"Japan: Always put the customer before yourself. You don’t have to go so far as to say everything looks good on them, but you should avoid offending them at all costs.
The West: “The customer is god? Yeah, right!” While there’s still the idea of respecting the customer (they do carry the wallet, after all), they are usually treated as equals. It doesn’t matter if its your job to serve them: if a customer does something you don’t like, you let them know it. I once pointed out to a store clerk in England that they made a mistake at the register and they just shot back at me with: “All I did was put it through the scanner.” I go to the service counter to look for help but no one is there. No one comes to help me when I can’t find something in the store. And it’s even worse in Italy and Romania, where staff and customers will yell at each other in loud voices — a scene that would leave any Japanese person stunned."
Source: Customer service in Japan vs Europe
By Steven Simonitch
AUG. 09, 2012
Reiko Kawakami over at Excite Japan shares her observations about shopping and customer service in the West vs Japan based on her experience living abroad in England, Italy and Romania.