Customer Experience Fails in Vietnam

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Customer Experience Fails in Vietnam

As someone who’s had an interest in marketing, human behavior, and crafting customer experiences for decades, it’s interesting to observe how things are done in different places.

Vietnam has some of the most delicious food and drinks around, and I genuinely love living here. From amazing local food to beautiful nature spots and warm people, this is truly a spectacular place to visit.

That said, a few things also frustrate me about living in Vietnam, so I want to share them with you if you decide to visit.

1. Inconsistency in quality

If you’re reading this from the US, UK, or Australia, you’ve probably experienced the difference in coffee quality when your regular barista is away, and someone else has filled in. You may also expect it to taste different if you get the same dish from two restaurants (even if they’re the same chain as KFC).

During my seven-month stay in Danang, I have consistently noticed this phenomenon taking place. You can’t always assume it’s a case of “pay more, get better quality,” either.

Travel tip: Try different places and get to know the ones you like! Just don’t expect the quality to be the same each time.

2. Not being upfront about extra costs

Recently, C and I had a strange experience with the apartment we’ve been staying at in Danang. Even after almost three months of staying at this place, the receptionist waited until the day before our check-out to tell us we owed money for laundry services.

Now the amount itself is less than one cup of soy mocha with honey in Sydney, so I can let that slide.

It’s just the principle of it, you know?

We’ve also had situations where we booked accommodation through sites like and were told we owed extra money on arrival at the hotel. And it’s not uncommon to see retail stores (like in the airports) where there’s no visible pricing for any of the products in-store. 

Travel tip: Always ask about extra costs upfront if you’re looking for accommodation and services. Keep your own log of transactions and payments to ensure you know what’s happening.

3. The not-so-free tea in Ho Chi Minh City

After a twenty-hour bus ride from Danang to Ho Chi Minh City and check in at our hotel, C and I were famished. So we hit the street in search of a late lunch.

We came across a local spot serving com tam (“broken rice” in Vietnamese) with a free glass of tea… or so we thought.

Despite being a common dish served with complimentary tea in Danang, this vendor asked us to pay for both items.

Travel tip: Ask for the price upfront before ordering, especially if they serve you a drink or anything extra you didn’t ask for. Don’t get fooled into thinking something is free because it’s served with a common dish (like a tall glass of tea!).

Now I will also say that I realize some cultural differences make these experiences slightly more complicated yet interesting. So I’m not expecting the locals here to change how they approach business. Rather it’s more about updating my own expectations and helping others do the same.

I hope my experiences have helped you better understand what to expect when traveling in Vietnam (and other South East Asian countries like Laos).

Vietnam is still wonderful, with plenty of things to do and see. However, you’ll need to have your wits about you in order to avoid any frustration. I hope these tips will help.

How does this relate to the customer experiences that you’re creating for your customers? Not only is it important to make sure that customers receive a great product or service, but also that they feel valued and respected – never taken advantage of.

Happy travels! 🙂


In the latest edition of My First $500/month Newsletter, I shared how I launched my business with a simple landing page and got my first clients in less than 7 days. Check it out.

Issue #4 of My First $500/month newsletter is out! This week we learn about @anferneec’s entrepreneurial story, and why starting with a landing page for your business idea is the best way to go

— My First $500/month (@MF5MO)
Mar 14, 2023


1/ Read: Claims That AI Productivity Will Save Us Are Neither New, nor True

This insightful article from Elizabeth Renieris should serve as a wake-up call for all of us, especially business leaders.

She writes:

“History has shown us that gains in efficiency or productivity as a result of new technologies rarely liberate those already overburdened in society. Instead, new tech often creates new expectations and norms, heightening standards and the amount of work required to attain them. Known as Parkinson’s law, it’s the idea that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

Elizabeth goes on to say,

“Simply put, the AI productivity narrative is a lie. It holds that by automating tasks, AI will make them more efficient and make us, in turn, more productive. This will free us for more meaningful tasks, or for leisurely pursuits such as yoga, painting or volunteerism, promoting human flourishing and well-being. But if history is any guide, this outcome is highly unlikely, save for a privileged elite. More likely, the rich will only get richer.”

Case in point:

Microsoft confirmed a $10 Billion Investment Into ChatGPT, while OpenAI has projected revenues of $200 million for 2023 and $1 billion by 2024 (from paying users).

Who do you think is actually benefitting the most from this tech? Food for thought, hmm…

2/ Watch: Alan Watts – The Present Moment (Boat analogy)

Just as the wake doesn’t move the ship, the past does not move the present.

— Alan Watts (@AlanWattsDaily)
Apr 14, 2020

3/ Read: Maybe You Need a Fractional Marketing Director — Not a Fractional CMO

First time I’ve heard the phrase “fractional marketing director.” This is an interesting take, and it addresses the 3 common downsides of fractional CMOs as per this diagram:


Yield is for Farmers

If you’re a farmer, more yield is always good…but not if you’re an investor.

In fact, some types of yield are awful but can be marketed otherwise. It’s confusing.

Rubin Miller CFA explains why the yield is a total waste of time to focus on when it comes to successful long-term investing.


I created a fake LinkedIn profile of a founder.
– AI-generated white male face
– Stripe alum
– Stanford dropout
– Going through YC
– “polymath”

Within 24 hours, I had a VC to reach out to invest.

— Roshan Patel (@roshanpateI)
Feb 27, 2023

Them: How do I grow my following?

Me: Say you’ll write about a thing, then write almost exclusively about that thing for 3+ months. Add valuable insights in others’ replies. Lift up others.

Them: Hmm… I don’t want to do that. Is there another way?

— Amanda Natividad (@amandanat)
Mar 15, 2023

It was always true, but it’s never been more obvious than right now how much your identity and your worth are NOT your job. Jobs come and go, titles are cheap, and your employer is not your family. Remember who you really are, and stop tying your value to a line on your resume.

— The Financial Diet (@TFDiet)
May 2, 2020


Whether you’re a business owner, freelancer, marketer, professional content writer, or copywriter there’s a lot of marketing work to do, and usually not enough time in the day.

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Anyone can use the software – no technical skills are required at all. It also works with any niche or industry; just choose the topics you’re interested in, and it’ll take care of everything else. And best of all? No more writer’s block!

Now I’ve been playing with ChatGPT, and I gotta say, I still find myself going back to Jasper to write high-quality articles. Jasper is designed to take a lot of the headache out of “prompt engineering.” If you know what that term is, you likely are comfortable with ChatGPT and see it as a useful tool. If you are not comfortable with that term, you likely need help getting the most out of AI, which is where Jasper excels.

Want to see the tool in action? Here’s a video that I recorded on Using Jasper AI to write a long-form blog post in less than 30 mins.

Ready to give it a whirl for yourself?


C & I landed in Sydney two days ago, and we’ll be here for a month catching up with family and friends. Yesterday, I enjoyed a nice moment sitting alone in the park, soaking up the sun and blue skies while sipping on my soy mocha with honey and listening to a great podcast. 

It’s the simple things in life that are often the best. 

Anfernee Chansamooth

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Forward it to someone else who might find it useful too.Consider supporting my work and becoming a paid subscriber.Reply and tell me what you liked about today’s newsletter, and/or ask a question that I can answer in a future newsletter (I’m always looking for ways to help my readers and topics to explore).

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