Chair Force Engineer

Friday, May 19, 2006

Penance and Forgiveness

My regular readers will remember an unpleasant encounter I had at a Firestone service center back in January. Well, I just returned from a > 900 mile trip to Denver and back, and I was in dire need of another oil change.

I wasn't going to let Firestone off the hook so easily, even though the lady who did the customer satisfaction survey never got back to me. I called up Firestone's centralized call center, and they transferred me to the manager of the Central Avenue Firestone that was the scene of January's crime.

I explained my grievance in an objective way, without losing my temper. When the manager asked for my suggested remedy, I asked for coupons towards a future service. He suggested that I needed an oil change soon (judging by the time elapsed since January) and offered to do the job free of charge. I couldn't refuse the offer.

After work got out, I pressed on to the Firestone (doing my best to be punctual, as to not be a hypocrite) and got the oil change (with self-tapping plug installed.) I was in and out within 45 minutes. All-in-all, I was satisfied.

The moral of the story is that not every person who works for a major retailer is out to dick you over. The majority of the people want the customer to be satisfied and to come back. For customers, they can go quite far if they rattle the right cages, and if they can calmly talk about their feelings of dissatisfaction instead of making angry accusations.