Just Say No

I read other customer service blogs and I am amazed at the lengths people will go to in order to get the smallest thing for free.

Years ago my daughter broke her back on a snowmobile and spent a couple of days in the hospital in Laramie.  On the day she was released, I checked into a Motel 6 and asked for a ground floor room that had in-front parking.  When I went to the room to drop our stuff off, I noticed that the beds were rumpled and, oh lordy, someone had a major intestinal episode all over the toilet.  On my way back to the hospital, I stopped at the office and asked if they could have the room cleaned within a few hours. 

Later that evening when we returned from the hospital, it was below zero and my daughter could barely move.  I got her on the bed and pulled the covers back to find some hairy man beast must have been there before.  Housekeeping had cleaned the toilet, but hadn’t changed the sheets when they made the bed.

I went back to the office and explained our problem.  I could have been a raving lunatic, but the person at the desk had nothing to do with housekeeping.  When housekeeping went into the room and saw our luggage, they probably figured it was a stay over, cleaned what they assumed to be my mess in the bathroom, and remade the bed.  Shit happens.

Since it was so late at night, the only rooms available were in the middle of the courtyard.  This was a huge inconvenience, but many things in life are.  Even though I was completely broke and could have used a free room, I didn’t feel that a mistake on housekeeping’s part entitled me to one.  I never asked and one was never offered.  In the end, I got what I paid for.

Daily, I encounter people who feel they should get free food for far less than what I went through.  My daughter works the front desk at a nice hotel in Laramie and there are people who think they should get a free room if they check in after midnight.  Her roommate works the front desk at a big name chain and people walk in looking for something to complain about, so they can get a free room.  Getting something for nothing has become a game to many people.

Nothing in this world is free.  Somebody pays for it sooner or later.  A person loses their job, a restaurant has to close, or dining out becomes a luxury few people can afford.  Hotel chains raise their rates and cut back on services to make ends meet.  Owners and managers are so afraid of losing a dollar that they cater to the most reprehensible people.  As these awful people are rewarded, they become more brazen in their pursuit of free stuff until they are convinced, by God, they deserve it.  Pity the poor minimum wage employee who gets in their way. 

People who expect freebies and harass the help until they get them are not good customers.  Who cares if they take their business elsewhere?  If more managers and owners told people looking for freebies to get bent, attitudes would change and maybe more businesses would operate in the black. 

The customer is NOT always right.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. whatigotsofar
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 04:17:55

    I used to work at a music store. A few times, customers would come in with CDs that were obviously listened to quite a bit and say “I got this CD for a gift. I know it was bought here. I want to get a cash refund for it.” The CD would be a bit marked up, the case was filthy and the CD insert booklet was creased.
    I showed some balls and told these people leave. “I’m not taking back your used stuff and I’m certainly not giving you a penny for it.”

    People are such jackasses. A billion years ago I worked at Kmart and we had to accept returns in any condition. I would watch the same women come in every Friday, select an outfit and bring it back on Saturday smelling of cigarette smoke and cheap perfume. All I could do was smile, give them their money back and throw the clothes in the damaged box.

    I blame Kmart for “The customer is always right” philosophy.

    Reply

  2. Bob
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 05:10:19

    People really look for free rooms in hotels? What kind of excuses can they come up with? I don’t understand the after midnight one.

    They come up with everything starting with, “My remote control isn’t working.” Who thinks they deserve a free $100+ per night room just because the batteries are dead in a remote? Jackasses, that’s who.

    Reply

  3. Vodka and Ground Beef
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 12:28:08

    You’d absolutely love me because I never ask for anything for free. I also never get anything for free, and I’m fine with that. In my opinion, getting stuff for free always comes with strings in some way or another.

    We have this guy, Creeper Jim, who comes to the restaurant with free rocks. I never accept any of his free rocks because he’s just trying to guilt someone into touching his weiner and it isn’t going to be me. There’s no such thing as a free rock.

    Reply

  4. DarcsFalcon
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 14:11:19

    Having been on the service end of customer service, I know full well there are times the customer is wrong. However, I still believe in “the customer is always right” philosophy. Perhaps the difference lies in what defines a customer. IMO, just because someone avails themselves of your services, if it’s with the intent to scam, then I don’t think of them as a customer. When a customer has a problem that needs to be addressed, and isn’t making stuff up to get something for free, then that customer deserves to have their problem addressed. Like your hotel room – the company could have comped your room or given you a nicer one for the same rate. There was a problem, and it was their job to address it. You were a legitimate customer.

    It’s like the difference between you and the girl there who won’t pre-bus the tables. She’s not a real server in the sense that she won’t do her part, she’s just scamming for a paycheck, while you bust your butt. That’s how I see the difference between a customer and a scammer. A customer expects fairness, a scammer expects to steal.

    Customer service is in a terrible state today and I think there are a few reasons for this. 1- people haven’t been taught common courtesy. 2- people think they are entitled to stuff they’re not entitled to. 3- people tolerate it more now.

    I’ve learned from reading other server’s blogs that corporate restaurants view anyone who walks through the door as a customer. If that customer has scammed them the last 10 times they’ve been there, the corporate line is still, “The customer is always right.” It is frustrating because as a server, you know they are NOT right. If the manager doesn’t care about making a profit, why should the server?

    I am fortunate that I don’t work for a corporate restaurant. Ages ago when I did, the employees flat didn’t care. Customers got so much free food that the employees would steal their own food, and let their friends & families eat for free. If some obnoxious person was going to get a free meal, why shouldn’t the employee’s family?

    Reply

  5. Becky
    Aug 28, 2010 @ 20:15:45

    I get the late check-in thing at hotels. I don’t ask for a free room, but I definitely ask for a discount. I was just driving the PCH and we got a reduced room in San Simeon because we checked in after 9 pm. It just makes sense because it’s late and it’s better to get the room full for sure, than to wait for someone to pay full price.

    I understand the reduced rate because after a certain time, it is better to just fill the room. At least once a week my daughter encounters someone who wants to check in after midnight and they want the room for free. The room still has to be cleaned the next day so someone has to pay for that.

    I had a friend that would constantly order pizzas, then complain about them to get free ones. This was of course after he ate the whole pizza. I always thought that was a bit mean…

    If the pizza place kept giving him free ones, then they are retarded.

    Reply

  6. izziedarling
    Aug 30, 2010 @ 12:07:29

    Say it, girl! Free schmee!

    Exactly.

    Reply

  7. wyngrrrl
    Sep 15, 2010 @ 17:37:42

    The only time I ever complained about something (pizza, it was bad, so bad I thought they would want to know- Didn’t expect anything I just wanted them to know) the delivery guy showed up at my door with a free pizza coupon. The second pizza was great, I called to tell them that too and I continue to order my Pizza from them. They are a little bit more expensive then a chain as they are a local place, but the customer service went far re their reaction. Just sayin…

    Thanks for stopping by!

    The difference between you and the people I complain about is you were genuinely concerned that the food was subpar. Once you recieved a free pizza, you did not continue to look for ways to get more free stuff. There’s nothing wrong with getting your money’s worth, but constantly asking for more and more things for free is wrong.

    Reply

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