A note on customer service in China, it sometimes seems non-existent. This is hardly surprising in a top-down-hierarchical society, and where if they lose someone as a customer it isn’t the end of the world; there are millions of other customers waiting. This is where being able to speak the language comes in handy, especially if you can speak it well in order to laugh and joke with the customer service agent you speak to, meaning you will naturally get a slightly better service rather than the 阿姨 that was shouting at them 20 minutes ago.

A second tip, try to get to the front of the desk late morning, 11am or so, that way they will rush through your process so they can get off to lunch and naptime sooner. The rest of the day they deliberately work slower, since customer service isn’t paid on commission, why work hard?

October 2018 edit: I had a discussion with some local friends the other day about this, they said it was like when you go to have dinner with your in-laws. When you finish your plate of food, your mother-in-law will always re-fill your plate, assuming that you are still hungry. In a Chinese company he says it works the same way, where people will stretch out a bit of work, or else the boss will give you more, and more, and more to do, without a reward. And I always heard that people were hardworking in China…

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