I love it when my wild assertions are proven right.
I am always writing about how terrible the service is at China’s hotels and restaurants and I have often posited that service in China is the worst in the world.
In “This Is China. I Laughed, I Cried,” I wrote about a blogger’s “Kafkaesque situation that so often occurs at hotels (or other businesses) in China” and concluded by noting that “China does not have a monopoly on bad service, but the [horrible] treatment TFF received is so way more likely to happen in China than anywhere else.”
In “Win-Win Negotiating In China. It Is More Than Just A Panda,” I again lit into China for its service and compared it very unfavorably to Vietnam:
Every time I go to China, I come back planning to write an excoriating post on the place. I mean, let’s face it, it is one of the (if not the) most exasperating places on earth. I found it even more exasperating this last time because before hitting China, I spent two and a half weeks in Vietnam (mostly Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi) and once again was shocked at how a country like Vietnam (which is considerably poorer than the places I tend to go in China) can, at least on some levels, appear to have its act so much more together than China.
Let’s take service for example. I am never ceased to be amazed at the downright horrible service in China, and that includes at so-called five star hotels.
I am feeling vindicated today after reading a New York Times article, entitled, “Where to Get the World’s Best Service,” which puts China next to the last in service, behind only Russia. And I agree with the rankings, based on the following countries I know well:
Japan. Japan came in first place and anyone who has been to Japan knows why. The taxis there are impeccably clean and their drivers are always polite and know where they are going. No matter how cheap the restaurant, service is quick and professional. The hotel staff are so good and so pleasant, it’s almost scary.
Canada and the United States. Canada came in third and the United States came in seventh. Not sure why the difference as to me they are pretty much the same but I agree generally with their rankings. Both countries usually provide excellent service. Excellent, but not amazing.
Turkey. Turkey came in twelvth and that seems about right to me. I lived in Turkey for a year and I’ve been back a few times for extended stays. The service there is generally very friendly and sincere, but probably not top tier.
Vietnam. Vietnam came in fifteenth and that seems about right to me. The hotels and restaurants and even cab drivers there just “seem to get it” more than in China. They actually try hard.
China. Twenty-third and next to the last. Russia got the honor.
Russia. Service in Russia isn’t so much bad as non-existent. They don’t even try and on some level, you have to respect that. I once fumbling with my money at a really nice store in Vladivostok when the storekeeper derisively yelled across the store to everyone else there to “look at this stupid American who can’t count to ten.” My Russian was at its zenith at the time and so I was able to understand what she was saying and deliberately counted out my payment ruble by ruble in Russian and then swore at her and left. Russian service is consistently rude, bordering on mean, but without any pretense. You do not get the unbelievable type stuff that you get in China, but I guess that it is consistently worse.
So does China really deserve such a poor rating? I say that it does.