Demand Quality Service and Save Money
Published 8/28/07 (Modified 3/8/11)
I have been exercising a money saving habit that has netted me many freebies over the years and has also enabled me to acquire goods and services at reduced prices and rates. We should all be aware of this simple but oftentimes forgotten phrase: "the customer is always right". Such a simple phrase, but what does it mean? It means that as the customer, you are almost always entitled to the benefit of the doubt and that it is the duty of the service provider to meet your needs, to the best of the provider's ability.
What this also means is that as the customer, we must always demand satisfaction and nothing less. I am not advocating mistreatment or the making of gratuitous demands, but I believe consumers should always receive in full the benefit of the bargain that they paid for, which would include good service, clean facilities, and timeliness. If you are not satisfied with the product or experience, always bring this to the attention of managers, supervisors, or owners. The upper management types have a greater a vested interest in responding to their customer's satisfaction needs, and are almost always more willing to please.
My Starbucks Experience
Case in point. I visited a Starbucks in Washington D.C. close to where I was working not too long ago and was horrified to see several fruit flies hovering inside the pastry display case. This disgusting sight continued for several days and I finally brought it to the attention of store management. I also emailed Starbucks.com numerous times to complain about the problem. After several email complaints the display case was finally cleaned up. Later, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an apologetic letter from Starbucks headquarters in the mail along with several vouchers for free Starbucks drinks.
Companies want to keep their customers happy and complaints made directly to their corporate headquarters will often result in them addressing their problem more rapidly. Oftentimes the corporate office will send you free coupons or vouchers as a sign of apology to retain you as a future customer. I've also received discounts on hotel stays due to complaints about excessive construction noise in the past. Take full advantage as no complaint goes unrewarded! Just remember to be polite but very firm.