I had met with a friend for lunch just now and then proceeded to pick up some stuff at Jusco.
I have to say that when Jusco began its operations, the perception was that it was a mid to high end brand, what with being Japanese and all. Some even said that it was an expensive brand.
However, I thought that it was worth going there despite the reputation in exchange for a wider choice of products and brands. I was also convinced that the customer service was better.
Through the years, they have evolved to being a more mass brand. They even have their own house labels and the prices of these items, esp. the kids' PJs were good. Some of the promotions they ran were at prices cheaper than Carrefour or Giant. Great, all these savings are great for us consumers. But then the service standards also dropped.
Just now at the Mid Valley branch, the Jusco was a circus. First I went to the fruits section. There were 2 guards standing in front of the mango shelf. I was standing like half a foot from them attempting to choose my fruits. They did not even looked at me and proceeded to talk and talk, until I said "Excuse Me" and then, only did they got their fat bum away. Really, I am not sure if being thick skin and blind are criterias which were used to employ them.
And then I went to the supermarket and did my shopping in less than 30 mins. However, when I hit the queue section, I was shocked. How can there be such a long queue at 4.30pm? There were an average of 5-6 loaded carts at each of the 5 opened lanes. And the cashiers were taking their own sweet time to charge and bagged the stuff. On lanes with one person working was even more ridiculous. I am not sure if that is the fastest they were trained to work, or they just do not care.
At this particular Jusco, they have a PRIORITY LANE for the pregnant, wheel chair bound and the elderly folks. But there were a huge crowd there which DID NOT fulfill any of these criterias. And here I am queuing with the rest of the folks who really did not gave a damn about these priority lanes.
When I questioned why they cannot open more lanes (and it was clear that there were sufficient staff to operate them since they were hanging around their closed lanes), the person there just shrugged! And then I also asked why the priority lane is not serving its rightful customers ... the person told me that "Kita sudah ada papan tanda, tapi semua orang masih pergi sana." OMG, I almost smacked her - "Of course la, you have to enforce it ma, else what is the point of having a priority lane??" And the cashier there, together with another more senior looking cashier, just looked at me - without a note of apology or explanation!!!
Ok, I can accept that Malaysians are sometimes rude, illiterate and downright selfish, but that does not stop a company like Jusco to tick them off and only get the appropriate people in the priority lane!
Then I went to the kids section to buy some PJs for Ryan. When I asked where the boys' PJs are, this Malay sales girl just waved her hand, indicating it is somewhere at the end, near the cashier. I asked again if it was right, since I did not see it earlier ... she sighed loudly and then went to show it to me. Besides walking too fast, she actually took me a round - because she did not actually know, she had to ask. And this is despite her working at the kids' section.
And when I did see the PJs, it was in a total mess. All sizes and age groups were mixed up and we had to dig all of it up to get the sizes we want. It was pretty dusty too, so imagine what this will do to someone with a sinus problem?? And the queue at the counter is another story altogether ....
I think Jusco needs to do something to beat their staff in the right place. Cashiers who are sullen looking, working like they just started to handle a plastic bag or those who don't know where things are should be re-trained. Jusco has to know that there are plenty of choices today for us consumers and something like this will turn people away.
I know I will not go to Jusco again unless their diapers are dirt cheap, else I would be glad to pay a premium and shop at places like Isetan, Village Grocer, Jaya 33 etc. where the crowd is thinner and prices are slightly higher, but at least their customer service is relatively better. Also, I will not be subjected to a fictitious priority lane which does not work.