If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to China, you will definitely notice some cultural differences. Depending on your own cultural background, some of these differences might be slight, while others might seem extreme. And, most importantly, not all differences are inherently obvious.
If you choose to schedule some outcall services (services where the provider meets with you at a location of your choosing, away from their office or home), you should be aware of some of the most common courtesies and expectations.
First, you need to be respectful. Nothing will end a meeting quicker than being disrespectful to the service provider. This is especially true if your service provider is a lady. Even if don’t feel a positive connection, it is best to simply part on the most positive terms possible. (Note: If you do choose to cancel the service and the provider has already arrived, it is expected for you to pay for the taxi/travel fare – this is usually between 100 and 300 rmb, depending on the distance to your location. Never cheat someone on their taxi/travel fare – this is a sure way to get you blacklisted and have your information shared among everyone as a bad client.)
Secondly, you should never assume the service provider is required to perform certain acts or take on a certain role. In most cases, the services you require should be clearly discussed prior to scheduling. Even if everything is agreed ahead of time, when the provider meets with you in person, they may feel uncomfortable with you personally – in this case, discuss the issue with them and come to an agreement. If things are not agreed, then respectfully give them their taxi fare and send them on their way.
Thirdly, make sure you agree upon services rates in advance. This should be one of the first things you agree upon. This should also be settled immediately when the provider arrives. Cash is always the preferred method of payment – local currency is best; however, some providers might accept something else as long as the exchange rate is acceptable. If you are offered the opportunity to pay using another method, you must remain honest – in other words, if you pay with a credit card or online payment system, do not accept services, then cancel the payment once the provider has been dismissed. Not only is this dishonest, it is a crime. You will be reported to local authorities – and, in most cases, you will be reported to the authorities from your home country. (Note: if you are permitted to pay using a method other than cash, you must provide a written statement detailing your name, passport number, phone number, along with a note promising you will not reverse the charges or cancel the transaction once the services are provided. You will also be required to provide a photo of yourself that can clearly identify you as the credit card holder, or owner of the online payment account.) Along the same lines, even if you are not satisfied with the services, never take back the cash from the provider with force – and, never physically harm the provider – these are serious offenses and will result in local law enforcement becoming involved, and reports will be filed with your consulate/embassy, and agencies from your home country. Most service providers work with agencies for their protection – even independent providers have relationships with authorities with access to law enforcement and other legal resources – it is best to just be honest and respectful.
If you have a legitimate complaint, or grievance, you still need to pay for the services. If you used an agency, contact them immediately and express your complaint – in most cases the agency will offer you a refund and the matter will be closed. If you attempt to handle the matter on your own, you will most likely find yourself involved with law enforcement or security personnel.
Now that you know the basics, there are still some other things to consider. First, it is very important to ensure the scheduled provider knows your exact location – hotel, room number, building number, etc. The best way to accomplish this is to take a picture of the hotel’s business card, or the telephone unit in your suite – both options offer the correct location in the local language, so the provider can find you efficiently. It is also useful to provide the hotel’s phone number when scheduling – this can be easily used to find the correct hotel – just telling them the name of the hotel will not work; in most cities there are many hotels with the same name.
Assuming you have provided the correct address/location, you should be patient while awaiting their arrival. Often times, especially in large cities, traffic or congestion will cause delayed arrivals. Stay in touch so the provider can keep you posted on their estimated arrival time – or at least offer their best estimate. If you become impatient, do not cancel while the provider is on the way to meet you – this is not only disrespectful, it will result in a lot of other frustrations – most likely it will cause the provider to lose money for both travel and the cancelled appointment (this will also guarantee your name being added to the blacklist, which will create problems for you down the road.)
This article was created as a basic resource for you. It is not all encompassing. Every circumstance is unique. The most important things to remember are: be respectful, courteous, and honest. By following these simple guidelines, you will undoubtedly have a very pleasant and memorable experience.