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Bad Customer Service Goes a Long Way in the Wrong Direction

This happens only once in a great while, but when it does it really especially stands out – in a terribly bad way.

I actually boldly announced in a small business establishment this past weekend to anyone within earshot that I will never ever return to that particular place of business again because of the way they treated me as a customer.

Now, I’m generally pretty tolerant, especially when dealing with entrepreneurs. But in this case I was just totally shocked and blown away at how little this business cared about me. Here’s what happened:

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The gas pump I was using was pumping very slowly. So slowly that I considered stopping at 2 gallons & going to another gas station. But I decided to stick it out since the time it would have taken to drive somewhere else may not have been worth it. Well, the pump was going so slowly, that I was watching the numbers crawl on the pump & didn’t notice that the pump did not automatically shut off once my tank was full. Gasoline was dripping down the side of my car onto the ground. It may have been a couple gallons of gas.

I went inside the convenience store to let them know about the gas on the ground and I was attacked for not attending the pump. I explained that I stood right next to the pump the entire time (watching the numbers slowly move on the pump) but I was still rudely treated.

It got worse from there and I’ll spare you the details but I really truly did announce to the 8-10 customers in the store my intention of never ever returning to do my business here. The rest of the day I told everyone I know in the neighborhood (this station is the closest one to my house) about my experience and received commitments from all that they will join in my boycott.

It’s been a few days and I’ve calmed down about it, but I will stand by my personal boycott and mentally count the $30 per fill up that I am spending elsewhere. Let’s see, that’s $30 per week for 52 weeks/ year – that’s over $1,500 I won’t spend at that station during 2007.

For great suggestions on how to do the opposite of my local gas station, check out this article on how to create satisfied customers.

About the Author: Joel Welsh

Joel Welsh, Chief Community Officer, is also the CEO of a new startup company ... Showcase U. Joel shares behind the scenes key decisions being made in the "Birth of a Startup" and knocks it out of the park to [...]

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