Monday, January 09, 2006

Where I'm Coming From

I guess if I'm going to have a blog about customer service experiences, I ought to have some kind of disclaimer or something. My purpose is not to be a whiney bitch (well, not always . . . )

When I post about a particular company, I am specifically not stating that the company always treats its customers in a certain way. I am merely relaying my experience at a moment in time. I do think that certain operations have a tendency to worse performance than others, and if that happens to be my opinion, I'm going to mention it. It's also important that I state up front that I know that customers can be assholes. I've worked in retail a few times, and I've seen the bad behavior. I don't claim to be entitled to any special treatment when I'm a customer; but I do think I am entitled to be treated as an individual who is NOT exactly the same as person in front of me or behind me.

Two examples from my recent travels (or is that travails?) -- The Hertz incident: all that I really wanted to do when I first walked up to that counter was have the $50 voucher applied to my rental, then to get into the car that had been reserved for me and drive away. I didn't ask for an upgrade. But somewhere along the line, for some reason, the guy behind the counter wanted to give me one, and that is really where the problems began. As I work toward resolving this issue with Hertz, I will be asking for an upgrade - I want a Jag the next time I fly to Atlanta, and I don't want to pay more than $25/day. We'll see.

On the flip-side of the coin is the guy who was sitting in front of me on my flight into Atlanta. He had to be told during taxi to turn off his cellphone, he turned it back on during descent (!), and he also reclined his seat during descent, after having been told to return it to the "full upright position" by the attendants. I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt and say maybe he didn't know any better, but the evidence is against him. We were both seated in business class, so he either booked that from the get-go, or requested/purchased an upgrade. To me, that indicates experienced traveller. He wasn't the nasty, yelling, complaining kind of customer, but he surely exhibit his sense of entitlement by his actions. And those customers can be the worst.

So that's "where I'm coming from" -- I'm just a guy who wants get what I pay for, with little or no added stress.


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