Keeping customers in the loop

Some thoughts to vent a frustrating day:

You’ll have to forgive me for this rant.  I’ve pretty much have been eating granola bars all day.  My blood sugar is low, because I never had a lunch, thanks in part to lousy customer service.

My car hit the 90,000 mark last week, and I wanted to get my transmission serviced at the standard 90,000k mark (I noticed gears haven’t been shifting as smooth as they were).  I made the routine appointment, set for 8:30.  After bringing my car in I was told I’d have an ETA of 3 hours or so, no later than 1pm.  I got a ride to work and figured I could take a late lunch when my car is finished and I get a ride back to the Stealership.

Noon rolls around and no call, the 1pm ETA time rolls around and still no call.  I’m swamped with work so I keep working, waiting for that call.  By now it’s well into the afternoon and I pick up the phone to call them.  They don’t have a status on my car and the guy who’s handling my work-order was on a call and would need to call me back.  Another hour & 1/2 passes and still no call. I finally call them back very irate and angry.  I get transferred to the guy handling my work and he unapologetically says that their machine wasn’t working properly and they now just got it to work this afternoon.  It should be done about 5pm!

So work that was supposed to take about 3 hours ends up taking all day – I’m fine with that. I understand things come up, machines break down and estimates change.  However, when you never call me about it, don’t return my calls and then inform me that circumstances delayed their estimated time after-the-fact – all of that is unacceptable.  Might I have been called closer to the estimated time of completion I could have figured something else out for lunch, but to just keep me strung along like I have nothing better to do – that’s classless. I think this is the last time I’m going to the Spradley Barr Stealership for service.

While this was going on I wanted to vent my frustrations to Twitter, only to find that Twitter was down too.  If you manage to load the page, you find the following message (ala Techcrunch) “Something is technically wrong. Thanks for noticing – we’re going to fix it up and have things back to normal soon”.  A message like that is just insulting.  Many Twitter’ers, frustrated with all of the outages have talked about Boycotting Twitter – supposedly Wednesday is the day to not use Twitter. Many are skeptical for the notion of boycotting a free service – but I do understand where they’re coming from:

Regardless of whether the service is free, of if you’re charging parts & labor for your service – you have an obligation to inform your customers of your status and give them timely, relevant details to understand the issue and when you plan to have the service restored.  Many people might not care – they didn’t need the car until the end of the day anyway, or they may just reload Twitter sometime in the evening – but they shouldn’t have to go out of their way to understand when you’re going to deliver what you’ve promised.

Whether you’re Twitter or the Spradley Barr Service in Fort Collins: when things don’t go right be apologetic, and keep us updated. Is that too much to ask?