One More Way To Hurt Your Business


In Los Angeles you don’t find empty parking lots on Sunday afternoons, but Texas is a different world so it happens here. Unfortunately not everyone understands that a million empty spaces isn’t license to act like a jerk.


I put the football over their license plate to give them some privacy and added the star to show you the line that delineated the spaces. Just to be clear, even though I sometimes wear a hat, I don’t think I am the sheriff.

He Rode A Blazing Saddle

He Rode A Blazing Saddle.

I thought about saying something to the woman who drove that truck. She was young and when she left Target she was only carrying a few items and a very large attitude.

Some people might suggest that she had some sort of disability that makes it difficult to walk.  It is true there diseases like M.S. or rheumatoid arthritis that aren’t visible to others. I know people who have them and if you see them on a good day you would never know that anything was wrong, but bad days are different.

Bad days are also the days when they pull out their handicap placards and use them.

Those who know me understand confrontation and I are well acquainted. We’re probably closer friends than we should be, but the beauty of age is that I am much more careful to pick and choose my battles.

I could have said something. When she saw me look at the truck she stared at me and dared me to challenge her.

Silence worked better here. She knew from my look what I was thinking and the silence made it impossible to say anything lest she hoist herself on her own petard.

Customer Service Failure

My cable box died Friday night. It just gave out on me, but since it was almost midnight I chose not to try calling my provider. Truthfully I am also positive they weren’t open, but mostly it made more sense to get some sleep.

Saturday afternoon I spent more than an hour on the phone with one of their customer services reps. He walked me through a series of steps to try and diagnose the problem and breathe new life into the box, but none of it worked.

They have to send a technician to my house to fix it, but the technicians don’t work on the weekends so I have to take off of work to let the man/woman in my house.

I was told that I would be given some sort of financial compensation for the lack of television over the weekend, but the customer service rep wasn’t empowered with the ability to adjust my bill.

All they could do was tell me that if I call back during business hours on Monday someone would be able to help me.

I didn’t yell at the rep because they don’t make policy, but I did convey my extreme displeasure.

Instead of doing all they could to fix the situation in a timely manner the company created a situation where I became progressively more irritated. What is going to happen if the technician doesn’t show up early Monday morning and I have to take more time off.

This Time I Will Speak

The obnoxious truck driver didn’t hear from me, but the cable company is going to. In the age of the Internet it is not smart to let hard feelings linger. Many of the online review sites (Yelp etc) are poorly policed and it is easy for angry customers/disgruntled employees to place reviews that aren’t flattering.

It is not particularly wise for a business to ignore this or to foster a situation that would encourage their customers to respond like this.

Sometimes the reason for an empty parking lot has nothing to do with having extra spaces and everything to do with how business is being conducted.

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  1. Adrienne April 30, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    In my opinion of the woman you crossed in the parking lot Josh, I have a feeling she didn’t care at all what you thought. I know those people and they’re everywhere. We can’t get rid of them I’m afraid. Oh sure, we can make up stories in our head but if she was giving you that look then she was in no mood to duke it out because you would not be the winner. 🙁

    Ah, the good old trusty cable guys. Some of them that I get on the phone I want to reach through that phone and smack them. It’s very obvious to me that they hate their jobs by the way they treat their customers. And then the company wonders why we are always so upset with our service. I mean they do make their claims that they’re the best. Not sure which one you have but the one I have has a lot to be desired.

    Hope it was all resolved yesterday and it didn’t take you all day long.


    • Josh May 1, 2013 at 5:54 am

      Hi Adrienne,

      I wouldn’t have been surprised to find that out all. I am not sure she cared about anything besides her truck. 😉

      Cable guys make me nuts. They told me they would have someone here between 8 and 5 but I wasn’t willing to just sit around so I called a couple of times in the morning and they got someone here at 10.

      Bad enough they don’t work weekends, but really how do you justify giving someone an 8 hour window for service.

  2. Mary Stephenson April 29, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Hi Josh

    Maybe the lady truck driver (now I say lady loosely), doesn’t really know where the darn truck is on the road. Maybe she doesn’t want to get it scratched up or she will go home to someone that will smack her around a bit. Maybe she also doesn’t know how to back it up and if someone parked by her, she would side swipe their vehicle when she pulled out. She obviously has some sort of problem, but it is fun to get in her head!

    Customer service…well that can be a real pain. Hate that when they give you a time frame which is bad enough you have to take time off, but worse if they don’t show. Maybe it should be a policy if they don’t come in the time scheduled that they pay for the hours of work you lost “for the whole day”. That would make them more responsible and caring about time people have to bend for them.


    • Josh April 30, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      Hi Mary,

      If she hadn’t walked around with such attitude it would be easy to say it was a mistake. I could see that happening, but there were dozens of other spaces so it is not hard to move it somewhere you wouldn’t risk “injury.”

      She was a pain, but not like bad customer service. It really irks me. Like you said you wonder about some people and why they went into a profession in which they have to work with people.

  3. Lori Gosselin April 29, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Hi Josh!
    I like the football over the plate – and the star! (It makes me think of Google Hangouts – don’t know why 😮
    I love stories about customer service. I learn so much from them! You would think that by now a customer service guide could be written by teenagers so why do some business still not get it? Wouldn’t it have been cheaper for them to have a technician working weekends than to cover your loss of work time? Not to mention the obvious provision of good service this would supply.
    P.S. Does it make you look over your shoulder into your own back yard to see how you’re doing? These stories always make me do that!

    • Josh April 30, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      Hi Lori,

      I miss the hangouts. One of these days I’ll make it back for another.

      Customer service stories do make me wonder if I am providing the sort of service I demand. Really it seems silly to say that because I operate with the customer is always right sort of attitude. When they ask for something it is a question of how to make it happen instead of an instant no.

      Yet I do double check so…

  4. Jayme Soulati April 28, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    You’re being way too nice not calling out the TV provider. Heck, the biggest weapon we have is the blog; no hiding from bad customer service. Of course, a rant can also look bad on the writer, too.

    Nice job waiting on the little priss who drove a really big truck. She probably had a boyfriend bigger than you, too.

    • Josh April 28, 2013 at 9:13 pm

      If they don’t fix things tomorrow then we will see a different response, but no rush. As for the little priss, I don’t worry about boyfriends. Size is usually immaterial.

  5. Lisa Gerber April 28, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    I like that you gave her the benefit of the doubt and I love that you gave her the “look.” Sometimes conversation isn’t even necessary. Great story.

    • Josh April 28, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      Hi Lisa,

      She wanted me to say something, she was prepared with some kind of response so I figured there was really no point.

      It was good to see that Fort Worth has some of my favorite types of people. 😉

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