Posted by: Marty Fahncke | March 13, 2007

Customer Service Winners and Losers

Time again for the next edition of “Customer Service Winners and Losers”…

Customer Service Loser
Firestone Complete Auto Care (Olathe, KS)

I dropped my car off at 10:30am for an oil change and flat tire repair.  The front desk guy “Brian”, said it would take about two hours.  I thought it seemed to be a long time for such a small job, but since we had somewhere to go for a few hours anyway, I went ahead and gave him the keys, then left to run errands with our other vehicle. 

At 2:30 pm, FOUR HOURS after I dropped the car off, I came back and noticed my car still on the lift.  Walking into the office, this is exactly how the conversation went:

Me:  Is my car about finished?
Brian:  They’re working on it.
Me:  I can see they are working on it.  I’m wondering if they are just starting or just finishing?
Brian:  They are checking it out. 
Me:  What does that mean…checking it out?
Brian:  I’ll go see.

He walks out to the shop, then comes back and says “they will be another hour”

Me:  You told me it would be two hours 4 hours ago.
Brian:  Dead silence and a dirty look

So I just walked out. 

An hour later, I went back, and my car was done, but Mr. Super-Salesman Brian said it needed an additional $1,600 worth of work!  He seemed offended that I wasn’t going to leave my car with him for a month while they did it. 

Go figure. 

Lessons learned:

#1  Don’t lie to your customer. 
#2  Don’t act like a jerk when they call you on the lie
#3  Don’t get offended when they don’t stick around to have their schedule and wallet abused by you. 

Customer Service Winner
The flight attendant on SkyWest flight 3884 from Salt Lake City to Kansas City on Saturday, March 10th. (Delta flight, but operated by independently owned SkyWest)

I’m kicking myself for not getting her name, but she was awesome.  Friendly.  Happy.  Courteous.  Efficient. 

For the first part of the flight, I was zoning off with my noise canceling headphones on, but soon, the sounds of people saying “Wow, she’s the best flight attendant I’ve ever seen” broke through the silence. 

I shut off the silencers to pay more attention, and realize the people were correct.  She was really good.  Everyone on the plane was smiling after she served them.    The funny thing was, she didn’t really do anything that should be considered extraordinary.  She didn’t tell jokes, or do anything silly or fake.  She was just nice.  In a world of surly service providers, decency and dedication to job and customer really stands out.

It was clear that she really loved her job.  I wonder if that’s the exception or the norm for SkyWest? 

Lesson learned:

A little nice goes a long way.



  1. I was concerned when I read your blog since I am the district manager in charge of the Olathe Firestone location. I regret the poor service you received and assure you steps have been taken to make sure this never happens again to you or anyone else. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We appreciate your business and hope we can earn another chance to service your vehicle.

    Mike O’Neill

  2. […] post by martyfahncke […]

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