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Customer care in Nepal

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 Nepal and try to understand how things work in the country.

How would you describe your customer service experiences in Nepal?

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

Are after-sales services available in Nepal?

Thanks for sharing your experience,

Priscilla

Horrible, but getting better. I've been here for over 5 years and try to always buy products made in Nepal and from the local housewares dealers in Kathmandu or Bhaktapur-preferably from our little village.

On a local level the people treat me wonderfully. However, when I have a person do a service for me or and really like them it seems that when I go back the third time they try to get the most out of me. But I have many good merchants who treat me well. Just a week or two ago I was buying a pair of shoes for a neighbor and the young woman in the store took off an additional 20% or more when I told her who they were for. I didn't ask; they were only $8 before discount and promised a refund in product if they didn't fit him.

But a few years ago I got a kurta set made and it was so small it was obviously made for a child. The man tried to get me to go try it on, then he told me that it was made well enough and to go. I even called the Tourist Police. It was only then that he opened the drawer to expose several thousand rupee. This is one tip that I have in my eBook, Nepal: A Tourist's Manual.

Also, I was buying my organic coffee from a guy in New Road for a long time. Coffee wasn't available in the markets in Bhaktapur until recently. So, the guy tells me it went up to 900NRs/$9 for a half KG. He was always nice and friendly, remembered me and called me by name so I trusted that he was telling me the truth and I paid the money. Then I was in the big supermarket and saw it for $2 less. He was just lying to me and smiling to my face.

The best example of bad customer service: I bought a couple induction cooktops when the Indian embargo started and frantically paid much more than I should have. So within a month one had already quit working. We took it back with the receipt only to find out it was the electric cord. The electric cord is not warranted: $12. I could easily have taken it to an independent repair shop and saved money.  It was only then that I realized it was from China. Chinese products exported to Nepal are very poor quality.

It isn't America and when the rupee leaves your hand it's pretty much gone. Not such a big deal and certainly nothing you cannot live without. Wega, Himstar and Gold Star, Fit Rite are all made in Nepal. Not only will you save more than you'd spend on repairs, but what I have of Nepali made products are working fine even after 3 years. The companies produce tariff-free products and create many jobs for Nepali. As far as I know there aren't sweatshops in Nepal.

Hi government sector is worst but private companies ok

Customer service/shopping might be a better term for what I want to say, but here goes.
We can all favor "buy in Nepal" products - few disagreements there - Likewise, I think few will disagree with the fundamental principle that consumers everywhere are entitled to know the truth about the products they are buying - and that includes those we might like to purchase in Nepal and/or bring home as souvenirs, gifts, etc.
Problem is that in a place such as Kathmandu, deception is most evident in the offer for sale of notorious and ubiquitous sale in ever so many shops of shawls, scarves, wraps and/or blankets alleged to be made of "100% pure yak wool"  or sometimes passed off under the name of  "guaranteed baby yak wool" 
The problem is that in 99.9% of the cases, this is simply not true and the nepalese sellers in those shops,  which cater to tourists and visitors alike,  know it. I heard one critic say "they are telling you what they think you want to hear" which is another and more polite way to say that they are lying to the customer in order to make the sale. There are laws about this, and for good reason.
The truth of the matter is that:
1. This "yak wool" product line is 100% ACRYLIC regardless of what the store owners may indicate on their labels, about the origin of these goods, where made, composition, etc.,
2. Rather, the truth of the matter is that these products, however soft and nice to the touch they may be, are in the overwhelming majority of cases, made in small villages all along  the border of NW Nepal and more likely inside India itself.
As I understand it, the people who make them turn plastic balls into acrylic stringy fibers and weave them together in such a way that the end product itself makes it easy to manipulate the truth, as admittedly...they are extremely soft.
So here is what I suggest each prospective buyer to do, if you are still left in any doubt about what has been written here:
1. Enter the shop, and sit down briefly, together with the shop attendant.
2. Take fluff from the "yak wool" shawl/wrapper/blanket between your fingers...roll it...and burn it using a match or lighter. Acrylic fluff will burn quickly, turn black and smell like rubber.
(( had the fluff material been wool, it would burn slowly and smell like human hair burning ))
Do your own testing is my best advice and rely on that hard personal evidence.  You be the judge!

On the positive side, it is true that the product itself is very soft, nice to the touch, is warm/provides comfort, is nice looking, often nicely designed with good choice of colors, etc.  Also, these products are not so expensive but - don't forget - they are NOT YAK....despite all the yak signs and photos of these lovely animals being displayed in store windows of Kathmandu streets (and maybe elsewhere) THESE FALSELY ADVERTISED YAK WOOL PRODUCTS ARE PURE ACRYLICS....so deception? scam? unfair trade or practice? What to call this?
Again, you be the judge and decide for yourself! The test is simple as ABC.

Excellent point. Many of the pashmina are make in China, too, even if it's got a Nepal label.

Many of these products are of excellent quality and made in Nepal in the cottage industry. It's so important to educate yourself and then purchase these textiles from Nepal. When you pull out the lighter or ask for a match the merchant will immediately show you the good quality products and start talking honestly.

Customer service is nonexistent in Nepal: Before criticizing the Nepali merchant it's important to think about it from his perspective. We westerners come here with fancy degrees and a pocket full of money. The Nepali feel inferior on a lot of fronts, so if they can put one over on you, it really makes their day. When we feel cheated we often take it personally. It hurts to get cheated by someone we feel is inferior, doesn't it? Nepal is wonderful about teaching us lessons and keeping us humble.

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