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Another Casualty of Poor Service

August 25, 2007


in response to your posting ”

Another Casualty of Poor Service –

In a previous life I headed up National marketing for Budget Canada.

On behalf of my alma mater I am very sorry about your friend’s mishap – the customer service failing is usually attributed to the fact that most/many of Budget’s locations are franchise owned. So events that transpire ‘locally’ don’t always get passed up to the national customer service department which has all of the tools to open cases and track them through to resolution.
Local franchisees will want to deal with it locally because they feel they are equipped to do so and/or not want to flag any issues to ‘head office’.

Your friend should take it up the food chain if they are not satisfied.

In Canada, customer service did not report to marketing – but they had full authority to track down the problem – gather all the facts and then resolve the complaint to the customer’s satisfaction. The vast majority of franchisees in Canada understood the importance customer satisfaction was to the entire system – and I frequently reminded them to think of themselves as a chain and not a single location.

That being said, I also made it a point to stay abreast of issues and trends  in customer complaints – and bird-dogged any letters that landed on my desk.

 I hope this gives you a more complete understanding of the internal mechanics.

Questions – Who did your friend contact at Budget? In USA? In Costa Rica?

With regards to your question as to how far a company must go to make restitutions? This is a much bigger issue but also one where a line needs to be drawn. What would have happened if she was killed, or she ran someone down or other calamity – where does the responsibility lie and where does it end?

In your friend’s words – it was a case of bad luck. It doesn’t change the fact that the complaint could have been handled better. But there needs to be some line of demarcation that all companies draw on how much cost they are prepared to absorb in servicing customers.  Don’t blame the messenger – blame the fianacials of a ROC.

My $0.02


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