Japan's customer service in department stores are wonderful, and sometimes I think it is a bit too much. You get treated like royalty when the doors first open and everyone bows to you. I honestly thought someone famous was along side of me, until I realized that they were bowing at me! (and everyone else around me.) No one working in U.S. department stores would ever imagine having to give this type of service.
When you go to a gas station here, they give you "full service", throw out your trash, clean your windows and even stop traffic and bow as you leave!
Customer service in other industries, like banking, can be a bit iffy.
In Hawaii, as well as the U.S., you can do your banking anytime of the day or week, on the computer or over the phone. We are definitely spoiled in the U.S.
This is not the case in Japan.
If you want to withdraw money from your bank's ATM, you have to do it between the designated times or be prepared to pay a "penalty fee" (isn't it my money? apparently not).
If you want to deposit money, you have to do it between designated times, or wait until the next working business day. (so now they don't want my money? apparently yes.)
You want to transfer money from one bank account to another, you have to pay a handling fee, even if the bank is the same but the branch is different.
How about if you want to do an automatic transfer over the phone? You have to do it during the designated times. (isn't everything computerized? apparently yes, but you still need to do it during the designated times.)
And if all this doesn't frustrate you to the point of keeping all your savings in your socks, the interest rate is something like 0.0001%! (so there was really no point of keeping your money in the bank in the first place)
All ranting aside, I wanted to share some exciting news, my friend, Michael Mischer's chocolates are now being sold on Hello Delicious! (look under the chocolate section) Now you can purchase his chocolates on-line. Congratulations Michael!---UPDATE: (9/11/08) just checked the Hello Delicious page and they are no longer in business, for chocolates by Michael Mischer you have to go directly to his shop (though I see a spot for online shopping in the works on his site).