22
May
08

The Dollar car rental story lives on…*

As I mentioned in my last post regarding the entire Dollar car rental episode from my Vegas trip, my last conversation with the supervisor of their customer service department was very unsatisfying.

So much so that I decided to call the President/CEO of Dollar, Gary Paxton, and the Chief Marketing Officer, Scott Anderson. I left them both a voicemail this morning that gave them my name and number and told them that I recently had an experience with their company that they might want to know about.

One of the most valuable lessons I learned from my old manager, Pam, when I worked at Monster Cable was if you want something, figure out who the right person is that can help you and call them. This may seem obvious, on its face. But I was 18 at the time, and I wanted a poster out of a bus stop in San Francisco. The poster was for a Disney movie, so she told me to call Disney.

The idea of calling a big place like Disney seems like it’s not possible when you’re 18 and inexperienced. On the other hand, once I was given that directive, it just seemed obvious. What’s more, it only took speaking with two people for them to agree to ship me one. Ever since then, I’ve been unafraid to call or speak with whomever the right person is.

Not sure if either will call me back. If you were the CEO of a company, and you received a voice mail like that, would you call the person back? As I’ve said several times on these pages, I would most certainly want to talk to a person who had an issue like this with NewTunes.

Companies spend thousands of dollars a year on focus groups. Well, here’s a customer offering to give them insights on their business – for free. It’ll be interesting to see if I hear from them.

On a related note, I called their customer service people last night, because a conversation with a few lawyer friends revealed that having a witness does, in fact, constitute proof, so I can prove that the CD case was left in the car. I was asked to leave a message with a supervisor. That call, too, has gone unreturned as of this writing.

Meanwhile, I have heard from two people who have to rent cars for work in the next two weeks – both of whom said they will specifically not use Dollar because of this.

What their marketing people are missing here is that customers are more powerful now than they used to be. I’m here to help them learn this.

*Update: This has been resolved, and Dollar really stepped up.

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