21st Century Service
Last week, I decided to conduct a unique social experiment – could I survive 2 days in a strange town with no cash and no cards. Or put another way, I flew to Newcastle without my wallet.
The results were starkly contrasting that brought out the best and worst of people and businesses. But who would come out on top – customer service 2016 vs service 1972 style?
Here we go then…
1-0 to the 2016 team
Back of the net!
The pre-paid Bristol Airport car park does what it says on the tin and I’m parked up and heading for departures.
It’s just like watching Brazil!
Armed only with only my passport, Easyjet fly me to Newcastle with no questions asked. If it’s already paid for, it’s already paid for. No cards required!
Despite having the code that is now required from the DVLA website to hire a car, Europcar need the last 8 digits of my driver’s licence to use the code and access my licence details. Is this cyber security overkill?
But a phone call home and I’ve got the digits…
The 1970’s rigid 4-4-2 formation is seizing control, leaving no room for creativity!
Despite the car being pre-paid, Europcar refuse to give it me as I don’t have my card in front of me and they need to swipe it as a deposit – and they won’t take my card details over the phone from my partner. The computer says no…
Not only do they refuse to take my card details remotely, but they refuse to take my partner’s card details too. It’s as if the CVV code was never invented…
The big Number 9 celebrates his hat trick and points to the name on the back of his shirt… Jobsworth!
The service from Europcar is truly awful! I actually hear the words “it’s more than my job’s worth to help you” and I’m turfed out into the street in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. And I’ve already paid for the car! And they refuse to refund me…
Back in the game!
Putting the multi-national to shame, a sole trader taxi driver correctly assesses that I’m not a master criminal, that I am low risk and drives me to my hotel.
It only takes a second…
Then my guardian angel takes payment from my partner over the phone via his PayPal app. Faith in the beautiful game is being restored!
Back in the lead…
My pre-paid Travelodge presents no problems and their excellent receptionist even gives me a breakfast on credit.
Bogged down on a muddy pitch!
Lloyds Bank in Durham are keeping 1970’s opening hours and I have to delay starting work. And their website gave no indication that I could get emergency cash from a cashpoint as some banks do.
Lloyds make a copy of my passport, ask me to confirm my address and give me £200. Fantastic! They were so blasé, they made me suspect people forgot their wallet all the time. Are you listening Europcar?
They think it’s all over, it is now!
The public transport system in the North East is excellent. Bus and Metro gets me easily and quickly from hotel to work to airport.
So well done Bristol Airport, Easyjet, Airport Taxis, Travelodge, Lloyds Bank and North East Transport – you get a thumbs up from me for providing a modern 21st century service.
But you were all almost undone by one company with rigid procedures, out of date systems and a service policy too bad to be true.
Which side of the pitch would your business line up on?