When Service Goes Bad Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue 477

A brief newsletter this week as I head out of town to celebrate my oldest granddaughter’s Bat Mitzvah.

This past Sunday, Laurel and I spent a couple of hours celebrating our grandson’s 2nd birthday at an area “little gym” that hosts these birthday gatherings every weekend for a hefty fee compared to the product offered.

Of the three employees overseeing this rather large group of youngsters, two were mostly disinterested in leading the activities and the other was at the front desk with her 4-year-old daughter who was sick with a cold and cough. After the “non” activities and kids running haywire all around, the young girl joined the party room and proceeded to open our grandson’s presents. On top of all that, one of the employees had a freak accident with the equipment and an ambulance was called to take her to the hospital. All of this occurred while the children were gathered nearby.

The afternoon ended with one employee shoving the bill in the mom’s face in front of the parents and the remaining employee trying to clean up the crime scene.

Had enough of this story? Well, so did I. Monday afternoon I called to speak to the manager about the awful experience and my request for a refund that I believe was absolutely due to the parents and grandparents who pitched in. What should have been a quick apology from management, became a 10-minute call full of excuses and the insisting that they ALWAYS get great reviews and rarely is there an injury more severe than a sprained ankle. She insisted that this never happens. I reiterated my concern for the injured young woman and explained my reason for the refund request was incredibly poor service and sub-par activities directed by a disinterested team. Still defensive, she finally agreed to refund the money without an apology or understanding of how this affected everyone and especially the kids.

It never ceases to amaze me how some businesses manage with such poor customer service. Where competition for business is so great, we have to stand out in the crowd, and especially by how we deal with unhappy clients. You know the saying, “tell one person something good about a business experience and they tell two people. Tell one person something negative about it and they tell everyone they know.”

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