Guest article by frequent commenter Scott C. Griffin
Recall the famed Wendy’s commercial in which an elderly lady can’t get any service at the counter of a fast-food restaurant? She looks around and says to her friends, "I don’t think there’s anybody back there!"
In the midst of a recession, has anyone notice the lack of service, if any, from retailers and service providers? One would think that companies vying for business would be all over customers. After all, it is the opening of our wallets that contributes to their paycheck and the ability of the company to remain open.
Last month, with a car lease expiring, a customer made repeated efforts to get some assistance on the best next step from their Saturn dealer. After several non-returned phone calls and some irritated responses when they would finally hear back gave them no other alternative but to go across the street, where a dealer was more than happy to work with them through the available alternatives while giving the customer a good deal. Saturn’s response led to a two-time Saturn owner switching to another GM brand. Rather odd in a recession…
… But there’s more. Over the last two months, a neighbor contacted three landscapers to get advice and an estimate for making their backyard from swampland to habitable land. Two landscapers came out, both promising an estimate, and then both disappeared, never to be heard from again. The third, a local and well-know company, didn’t ever return the initial phone call and message left with the receptionist.
It is my assumption that these companies are doing quite well and do not need or handle any additional business.
And then there’s our drinking water … hard doesn’t even start to describe it! After doing some research, I decided it would be a good idea to contact a national water-softener company regarding an under-sink model that reviewed well in Consumer Reports. Several days have passed without a response.
The theme is how, in such a miserable economy, many companies don’t seem eager for new business. Maybe due to companies have laid-off so many people, they are unable to handle or support any additional business than what they currently have. Has this become a vicious cycle where business is not taking care of the customer, resulting to additional cutbacks in the form of lay-offs and pay cuts? This leaves the customer the only option to take their business elsewhere where they will receive the type of service they are seeking.
Have you seen a lot of this?
The question I have for those businesses and others is the signature line of that same Wendy’s commercial: WHERE’S THE BEEF?
Image taken from the Where’s the Beef? Wendy’s commercial, circa 1984, viewable on YouTube