What Matters Most: Being Outstanding EVERY Time

Join our QBQ! Facebook Group here!

Our story of not outstanding customer service is from QBQ! book reader, Christina. Enjoy!

My husband, a car mechanic, and I flew from Florida to Louisiana to pick up a truck he bought online. It was in worse shape than he was told, so as we were driving home, it died at a gas station and wouldn’t restart.

I searched for rental car companies and called one — a completely reputable, well-known, world-famous brand — only 0.8 miles away. 

After listening to a long recording, a guy answered at 5:32 pm. As we ticked closer to their 6 pm closing time, he asked for a bunch of information. Finally … 

Me: “Any chance you can pick us up, please? We’re less than a mile away.”   

The Guy: “Sorry, ma’am — we cannot pick you up.”   

Me: “Okay, well, what if we are a few minutes late, will you wait for us?”  

The Guy: “We close at 6.” 

Me: “You can’t come to get us? It’s freezing, dark, and we’re just down the road.” 

The Guy: “No.”

Huh, I thought.

Well, since I’m a better runner than my husband, in cold temps and strong winds, I began … jogging.

Along a highway, over a bridge, under an overpass, on slanted concrete shoulders, and across five lanes of traffic — being careful not to get hit by rush-hour traffic! 

Breathless, I arrived just before 6 o’clock. What do I see through the window? Four desk people staring at their cellphones. I stand outside at the “WAIT HERE FOR SERVICE” sign but no one looks up. So I break COVID protocol by opening the door, only to hear, “You cannot come in! Someone will be with you.” 

Keith came out. I asked why they couldn’t come get us.

“It’s our policy to not pick people up after 5:30. So it wouldn’t be fair to other customers if we’d come to get you.”

Um … okay.

When we got to the topic of renting, Keith said they only had a compact available. Yet I’d ordered a full-size sedan by phone minutes earlier. 

“Someone else must have just rented it,” he stated. 

Not very likely.

“It is $5/day cheaper, though.” 

So my $461 one-way rental due to your exorbitant drop-off fee will now be $451 for a car I don’t want? Yay!

“Unless you want an SUV for $26 a day more.” 

“I’ll pass.”

But then the keys for my compact were missing so I ended up with an SUV anyway at the compact price — but not the sedan I’d been promised. 

Good news, though! We’ll be heading home tonight instead of walking to a motel.

The next morning Keith did call to check on us. That was nice. I chose to tell him I’d received extremely poor service by being forced to run in the cold. He said, “It’s our policy to not pick people up after 5 pm.”

Wait, is it 5:30 as I was told, or 5:00 when they cut off their pick-ups? 

I wasn’t happy.

However, Lauren phoned an hour later to ask what she could do to help. I told her nothing since no one can undo the night before.

She then said, “I’m sorry you had to walk.”

I responded, “Thanks, but I didn’t have time to walk. I had to run.”

She then said they are supposed to pick people up till closing time at … 6pm.

What. The. Heck?

When Lauren offered to knock $90 off our bill, I accepted — and refrained from saying, “Please do better next time.”

—————————

So, do you believe this “world-famous” rental car company made lots of errors — or were the customer’s expectations too high? Our conclusion is this: If the goal is to be outstanding, this organization did not get there on that day. And that’s what matters most to Christina.

Comments welcome!

Join our QBQ! Facebook Group here!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *