chuvaness
Ambassador’s loss is Audee’s gain
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As a jaded blogger and expert shopper (I like to think), it’s very hard to make me envious over gadgets and other worldly objects. But the night I saw Pia Magalona’s shiny new BlackBerry Dakota 9900, I almost drooled on her new phone.

Blackberry 9780 vs. 9900
My BlackBerry 9780 (L) versus Pia’s BlackBerry 9900

I love that the newest BlackBerry has a touchscreen (just like an iPhone)—and a wider keyboard.
I love my 9780, except for the tiny keyboard, so I really wanted this new one.
But I rarely buy phones because they’re usually given to me either by my dad or other benefactor.
On the other hand, I didn’t want to wait for someone to give me the BlackBerry Dakota. I want it now!!

When Pia told me she got hers at Ambassador Appliances at Shangri-La Plaza, I was very afraid as I have had many unpleasant encounters with the corpulent gorgon who runs that store.
I wanted to ask Pia to buy for me and I pay her back. But Pia left for Singapore during the long weekend so I was left to my own devices, so to speak.
Yesterday I went to Shang only to discover Ambassador Appliances is finally under renovation. They have temporarily moved to this glass cabinet on the same floor, where I saw the BlackBerry 9900 on display. I took a deep breath, gathered my guts, and asked the gorgon how much. She ignored me. I made my voice louder and asked her again, “How much?”
“Php 33,000,” she said without looking at me. (same price Pia paid with a cheque)
“How much if I pay with credit card?” I inquired and was scared of the answer.
“Add Php 5,000,” the gorgon replied.
Say what? She took out her calculator and told me how much I would have to pay for the next 6 months, plus Php 5,000 on top of it. She assumed I wanted to pay a 6-month installment, which I didn’t. I only wanted to use my credit card because sayang ang AsiaMiles.
She was so unfriendly, I decided to walk away. I didn’t have the heart to fork over hard-earned money to this ogre.
So no thank you, I would rather wait for a better deal/person.

I went to Cibo to cool off and eat some diet food (read: chicken sandwich).
I started to rant on Twitter, like I do when I have no one to vent with.
Chef Edward suggested I buy from Audee Villaraza of Gadget Grocery who incidentally is my BlackBerry contact, though we have never met.
After communicating with Audee (and hearing lots of positive recommendations) I decided to go ahead and buy from him.
Less than 24 hours later, I had the BlackBerry 9900 at my doorstep, delivered by a guy with a credit card swipe machine and receipt!
The entire transaction was done in less than five minutes, in my house clothes, with no need to drive to a mall and deal with a menopausal ogress!

My new Blackberry Dakota

I really believe the days of gorgons running hideous appliance stores without the benefit of charm school are over.
I believe that charging extra for using one’s credit card is démodé as Karl Lagerfeld would say—and ILLEGAL.
I hope to raise this concern to the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry).
I also want to introduce you to the wonders of Gadget Grocery, where prices are lower than Amazon, goods delivered to your home, and credit card swipes are allowed at no additional cost.

http://gadgetgrocery.com/

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Kay123

Got my ipad2 last night, they ignored me at first because maybe they thot i don’t have money to get it. But duh it was an HSBC event for cardholders. So i eagerly asked for the price because they we’re all busy with tons of customers. I was surprised when the price she said was different from the one posted on the wall. But all the other stores do that naman. Unfair lang kasi 0% interest nga yung habol mo may extra charge naman. It’d fine with me being ignored, I’m an ordinary person anyway 🙂

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Sylphide

I went in to Ambassador once and never again. That Gorgon was not helpful at all, unaccommodating, rude, and grumpy. Akala ko sa kin lang sya ganon – apparently she’s a bit of a legend na pala! Haha.

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Guest

haha. i totally know who that gorgon is.  we used to buy stuff in her store in the old virra mall pa.  please tell me that she’s not anymore wearing that hideous white top and navy blue balloon skirt.   

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Pia M

Her name is Beth and the brother is Alex.  Auntie Sungs din yan sa akin at sa mga anak ko EXCEPT kay Arkin. We started calling her “Mama Bear” bec she became nice to us ever since she met one of my FMCC guys, Itoy. (I believe you’ve met him, Cecile.) Anyway, there came a time that we would say “may pinapabili si Itoy,” para lang pansinin nya kami. Kapal ng fez diba? But at least, nakabawi na ako for all of us here who despise her, by doing that several times and she would even lower the price haha.… Read more »

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Cricket Uy

I had the same experience of rudeness at Ambassador. While in the middle of my asking about an mp3 player, this uncivilized wretch abruptly got up from her chair and left me to entertain a tall black basketball player looking foreigner. Really, I don’t need to feel discriminated against in my own country by my own kind (pertaining to race not character) when other electronics stores seem happy to sell me their stuff.

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Jasmin Bilasano

I also love gadget grocery. I ordered Our iPads from Audee when the iPad was not yet available here in the Philippines and I got them right at my doorstep. Audee was very easy to talk to. I even paid in check. Though I agree that his gadget prices are quite steep, I am so satisfied with the service. Way better than that appliance shop.

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Nyc

oh and i forgot to mention one of the cameras i bought from chubby checkers the memory card in it had pictures!!!! and when i told her i complained she said baka testing kasi minsan dito sa store i said no may aso at kama! she said baka may naglaro sa bahay nyo i said no there are pictures of kids in uniform from ica! as in obvious na but she kept making it come out like i was wrong i still have the pics i didnt delete just incase! i therefore conclude some of their goods are used and… Read more »

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Guest

There should be no additional charge for credit card over-the-counter purchases.  Matagal nang may JDAO si DTI dito.  The additional charge can only be justified as a convenience, so this charge should only be reflected on payment channels that provide ACTUAL convenience (e.g. nakatipid sa pamasahe, shipped to home, no need to go to the store) which usually covers non-face to face transactions.  Credit cards are treated like cash.  Kaya bawal na na may ibang price ang credit card.  Cash price = card price dapat. Look up to DTI’s ruling on electronic money payment.  I think the most recent one… Read more »

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Guest

i wonder what can be done ba to prevent establishments from charging extra for cc purchases? di ba its supposed to be them thats paying for that?

dti seems to not vigilant about this anyway, they should put out a notice to every store that has a credit card machine 🙁

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Guest

She’s still alive!? I loathe her. Her brother used to man the Shangri-la store but when their Vira Mall closed shop she took over and her brother moved to Park Square. There’s another sibling. Virgie if I remember correctly. She’s not as nice as the brother but she’s cooler than the gorgon.

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CVS Reply:

i remember the brother was OK

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Hailey Gomez

HAHAHA! I can imagine your scene with Lowla! I know her since I bought my 1st iPod touch there 3 yrs. ago. Still no change si lowla.

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lover010178

Chuvaness, hindi nag-work ang charm mo. Dapat sinama mo si Jeroen. lol

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lover010178

Hay naku! What else is new with the customer service here? To think na nasa Shangri-La Plaza pa ang store na ‘yan, ha.

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Guest

I would sooooo love to meet this gorgon!!! BWA HA HA HA HA HA!!!

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shellaina

we’ve bought ipad from this store before, around 8 pcs. total. on our last purchase (2 pcs.), instead of giving discount (since we’ve already purchased 6 pcs. previously) she increased the price. good thing i’ve kept and brought the receipts of my previous  purchases from her. i showed it to her and asked her how come ang taas na naman ng price nya?! napahiya sha! mashadong masungit! to think, we always pay in cash. dahil hassle nga magbayad using credit card sa kanya. if you pay using CC, the (additional) 5k should be in cash! wtf right?! hay nako!

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Guest

Nice one, gorgon indeed. I thought it was just me she didn’t like. She’s toxic. Her minions are much nicer and her brother, a tad better than she.

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thunderpechay

I could clearly picture Lola Gorgonia in my head…. my hubby is a regular customer  of Ambassador. I think like nya ang hubby ko kasi madaling kausap and regular buyer nya but those few times i went to the shop with him…..may mood swings nga itong si Lowlah!! i actually had to check if i was really in Shang and not in 168!!! 

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icholle

i checked on gadget grocery. it’s more expensive than the ambassador’s. dakota sells for 35.9k there.

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CVS Reply:

i got it lower than that

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Anonymous

I can’t believe people would subject themselves to her rudeness just because they come out a little bit cheaper.  I’ve heard people call this store’s proprietors (that witch and the guy that used to run that and the former Greenhills branch) as “Ambassador K#pal”. btw, some major brands have stopped selling them their brands altogether, because they keep on mixing their products with cheaper smuggled goods.  Now they mostly sell “grey market” products with questionable warranties.

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Guest

BTW, I also hate that she assumes that people who want to pay via credit card want to pay via installment, that people with CCs can’t afford to pay for their purchases outright. Grrrrrrrr.

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Guest

please post a review of your new 9900 phone. i still love my bold9000 and i think its time to upgrade on this one. i saw in your posts that you used to have that phone too

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Guest

Just like the airport restrooms, the sales  personnel attitudes in some stores need to be re-done. I think we really need to step-up the customer service training for this type of people. Every time I go home over there it never fails that at least one store  sales clerk will give you attitude or is not helpful at all, unless they know you or you look rich. Sayang naman that we Filipino’s are known for our hospitality but suck at customer service. 

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Guest

I love my BB too! And Audee is very nice to work with!

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Guest

phunny dito sa japan pag nag grocerry ka kahit 2,00 yen lang nicharge mo sa CC mo kasi sayanag ang pont tatanungin ka pa kung 1 or 2 or 3 times mo babayaran ang ni charge mo 

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Christopher Sevilla Reply:

mali spelling ng grocery  hehe 

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Guest

mali spelling ng grocery  hehe 

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NYC

i completely agree with you! I have been buying from ambassador shang for the longest time me, my hubby (whos a techie), my nieces and all.  Cameras, laptops, tv, phones, etc.  But when the new iphone came out that was the last straw! I called she said the phone was already there, i went then she says no discount, then as always i pay with card straight not installment she says plus this plus that! Ay l—e! That’s it i never bought from her again, i recieved texts fr her saying this and that is available but never again! Like… Read more »

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Guest

Yey to online shopping!!

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Guest

There was never an instance where I found the service at Ambassador Appliances even remotely satisfactory. They’re often rude. I’m a regular at Shang and I go there almost every weekend for almost 20 years and I’ve never seen this store improve at all.

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Babygaga26

I’ve worked for a retailer for years.  Did you know that credit card companies charge as much as 5 to 6 % on credit card transactions.  So if an item was P10,000, around P500 to P600 goes to the credit card companies.  I know for a fact that the mark-up on electronic devices (eg. cellphones, Ipads) is usually small so the retailer is in a bind.  FYI lang. [Reply]CVS Reply:September 1st, 2011 at 11:50 AMso she should charge 5 or 6 % more which is less than 2,000 pesos—not 5,000 more. please do the math [Reply]myleen Reply:September 1st, 2011 at… Read more »

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Guest

i know exactly who you’re talking about! lol 🙂

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JCM

hey there.
i checked out grocery gadget, great service but steep?
got mine today too for 31k 🙂
i wish i read your rants in twitter, i wouldve recommended my friend who delivers as well!
dakota is the best by far 🙂

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CVS Reply:

i got a good price 🙂

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Glenn Ong Reply:

Where did you buy? I know kimstore is selling for 31.5k

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Guest

Where did you buy? I know kimstore is selling for 31.5k

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Guest

i seriously don’t like that old fat lady sitting by the counter. i was looking for an iPad2 (white) and they were the only store that has a stock of it.. so i asked the cash price of the iPad but i ran out of cash, then i asked the CC price and i was surprised that i have to add 6k (more or less) even though i will transact in straight payment… i hate that “gorgon”, but everyone in that shop is actually nice and friendly [Reply]CVS Reply:August 31st, 2011 at 9:20 PMi was avoiding the words “fat” and… Read more »

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omnesia

Sino ba tong gorgonia na to? Unfortunately, nakakasira sya sa premier image ng Shang

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Guest

Oppss.. I once passed by that store with hubby. We just looked around, but didn’t buy anything. I didn’t see the gorgon, tho. Now I wanna pass by again just to check. LOL.

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CVS Reply:

look for the glass cabinet behind K & Co. I think

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Mikozee

To be honest that person running the store is weird and by weird I mean mood swing inconsistent. Sometimes she is relatively civil though concise by entertaining me right away with no B.S. type of asking what I want (even volunteering to take my contact details if I need a quote on a rarely stocked item). But if I inquire about a popular item she does the same thing thing she does with you with the calculator as if I don’t know how to speak english or understand.  Girl, please. I probably speak better English than you to be treated… Read more »

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Guest

I bought my G11 from them and the CC markup was around the same. I didn’t want to fork over more than 10% of the price and pay via credit card, so I was forced to withdraw with my ATM. Since the price exceeded the 20,000 withdrawal limit, I had to withdraw from another account, it was a good thing my mom was with me so I borrowed from her. Even if it was only a short walk from the ATM to Ambassador and back (and it was Shang) I felt so unsafe carrying such a huge amount of money… Read more »

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Browneyedgirl

VERY cool! First time for me to hear of sellers who actually make house calls complete with credit card machine. Ambassador should read this post — as well as all other retailers out there with poor customer service. (SM isdatchu?)

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Guest

Akala ko “Dakota” was just your way of describing it’s, uh, size. Dakota pala talaga yung model name. :))

I think somebody complained to a broadsheet’s consumer advocate before on the retailers’ practice (in PH) of charging extra if you pay via credit card. I’m trying to find the article up to now. Pero unfair talaga.

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lover010178 Reply:

Dito lang kaya ang ganyang practice?

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lover010178

Dito lang kaya ang ganyang practice?

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