Customer care in Thailand

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

How would you describe your customer service experiences in Thailand?

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

Are after-sales services available in Thailand?

Thanks for sharing your experience,


Most chain shops (f ex homepro, index living mall, etc) are overstaffed. The sraff is very friendly (although i sometimes wonder what they really do) but has no basic knowledge of english. This can be overcome but everything you buy will get an exhaustive explanation (probably they are trained to do this). Due to this you will, even when you know in advance what you want to buy, have to invest at least half, if not a whole day, to finish your shopping. In some rare cases they can not even give an answer on a simple question if its not in their mannual.
So learn to be patient.

The concept of customer service is generally lacking. Although polite and initially friendly generally stores are overstaffed with people either more interested in looking at their phones, applying their makeup or 'grooming' each other. Wo betide the customer who asks for their size in shoes or help with finding their size of clothing in a stockroom. Your request will be met with a generally disinterested attitude.
If for some reason you need to return a faulty article, good luck! Firstly without a receipt they will do nothing. Even with a receipt you will have a difficult time getting any type of exchange and definitely no refund.
If you take some time to consider a purchase staff will be initially 'smiley' but if in the end you decide not to buy an item you get the Thai equivelent of the cold shoulder.
Put all staff on a commission system and see their attitudes change dramatically!!! It's not the language barrier or lack of training that's the problem, it's the total lack of understanding that their job is to make sales ( money) for their employer and to do that they need to satisfy the customer.

Hello and good morning everyone,,,,,i have lived in thailand quite long and I can say that these are amazing people and there are very inform about their selling product , it is right to say that the customer care really impact on your life due can make you choose between one place to another therefore you can find the same product on different places but the treat of people make the balance to you to comeback to the same place cause they make you feel familiar and I am not talking about an peculiar place or shop ,mall or even more 7/11 the store the community visit quite often they  are so willing to help you ,well I guess I always go beyond the sharing line 5555..... although the way I see things can be perhaps different from other perspective the odd is always on the doors of any house ...have a good day yu'll..

If get great service I continue to utilize their services and tip appropriately:
Great dentist finally found-gave up on three.
Great Massage Therapist-immaculately clean, air-conditioned,knowledgeable and eloquent English.  Tried many before-poor technique, dirty facility.
Great gas attendant-friendly and helpful.
Muay Thai Trainer-fun and skilled trainer
Pharmacist-friendly and helpful
Unfortunately with "the lose face" concept I can't tell people of poor service, bad food, etc. Just don't return to their establishment.
Tesco and Makro and Home Pro and Villa Market are perceived by me to have the worst service and employee attitudes. I put up with Tesco and Villa Market.  Let's just say that some motivational management and training meetings are lacking!

I have lived and worked in Thailand for six years. There is no such thing as customer service as we know it. Sales staff shy away from customers in most large retail stores. English is rarely spoken. Electronic products can be missing parts. The onus is on the customer to check everything and check to see that everything works before leaving a store.

Occasionally, a customer-service person will recognize me as  'human-being' and be warm, friendly and helpful.  Unfortunately, many places I go to I am immediately seen as a just a 'farang' and am completely avoided if possible.  If not possible to avoid me, they show all their co-workers and other customers how distraught they are by having to associate with a 'farang.'  (P.S.  I live and shop in Bangkok - I imagine that it is much more friendly and polite upcountry. )    :)

I have found customer service good in Thailand,better than I expected with the language barrier
The big stores eg Makro,Big C and Mega Home give good service and you have no trouble returning goods if you have the proof of purchase slip
The smaller stores have all been excellent in service and the only problem I have ever had was when I wanted to return an Oppo tablet after two months and this was at a little stall in Big C, 304 Industrial
I had a year guarantee but the lady at the counter just informed me that I should buy a new one as she did not sell it to me and the lady who did has resigned
Thailand has a consumer protection act look it up on
This means nothing as I have not met ONE Thai who knows about this law,let alone any other law.
My aircons I bought from a mom and pop dealer and they service them faithfully every year at a ridiculously cheap price of 500 THB each even after having to travel 25 Km to my house.
Just keep your eyes and ears open and yes at times the sales men/ladies duck and dive but when approached they have always tried their best for me and my Thai is non existent due to my own fault.
At Mega Home Kabinburi they fall over their feet to assist me with smiles and their expertise and in the end we get along fabulously laughing at each other for not understanding each other
What is have done on occasions is to print a photo from the inet of what I am looking for and showing them the item or my GF tells them after I have taken 30 minutes to explain to her what I am looking for.
The one gripe I have is when I send mails and expect a reply.
90% of the times I receive no reply or a garbled reply which does not answer the question.
IlikeHD has given fabulous service in an Oxford English.
Lazada has also given good service
Just remember we are "guests" in their country

Hi I have lived in Chiang Mai for four years now and found the customer service overall to be excellent.
Chain Stores vary from place to place but a lot depends on your attitude. Many young Thais are afraid of looming, red faced Farangs and their overbearing mannerisms. They expect to have trouble and so will shy away naturally.
Your smile will be an asset to you. After four years here I was dismayed on my return visit to Australia at the uncaring, poor level of customer care I encountered there - even in highly competitive areas like airport car rentals. I was given a defective car- nobody cared until i refused to drive it and another was quickly found- I guess I am used to the politeness of Thais and spent the whole time disgruntled by the lack of politeness and offhandedness of my countrymen. I used to run a successful service company and my customers came first.  As in all aspects of life treat people as you want to be treated.

Here our new refrigerator was delivered (free) unpacked, set up, tested and cleaned inside and out then the packaging was cleaned up and removed. We received a thorough explanation of how to use the fridge. We gave them a tip and told them what a good job they did. Smiles all around. Same big store we bought a new TV they threw in an extra sound speaker and after we had paid, the salesman came running up and gave us the cable for it free as well -usually you have to pay extra for both items. When I get good service I tell them and thank them.
It goes a long way when someone feels appreciated and encourages more of the same.
If you constantly have trouble it may be time to revise your attitude.


Personally,  I think customer service and care is very sub standard Thailand.  Many times that I've been shopping I've been misinformed, or given the wrong product and even supplied with the wrong product on numerous occasions.   Ive experienced  great difficulty when returning an item and also find the throngs of staff that pounce on prospective customers, very off putting.  Service is usually slow,  some what rude and abrupt with a little racism thrown in too.  Most establishments seem to play loud music with staff either too busy using smart phones,  eating or hiding behind shelves etc sleeping.  I'd say that Customer Services in Thailand is very poor.  I've been living in Thailand for over eight years and find most trips to the shops an unpleasant venture.  Thais need to be more aware of cultural changes and needs and should be more what they term,  The Land of Smiles,  which I've yet to experience.

Customer Service is a hit or miss in Thailand, we have had appliances & furniture delivered and they are very kind with set up & removal of cartons.  But if you buy something from the Mall don't expect much customer service, most of the sales people do not even speak basic English, and most of them are hiding from you playing with there phones, putting on make-up, picking there pimples or there noses, or just sleeping. Without my Thai wife of 35 years I am helpless.  But some of this is my fault for not learning more Thai, I find it diffcult, so there for I don't put the effort into it.  My own country is beginning to have poor customer service as well.  Most people just buy on-line any more, so to avoid the problem.  Thai people need to learn English if they want to survive & make money from the foreigners.  Just 1 person on staff who could speak some English would be a start. Nonthaburi Home Pro has a couple staff members that speak English, Villa Mkt. in my area also has a manager that speaks English.  The Mall grocery store has a manger that speaks English.  So there is Hope, soon I plan to move to Chiang Mai for half my time.  So we will see how things are up there, I will be living in a Thai area, outside the city. I am in California now for a 4 month stay, in the 3 years I have been gone the prices have got so high I cannot afford to live here any more, and the people are less friendly, we are now thinking of moving to another state half time.  Good Luck to everyone.

i just found that the only most lacking in customer service in Thailand is the English proficiency.

The customer service concept is definitely lacking in Thailand;
Being someone who often goes shopping and having been living in other expat countries,
i can very clearly see the difference with other countries.
Thailand being on the most visited countries in the world, it is not acceptable that
the big majority of staff can't speak english, especially in the biggest & fanciest malls,
like Emporium or Siam Paragon. The owners of these malls should train their staff
to learn english or to have some staff/people whose only job would be to assist foreigners
or "farangs" in their quests: that will surely help them make more sales!
Another point is the complete unawareness of the "exchange" or "return" item
in the thai culture; which makes me think that thais never exchange anything at all?
maybe; Again in the above mentionned malls, whenever i have an exchange i should make,
the process takes approximately 20mn; first all the staff working at the floor end up at the cashier
where am standing, endless deliberations start between each other in thai,
some holding a calculator and others the item receipt; while i wait patiently (and angrily!)
for the thing to end~
But i do reckon that at Big C supermarket for example, the exchange process is rather easy & quick..
but that's a supermarket where it is less likely to exchange anything :)

i did not no there  was such a beast in thailand because i have never found it in any of the major stores the local family ran stores yes no problems i have been here 14 years so i am well known in my area go to any city and you are treated like you are an idiot even when you can speak there language my son and i have a game we play when we ask for some thing we speak in english if they struggle to speak english we will speak in thai loas or cambodian to help them that is if we are treated nicely and the have not had a joke about the farangs before we speak i have had people run away when they no we understood every word they have said because they have been very rude its when there are 2 or 3 together that this seems to happen in all the major stores

As mentioned in a previous post, Thais should know better. They give this image of a perfect place but in reality it's not that perfect. Thais do not want to embrase the outside world, it's that simple. Thailand has has years or aid plus a very boyent tourist industry and yet they rank lower in their abilities compared to their close boardering countries. It's a fact. English is the global language that's how it is so Thailand should wise up!

I think your experience holds true throughout Thailand.  Generally rather than take a breath and help the Farang, they say not in stock.  Mai Mee.  Some people blow you away with their desire to help.  Probably a matter of employee training and not enough Farangs to warrant a stronger policy.

Hey hey Guys! Whose country is this? When someone migrates to your home country do you expect them to speak your language?  I am  a migrant / guest in this country and they have made me feel pretty welcome compared to some nearby places I have lived and worked - where they do speak better English enough to give me death threats and spit on me.
Why do Thais have to learn English to serve you? Its up to you to make yourself understood wherever you go. If you want to buy something plan ahead and if you don't know enough of the language have someone write it down for you or bring a friend.
If you go to a restaurant and the menu is in both languages have the courtesy to point to the Thai wording for the waitress that way you might get what you ordered.

A lot of the kids selling stuff are not graduates and only have these kind of jobs available. What do you expect from them?   Feel fortunate when one of them does try a bit of English - compliment them for being courageous enough to try it and answer them in your equally poor Thai.  Its your attitude that will make it work - be polite and gentle - : Nong krab! with a smile. Try it.

I guess you are right if Thailand cuts down on tourism and withdraws from Asian.

As I read some of the remarks and critiques I am concerned that many who visit or move to Thailand expect life to remain as they knew it back in their native countries. I love Thailand for its own culture, language, and passion. Expats could do well to try to learn the language of their new home as much as they can. We need to explore and trust local life and people.
I want to move to Thailand to get away from what has become a stressful and busy life here i the U.S.

Thank you so much for offering us a forum in which to chat and discuss our experiences.
Tim VanderVeen

Good Sentiments and correct philosophy Tim!  I moved to Thailand 8 years ago and have been learning to speak, read and write Thai ever since.  Yes, the Thais do have some things to teach us Westerners- Maipenrie, Jai yen-yen, patience, slow to anger, tolerance, respect towards elders, ... However, after living here for a substantial period of time, the ineptitude and xenophobia become bothersome.     ;)

It appears that your experience has been, for the most part, positive. Even at home we are likley to experience the things you've listed as "however" items. I guess we'll never find the perfect place, but we  and our hosts are human.
I chose, as I suspect you do too, to dwell on the positive experiences and memories and to hold dear the new friends I've made in my travels. I hope when I make the move there I will enjoy life in Thailand as you have.
Thanks for your response. Enjoy life.

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