Great Expectations (of Service)

Posted by Frank van Schie on September 04, 2008

A Brazilian guy came to work with my company in the Netherlands. For a personal project, he needed an electronics part, a transformer. So he searched around Rotterdam for an electronics store, and found one.

"Sure," they said, "our branch in the Limburg, in the south of the country, has it. We'll have it shipped here, and it'll be here next week."

This was, in his view, terrible service. "After all," he reasoned, "How long could it possibly take to ride there and back again by motorcycle?!".

Minimum wage, as of 2008/2009 in Brazil is around €163 per month. In the Netherlands it's €1160. Sending a cheap Dutch courier would most likely have doubled his transformer in price, while in Brazil it would have made hardly a dent in the price.


No Comments to Great Expectations (of Service)

  • I hear many foreigners complain about the low service level in the Netherlands. It takes ages before a waiter comes to take your order. Don't they want to earn money?

    Because of our social system, wages are relatively equal. A university educated manager does earn more than a hair dresser, but the difference is not as big as in other countries. It may be double, but not tenfold. For comparison, in China, a farmer earns about 50 Euro a month, while a Master's degree engineer earns 800 Euro.

    My point being: the manager of a bar will think twice before he schedules another person to work that evening. As a result, only one or two waiters are running their asses of.

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