Customer care in Malaysia

Hello everyone,

The way customer services are handled can greatly affect your views on certain brands, products, companies or stores. As a consumer, it is important to get familiar with local practices regarding client assistance in Malaysia and try to understand how things work in the country.

How would you describe your customer service experiences in Malaysia?

Do you feel welcome when you enter a store? Do you get useful tips and advice?

Are after-sales services available in Malaysia?

Thanks for sharing your experience,


This is a good and really important topic. Most brands have some form of warranty or guarantee and it can be anywhere from one week up to two years, with the possibility of an extended warranty for an additional charge.

Everybody will have different experiences depending on which brand they buy. So I'd like to share some of my own experiences.

For Phones we always use Samsung. It comes with a good warranty and you can usually find a Samsung store where you can hand in your faulty product and they will send it away to the service centre for servicing. There are no hassles with this, as long as you have bought from an authorized Samsung dealer. However, in Malaysia some stores sell what are called "epi's". These are branded items such as phones which can be bought cheaper than the official ones from stores that are not authorized representatives of the brand and do come with a warranty but not from the actual brand. In fact, these are real phones but brought into the country unofficially and therefore not covered under the brands official service centre. But the retailer will give you the contact of their own service centre that can do repairs.

I bought three original Samsung chargers yesterday in Kuala Lumpur from Samsung authorized dealers, They all came with a six month warranty.

For computers and tablets and a few other items we use Apple. Currently a couple of 27" iMacs, a 13" MacBook Air an iPad, a couple of iPods and an Apple TV.

When I first switch over to iMacs in 2012, I bought from an authorized Apple store in Mid Valley Magamall in Kuala Lumpur. Initially I bought one 27" iMac with the highest specifications together with a 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display. But I was disappointed with the MacBook Pro because the quality of the display was far inferior to the iMac and even compared to my Sony Vaio's. We use computers for graphic design and photo editing and it just wasn't acceptable. The dealer refused to exchange or refund the MacBook Pro even though I'd only had it for a day. So I called Apple Support and explained to them the problem. Apparently this problem of inferior quality with photos was known to them and I even researched about it on the web. With Apple's help the retail store eventually agreed to exchange the MacBook Pro for a second 27" iMac and a 13" MacBook Air and I paid the difference.

The other problem we had was that these iMacs were the first of the new series, using a design still used today. We had several problems. On one iMac first the LCD became faulty with extensive pixelation and had to be changed I spoke with different levels of technicians with Apple in Australia and the Philippines, and eventually they agreed to send a local technician to replace it. The first technicians came and asked to take the iMac away but I refused since Apple offers on site support. So another repair company came and fixed it on the spot. Later the Processor had a problem and I called Apple Support again and technicians eventually came to replace it. However, instead of the 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 memory that had come with the original unit, I had been given a 4GB memory by mistake.

Then, at the same time our other 27" iMac had the same problem with the LCD which needed to be replaced, and also the main hinge that held the computer on the stand had broken. This hinge is deep inside the computer and everything had to be stripped out in order to change it. The Apple technician admitted that with this new series there were many problems, including the main hinge. So that got replaced.

By now I had complained so many times to Apple continually asking them to replace one iMac that they finally agreed and replaced it for a late 2013 model. And that went through smoothly.

Since then the two iMacs have worked perfectly without any problems. Initially we had planned to only use the two year warranty, but ended up paying extra for an additional two years warranty on both which was well worth the money.

Apple products are amazing but new series may have teething problems. Apple Support told me that if I had bought from Apple directly and not through one of their authorized dealers then everything would have been much simpler as regards to repairs and exchanging the products.

In the past I have used Acer, Asus and Sony Vaios but without doubt Apple products are by far the best. And when I need to buy something from them again I will order online from them directly.

I use Canon camera equipment and Canon printers. When buying camera equipment one must be really careful because there are so many stores selling cameras that are either dirty inside or have secondhand lens where customers have upgraded their kit lenses and part exchanged them for better lenses, and some of these stores sell these defective and secondhand items as new. In fact in Kuala Lumpur, I will only ever buy my photography gear from either Aver Awards, AperturenShutter, or Digicolor on Jalan Ipoh. The online site called ShaShinKi is also very good.

The Canon Service Centre is located at Saujana Resort in Shah Alam. I was a regular there because I often had my cameras and lenses cleaned and once they even came to my home to do an onsite service of  a Laser Printer. The service centre is really good because they often wouldn't charge me for cleaning my gear. Even with dust on my camera sensors which takes about 20 - 30 minutes to clean they have never charged me and have cleaned it several times. Because I only buy original Canon equipment, the service centre will always service my items. But even when I have bought camera lenses in Indonesia, the Malaysian Service Centre have serviced them at no charge. I consider this to be excellent and friendly customer service. Of course they have a long list of all my camera gear and printers in their system, which might help.

So in my opinion, with major brands like the above, it is imperative to buy from authorized dealers or in the case of Apple, perhaps to buy from them directly online, and make sure you have the official warranty, and preferably pay extra for the extended warranty. Most stores give lots of tips and advice with a friendly service. Of course, they want you to feel comfortable and to buy from them.

So all in all, my customer service experience is generally very good in Malaysia, although Apple Retailers can be reluctant to replace things, but calling Apple Support will help.

Absolutely outrageous.
The standard of care is basically considered theft in the first world. Why do you think you see people plugging in and testing microwave ovens, hairdryers and toasters in stores!? They know any guarantee is worthless.
Groupon sent me totally the wrong item but just ripped me off ( of course it was about 100 myr cheaper than what I paid for) and wouldn't change it until I bombed them on Twitter and Facebook.

The worst case I've seen of poor customer care is SenHeng. We bought 3 A/C units from them with installation, on a Saturday about 2 weeks after we purchased the units the installer calls us as we're on our way to my wife's nephew's wedding (not reception, but actual Wedding Ceremony) saying he's on his way to the house NOW to install one of them. My wife tried to tell him multiple times that she couldn't do it then, but the a..h.... basically told her it was now or they send the unit back and we could reschedule in about another month. (she ended up missing the ceremony - boy was I pissed)

Another SenHeng incident was we purchased a washing machine from them off after looking at the display model. About a week after we purchased it we called and said we're getting ready to move into the house, where's the washing machine. At first they said it would have to come from Penang the following Tuesday. But on Tuesday they called back and said there was no stock (never said what happened to the one we looked at), and wanted us to take a different model. I stopped by Harvey Norman and they had the model we wanted in stock, so I went back to the SenHeng and demanded a refund. At first it was excuse after excuse as to why, so I threatened them with lawsuits (after Americans like to sue) and a police report for theft. And of course I mentioned I would post about this on every website I could find (which I still do), finally I got my money back after about 45 minutes in the store (refused to leave until they refunded my money or called the police (at which time I'd file my theft report - dared them to call the police).

Needless to say we don't shop at Sen Heng anymore, Actually the store I recommend for appliances and such is Harvey Norman, nothing but great service from them. Including a refund (almost never heard of in Malaysia - even if they don't have the item they sold you they don't want to refund the money like in the previous paragraph about Sen Heng) for a defective item that they were out of stock with.

This is one of the weakest point in Malaysia.  Assuming garantee is a problem for most of the shops.

Example you buy branded LED bulbs in a shop, 6 months later one the LED bulb shows problem. You say ok I still have the ticket and the LED bulb brand offers a garantee of 1 or 2 years. Most of the time the shopper refuses to be the intermediate and to assume the garantee even through the wholesaler or importer and you need argue fiercly to make them unterstand that 's not correct if you have to contact yourself the importer. If it is to get this poor service why to buy in shop ? Better through internet no ?  Some big chains assume garantee better  direct exchanges within 1 month for AEON BIG (ex Carrefour) and 90 days for IKea.  If shoppers claim about sluggish sales they never ask themselseves what if  their service is good or not. 

Another example  a chain selling  kitchen appliances lost my order  because they add no delivery solution and no any plan for installation....  they are in they shop just for selling but don't think  one moment to the Customer needs.... it's unbelievable I know

Customer service at the shop level only competes with Thailand for being the worst in the world. Buy anything, go back, and they look at you like they are going to kill you. They pretend to not remember you, tell you the sales clerk who sold you the item wasnt authorised to do and also doesnt work there anymore. But you say, YOU are the person who sold it to me and he/she denies it. A manager will come up and tell you sorry no service or spare parts, bye bye.

That said,  there are a few opposites.
1) Canon service in Shah Alam. A++. I brought in a printer I bought in USA and they agreed to at least look at it. Turns out a technician was there from Japan and not only knew the printer well, he also had hidden spare parts. He basically rebuilt the printer with new but old parts and didnt even charge a SEN. They treated me like gold every time I went there and its no surprise their walls are covered with testimonial letters from grateful customers. They do everything right and are a testament to whats still good in the world.

I had an issue with my scanner and got similar treatment in Penang branch.

2) SYM motorbikes. Terrible service at the shop level, as usual, but A+++++ at the factory level. I live near the assembly plant in Penang and my second bike is a SYM. I always take it to the factory for service and once again they treat me like solid gold and that goes for ALL staff. The bike is past its warranty and they still service it for free. I dont expect free, its just how SYM is. They want to make a good mark in the country and work very hard to please everyone. They are very knowledgeable and hard working.

3) Ding Ding smart phones. A low priced China brand which again works tirelessly and fast to please people. They also make solid, excellent, high quality phones. I have two and extremely happy. Excellent service.

4) Phicomm smart phones. F- - - - for customer service. My two horrible phones, well touted in the market went back to Phicomm many times within the 1-year warranty and the shortest turnaround time was 2 months. They treat you like dirty, cursed garbage.

The problem in the country is that nobody has been trained in customer service which, strange as it sounds, is an american invention. Manufacturers dont train retailers, retailers dont train clerks because they simply do not know what to do and prefer that money should only move in one direction anyway. A MAJOR shift in mindset is needed but I doubt it will ever come. Though there are exceptions, in general its buyer beware and buyer loses. The quality of goods is crap, the service is crap, the end result is crap.

Major companies that deal in multi-countries have learned customer service the hard way and why its critical and so they have some kind of a system and method. But the shop on the street has had no such exposure and are largely greedy ignorant asses who from my point of view shouldnt be allowed to be in business in the first place. I dread buying even a spoon in Malaysia. When I must buy something I first ask myself,  do I dare to buy it or should I just shoot myself in the head right now? Im extremely busy and cant afford the nonsense of this rubbish. Customer service in Malaysia is the bane of my life. I hate my life because of it. My god, why was I ever born?

CVCO, haha you remind me. I bought a suitcase from the store next to HSBC big branch and all 4 wheels fell off at the airport.  When I returned it the guy said, "No you didn't buy that here", I said yes I did you pri##, I paid 180 ringgit", he said, "No you only paid 150 ringgit". Got him.
He ended up after some serious words giving me a new suitcase which I just gave to a friend.  They always sell you something and say, "The very best one avaialable is this one". Then when u return it they literally say, "Well that product is very poor quality". I KNOW YOU MORON. THAT'S WHY I'VE BROUGHT IT BACK!!

Very interesting to read similar experience(s) of the other expats in order to avoid jokes and to adapt the way of buying :

Last year I wanted to buy a Xiaomi (MI) smartphone which was technically one of the best one under androïd os, but I couldn't find, at that time, the importer assuming the garantee so I had to change my mind and bought Huawei which has a efficient support service on jalan Imbi in front of Berjaya times...

Same experience than CVCO with SYM, service center in KL is also great !

I think that many of the smaller stores care only about making money and less about customer care and they don't really want to help if something is wrong with a product that you have bought. It's not always the case but often it is. They probably wonder why should they give away a replacement as it just means losing money.

But buying from branded shops tend to be better. I mean shops that only sell one brand. I usually buy luggage from the Delsey store in Mid Valley Megamall, and they are always polite, friendly and helpful. I bought a couple of suitcases a few months ago, and asked them if they could keep another suitcase I had bought from them earlier in the year for a few months until my next visit to KL and they agreed. I was away for about 3 months, went back last week and they had kept int in their store room wrapped in plastic for me. Also, Delsey bags have a pretty long warranty, but even if the warranty has expired you can still drop off a bag to them, I've done it a couple of times, and the will send it to the service centre for repair. And if you need it back in a hurry they will push for it to be finished quickly. Very good service.

I have used Samsonite for years but when I needed an extra case recently I ran out and bought a cheap one which didn't even make it to the plane! On my return I undid the lining on many suitcases in Parksons and the Samsonite is now not that good!  The strongest frame by far was the Delsey and I bought two, from Parksons. I like Parksons and find the staff alwats excellent.

For your info DELSEY is a subbrand of  Samsonite

I didn't know Delsey are a subbrand of Samsonite but they have a better range and better quality than Samsonite. I used to used Samsonite years ago, still have one suitcase of theirs but its more basic and heavier and it's only got two wheels. But if I wasn't into Delsey then I'd probably go for Samsonite.

No Delsey is rival to Samsonite. Years ago Samsonite were better by far. But now with lighter frames and such they simply don't match the Delsey strength. There are other brands which are good. I have a great suitcase I bought in New York but the brand seems only available in America. Sorry to have strayed from the thread about terrible customer service. If u want to experience poor service get yourself an HSBC credit card!

Well I am definitely a big fan of Delsey, nice quality, long lasting and I think they have a 5 or 6 year warranty. I have no complaints.

As for HSBC Credit Cards, I have some, and won't disagree with you. And I don just mean the credit cards. While their service is nice with a smile and very polite, perhaps their service and efficiency are less good, and they sometimes make mistakes.

I actually went to a branch, requested a new credit card because mine only worked half the time, some problem with the chip. Three months later they still hadn't sent it out. This was after meeting at the Premier Center with my RM and another staff. Finally because I needed the card urgently, they sent is by DHL. But that's not the first time I have been unhappy. However, due to their being an international bank, I am happy to continue using them.

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