#220: Under New Management

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

Business’ attitudes have done a full 180. It used to be that a business cared about the customers, and actually strived to make them happy. Anytime a customer was upset the business would bend over for the customer to make sure they were happy and would continue to trade there.

Today however, things are quite the opposite. Businesses look at it like “we can always get more customers” and they are right. When a business screws an individual they usually give little more than a “sorry” before shoving you out the front door. Letters to management go unanswered, if you call in to speak with someone about a problem or yanking your business you mysteriously get put on hold, etc.

Over the past few months I have noticed this trend with disgust. Working in retail a few years ago ended up teaching me the fundamentals of good business, and how to keep a customer. The Best Buy I worked at was endlessly kissing irate customers’ asses, giving stuff away for free to appease people, and making special provisions for tough customers. The management never hesitated to go out of their way to make the customer happy. As a result, business was extremely good, and in the long run we kept a lot of customers.

Since then, my old bank (as well as my new one) have both basically indicated they could care less if I bank with them. Since there aren’t many large banks in the area, and I don’t want to gamble on a bank that isn’t part of a chain with good backing, I am stuck with the lesser of two bastards. Why can they afford to do that?

They know that if business suffers too much, they can implement one of many ploys to get more business. ‘Under New Management’ is a good one that brings people back over and over. They play it off like their problems were because of one manager that was messing things up, and now that he is gone things will be much better. Like good little lemmings, people flock back and continue to do business there.

Running special promotions like “buy 10 get the 11th free!” and “no interest or payments for 13 days” can do the same thing. People are willing to go back to a bad business to get the good deal. Instead of standing by their belief that a company is severely messed up, they suddenly change their mind and say “they aren’t so bad”.

Instead of going back to a business that has treated you poorly, stay away from them forever. There is always competition right down the road. I know you are probably saying “what about you and your bank”… good point. Because of my schedule and need for certain banking functions that come with the larger banks, I am forced to stick with them for longer than I like.

On top of staying away, make sure you tell everyone about your problems. Start with their management, corporate schmucks, employees, your friends, the internet, etc. The more people that know, the more of an effect you will have. Just telling them you will be posting it to the net where some 50 million people could read it is oftentimes a good enough threat, and you will find you getting your way. Threaten them.. they have done far worse to you.

Don’t forget about your problems with a business. Even if it’s months down the road, they probably haven’t changed that much. Tell everyone that crosses your path about your experience and make sure they know you don’t want them dealing with that business. Be persistent!

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