Thursday, October 15, 2009

How much is a buckle!!?? It worth less than 20cents... (Posted Friday, 07 July 2006)

One of cendawan’s favorite watches was broken. It is a blue plastic SWATCH® watch with the word SWATCH printed on the strap. Generally the watch looked quite new but the buckle just crack out of sudden and the corner just broken when cendawan was taking it off her wrist. Luckily the watch is still under a 2-year warranty so cendawan decided to visit a SWATCH® store down town.

In the morning, cendawan roughly read through the warranty card (basically it is just a piece of paper with thousand of tiny words in different languages folded many times) in order to understand a consumer’s right. After work, cendawan went to the store to request for repair to her watch. This trip down to SWATCH® not only gave cendawan a repaired watch but also a better understanding about the standard of Singaporean’s service quality.

“S(storekeeper): Hi, can I help you? C: Hi, my watch is spoilt. But it is still under warranty. Please change the strap for me.” Cendawan handed over the watch to storekeeper and waited for their service. But… “S: Oh… the buckle is broken. But this is not covered in the warranty. C: If this is not covered, then what is covered? S: We only cover the mechanism of the watch but not the material. It is stated in the warranty. C: Is it? Where is the clause? Can you show me? S: Did you bring your warranty? C: Of course.” What SWATCH® store is this without a copy of their own standard warranty? Anyway, cendawan passed her the warranty and let her read.

After a while, she put down the paper and start to speak. “S: er… is here… ‘The warranty does not include the life of battery, er… normal wear & tear… non-metallic strap, leather, plastic…’ Ya, this is not covered… C: No~~ it is saying ‘normal wear & tear and aging. For example, scratched crystal, alteration of color and/or material of non-metallic straps or chain such and leather, plastic, textile etc’. This is talking about the alteration of color or material but not specifically talking about plastic strap or whatever strap. S: Then you read the following lines. ‘Any damage on any part of the watch…’ C: This one should be ‘Any damage on any part of the watch caused by abnormal/abusive use, lack of care, negligence…” Before the storekeeper could explain, cendawan shoot again, “C: Please look at the condition of my watch, the surface is not even scratched, the alteration of the color, I think is very minor only yet the buckle is broken. I can say that the watch has been used with extra care. So the breaking of the buckle is definitely a defect in material.” Cendawan finished her argument and learnt a new word, buckle.

After mesmerizing the well kept watch for a short while, “S: Ok, we can change the buckle for you but please wear your watch carefully next time. C: Ok. Thanks.” The storekeeper finally agreed to change and taught cendawan the proper way to wear a SWATCH® watch. Thanks for the enlightening lesson offered.

Who on earth will go and tamper their own watch? How much does a buckle actually cost? It doesn’t seem to worth more than 20cents. What was the storekeeper thinking when cendawan asked for repair? Is this the Singapore quality service that emphasized by Mr. prime minister all the time? If only cendawan could “quantify” the service, it worth as much as the buckle, less than 20cents.

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