Friday, June 18, 2010
There's not always good customer service and quality workmanship locally!

Butch Meriwether
Butch's Brew

It is extremely perplexing when attempting to figure out where some impudent employees and owners of certain businesses went to school.

Could it be that they didn't pay attention to the teachers, decided to enjoy a nap or two during the classroom instructions or do they just don't care about customer service and quality control of their workmanship?

It also appears as if certain individuals suffer from the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde syndrome. What I mean is if you enter their business establishment, contract to have a service completed and you don't question them about quality control or how something turned out, it is "pure smooth sailing" for your business dealings with them. However, if you question anything at all about their quality of workmanship, their attitudes change and you might think you are now dealing with their evil twin who is nothing like the person you dealt with when you first entered their business. Their two opposite attitude displays are like night and day.

There might be numerous justifications for the way certain individuals deal with customers and for their lack of integrity, but either way, it would behoove them to head back to school to learn how to deal with customers and people in general.

I'm not just speaking of just one business, but I'll have to admit that a particular incident did cause me to sit down and bang out this blog.

I believe that if everyone stops and thinks about their various shopping adventures and experiences, they too can "chime in" and provide more examples of having to deal with uneducated, non-knowledgeable and uncaring individuals in the local work force that would rather stuff your hard-earned money into their pockets and they really don't give a damn about quality control and customer service. I'll even bet "dollar to donut" that others have probably even been the recipient of either poor customer service or substandard quality workmanship from the same business I did.

I have only dealt with the particular business owner and his employees on a professional basis and haven't gone out partying with them, gone fishing with them or even participated in sporting endeavors with them. Maybe the particular business owner treats certain customers differently. Could it be that parents of sons and daughters who grew up with the home-grown local guy receive better customer service than just some unknown person who happens to venture through the door of his business? This could possibly be an undisputed fact.

No, I'm not going to actually mention the name of the particular business that inspired this blog because I don't want anyone whining to mutual friends and acquaintances about me talking about his establishment even though my experiences with him is a fact, not fiction. However, if you read between the lines, you'll have a pretty good idea what business I'm speaking of.

Just because the particular business owner believes he is "the only game in town," he should think twice. He might be the only individually locally owned and operated business for a nationally operated automotive impact resistant material application process; but there are other same-quality brands available in our geographic area. As a matter of fact, there is a same type of business in Prescott that represents the same nationally operated automotive impact resistant material application process company and yes, other brands of the same type of product are available even closer.

When I received the tongue lashing from the two employees and the owner for questioning the quality or lack of quality of the service I received, I decided to contact the headquarters for the nationally operated automotive impact resistant material application process and lodge my complaint. After a couple of calls, I was informed the president of the company was fully aware of the situation. Furthermore, I was told by one of the higher-ups in the company that, "Yes, you (referring to me) were ripped off," that the local franchise owner is hurting the company's reputation and good name, but they could not do anything because the local outlet for their product line is individually owned and operated. Boy, that's standing behind their product and reputation!

What is most interesting is I subsequently received a letter from the customer service for the national headquarters for the company and it indicated they had contacted the franchisee and he had said he would do another application layer for an additional $100.

Darn, since I already paid more than the going rate (I checked with various businesses to see their rates) for having the product applied to my vehicle, why should I believe that the application would be done properly and to industry standards this time just because I was forking over an additional $100 to the franchise owner? Nope, I am not going to put more good money into the pocket of the individual who should have ensured the service was originally done properly. Besides that, I was never informed or provided warranty information by the local outlet. I subsequently learned that since the product wasn't applied to a bed of a pickup, there was no warranty. This is another prime example of taking the customer's money and not standing behind their product line.

Ok, let's switch gears and talk about other subjects dealing with customer service or the lack of it at other local businesses. I'm amazed that when you stop and ask an employee of a business where you can find a particular item and although the employee doesn't know which aisle the item is on, he or she will always direct you to the other end of the store. Not that the item you want is located there, they just believe that they will not have to take time out of their work day to deal with you if they send you to the opposite side of the store.

Will I keep quiet about my experience with a particular business? You can put your money on my experience as if you were betting on the ponies at the track; I will tell every person with a sympathetic ear about my experience. If someone tells me they are going to have a particular service done or have some material applied to their vehicle, I will definitely explain about my horrible experience with the local business.

The best advertisement for a business and its owner is word of mouth, and it can be the same business's downfall; maybe not immediately, but sooner or later. People talk with their friends and if they receive poor quality workmanship or are a recipient of bad-mouthed customer service, that person will tell at least one more person about their friend's experience. Then it will start to snowball. Their friends tell other friends, and sooner or later, just about everyone is aware of the poor service their friend had received. Guess what, sooner or later, the business owner starts wondering why no one is patronizing his establishment.

When I was brought up, my parents always instilled in me that I should stand behind my workmanship no matter what project, business or endeavor I was engaged in. So that is why as an adult, I always stood behind my products and services, and made an honest effort to make the customer happy and satisfied. I know that was the good old days and times have changed.

Yes, there is a campaign afoot to encourage people to shop locally, but when someone experiences unnecessarily impudent individuals when attempting to buy merchandise or purchase services, I can now understand why people go outside of the local area to spend their hard-earned money

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