (That’s another story altogether, when I called a brand and the SA was some space cadet who wasn’t even aware of it and told me that they didn’t have a new collection or a new range when it’s all over the US, and this was in Singapore, mind you, not KL). Please update or brief your staff about new collections, ad campaigns, Limited Editions, etc and even stuff that is available but might not have been brought into KL.
And SAs, you should make it a point to find out about these things because after all, you are representing the brand. And also, please learn how to pronounce the designer/brand properly, especially if you’re working for them.

Ok I’m done ranting. 😉