Friday, May 08, 2009

I have been in retail for 30 years. And in that time, I have learned one thing: The customer is not always right. In fact, the customer is almost always wrong. As Scott Adams so eloquently wrote, "Customers are stupid." And, for the record, I include myself in the statement when I act as a customer.

Don't believe me? Read this description of a bed and breakfast here in Paradise:

BEDS & BATHS -King-size bed in Suite 1/bath has shower
Queen-size bed in Suite 2/bath has tub/shower
2 Queen-size beds in Suite 3 bedroom/bath has tub

A guest just complained that our website was not specific enough. She said she assumed that the third bath had a shower, when it doesn't. She suggested that we add "no shower" to the listing. She didn't mention if we should add "no tub" to the listing of the first bath, though. Oh, and she wanted a discount for the lack of a shower.

Still don't believe me? Note the name of this little guest house, 110 West Centre. You might surmise that the name is also the address, and you would be correct. We had one customer, with a map to the house with the name and address on it in his hand and STILL went to 110 East Centre. He wanted a discount, and a note added to the map that says "110 West Centre is not at 110 East Centre."

Still don't believe me? Last month we had a guest visit a bed and breakfast on a winery. He had visited the winery before, but not stayed in the B&B. We sent him a map with his confirmation. He left it at home because he knew where the winery was and didn't need no steenking map. The map also had the combination to the lock on the gate in case someone arrives after winery hours. Guess who showed up after winery hours! He wanted a discount because he left the map at home on his counter.

Still don't believe me? A few years ago, one guest sent a comment about her bed and breakfast stay. She wrote, "There was no breakfast and the muffins were stale."

Still don't believe me? The other day I had a guest call to make a reservation, and when I explained our cancellation policy, he exclaimed, "Holiday Inn doesn't charge that much!" I calmy asked if he would like Holiday Inn's number.

My job would be a lot easier if I didn't have to deal with customers.

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