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How Would You Handle This Customer Service Issue?

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I was reading in the Winnipeg Free Press (my local paper) about a woman who was a passenger in a Unicity taxi cab. The woman had pre-paid her fare to the tune of $25.00. Nine dollars into the cab ride, the cab got into an accident.

The woman was injured and unable to complete her trip. She asked for a refund of at least $16.00. The balance left on her pre-payment.

You would think the cab company would bend over backwards to accommodate the woman, but no; they refused to give her a refund. This kind of customer service program is REALLY DUMB on the part of Unicity and it's bad for business. Their refusal will cost them a lot more than $16.00.

First the story made the Free Press so thousands of people are going to read about the incident and Unicity Taxi will get a lot of bad publicity and lose business.

Secondly I'm writing about it to the 1500 subscribers to my Newsletters. And I'm going to post it at my web site. More bad publicity and some people will definitely talk about it to friends, family members and co-workers.

All this bad publicity and lost business to save $16.00. Talk about short-sightedness. This reminds me of one of my grandmother's favourite sayings, "don't be penny wise and pound foolish".

This kind of customer service attitude is a result of management not looking at the "life-time value" of their customers. If Unicity did the math they would clearly see the error of their ways.

If that passenger uses Unicity 5 times a year for an average fare of $25.00, that's $125.00 a year. She uses them for the next 5 years, that's $625.00. Now I'm betting that the injured woman will never use Unicity again. So to save $16.00, Unicity has given away the opportunity to get $625.00 worth of business from her.

Now you tell me, is that a smart way to operate a business? I say absolutely not. How would your company deal with a situation similar to this?

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