The Customer Is Always Right

The screaming. The righteous indignation. The bulging veins on the neck. Over the years I have watched as family and friends have fought tooth and nail for customer service to right a wrong. I get it. If you buy an item, attend a show, or eat a meal at a fancy restaurant that is sub par, you want a refund or be compensated. But, screaming until you are hoarse is not a productive use of your time.

This time last weekend I had a good customer service experience. I was at a conference, working as a volunteer. I had assignments to complete. I was obligated to do certain tasks. I shipped a package to the hotel that I needed to do my job. The package never arrived. Never. I checked at the front desk all three days. I even walked down to the loading dock. No sign of it. On the final day well after my volunteer duties were done the hotel staff found my package. The envelope was clearly labeled, but the package was stashed in a room that I only looked in once. Now, what was I going to do?

I did what I needed to do. I complained to the manager. She was sympathetic, but didn’t offer any compensation. I didn’t expect her to. I pressed she offered one night free. Nope. One night free wouldn’t do. I was unable to do my job the entire conference. I countered with a free stay. She was not agreeable. Why wouldn’t she be? But, I pressed on. She finally agreed to comp my share of the room I was sharing with two other attendees.

This weekend we’re in an other hotel. Not a business trip for me or my husband, but a day or two away over the holiday weekend. We opened the door to our room last night. Noticed the lack of a sleep sofa. Immediately called down for a rollaway cot to be delivered. The front desk staff told us there were no cots left. Understandable as it is a holiday weekend, but we needed a place for our 8-year-old to sleep. I twas pushing 10 p.m. I pushed for a room change. A room with a sleep sofa was found. I requested that the bellman come up to our room with a luggage cart. 30 minutes later our son was asleep.

At one point in the evening our girls suggested that our son sleep in one of the double beds. I talked to them about not settling. Standing your ground. Pushing forward for what is right. It’s OK to settle at times. I have certainly had meals in restaurants that have been so-so. I rarely complain or return the food to the waiter. But, if I have a bad meal, I probably won’t return to the restaurant.

What do you do when customer service fails?

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