Here's a negative recomendation - Chic Tailors, Hai Ba Trung St
My girlfriend ordered a top and a pair of casual linen trousers. The top came out fine, but even after 3 fittings of the trousers they were not quite right - sitting differently on one leg than the other - even I could see that, and I'm crap with clothes! The owner of the shop became abusive, shouting at us that we were only (!) paying 10 dollars for them, we should not expect them to be perfect. We remained calm at all times, explaining away the situation as best we could but he kept interrupting us. We could have picked any of hundreds of tailors in the town, but chose him because of a recomendation in the hotel beside, and because when we went in they seemed friendly and polite.
We paid them 10 dollars as a deposit, with 15 to come when it was finished. Mr Bu, the manager, claimed to be "tired of your trousers". So much for customer service. This was in complete contrast to the experience we had with 2 other, much less "upmarket" shops around the town, who were at all times friendly and helpful.
We walked out when he threw the trousers at us, leaving our deposit behind. When we told him that word of mouth was important to his business and that we would give negative recomendations, he told us he didn't care. So hopefully this negative publicity will hurt him more than the loss of just the $10 from us. Please don't use this tailor.
Ah it gets better...
We asked our hotel (right next door) to help us out, as they had recommended them in the first place, so they rang back and forth, with us offering to hand over $5 more for the top (it was $15) and forget about the trousers, they agreed, but when I went in one of the girls offered to come to the hotel and try the trousers one more time, whilst giving us the top without taking the $5 - i.e. if the trousers go OK, we pay over $15 more, else we get the top for the $10 we had already deposited. Needless to say the trousers didn't go well, so she left with the trousers, leaving us with the top, no money changing hands.
As soon as we walked out of the hotel though to go for dinner, Mr Bu drove down the road on his moped shouting at us "You bad people, better leave Hoi An, I call police, F*ck you, F*ck off ......" (so much for asians not wanting to lose face by shouting!). My girlfriend was worried all evening in case he'd be outside the hotel waiting for us when we got back, so not a really pleasant last day in Hoi An (we already had flights booked for tomorrow thankfully).
Isn't English the most expressive international language!!!!
P.S. I didn't even get a FU from the ratbat scooter hire dude in Chaweng.
I'm starting to feel short-changed.
Thanks for posting this. I was in Hoi An in Feb, my third time to the city. I like Hoi An, but did not order any clothes. I am an off the rack Large for shirts and don't need to have custom made clothes. Hopefully enough people will get the word out on Mr. Bu that he will have a decrease in business. I would tell your hotel that recommending Chic Tailors is not a wise decison. Thanks for sharing your story.
Gutted to hear about your bad experience, but it doesn't surprise me one little bit. After travelling in Asia, I have learnt never to ask for recommendations from local Asians, it never works! They will never recommend you a service because it is good, they will only recommend you someone they know so that they get comission or that person will recommend them back.
As for loosing face & not loosing your temper in Asia, I do not think that applies to Vietnamese, some of them seem to be highly strung & shout a lot. I had a cylo driver in Hanoi who went nuts at me, demanding $10 for a 5 minute journey (probably only worth 10,000 dong max), I ended up paying 50,000 just to get rid of him, but I felt pretty scared he was going to do something more then shout at us.
I spent a lot of time in Hoi An last year and worked with a few tailors, some bad, some very good. The one I liked most (and did the best job) was called "Chic-Unique" at 62 Phan Boi Chau St. They really went above and beyond the call for us and I was so pleased that I wrote them a recommendation poster.
Unfortunately the names are very similar but these guys (well women actually) are outstanding.. especially the head person Ut (I think that's the correct spelling).
sorry - forgot to add this. if you are having clothes made it's always good to order a test piece or two before making a full order. That way you can check the quality. And all the tailors in Hoi An seemed to have problems fitting busty women and you had to fight a bit to get them to alter it to your taste at many of the weaker quality tailors.
The tailor I used, (sorry can't remember the name) asked if I was happy with the final product & I sure they would have been willing to make any alterations if I needed them.
There are so many tailors in Hoi An, it must be hard to choose! I would have thought that the ones who tout need the business & may not be so good?
go use Tony hes pretty good and dosent put newspaper for lining in coats and such hes rite next store to that large hotel most tour busses drop you off at he gave me his email and is willing to send overseas