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August 7, 2007 in Berkman, problems, VRM | 2 comments
In the last two weeks we’ve had three unpleasant car rental experiences, each of which is an angle on what’s been screwed up for way to long with that whole category.
Read more about it at the ProjectVRM blog.
Stephen Downes on August 7, 2007 at 9:58 am
What appears to be missing in this analysis is some account of why the rental car agencies should behave any differently.
When an entire sector adopts indifferent customer service practices, there is little customer dissatisfaction can do to impact profits. Moreover, most transactions are anonymous – you do not know the agent personally – and so there is little personal motivation. And the agencies have your credit card information, which essentially gives them absolute power over the transaction. This all means that they can do what they want and there’s nothing you can do about it. And since, as is clear in your post, doing what they want can actually increase their profits, they have a motivation to treat you, as a customer, indifferently.
From my perspective, until there exists a means for a customer to exert his or her will against a corporation (for example, though an accessible on-the-spot neutral dispute resolution system that cannot be bought out by the side with more money) corporations will continue to treat customers as nothing more than revenue sources with no rights or means of appeal. Blogging about it is unlikely to change that. Sadly.
Florida on December 13, 2007 at 1:39 am
In a complete breakdown of customer service, a Damage Recovery Agent, which is likely from one of the three car rental companies you used, refused to file the proper paperwork for a insurance claim because it was “a waste of his time”. He kept interrupting me, being short and would not let me speak with a supervisor. I’ve never been treated this disrespectfully.
Customer service is the key to a successful business. If one of the large car rental companies decided to dramatically improve the customer experience there could be a transformation of the industry over 3-4 years. This would only occur if the experience is drastically different. They would need to pay family wages to retain quality people. Just my two cents.
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