I was there for the first time yesterday to buy three different Monobloc tables for the HHs needs. I hired the Wheelmobile for the purpose. Truth to tell, I was excited because I’ve never been to the place. Years back, husband had gone there to buy the Scatola I wanted. I think he also went there for the egg crate mattress I need to avoid bed sores. On two separate occasions, one sister of mine had bought the mattress, on another it was a friend. They offered.
But yesterday, going to Uratex was an exercise of patience that I failed miserably. My first encounter was okay – with the security guard who was very solicitous when he learned I was in a wheelchair. The personnel who went to me immediately to assist in my choice of tables was friendly. I chose three tables after which he asked if I wanted them delivered or picked up on the spot. I chose the latter, confident they could be accommodated in the WM.
So I was told to go to the cashier who was taking an eternity to process the purchases of one other person before me. That’s not an exaggeration. At least it didn’t feel like I was exaggerating. She really took forever. Further, the items purchased will be brought down only after she has encoded your purchase. And when it was my turn, she took forever again. I knew getting the items down would take a long time likewise, so I thought of having the items delivered instead. But wow, it was hardly a better option. I had to go into that room where there were seats galore – think pre-departure areas in airports and bus stations where people sat patiently and waited for their number to be called out. Then they could pay for their purchase and give their address, etc., I guess. So I decided to stick it out with the cashier. Instead of waiting for my purchases in another pre-departure like set up, no make that an arrival area with seats, I wheeled around the display area to look at pails, tubs, mattresses, cushions, etc. several times. And still no sign of my purchases. Worse, the lighting in the store is not too nice. Saving on Meralco bills, I guess. Like the parking area of most malls, unlike Shangrila’s east wing where one feels safe. So I waited. The guard by the door got my receipt and asked if my purchases were ready. Told they weren’t, he told me he’d just call when they came. Nice of him, right? Right. So I waited some more. And finally, the boxes of tables and their legs were brought to the arrival area. Okay, the releasing area. Each box was opened to check for completeness and cracks. When the square box with the second table was opened, it yielded a circular table top. Oops, I had asked for a square one. Not wanting to wait I said I’d take it. Was there a price discrepancy? Yes, P30. I was willing to forego that but had a feeling this would entail more paperwork with the cashier. The person who had attended to my purchase said he’d ask for the top to be replaced. I waited an eternity, nothing seemed to be happening. I was fuming. The guy in the releasing sensed I was getting angry and said he’d go up and get the right table top himself. Wait again. But a shorter wait than previously. When he came down, the remaining boxes of legs and tops were opened. And we left.
It boggles the mind why the system in Uratex is so bad despite its claim of having existed for decades now. Have the owners not heard of Operations Research, time and motion studies, etc.? Pray tell, please do something.
I vow never to return. I don’t have the patience of all those people eternally waiting for heaven out there. No, I exaggerate. Their purchases.
Another suggestion to Uratex: have a blind test – is that what you call it? Have someone you know go there and pretend to be a customer. Don’t warn your personnel. Get feedback, an honest one from that person you designate. Perhaps, conduct similar tests several times. Without letting on to your personnel.
For everyone’s sake, I hope my experience was a fluke. But I dare not go back.