Poor customer service is rare these days

Hotel ironing board with inspiring thoughts
The ironing board was a delightful “wow” moment.


Do we have the courage to act on limited knowledge and insufficient evidence?

That’s what speaking up against status quo requires. That, or ignorance.

Twice yesterday i was quietly stunned by two incredibly weird customer service experiences.

The Dollar Rent A Car representative at Chicago Midway told me i needed to fill up the gas tank within 10 miles of the airport and if i didn’t have a receipt as proof, i would be charged $10/gallon.

The Best Western Valparaiso front desk clerk asked for my credit card for incidentals. When i shared that i would not be making any charges, he revealed that it was really to cover themselves against any damages the guest might create.

It would seem both of them lied.

That is so weird to think that some companies have a culture encouraging this allowing this to happen.

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By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.


  1. Jeff,

    I have experienced both of them recently, with the airport car rental one being in Newark, NJ. They actually did check my receipt, even though the gas needle showed full.

    So I know what you are talking about! Makes you go, “Really?”


  2. Bob, Merry Christmas Eve.

    They are doing what they think they need to do to manage their business. To amplify the opportunity, imagine Apple having processes like this.

  3. That is a WOW. What a simple yet powerful idea. So many people would gloss over this and never notice the impact. It just gave me an inspiration. Thanks for sharing this.

    How do you balance Disney’s culture against the majority of businesses you encounter? I would imagine that there would be so much frustration and wanting to show “everyone” a better way yet knowing you cannot. Maybe out of that frustration grows a leadership business!?

  4. Merry Christmas Eve to you as well!

    I don’t think that would be an Apple way of doing business…or a Disney way either.

  5. Well, poor customer service stands out so much more when you believe in the Disney way. When you notice it, it can be frustrating. For me I want to say, here is the enrollment link to the Disney Institute, please consider :). I am just a novice and it gets frustrating, so for you I would imagine it is much harder to overlook bad behavior. As a leader = teacher, don’t you want to teach them a better way? Out of that desire to teach maybe your current professional speaking business is blossoming.

    Happy Christmas Eve!

  6. Donna, you know what’s interesting in this discussion is the realization of how fascinating great customer service companies behave so differently than their industry standard.

    It comes down to culture. Leaders drive the culture, either intentionally or not so much.

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