The QiRanger Adventures


with 4 comments

Service Items

Ah, service!

I’m not talking about the kind you receive from an employee (verb), but what we often receive here in Korea (noun). For many living in the west, the notion of service is known as comps (complementary gifts). It is a staple in the Korean market place. More often than not, when you dine out, you’ll receive a healthy portion of side dishes, this is not only done to complement the meal, but done as service. When visiting a new business, you’ll receive a gift for just walking in the door.

It’s very common to be at a bar or restaurant and to have the owners provide some serious free sides or an entrée without charge if your party is large. During the wedding party that Jo and I had at a local Wa Bar, we each received a free double shot of scotch and got some good food to nosh on for our table. Last week, we returned for a farewell party, and the same was bestowed on the guest of honor.

The practice isn’t exclusive to restaurants, but most businesses carry on the practice. On a recent visit to order additional contacts, I received a new case (above, left). It was the funkiest (and cutest) thing I’ve ever seen. In addition to having the left and right contact holders, there was a tweezers and a small mirror inside. AWESOME! Then I needed some more solution, so I went to Lotte Mart and picked some up. Rather than purchasing one bottle, I picked up one with a few service items: a travel bottle and two aloe facial masks.

During the holidays, you really see some special sets. In fact, at certain times of the month, you can walk into a convenience store pick up a samgak kimbap and free beverage! How awesome is that???

What’s the best free little token of appreciation you’ve received (in Korea or elsewhere)?

An inside look...


Written by Steve Miller

April 7, 2010 at 8:15 am

4 Responses

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  1. Awww it is the cutest box for contact lenses lol

    I don’t exactly recall many services I received in Quebec. It is not as common, hehe. You will get gifts if you purchase more than XX dollars in some places and usually for limited time, but that’s mostly what I can think of.

    I did receive few things when I used to be a cosmetician. I received several formations about some products and they would give us free products. That was awesome.

    Other than that, I can think of Congress I’ve attended. They give us a bag, a pen and some random gift.


    April 7, 2010 at 8:22 am

    • It’s really one of the small things I really enjoy about Korea. The things we get here are so nice sometimes! Hopefully more businesses in the west will pick up this practice, as it really helps make the customer feel welcome!


      April 7, 2010 at 9:10 am

  2. How CUTE!!!! My kid would love that! The new glasses we got for her came with a bunch of stuff (abeit the glasses were quite expensive….)…she got the glass case…a small handkerchief and a small bag (to hold knick-knacks..?) with the glasses. The follow-up services (if the glasses get bent etc…) are free.


    April 7, 2010 at 9:13 am

    • That sounds like what we get here. Although the exam is free as well! On thing that I don’t like is that some of the frames are bloody expensive. I recently got a new pair of glasses (for sunglasses). I paid to have transitions lenses put in and then gut got a cheap W12000 frame.


      April 7, 2010 at 9:17 am

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