The Book Tour – Part 2
Posted by Gail | Filed under Thinking Out Loud
You would think that if you jump in a cab and say, “Take me to…” that’d be it! You could sit back, relax and you’d be on your way. I take a lot of cabs on book tour. Getting from point A to point B in time for the next appearance means I’m counting on the people behind the wheel to know what they’re doing. So imagine my horror when the taxi driver in Calgary couldn’t turn on his meter! This was the taxi I had already waited 20 minutes for! Damn!
Calgary’s taxi system is a disaster. Four out of four experiences had me scratching my head. Besides the guy who couldn’t turn on his meter, there was the guy who took me to the wrong university, the guy who wanted me to get out and walk the rest of the way, and the guy who broke every rule of the road getting me from one place to the next.
I get that when an economy or an industry is in growth mode it’s hard to keep up with demand. Supply shortages mean that anyone can get the job. But surely someone who is in charge of the system must know that it’s only a matter of time before people distrust the service so much they find another way.
It’s like the difference in service you get at Tim Hortons. There are wonderful stores where you get what you order and then there are the stores that give you any old thing. I order my Earl Gray tea bag out, one sugar. I get no sugar so often I’ve taken to carrying sugar in my car so I can still enjoy my tea. One woman put milk in the tea. I guess that’s how she likes her tea. And then there’s the woman who handed me someone else’s order. I’ve learned never to drive away without checking my order.
The banking industry should take note that the same rules apply to them as to every other service provider. Gone are the days when we could think of our bank as the guys looking out for us. Now, they are more like used-car sales lots: they’re selling money and they’ll do and say just about anything to get you into whatever beater they’re trying to move off the lot.
Take mortgage life insurance and creditor life insurance as cases in point: How can you sell a product at a 100% mark-up that may not even pay out and still say you’re doing right by your customers. That’s ridiculous, which is why there are new rules in Money Rules that say you should never buy these products. Never. Ever. And if you got taken, find a replacement and stop bleeding money to insurance you may never be able to collect on.
I’m all for companies making a reasonable profit on the products and services they offer to customers. I’m all for people having jobs so they can feed their families. What I’m not so down with is the idea that you can deliver crap to customers – both in terms of products or the services you provide – and still expect customers to pay up with a smile.
When I checked into The Inn at the Forks in Winnipeg after a horrendous amount of travel (more in another blog) I was not greeted at the desk by a welcoming face. There was, in fact, no one behind the desk. So there I stood at 3:30 a.m. wondering how the hell I was every going to get into a room for a shower before my next “appointment.” When the guy finally returned fifteen minutes after I showed up, and I said, “Dude, this isn’t cool” he looked at me with anger and said, “I was busy upstairs.” Really? I had to stand in your lobby and wait for you to be finished doing whatever was more important than me!
Nice hotel. Crappy service. Won’t be going back.
People are so creative, y’know. Take Jen Phillips of two pears in a pod. Jen has a Etsy store where she makes beautiful baby stuff. Well, she was asked to custom-make a set of “jars” someone could carry around with them and she came up with the Budget Wallet. The larger wallet contains six smaller wallets — cloth jars so to speak — to make carrying your jars far less cumbersome. Jen hails from Ingersoll, Ontario and I applaud her creativity and her sense of style. She sent me one of these as a gift and I’ve bought others to give away. You can get the one shown here sending an email firstname.lastname@example.org describing the biggest money lesson you learned in 2012. You must include “twopearsinapod” in the subject line to be entered. I’ll random-draw the winner on Friday.