Tuesday, June 01, 2004
Being in a foreign land, we students, prudent and economical in every sense usually try to find the best deal. The cheapest stuff. Doesn't help when the Malaysian ringgit is weak against the Pound Sterling. There are limits to that though.
A common practice among most Asian students is the exploitation of customer service policies here. From my observation, the worse and most shrewd people are the Chinese, Hongkees, Malaysians and Thais.
For me personally, the worst and most common phenomena is the way a lot of people prostitute the return policy offered by stores. Most stores have a return policy which says that the customer has the right to return a certain item within a few days of purchase, no questions asked. Basically everything is covered in this policy, from televisions to tuxedos. Probably the only thing not covered is underwear and lingerie.
A common practice by some girls is to by a gown two days before a ball and return it on the day after the ball. Despicable to the core. Sometimes, I pray and hope that somebody spills some mushroom sauce on the gown, or the waiter trips and spills a whole tray of roast chicken on that 200 pound gown. Let her cry on the spot.
Then I have also heard of my friends in the US who are kinda down right fuckers. They buy a bloody wide screen TV, and use it for 3 months (cause thats the duration of the return policy for the TV) and after that, they return it to the shop saying they are not happy with it. They get their money back, and go to another shop and do the same thing. For 2 years, they had all the best and latest TVs in the market, but never had to pay a single cent for it. Big time fuckers.
Also is the case of insurance fraud. Phone companies here like to give you free insurance for a few months when you first sign up with them . Trust the damn cows to report a lost phone 2 months later and claim a new phone. This is a common practice which I despise as it shows how low we Asians can swoop down to just to get free stuff. Throwing away all sense of pride and dignity, just for a fucking 100 pound phone is quite a fucked up thing to do.
In fact, most of the phone companies already expect us to claim a lost phone after a few months. When I first came here and signed a phone contract, the salesman said to me before I left the shop," Mate, if you lose your phone, come give me a ring before you call the insurance company. I will teach you what to say to make the claim." I could have smacked the fucker right there and then for assuming that I would "lose" my phone. But I don't blame him. He would have after all seen that most Asians are damn careless buggers, quite in the habit of "losing" their phones just after a couple of months.
Although I have pressed many people on this issue before, none giving me reasonable excuses, this article is fueled by a conversation with my friend last night. He was arguing that it was not wrong to cheat the insurance company. After all, they are rich buggers. He was like Robin Hood he claimed. Steal from the rich to give to the poor. Only thing is that he wasn't giving anything to the poor. He was fucking keeping it for himself! He then claimed that there was different times and different situations which warranted cheating. In this case, he is making full use of a loophole in the system which allows and 'encourages' him to do it. He says that the phone companies know that people are doing it, but they still offer the insurance policy anyway. That, to him is perceived as an encouragement to exploit the system.
Moral of the story : Ballocks. Its times like this where I am ashamed of where I come from, because I know that there are countless numbers of such assholes like that at home.