…At least, according to commonly held business practices in the United States. Apparently, things work a little differently in China.
In American culture, the customer is generally placed on a pedestal, especially in service industry jobs (yes, believe it or not, plastic surgery is considered part of the service industry):
- Restaurant workers will jump through hoops to take good care of patrons in the hopes of receiving good tips
- Store owners will accept returns from dissatisfied customers, exchange merchandise, and even offer full refunds in the hopes of receiving future business
- Plastic surgeons will go to great lengths to ensure that patients receive their desired results; they may even offer extensive revision surgery to ensure that angry patients do not bring a maelstrom on their practice which may potentially jeopardize future business
Personally, I do not subscribe to the philosophy that “the customer is always right.” I have worked many service industry jobs during my life, and in my experience the customer is often dead wrong and outright rude about it. However, I also understand the complications associated with pointing out to a revolting customer that he is completely out of line. Doing this may often cost you your job. So I have been forced to deal with these difficult situations the way everyone else in the industry has — grin and bear it.
However, I do subscribe to the philosophy that it is important to treat the customer with the highest levels of respect, and I do everything in my power to try and ensure that the customer’s experience is positive and memorable. After all, the goal is to earn repeat business from your customers and get new business from customer recommendations.
It seems that a plastic surgery facility in China has never been informed of this philosophy, or perhaps they just don’t care. Either way, they don’t seem to be too interested in patient satisfaction.
A woman went to this particular Chinese plastic surgery practice for breast augmentation three years ago. They botched her procedure, and one breast came out larger than the other. The plastic surgeon refunded her money, but did nothing to rectify the inequities in her breasts. As a result, this poor woman has been walking around with lopsided, asymmetrical breasts for the past three years.
She has come to the plastic surgery facility many times, arguing with them in hopes of receiving additional money that she could use to get her botched breast implants fixed by a more reputable surgeon. Each time, she has been turned aside empty handed.
On her most recent trip to the plastic surgeon’s office, she caught the staff just as they were closing up for the day. The staff locked her in the office and went home. The poor woman sat in the plastic surgery office for four hours before calling the police for help. When they arrived, they broke a window to get her out of the office.
I have never heard of anything this absurd in my life. Who locks someone in their office and goes home? Not only is it completely unprofessional, it is just plain stupid. The staff took a serious gamble by leaving her in there, alone and angry, with expensive surgical equipment. They dodged a bullet here.
I’m shocked that the woman sat there patiently for four hours before calling the police. If someone had done that to me, I would have trashed the office. I would start with the most expensive equipment and machinery I could find and work my way down. It would look like a tornado hit that office when I was through. And then I would have broken the window myself to escape. But before leaving, I would find a big sharpie and draw a huge hand with a middle finger extended on their wall. Just to send a message.
It’s not as if they could report me to the police. What are you going to say: “We held this person hostage in our office overnight and he trashed it in an attempt to escape?” That wouldn’t exactly fly with the police. They gave this woman a free shot to exact her revenge on them after three years of being mistreated, and she blew it. Instead, she just took it on the chin. Silly woman.
I suppose that there is a moral to this story as well. When you attend an initial consultation with a potential plastic surgeon, pay attention to how you are treated by the doctor and his staff. Are they polite? Do they answer all your questions? Are they attentive to your needs?
If you get any negative vibes during this initial interaction, run for your life. You don’t want to find out that the staff locks you in their office after refusing to make good on your botched surgery. If the surgeon and staff are nice to you at your consultation, chances are they will not pull these types of shenanigans.