Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Customer Service

All we have to offer people, that is different from our competitors, is our service. I’ll explain my side of the story about the lady that I picked up at 458 NE Winter, on Saturday, but first, I want to offer to apologize to the customer and return the $6.00 that she paid for the ride out of my own pocket.

When I picked my fare up on Saturday night, after I wrote down her destination at 983 SE Liberty, I asked her if she had a preferred way. She responded by telling me that she lived off the corner of Owens, on Liberty and I should start heading South down Winter. I then added and right on Court, left on High to Ferry and Commercial? She seemed irritated that I explained too much, and said something like yeah fine, let’s go.

To lighten the atmosphere I asked her if she saw any good movies lately, and she told me about a vampire movie that she saw that she didn’t think that she’d like, but did. Then she started to excitedly tell me about it. When I turned on Court, I thought, why should I take High to Ferry and then Commercial, since I could turn left on Commercial, which I did. When we passed State street, my passenger suddenly stopped telling me about the vampire movie and said. “Why are you taking Commercial instead of High? This is going to cost me more, we went three blocks out of the way.” She grew very irritated, and I was going to tell her that Owens didn’t go through to High, and we would have to go just as far out of the way to get to the first street south of it, but I felt that if I tried to defend my actions, it could be construed as arguing, so I kept silent. The way that she was acting made me think that she was trying to get a free ride.

When we approached Owens, my passenger said “this is going to cost me more that it does to go to my brothers on Fairgrounds road. At this point the meter was $6.50 so I decided to give her a discount and only charge her $6.00. She had me pull over on Owens just short of Liberty and continued to complain about the extra cost, as the meter turned $6.60. When she stopped talking I said “well mam, I don’t care about the extra money, just give me $6.00. She replied that she was going to call the cab company and complain. Suddenly I realized that she probably thought that I meant that I didn’t care if she had to pay extra or not, and may not have even realized that I gave her a discount and was referring to that. Rather than putting my foot in my mouth any more, I said “Goodnight mam, and drove off.”

I thought of telling the dispatcher what happened, but decided to wait and see. I apologize for not diffusing the problem like I usually do. I should have asked her what she thought the fare should be and only charging her that amount, which is what I usually do, in a case like this, but I am willing to do whatever is required to make this right.

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