Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Service SUCKS in Costa Rica pt. 2 the Explanation

This is a follow-up from yesterday's post about the SERVICE in Costa Rica.

Obviously, based on the comments and private emails I received, I did a lousy job of explaining why I said what I said. I apologize for being a little 'general', but I stand by what I said about the over all service tourists receive while visiting Costa Rica. It does borderline on SucKs!

Let me explain.

The video is/was meant for tourists, not those who live here.

It doesn't really apply to backpackers or those people who travel off the beaten path.

BUT, it is for those folks who hit the more 'touristy' destinations in Costa Rica- Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio, Monteverde, La Fortuna, Puerto Viejo, Samara, Montezuma, Malpais and I suppose San Jose.

The fact is, these places are tourist towns for the most part that CHARGE tourist prices. You would really have to do your homework in order to find bargain prices in these touristy towns. Rooms can reach VEGAS prices, ditto for food. So, I'm not talking little mom and pop sodas or small B&B's, this video is for those people who mostly follow the guide books and/or TripAdvisor- the more popular tourist places where Tico's would rarely go... and for good reason.

It's simple- Tourist prices without the service to match the price. Do you want to pay $220 per night but wait an hour for an extra towel? Want to pay gringo prices for a steak but can't get a beer for 30 minutes... or get said beer from some guy who clearly would rather be doing something else... but it is what it is and what it is, IS an indifference of sorts. Shouldn't you expect decent service when you're paying 'back home' prices? And let's just say this issue of sucky service pertains to a VERY large percentage of tourist hotels and restaurants in Costa Rica. *Try this if you're ever in Costa Rica eating at a Tico owned restaurant- obviously don't lie, but if the steak sucks, complain appropriately and report back to me what happens...

So, it's rare when promptness, friendly service and quality of product come together to match the 'gringo' price being charged. Keeping the above in mind, here's the video in question.

In Summary- Don't expect to much in the way of service but if you get good service, COOL. Embrace the Pura Vida while you're here and seriously, do you really need to stay at a Ritz Carlton type of place in Costa Rica or eat a $50. steak? I think not. Downsize everything, including your gringo expectations.

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!


Anonymous said...

I have lived here for 8 months.... I love Costa Rica and can only laugh with kindness at the absence of understanding about good service anywhere... Banks. Restaurants you name it.... It's not intentional, it's just the way it works here, for everyone.... It's about patience and adjusting your head to slow and easy... Eventually your beer will arrive... And always with a warm sincere smile....


Going Like Sixty said...

Good advice. I don't know how you could have been clearer in your disclaimer: this is tourist advice.

Just to elaborate on one point: the DIY aspect. This is acceptable in Costa Rica. I've mixed my own drinks and fetched my own towel... and that's OK with the employees. I'll endorse your point: lower your expectations - a LOT - and you won't be disappointed.

plexus said...

I think it depends on where is a person is from and what their own culture is like in terms of service. "Good service" to an American is going to be different than "Good serivce" to say, a Canadian (me). Without getting into specifics I frankly think most Canadians would think well of the service in general in Costa Rica. I can understand why Americans may not. There is something for everyone so if you find that you do not like the service you get in CR then you should find another place to visit (or live) that is more suited to your expectations (rather than insisting that the place bend to your expectations, because it wont).

Anonymous said...

Costa Rica is on what is referred to as "tico time". Everything is slower than slow. Nobody is punctual. Try buying real estate. Their system will wear you down.You need alot of time and patience here to accomplish anything. And yes, The steak sucks so eat hamburger!

Anonymous said...

All service in Costa Rica sucks! Even trying to get Sky to hook up a satellite antenna (which is already installed on the house) and put in a decoder box is a challenge. I have called them three times and sent numerous emails. I have even had Tico friends call them to no avail. SKY COSTA RICA SUCKS!!!