SM Appliance Center on the Art of Wasting Customer’s Time

I did something yesterday that I don’t often do. I left the house. But I left with full expectation that I would probably return having not accomplished at least one or more of the tasks I set out to do. But one must take risks in Philippines, otherwise no tasks can be accomplished. It’s a roll of the dice.

My washing machine is 7 years old, and I’ve had it repaired a couple of times. I’m quite pleasantly surprised it lasted 2 years beyond it’s 5 year warranty. But it’s having more problems, and because of it’s age, it’s just not wise to put any more money into it to keep it running. Time for a new one. So it’s off to SM Appliance.

Approaching the displays of washingoutofstock machines, the moment I make eye contact with any one machine, and change my trajectory towards it, of course I’m converged upon by 4 handsome peach vest adorned young men eager to sell me a washing machine. Moments later, 2 more handsome peach vest adorned young men joined the growing crowd around me. I humorously thought to myself, “How many Pinoys does it take to sell a washing machine?” Growing uncomfortable with the spectacle of the crowd around me, which had everyone within 20 meters gawking at the event, I said, “I’m only interested in LG and Samsung”. This instantly reduced the crowd of peach vest dudes around me down to two. How good it is to breath oxygen again. I was getting light headed from the high levels of carbon monoxide that was filling my personal space.

So I am left with the LG and Samsung merchandisers battling it out for my attention. Now I have only 2 peach vest clad idiots chattering at me simultaneously. Certainly better than 6. At least the Co 2 and decibel levels around me dropped and I can now breath and get a word in edgewise. I kindly asked the Samsung idiot to show me models with capacity of 9kg to 12kg, and asked the LG idiot to please go away and wait for me over by the LG machines where he fucking belongs. I promised him I will give him his chance after I have seen the Samsung machines. I recommended courtesy and order is what I prefer. Blank stare.

I focused on one particular Samsung model that would be my choice if I didn’t like the LG model I would see next. The peach vest clad merchandiser competently told me all about the model of interest, taking about 10 minutes to do so. Now off to the LG display models.

SM Appliance Center always out of stockApproaching the smiling and nearly drooling LG merchandiser, I pointed out 2 models that sparked my interest. This young man knew his stuff competently as well. He spent 13 minutes or so on his sales pitch, and I decided to go with one of the LG models. “I’ll take this one”. The happy peach vest clad merchandiser nearly did a little happy dance, and invited me to take a seat near the cashier counter. Walking over to the seats, I turned to my partner and said, “Mark my words, he will return and tell us it’s out of stock”.

It was.

Ok, Samsung it is then. “Mr Peach Vest Samsung Dude, I’ll take your machine please, and I’ll have a seat while I wait for you to tell me it’s out of stock as well.” (I actually did say that to him).

You guessed it. No washing machine for me today.

I very calmly, politely asked for the manager of the store. “Mr Manager, may I suggest that you have your merchandisers take inventory of stock on hand, so that when a customer is interested in a product that is NOT in stock, they don’t waste MY time, AND THEIRS trying to sell something they don’t have. I would rather be told right away that it’s out of stock than to spend 20 minutes listening to their sales pitch, and leave empty handed.”

“Well sir, they are actually employees of Samsung and LG.”

“They all wear a peach vest and an SM Appliance name tag, and they are inconveniencing YOUR customers by wasting their time trying to sell products you don’t have in stock. That reflects on YOU as a manager, also wearing the same SM Appliance name tag.” As far as I’m concerned, you’re all SM Appliance, and SM Appliance just completely wasted 25 minutes of my time.”

“I’m sorry sir”

“I’m sorry sir” is a phrase I hear at least once every time I leave my house. Yes, Filipinos ARE sorry people indeed.


Published in Filipino Customer Service, Filipino Stupidity


  1. Profile gravatar of FAFI

    Why am I not surprised to hear that both washing machines are out of stock? Wow, WTF! That happens to me a few times before, especially at game stores when they display the empty case on the floor, you go up to the cashier to make your purchase, but you find out at the counter that game is out of stock. Good thing there is a fail-safe system where you don’t pay for the damn thing before acquiring it first. Empty game/DVD cases shouldn’t be displayed on the floor in the first place!

    Lately I was trying to buy a HP 81 black ink for my printer. I remember them selling it at my local SM computer store. The day I needed it, they were out of stock. I even requested them to check the stock room because I was positive they had some the week prior. I remember that it was a Tuesday that day, they told me that they will have stock again on Thursday and to check back on Thursday. Well I come in on Thursday, and guess fucking what? No stock again, and what do I get? “Sorry siiirrr, you can come next week, or you can leave your number and have us call you.” I said,”I know Philippine culture very damn well, you will misplace my number somewhere or just willingly forget to call me because it’s in your nature, no thanks.” Then she tells me again to just come next week. I said,”I was already lied to once by one of you to come back today, so why should I believe you now?” During this little conversation, the security guard at the entrance was eye-balling me the whole time since he did notice a little belligerence in my stretch of words. So I kept a softer tone so he doesn’t get hyped up to kick me out the store.

    I gently replied,”I’m just going to check at Mall of Asia tomorrow.” Well next day, I ended up going to another SM that opened up recently, which was a lot closer to me than MOA, and I managed to find my HP 81 black in at the OCTAGON store there. I tell you man, a Filipino’s word isn’t worth shit! I have another example for something important that was suppose to happen yesterday, but it’s financial related, and it’s just gonna piss me off even more to bring it up. So nevermind.

    1. Profile gravatar of 30-30

      I was stupid enough to go out yesterday while the police were practicing for the pope. wat a mess in edsa???
      Decided to buy a fridge at MOA SM appliance store. stupid mistake.. The manual defrost ;models have the energy rating, but not the defrost models??? Well, the bigger the fridge, the more electricity it uses.. Oh No Sir, it has a new type of motor or whatever
      Of course the model i waanted was out of stock. so moved to another one… i asked them, when is the delivery.. only 5 days SIR!!!!!.. where is it coming from,,, the friggin moon///???
      Ok, now do they deliver to my area?????? I live in a central place in pasay, this can not be too difficult?? Oh ,, but SIR, they do not deliver to my area?? why not?? dont know ,,SIR… they charge 300 pesos for delivery..
      I should have charged them for listening to their horrible music,,,sometimes, before i enter a business, i ask them to turn the canned music off,, blank stare, reboot,, meltdown,,, and then i do a 180 degree turn and walk out
      Anything more than the time of day,, they have to disappear in cyberspace and consult with????
      What is it about shopping malls that attracts these idiots????

  2. Profile gravatar of FAFI

    This would be my first time saying this to you Filo-buddy, but I wanna offer you some advice in regards to your crowd problem. One thing that I do hate MOST about Philippines is being approached by Filipinos, I get easily flustered when I’m surrounded by a collective group of people who have a total IQ of less than 1/4th of mine. What I do to not attract such attention is to not show any interest at all in anything. Filipinos are VERY money-driven sales people, and as soon as they catch you looking at something they are selling, you are immediately targeted.

    Even making an inquiry could be dangerous, because they wont leave you until they talk you into buying their product. Street sellers are notorious for this. These so-called “Sales People” you interacted with serves no purpose than to bother the shit out of you, and to distract you by trying to sell you something you don’t want, or what they think you want. I am VERY particular about what I buy, and nobody knows what I want more than myself. These amateur sales people are nothing more than a mocking parrot, they only repeat the product description to you, which is half the time ALREADY DISPLAYED ON THE PRODUCT ITSELF!

    It’s like when I’m out phone shopping, the sales lady is telling me how many Mega Pixels are on the camera and it’s other properties, when all the specs are already listed on the sign next to it. So whatever knowledge they have to tell you about washing machines, I’m sure it is already all there (I hope). That way you can just tell EVERY sales person to fuck off until you are ready to buy their product. The only thing that should come out of their mouth is if it’s in stock or not. I NEVER use their help in choosing my product, even with the details they present to me. Because they don’t know color I want, what price range I’m looking for, and etc. I hate when I’m out clothes shopping, and I’m looking at ONE particular shirt that I’m interested in, and the annoying sales representative next to me holds up some random shirt next to me and says, “How about this one sir?” OK, I’m not fucking blind, if I wanted that shirt, I would be checking out that one, and not the one I’m already looking at. It’s sad, because sometimes it would be a completely difference shirt that isn’t close to the shirt I’m currently looking at. Wow they can be so fucking annoying!

    Lately, I’ve learned to ignore Filipinos more often, especially in situations like that. I believe that anyone with an IQ less than 1/4th of mine isn’t worth wasting my breath on. I’ve been doing that at school too. Well, I’m not gonna make my comment exceed the length of the main story,then I should’ve just created an article. I’m gonna get outta here and take care of business. I have STD….. (Shit To Do)

    1. Profile gravatar of Fr. Bong Bong Jolog Jun III
      Fr. Bong Bong Jolog Jun III

      When those useless retards in SM Appliances approach me, my usual response is to point to a spot, and tell them (demandingly) to “…go over there and wait for me. If I want you, I’ll call you over. Otherwise, I don’t want to see you or hear from you. Understand?” Works most of the time. 🙂

    2. Profile gravatar of Captain PFB
      Captain PFB Post author

      I absolutely love it when the Pinay Barbie Dolls beamed here from 1965 at SM Department stores act like Barker’s Beauties as you pass their merchandise. Almost makes me feel I’m on “The Price Is Right”. But what I love is the mindlessness of them. They seem more like Disney animatronics versions of Barker’s Beauties.

      nullLifeless eyes, make-up caked on so thick they look artificial or like plastic dolls. But what I love most about them is, the motion sensor in each one of them. I would swear they are lifeless animatronics with motion sensors, and ass you pass a row of them, their arm comes up, hand in the show or parade wave position like a Barker’s Beauty, then a sound emits from them “Blue Jeans sir”….4 more steps, next one senses my motion, arm comes up in show motion…”T-shirt sir”…..4 more steps….”socks sir”.

      Makes me want to turn and do it again, except run fast, and see if I can make them do a stadium wave as I pass, turn again and run and watch their arms going up in a wave fashion as I pass each one.

      1. Profile gravatar of Mega-BrainDrain

        That’s a good one 🙂 Those dolls are actually there to make sure you’re not shoplifitng the merchandise. Their the eyes and ears of Mr. Sy to preserve his 12B USD empire. Unfortunately, their presence wards off potential buyers more than gains them. I hate being watched while I’m deep in thought or taking so long deciding what to buy. Or maybe their salaries plus loss in sales due to their being such dung-following flies outweigh the potential loss of merchandise to shoplifters. Anyways, I wonder what kind of training is given these ladies. Do they even know they’re annoying? Will they get scolded if they fail to say their line? Do they have a counter – and get 5PHP for every “Blue Jeans sir” ? But you have to admire them standing 8hours a day like that for better reason than to be a nuisance. Shitty reason for earning varicose veins I would say.

        1. Profile gravatar of Marius O.
          Marius O.

          I feel terribly sorry for these muppets. It’s not entirely their fault they’re unemployable, or that the only jobs available are non-jobs. The economy is deliberately rigged this way. It’ll only change when Filipinos grow some balls, stop voting for halfwits, stop putting up with and endless stream of bullshit from their elders and “betters”, and (more importantly) learn to start behaving like functioning human beings. Let’s check back here in 2400, eh?

          1. Profile gravatar of Eric

            So damn true….unfortunately it will be an endless cycle of ineptitude though. If I hear another interview with one of the horrible actors/actresses in this country where they say they will join politics after their career is done –

      2. Profile gravatar of TheD

        Love it. I go for the old Police Squad / Naked Gun jokes. “Cigarette” “Yes it is” joke.
        “socks sir” My reply: “Tama po”
        “curtains sir” My reply: “Tama po”
        I turn to my gf and say “they sure know the shit theyre selling until you ask them specifics”

  3. Profile gravatar of richmess

    Ah! The joys! Quite amazing that you actually found TWO Filipinos who knew something about their product beyond reading off the label!

    I recently neeeded an electrical part for my Honda Scoopy. Like you, I predicted the response ‘Not in stock, not available for two months’. So, left to Honda PH, my 18 month old bike was going to be of the road for an unacceptable time, and when I suggested this was stupid, I was told now it wasn’t. A well constructed counter argument, I thougt (not!). I wasted my breath further by contacting Honda, who really struggled to understand my concern.

    What rubbish!

    1. Profile gravatar of Fr. Bong Bong Jolog Jun III
      Fr. Bong Bong Jolog Jun III

      It’s doubtful they “knew” anything. What they probably did was parrot a canned sales script. If you asked them an actual question, all you’d get back is the blank stare, most likely followed by some shit that they made up on the spot, so as not to appear as fucking clueless as what they actually are. I never ask these imbeciles anything. If I want to know the answer to something I pull out my phone and locate the manufacturers (or their Philippines distributors) website. Not perfect, but works fine on most occasions.

      1. Profile gravatar of Captain PFB
        Captain PFB Post author

        Did my research before going shopping. I actually knew what models I wanted to look at. I was quite surprised to see the models I had researched on the showroom floor.

        Yes, I’m sure they were just parroting, but at least I knew they were not giving me a line of crap. But how very typical for them to be OUT OF STOCK.

        1. Profile gravatar of Fr. Bong Bong Jolog Jun III
          Fr. Bong Bong Jolog Jun III

          Have you ever tried asking for the display item, from the floor? That’s always good for a huge laugh, as they explain that it’s the “display item” – and they need it to “sell” whatever the fuck it is that is actually out of stock – and that they “don’t know” if or when it will be in stick again. Mindless, imbecile, retarded bullshit!

          1. Profile gravatar of L. "Dead Man Walking" K.
            L. "Dead Man Walking" K.

            i tried buying a fan once, this tower fan was unique because of it’s removable filter. I asked for a discount because display items tend to be harassed by countless flips. They said they have to ask upper management for the discount and authorization to sell and it would take a week. I’m back a week later, they said they are still waiting for a reply. It’s the last tower fan of its kind and they keep it on display and they wont sell it without upper management authorization because its a display fan. Its like a snake eating its own tail. Whatever happened to making phone calls during business hours?

          2. Profile gravatar of Captain PFB
            Captain PFB Post author

            Yes, I did ask if the display model could be given to me at a small discount. And it was exactly as you said. You just have to laugh at the imbecilic retardation.

          3. Profile gravatar of TheD

            I got the discount. Office light costs 8000 pesos and the discount for the dents and paint chips was 500 pesos. I stupidly took it and it fucking completely broke a month or so later. Waste of money. NEVER BUY FLOOR MODELS.

  4. Profile gravatar of CebuBear

    I wrote this little ditty several years ago… seems it is as fresh today as ever,


    (c) P. Gamsby 2005

    The other day I went to play at the Gaisano House of Fakes
    Watches, shoes, shirts and trews and purple iced sponge cakes
    Spills on floor beside the door are fanned to make them dry
    But ask for something particular and the girl will make you cry!
    I’m sorry sir we’re out of stock, of that there is no more
    Perhaps next week we’ll have what you seek
    Please sir, don’t be sore!

    A week does pass and back your ass does go to the Gaisano place
    All agog with joy they’ll have your toy down the center aisle you race
    The sweet girl sees you coming and knows her days are few
    For foreigners don’t understand the reality like Flips do
    Out of stock does not always mean that none of them is here
    It’s an easy out to avoid the shout, Incompetence! My dear!

    You can’t blame the Dong whose six month long, tenure is all he’s got
    Why should he try harder, or risk his brain will rot?
    Forgive them their trespasses, in their heads are more than rocks
    But take it not so personally, when they say they’re out of stocks!
    By thinking hard for others he may use up all his clues
    By saying out of stock sir, he just gives us all the poos!

  5. Profile gravatar of L. "Dead Man Walking" K.
    L. "Dead Man Walking" K.

    Papa Johns pizza (PH) is having a promo where you buy X amount worth of pizza and a soda product they will give you an umbrella!

    They are out of umbrellas 3 days after the promo launches. Did they have any to begin with?

  6. Profile gravatar of Eric

    The inability of these numbnutz to perform critical thought no longer surprises me in the least. During “OJT” *chuckle* they are taught some variation of A-B-C to do their job…THAT’S IT! Under no circumstances are they to think or make any kind of decisions that would somehow increase efficiency or produce a happy customer. They are to do A, B, and C…THAT’S IT!! Ever try to pay for something with a credit card while the terminal was down? Or even better – while one of the 8 people behind the counter was on the phone? What happened next after a connection fail???

    “ you have another card? your card is not working” –> complete with the stink face and everything.

    Just pat them on the head and hum the melody for “Let it go”…

  7. Profile gravatar of Louie

    So typical. You guys should check out Ansons for appliances. They have mastered the art of wasting time. They have the best prices and you can usually haggle for about 30-40% off sticker price. And if they say “out of stock” you can get about an additional 10% off for the floor model

  8. Profile gravatar of HawkEye

    Need to amend the constitution to solve this one, let foreign owned companies own 100% of their retail business. Filipino run businesses won’t carry stock unless its on consignment basis (and take forever to pay suppliers even after its sold; catch 22), otherwise its “cash flow’ sitting in a warehouse. FUCKED UP retail sector. I buy online overseas wherever I can.

    1. Profile gravatar of Spartacus_killingus

      Uhhm…I too would like to know how this is possible without getting royally fucked by customs. I mean its one thing if you are wealthy and don’t have issues with paying the exorbitant “fees”..**coughs, bribes** But on average I have given up attempting to purchase anything (especially electronics) from over seas. Its just asking for trouble.

      i think i may have mentioned in a post once where I was over charged for a skate board. Sly fuckers tried to break down computations, and when I asked they said the person who wrote that is now gone so I should just pay or wait even longer.

      Im sick of that. So I’m curious to know who’s ass you must be fingering to get what you need from over seas. lol I may need to learn the trick as well. Do you just have someone send you a balikbayan box with your merchandise, I was thinking about doing this.

      1. Profile gravatar of HawkEye

        Johnny air cargo. Buy online US ship to their new york address they ship here. No duty. No messing with customs. Just VAT on freight cherges. Pick from their offices

          1. Profile gravatar of HawkEye

            Contact analyn diego at johhny air new york office she’ll send you details of mechanics. As said previously ask the outfit youre purchading from to keep shipping volume to a minimimum as volume not just weight is taken into consideration. A pair of shoes in just its original shoe box costs about 900 php max to send here all in.

      2. Profile gravatar of Marius O.
        Marius O.

        I was considering the balikbayan box method too. I’ll give it a go and post results here.

        I’m guessing those companies have a couple of pet customs officials in their pockets (presumably there’s a huge monthly payout involved) so that boxes get through unscathed. Johnny air cargo sounds familiar – I’m sure I saw one of their offices while stuck in the seventh circle of hell – sorry, Manila – one time.

        1. Profile gravatar of HawkEye

          Yep no doubt there’s a customs connection. And while it lasts its a great service. Just be sure to get an estimate of shipping costs first sometimes can be ridiculous as they take volume into account not just purely weight.

        2. Profile gravatar of heyjoe

          Balikbayan boxes are a great deal. My wife and I always ship stuff back when we go to the States. Never had a problem. It does take a couple of months so there is a long wait. We live in Indiana. A company fron Chicago comes down and picks up our boxes there and drops them off at our house here. The cost is $70 for a standard size box but there is no weight limit. Larger boxes do cost more but they will ship about anything.

  9. Profile gravatar of Marius O.
    Marius O.

    >> I buy online overseas wherever I can.

    How do you get anything through customs? First and only time I did this they demanded a bribe to release it.

    1. Profile gravatar of HawkEye

      Johnny air cargo. Buy online US ship to their new york address they ship here. No duty. No messing with customs. Just VAT on freight cherges. Pick from their offices

  10. Profile gravatar of Marius O.
    Marius O.

    AFAIK foreigners aren’t allowed to own retail businesses AT ALL unless they have US$2m to “invest” upfront (ie., waste in government-approved ways). What happens under those circumstances is that big players with money to throw around come in to exploit an undemanding public, providing the exact same level of service the useless Filipino businesses offer. Nobody expects anything better, and there’s no competition, so why bother?

    Basically the locals set the bar for quality as low as possible, and unscrupulous foreign operators laugh themselves silly hopping up and down on it.

  11. Profile gravatar of carlosvander

    As a regular tourist to the Philippines many of the situations that make you expats insane are very minor issues to me.
    The out of stock situation made me laugh.
    On an early visit I purchased some shoes at an SM.
    Great shoes..made in the Philippines!..
    Wore them often..then the dog ate them..
    Ok will pick up another pair next trip..
    I tried store after store , many had the brand but wrong size. I would enter , find the shoes i wanted then ask one of the ten sales assistants to find my size
    Every time ” sorry sir we are out of stock”. lol..
    Well the next trip came along, went back to the mall,
    praise the lord..they had the right shoes and right size..Then I asked them for a smaller size because my friend wanted a pair..sure enough “sorry sir we are out of stock!”…

    1. Profile gravatar of Marius O.
      Marius O.

      When you’re a tourist, it’s vaguely amusing. You know you can just laugh at what a useless bunch of fuckwits they are, then bugger off back home next week and all will be well.

      When you need to get something done, and can’t get it done quickly and efficiently, it’s rage-inducing. You’re literally wasting your life away indulging the whims of stupid people who think it’s vitally important to fill in lots of pointless bits of paper, send you from window to window talking to 15 different people, or make nonsensical decisions about utterly simple and straightforward tasks.

  12. Profile gravatar of 30-30

    sm give one kitkat bar for every 3,000 peso purchase. so my wife gets them to cut the bill off at 3000 pesos. so for 10,000 peso purchase she get s 3 bars.
    So today sm counter says,, ma’am,,,, there is a circular came out stating that it is one kit kat bar for every card purchase.
    Us kanos know where this is leading up to.
    The wife says where is the circular?? the tambuay goes on a deadly mission to find said paper,,,
    Well,s said paper not be found.. wife finally got her choclate bars,,,
    These people can even destroy peace in my bedroom,, without me going outside…
    SHOOT ME DEad, please

  13. Profile gravatar of kalbo

    Does anyone know why all this crap happens? It’s just beyond comprehension.

    I stayed at an upmarket hotel. I went to the lobby and asked for a UK plug adapter so I could recharge my shaver. “We have one here Sir and we will send it up to your room immediately” the cute receptionist told me. I double checked…”A three pin adapter for a UK plug?”. “Yes Sir we have one”. So up I go. I wait 30 mins in my room. No adapter. No call. I call reception….and guess what? They dont have the adpater and didnt call me to tell me either!

    What about this one. Im waiting in the derma for my 2pm appointment. 3pm comes, the receptionist says to me “Be patient, Sir”. 3.30pm comes and she says “Well the doctor is conducting an operation, she cant see you this afternoon. I said “Why the hell didnt you tell me instead of making me wait here all afternoon?”. Blank face.

    At the Sony store in Glorietta. I was looking for a new mobile phone. After 30 mins of asking questions and browsing..”I’ll take that one”. “Out of stock, Sir”. I spend 10 mins more browsing for another phone. That one! “Out of stock Sir”. I erupted…”Why dont you tell me what phones you DO actually have in stock?”. “Well that one and that one” she said. Thats 2 phones out of about 12.

    So please help…what is going on? Are they too nervous to admit the facts to a foreigner? Is it just they plain dont care? Or maybe they cant be bothered and are too concerned with surfing facebook on their phones? Please help!!

    1. Profile gravatar of Eric

      I think it’s a combination of all three combined with the underlying inability to multitask. You asked about a phone so the task at hand is to provide you with the information you asked for. The issue of whether or not it is actually available is another task altogether and can’t be processed together with the first task.

      Another issue worth mentioning is – have you ever realized that most Filipinos actually never really buy anything? They will browse and ask questions, before complaining that whatever it is they are looking at is expensive and walk away. No doubt they are conditioned for this and aren’t prepared for those of us that actually pull the trigger

    2. Profile gravatar of Captain PFB
      Captain PFB Post author

      It is a phenomenon I have yet to fully wrap my comprehension around. The only answer to the question “what is going on?” that I can give you is epidemic mass retardation, mass dumbfuckedness, idiocy beyond explanation, or all of the above.

      It is easier to comprehend the vastness of the universe than it is to comprehend the levels of Filipino stupidity, inability to reason, absence of logic, and absence of dignity and honesty. And that is no exaggeration.

      1. Profile gravatar of Eric

        After spending the better part of today reading through the different articles about the SAF44 and response from those “in charge”, then applying ice to my forehead after smacking it so many times…I have come to the conclusion that your theory is in fact the correct one