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"Stupid John", The Customer Service Nightmare Maker

You Can't Make This Stuff Up.
So there I was knee deep in mud, trying to get my SAAB away from the tree
that it decided to visit into when I thought I better call a tow truck
operator. Alex’s Towing was recommended by a bunch of people here in
Elmsford, NY so I called the place and they sent someone out to separate
the two love birds.
The next day when I called the company and said I would like them to take
my SAAB to SAAB hospital in Manhattan and all I had was $150 in insurance
towing, the employee, John, but I prefer "Stupid John", answered with, “No
I can’t do it for that, no way.
“OK”, I said, “I would like to keep the business local, can we make a
deal”. Gruffly, he said, “No deal. That’s the price. Take it or leave it”.
I think I will leave it I thought. “OK”, I said, “I will come and pay you
the $80 this morning and make arrangements to have the car towed by
another company”.
“Hey” he said, “who told you $80, that ain’t the price”.  “Your employee
who towed it”, I said. “He can’t tell you nuthin'. He’s an idiot and he’s
not all there in the head.”
Nice, I thought. Who wouldn’t want to work for you? Heck, I’ll bet you
have a lineup of people just waiting to work for you, JERK!
After making arrangements with my insurance company to have the SAAB towed
by another operator I called John and told him I would meet him and pay
him.
“OK, c’mon over” as he slammed the phone down. Of course I go to the tow
yard and there is no John.  I call him and tell him I am at the yard and
he says, “Well I am at the office”.  “Why didn’t you tell me that before?”
I say.  “Whatever, you comin’ or not?”  “Oh I’ll be there”,          I
said.
Of course when I get to the office he is on the phone, not even
acknowledging me and ignoring me for about 5 minutes. When he finally gets
off he says, “You here to pay for the SAAB”?
No I came to discuss Proust with you, I thought.
“Yes” I say. “OK, says he, “$85 bucks ($5 more than his “idiot” quoted)
and that’s cash only".
What no credit card or even check?  “Thanks for making it easy to do
business with you”, I say.  His sneer, coupled with his tattoos made me
feel that this was just a bad guy having a bad day and maybe I should just
walk away.
Nah! Not my style.
So I said I would meet him at the yard when my tow truck showed up in 15
minutes. 15 minutes later when my tow truck arrived, there was no Stupid
John.
Again I called him and he said he would be there in 10 minutes. 20 minutes
later he showed up, jumped out of his car and went for his flat bed which
he cranked up and conveniently parked in the entrance of the yard to make
it difficult for my tow truck driver to get in.
When I finally got my car safely on the flat bed and out of the yard, I
walked up to him, got real close to him and said, “I want to thank you for
a wonderful customer experience and in fact I am going to tell as many
people as I can about how wonderful this was”.
In typical stupid John fashion, he shrugged, put on his sunglasses and
drove away.
I will send this letter to the owner. Everyone says he is a decent guy,
been around for 20 years and treats everyone fairly.  But he should know
what a disservice this employee is doing to his business and much he is
undermining 20 years of good will.
What would you do if you got a letter like this from me about one of your
employees?  Would you respond? Would you refund my money or would you just
ask John his side of the story, believe him and do nothing?
Seriously, what would you do?
I will keep you posted if I get a response :)
p.s.  Received two nice comments from Ken Paton on my blog about social
marketing and from C.J. Fox about me "telling it like it is" on birthday
parties.  if you missed those just go back a few days and pick it up. They
are pretty quick reads.
Good Luck and Good Hunting.

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