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Companies Need to Look Beyond The Immediate Solution to Solve Customer Service Problems

Companies whose screwups cost their clients additional money should be responsible for those losses as well. Let me tell you why.

San Francisco Taxi Cab Number 347
Image by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

I was recently on a business trip in Boston, but my flight left from the Manchester Airport (I take Southwest Airlines whenever possible, and they fly out of Manchester). I caught a cab three hours before my flight, having been told that I should allow two hours for the drive to the airport.

The driver plugs the Manchester Airport into his GPS, and takes off. He drives around for about twenty minutes before deciding that he’s going the wrong direction and turns around. After a good while, and still following the GPS, he exits the highway on a side street.

At this point I’ve been in the cab for about an hour, with two hours to catch my flight. The next thing I know, I’m getting a scenic tour of suburbia, and then suddenly we’re driving around an alley. Time is ticking away and we are nowhere near the airport. The driver says he’s just following the GPS; but I distinctly remembered the trip being all highway on the way there.

After spending two hours in the cab (an hour to catch my flight), the driver has refused to pull over and ask directions. After yelling at him, we stop at a gas station and he discovers that we are ninety minutes from it, in the other direction.

My flight is leaving in thirty minutes and I’m ninety minutes from the airport with a cabby who couldn’t navigate down a tunnel.

I called my husband who does some quick flight checking, and since I was in suburbia, I can’t find another available cab, so I was stuck with this one. My husband booked me me an alternate flight on Continental Airlines and somehow the cab managed to get me to Boston Logan airport about forty-five minutes away.

Once I got home I called the cab company and explained that their ridiculously lost cab driver escorted me around town for four hours after getting lost, causing me to miss my flight.

I said this was their fault and that I thought they had a responsibility to compensate me for my troubles and expenses. The company’s representative asked me if the cab driver charged me. I said he hadn’t, so they said that was their compensation to me

The flight that I missed was $130, the alternative one I took home was an additional $750 and all I get is an, “I’m sorry ma’am – not our responsibility.” The problem is it is their responsibility, and believe their driver’s ineptitude cost me $880 — something they need to be willing to fix, rather than pawn it off as “not our responsibility.”

I can tell you that this is the last time I will use this cab company, and recommend that if you’re ever in the Boston area, you avoid the _________ Cab Company as well.

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