Should Have Better Customer Service

In the typical marketing tactics of McDonald’s restaurant, they are having a World Cup 2006 promotion.

For those of you who may not know, World Cup 2006 is the international soccer match held every 4 years. This year it is being held in Germany.

The McDonald’s promotion involve them giving away World Cup 2006 team cards for every HKD17.00 their customers spend per visit. Each on of these cards represent one of the teams who are competing in the World Cup. If one of these teams win their game, every customer holding the winning team card are eligible to get a free food item with the purchase of their “Fantastic Value Meal” (aka. Rice Burgers), which cost HKD22.00. So you see that McDonald’s wins.

Most people who like soccer will want to collect the team card for their favorite team, causing them to keep purchasing HKD17.00 meals.

Not that I want to collect these cards or even like the Fantastic Value Meals, but I found it poor customer service today to find that the McDonald’s restaurant that I went to today did not have any of the cards left. They did not even have a sign at the counter or at the door letting people know before they purchase their meal.

Update: Bad Habits Hard to Break

Last Saturday I wrote about the intersection of Kowloon Park Drive and Peking Road. Today I received an email from the Station Sergeant explaining that they had increased checks of the intersection since the opening of the subway at the crossing, and they had “issued verbal warnings and sometimes citations when it is appropriate”. He also tells me that the Transport Department will be errecting a new divider for Kowloon Park Drive to improve the situation.

I question whether the TD will be able to come up with a design that is more affective than that is already there.

So I had asked the Station Sergeant to ask TD to post the proposal of the new divider at the intersection for citizen’s comment before they begin construction. I don’t know whether they will do as I had requested, and I do not call myself an expert in transportation or road construction, but I really hate to see the government spend money wastefully; it is of course at the end our money that they are spending.

Selfish behavior

Today I witnessed the result of the ever so common selfish behavior of Hong Kong people. As you can see from the photo below:These vehicles in the picture was stuck in the round-about for half an hour, and they did not want to let other vehicles get in front of them. Unknowingly to these drivers, their behaviors resulted in a perpetual traffic jam, which I had a bird’s eye view of. This traffic jam did not free itself until the police showed up. Mind you, the police simply stopped their motorcycles at the side of the road without having to direct any traffic.Did the mere presence of authority reminded drivers of the appropriate courteous behavior toward other drivers?

Question What’s Advertised

One cannot always believe what is advertised!While sitting at a Starbucks in Causeway Bay; which I often do. I notice the truck in this photo. Would you think twice about hiring this moving company, “Reliance…”?Take a look at the cartoon egg on the side of the truck. Do you see what I see?I guess in this case the word “Reliance” may not apply.

Solution to Real Estate Agents Swarming

I described in a previous post (“Real Estate Agent Game”) the strange practices of real estate agents in Hong Kong, where they would hover around estate development showrooms asking every passerby whether they’re interested in buying a property. I believe I have the perfect solution to this annoying practice.

The developer just has to set up an area, out of the way of the general public and visitors to the showroom, where by all agents at the showroom will register at the beginning of each of their work day. By registering, each agent will be assigned a number.

Visitors to the showroom who are interested in seeing a property will choose from a box containing the numbers of the registered agents that day. Whichever number the visitor chooses, it will represent the agent who will assist the visitor in his/her purchase. No agents will be allowed to approach the visitor directly anywhere near the showroom property.

Real Estate Agent Game

In Hong Kong whenever a real estate developer sets up a showroom for a new residential property, real estate agents from various agencies would hover around to ask every passerby if they would be interested to look at the property. This in itself is a very annoying thing for the passersby.

While walking in a mall in Hong Kong I saw something that one would only see in Hong Kong.

Real Estate #1Real Estate #2Real Estate #3

As you can see, like I described previously, there is a bunch of real estate agents hovering around a property showroom.

One thing even I haven’t seen before are the boundary lines laid across the floor to mark the area where real estate agents must stay behind.

This is just like a sports court where lines mark areas that are out of bounds. Funny… eh?

Where is My Seat?

I don’t know whether you’ve been to a Chinese restaurant during the busy hours. If you have you will know what I am about to describe.

The most congested place at a Chinese restaurant is at the hostess’ podium. People usually crowd around the podium waiting for a table, as you can see from the photo below.

Hostess Podium

People do not just wait around quietly for their number to be called. For some reason they seem to have the need to constantly hover over the hostess to find out exactly, minute by the minute, how many people are ahead of them on the wait list.

It is not as if the hostess does not announce the current number. The people who wait have a constant need to look over the hostess’ shoulder to find out their place on the wait list.

What is the reasoning behind this phenomenon? Your guess is as good as mine.

Speeding Stop

Consider the question:

Why do drivers in Hong Kong speed up to a red traffic light?

Having driven in Hong Kong for over a year, I have seen so many drivers speed up and then slam on their brakes towards a “red light”.

Drivers who exhibit this habit the most are taxi and mini-bus drivers. You would think that of all people, taxi drivers would have the most to gain if they approached a red light progressively. It would save them gas and lessen the wear on the brakes of their cars.

So, is this just another phenomenon of Hong Kong’s bustling life style?


We can be much more courteous to others.

This became much more apparent to me while living in Hong Kong. In general, people in Hong Kong are not too courteous (as mentioned in a previous post “Manners of Hong Kong”).

By making a point of saying “thank you” to every driver who is courteous to me. I hope to be the catalyst of change to improve the driving etiquette of Hong Kong drivers.

Traffic Solution

Traffic congestion in Hong Kong is a big problem. This is especially so, for the areas around the “Central Harbour Tunnel”, on both the Hong Kong island and Kowloon sides. This congestion had been a problem for many years, and for almost every hour in the day, 365 days a year.

Recently the Hong Kong government wants to levitate the congestion by increasing land reclamation on the Hong Kong island shore front so to build more roads.

In the mean time there are 2 other tunnels; “Eastern Harbour Tunnel” and “Western Harbour Tunnel”, neither of which are used by many Hong Kong drivers. This is mainly due to economics. There are truck drivers who would drive many kilometers more just to take the Central Harbour Tunnel rather than taking the more direct route of the Western Harbour Tunnel.

I believe there is a much simpler and more economical solution. Just increase the toll of the Central Harbour Tunnel so that it is much (approximately HKD10) more than the other two tunnels.

While at the same time decrease the toll of the Western Harbour Tunnel, which is capable of accommodating a much larger volume of traffic.