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Customer care in Romania

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

How would you describe your customer service experiences in Romania?

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

Are after-sales services available in Romania?

Thanks for sharing your experience,

Priscilla

Hi Priscilla,

Being a customer service trainer myself for several years i would say my expectation in this field is high from every angle.
I must say there so many things that can be improved to make your service become outstanding.
The culture may be one of the factor which prevent the type of service which i call good customer service.
During my 2 months stay there i had the opportunity to provide part of the customer service training which i dispense and the participants were extremely happy and could see the different but effective way of handing customers.

They all wished me to give them further training but due to time constrains and other priority based on my purpose of visit to Romania i could not make.

Overall i can say the service mentality needs to be taught there if you want to perform to reach at least customers' expectations.

Feel free to contact me if needed

Kind Regards
Vikash

As an expat from England in and out of Romania for over 8 years, I have often been struck that many assistants immediately identify me as English and speak to me in ususally passable English. This has been a big plus. It is a fact that very often a foreigner is given preferential treatment (possibly on the basis that you must be rich).
Guarantees, like most processes in Romania can be more long-winded to establish than in UK, where the original receipt is often sufficient. Some larger stores will direct you to the queue at the gaurantee desk, where your receipt will be inspected and the gaurantee foms completed and stamped.

It is the custom in Romania to be more direct in speaking,  this can seem brusque to the point of rudeness if you are not used to it.
There are a few who let it show that work, including serving customers, is an annoyance that must be endured. this phenomenon is reducing, certainly in the larger cities.

Wizzair in Romania stands out as the worst example of public service I have experienced anywhere.
A few weeks ago Wizzair  stopped accepting any emails, an auto reply demands that you complete their on-site form. I have yet to receive any meaningful response from this form (they actually give an automated reply syaing that if you have an importnt query you shoul telephone their customer services

Wizzair telephone support is very unhelpful and astoundingly expensive.

They recently changed a returned flight I had booked and paid for.

I cancelled and they only returned the money for the ouward flight, claiming I had no ticked both boxes on their special cancelleation webpage.         This webpage just confiems the booking number (which includes ut and return flight. They had even sent an email saying my cancellation for that booking number was received ! Wizzair is an American owned Hungarian firm, but is widely used in Romania,

greenaway wrote:

Wizzair is an American owned Hungarian firm, but is widely used in Romania,

Wizzair is headquartered in Hungary, though it's parent company is based in Jersey.  It is not American owned, not that means much to the customer service aspect.

It's hard to say too much about my experience of customer service, as it's hard to be served as a customer when there is a language barrier.
Language barriers aside, I have experienced a big difference from store to store, office, shop, cafe, etc.
Some places treat you preferentially because you are a foreigner, others treat you worse because you are a foreigner. Sometimes people are warm and welcoming, and others not. I think each person, company, organisation, location, is going to be different, and is going to be different on different days, depending specifically on how the "Server" is feeling!
Sometimes I try to say a few words in Romanian, and when it's obvious I'm foreign, the "Server" gets irritated and basically won't even try to help. This doesn't just happen in Romania.
To me, customer service can be good or bad, anywhere in the world.

In my experience in Bucharest, for both locally owned establishments and many international establishments the concept of 'customer service' in Romania is a joke.  If I ask for help,  I am often yelled at, told off and belittled to the point that I rarely ask store staff for help any more. The concept of respecting customers and treating them well as a future investment for the organization, has not taken hold in the minds of many Romanian workers. There remains a huge opportunity for companies to train staff to be polite and put the customer first, and thereby easily stand head and shoulders above other brands.

A lot of this goes back to the time when demand outweighed supply, giving the shopkeeper the upper hand. There is also the long-held belief that the shopkeeper has a better quality of product 'round the back' for favoured clients. This engendered a sense of power in the shopkeeper that is, in some cases, still evident today. Regarding employees in shops, the overriding attitude seems to be 'we're not paid enough to be polite'.

Another factor that affects customer service in the retail industry is that fact that the majority of clients choose their shopping location based on budgetary concerns. They don't care whether the cashier smiles and wishes them a nice day; they'll go to the place where they get the best deal however they are treated. This is changing slightly with the growing middle classes and professional elite demanding (perhaps through their experiences during their travels in other classes) a better standard of service.

I find service in restaurants to be mostly adequate. However, I've never really liked the over-intrusive style of service I see has become prevalent in places like the UK/US. I don't need to know the server's name, nor how he feels, nor share my feelings on whether it's a wonderful day or not. I'm there to socialise with the people I'm with and all I need the server to do is take the order and delivery the food and, in the case of a good server, keep a discrete eye on the table and come over if s/he spots empty plates or glasses (which is something which will earn him/her a bigger tip). I find that this less intrusive style of service is pretty standard here in Romania, especially in any decent mid-range or higher restaurants, so I'm largely happy with the service.

I find the service here differs greatly from one place to another and it depends on the person who is serving too. Quite often I am spoken back to in English even though I always use romanian particularly in a local pharmacy. However in the same building there is a germanos shop and the service in there is always awful.

Big shops such as auchan or cora depend on the shop assistant although most of the time we don't have much bother.

The corner shop has a young woman who is always polite. But the shop owner a much older woman is always obtrusive and very close to rude she seems to have a problem with me because I am foreign

I have found customer service here in the most part a complete joke. As mentioned it does depend on who is serving you, some can be great and helpful but all too often they are rude and disinterested. The worst I find is usually in restaurants, I often have to ask 2 or 3 times for a drink or for the bill. I was recently in a restaurant with 6 occupied tables and 5 waiters, we took a seat and one brought our menus. After about 10 mins no one had come for our order so I caught the attention of a waiter who said he would come right back. After another 10 mins we got up and left. I speak a little Romanian, enough to be polite and to order food etc and always make an effort to do this as I consider it arrogant to expect everyone else to speak my language. I have also been very close to just walking out without paying after asking 3 times for the bill and waiting about 20 mins, again in a very quiet restaurant.

Just an observation... those of you with the worst customer service experiences seem to be all in Bucharest :P
Maybe the smaller towns are better!

MGBalive, I think you are probably right. I used to live in Ploiesti and found service was alot better, far fewer people spoke English but in general they were far more friendly and helpful. I have visited Brasov a few times and found eating and drinking out a far better experience for service.

HELLO folks I can safely  say that the customer care here in Romania is probably  the worst I have ever seen.I am from Canada  and we are Experts  on customer  care.from the moment  you enter the store and taking that last step out the door.here  in brasov I feel like a criminal  about to shop lift something  or hold the store up.you have a old out of shape security  officer  probably  couldn't  run if his life depended on it .looking you up and down  as if you are a piece  of garbage. Thank God  they don't speak English  because I  just say right to there face what the hell are you looking  at. Sorry folks  I'm just not used to that kind of treatment. In Canada you have roaming security  plain clothes  that just walk around and check things out.so this  is my opinion  on this subject.thanks for your ear.

Chefpjd1. Brutal!

We live out in the sticks & shop in a small local town. Generally the very small shops where the person serving you is the owner are polite & helpful. We've several larger shops where I won't go anymore because of outright bad manners - the smile & shrug of the shoulders when you're actually pointing at the item you want & blatant overpricing because obviously we're all rich. Things have been better overcharging wise since ANAF blitzed the town & fined all the shops without prices on goods. Makes a massive difference  not have to ask a price. Interestingly the traders on the vegetable market are all fantastic & helpful & none speak a word of English.
Brought a microwave from a National Electrical store & it didn't work. They told me that they have the right to repair it within 15 days. They only replaced it when I quoted EU law to them.
Another irritation is ordering online. Why do companies then need to phone you to confirm your order?
And as for e.mail - forget it. Customer complaint is met with a swift finger on delete!

My experiences on customer care are very varied, and i would say that is the case in all countries i have both lived in and visited.

Many of the larger companies are now training on good customer care, some of course not.  Most of the small businesses run by one or family, will give both good and bad, sometimes depending on how they feel that day, and what problems or pressures they have had.

Many individuals that work in customer care would probably like to do more, but are restricted   by company policy, after all they are all consumers too and experience the same problems and frustrations we all do.  For most companies customer care is an after thought, that why most are called complaints departments.

And in many cases it is the customer that goes in with the wrong attitude and or expectations. Good customer care training will go a long way, but changing the attitude from the top and policies will do far more.

Hi yes I agree.large companies  have training  sessions  on how to treat the customers I myself being from Canada pride ourselves on great customer  service.me being a chef andfront of  house manager  have trained both back and front of house .sometimes the problem is that people  bring there baggage  to work with them. They gave to learn to separate  them quickly. I had a staff of thirty  cooks in my kitchen and 12 front staff and managers. All had to be trained and reminded  of there bad habits. I am thinking of doing this in brasov which is badly needed.but I have a small language  problem. I'm English speaking. Once I learn more I will try to pursue  this .

Chefpjd1 wrote:

Hi yes I agree.large companies  have training  sessions  on how to treat the customers I myself being from Canada pride ourselves on great customer  service.me being a chef andfront of  house manager  have trained both back and front of house .sometimes the problem is that people  bring there baggage  to work with them. They gave to learn to separate  them quickly. I had a staff of thirty  cooks in my kitchen and 12 front staff and managers. All had to be trained and reminded  of there bad habits. I am thinking of doing this in brasov which is badly needed.but I have a small language  problem. I'm English speaking. Once I learn more I will try to pursue  this .

Are you sure you're from Canada?! :P I'm skeptical about your spelling and grammar.

Sorry been here a year  already starting to spell like Romanians

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