08 November 2009

Have you heard, "Penatlah saya"

For readers not schooled in Bahasa Malaysia, "penatlah saya" means "that would make me so tired".

Where did I hear this?

At the post office, Pos Malaysia Berhad. The story behind this goes like this.....I use Pos Laju, Pos Malaysia's express courier service quite a bit. And to be honest, Pos Laju is reliable and more cost efficient than the other private courier services. I send out between 3 to 8 packages each time.

Is that too much to handle for the Pos Malaysia counter servers? Well, apparently so. Because each time I approach the post office counter with my transaction, the attending counter officer's demeanour sours (it's not a very big post office and they recognise me by now). That already puts me off. Hey, I'm giving Pos Malaysia business am I not? Once, the post office counter staff insisted on weighing all my packages, tallying the cost and getting my payment first. Then after I had gone, she said she would stick the respective Pos Laju forms onto the packages later at her leisure (the packages have been separately labelled, so she would only have to match the names on the packages with the correct Pos Laju form). I was uneasy with this method as it leaves a big error for margin. True enough, for that batch of packages, the post office mismatched the forms to the packages, resulting in people receiving someone else's stuff.

The post office did not apologise for this error, nor did they offer to reroute the packages to the correct recipients for free. We had to pay again for the second delivery.

When I went to the post office to make another delivery following that erroneous transaction, I specifically told the counter staff at the post office to individually weigh, and to individually label the form onto, the packages. This is when the counter server said "Penatlah saya!" I was truly taken aback - this is the post office's service and her job, in particular. Well, I told her to weigh the packages and I would stick the forms onto them myself - she was only too pleased to allow me to do that!

If possible, I try not to use Pos Malaysia Ipoh Garden.

This led me to search for other better staffed post offices in Ipoh. Do you know that there are Pos Mini (mini post offices) - these are actually privately owned agents of Pos Malaysia i.e. the operator of the Pos Mini would be the proprietor and business owner. With a business ownership mentality, the service level is definitely many notches better than the normal Pos Malaysia post offices. Fortunately I found an excellent Pos Mini in Taman Cempaka. The counter server (only 1 person) is efficient, courteous, patient, diligent and professional. And no matter how busy she is, she never utters a complaint and does not scowl at customers.

One day in Jaya Jusco (One U or Mid Valley), I happened to walk past their comments board. Pasted onto the board were all the customer feedback, the good and the bad. One particularly struck me. The complainant said that she had asked the Jusco salesperson to unlock a chained handbag for her to try out. While waiting for the slow-moving salesperson to do so, she had walked a few steps away to browse at other merchandise. When she returned to the handbag, she found it still chained and locked. She summoned the same salesperson who said that since the customer had walked away, she had assumed she was no longer interested. Well, the customer asked her to unlock the bag for her to inspect, to which the salesperson whined "Penatlah saya!"

Now, where have I heard that before?


  1. Was it during the Ramadan season? Customer service not top of mind is it?

  2. I wish it was the Ramadan season, at least that could have been used as a small, pathetic excuse. But no, it was a regular no-festival season. So no excuse!

  3. These words are norm. How come they are not penat when chatting with co-workers? Customer service in Malaysia sucks big time. Could you write in to complain abt the services at the ipoh garden post office? But then again, what are they going to do about it eh?

  4. Hi Barb. You are spot on right. I did write in to complain and the Head of the GPO, Ipoh, came to see me, which I appreciated and commended him for. He assured me that they would "train" their staff to understand customer service. Well, some months after his visit, I went back to Pos Malaysia Ipoh Garden, and I still got that sour look and I still had to stick the Pos Laju form onto the packages myself!