Like everyone else nowadays, I've come to expect lousy customer service. If I go into a big box store, I expect that none of workers will know where anything is kept.
If I call for customer service at a bank, I expect to hear horrible on-hold music calculated to make me hang up.
I expect companies to try to pawn me off on those ridiculous "chat-bots" as if AI were a real thing rather than a huge wad of steaming hype.
If I do get through to a human being, I expect to him or her to try to up-sell me another product, rather than help me with my problem.
This is the world we've created for ourselves because we let companies get away with treating us like cattle.
That's why I was absolutely floored last week when I received this hard-copy letter from Sullivan Tires, a regional family-owned chain:
To tell the truth, I had completely forgotten that I had bought tires from them, much less worried about whether they had overcharged me.
To say I was surprised would be a huge understatement. Most companies would only think of paying back an overcharge if they were forced through legal action and then most they would have done is send me a letter and claim form, hoping I'd just throw them out.
But, no, they actually sent me the check. Needless to say, I'll probably buy my tires there for as long as they're in business.
I wonder, though, how many businesspeople would do the same. You hear a lot about companies who want to "change the world" or who channel a pittance of their revenue into big-money charity.
But taking care of your customers, even when they don't know they've been wronged? Who does that any more? Or, or that matter, who does that ever?
So, while I'll still continue to complain about the horrible service that's become an integral part of our globally connected, sharing economy, information-rich world, at least I know that there's one company that "does the right thing."