15 hours ago
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Working in service for several years has its advantages and its disadvantages. From cashier, cook, and shift supervisor at Krystal’s, to staff/tutor at college computer labs, and to application development consulting for 16 years, I have had my fair share of providing service to customers and clients. With this experience I can provide support in a manner that is profitable for business. This is an advantage, giving treatment like I want to be treated.
The disadvantage is I EXPECT the same treatment in return when I am the consumer. The level of service is so important that I would pay a higher expense knowing better service would be given.
An incident occurred a few weeks ago and it probably would not have bothered me so, but my mother was involved and my “lioness-cub” protective instinct kicked in.
Having a flat tire, my mother took her vehicle to our area S**rs Automotive Center before 3 PM one afternoon. Her paperwork promised the repairs to be done within an hour. She called me and I arrived at the location a little after 4 PM. Her car was in one of the stalls with the trunk open. Since it seemed repairs were started, we left to run some errands. Returning approximately 45 minutes later, her car was still in the same position with the trunk open. Leaving her in my car with AC running of course, I went into the counter service area to inquire the status of the work.
After standing in line for several minutes too long, the staff told me that they could not repair the tire and it had to be replaced. They had her home number as the contact so they could not call her. I returned to my mom and relayed the message, but then it occurred to me. My mom had been waiting over an hour in their waiting room, exceeding the promised completion time before we even left. This is where the “lioness-cub” attitude developed.
In an attempt to shorten this fiasco, I will try to simplify.
1. Knowing my mom purchased some tires from them about a year ago. I inquired if the damaged tire was under warranty. This guy claimed (almost argued) that they did not sell the two brands of tires she had on her car. I had to basically hand hold this guy through their own system to prove my mom had purchased 3 tires from them about a year ago, they just did not sell them now. (Unfortunately the non-replaced tire is the one that had the damage.)
2. I had gotten him to admit that even though the paperwork said that my mom was a WAITING customer, there was no attempt to inform her that they could not repair the tire. He knew long before I came to pick her up. He claimed that he was busy at the time and never checked to see if she was a waiting customer.
3. We decided to purchase a new tire. He completed the sales order. I then politely informed him that she deserved compensation for her inconvenience. This guy looked at me like I was from another planet. He claimed that he needed the manager’s approval for that action and the manager was not there. Since he made no action to call the manager, I requested the phone number and I called him myself. After informed the manager of the situation, he tried to weasel out claiming that the store was just busy and there were several customers before her. I bluntly explained that her car was already in a bay when we left.
So after three-hour episode, my mother was given a 10% discount and put on top priority status and given a 30-minute completion time. We left for dinner; they were working on her car before we drove away.
Now, why was that necessary? Why did I have to increase my blood pressure, get another patch of gray hair, and waste an entire afternoon over a tire.