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Did someone say "flurries?"
Did someone say "flurries?"

Unannounced cancellation leaves us out in the cold

Last month, I wrote about baffling customer service in this blog.

This week, I again experienced terrible customer service worthy of comment.

As you'll recall, there was a storm forecasted for Tuesday night and Wednesday here. News reports on Tuesday called for anything from a trace to 2", 2-5" or up to 7" inches.

But it was clear by Wednesday morning that we'd basically missed the entire thing. There was zero snow until Wednesday evening, when a light dusting covered sidewalks. The kind of snow that requires a broom more than a shovel.

At the end of the workday I rushed home, fed the dogs and let them out, cooked a quick dinner for my toddler and myself and we drove across town for a class at a local hospital.

Whew, it was a whirlwind afternoon but we made it ... only to find the classroom dark. An employee passing by checked the schedule in her office and saw that the class was canceled due to the weather.

To the weather? You mean, it was canceled because of the lack of snow and the seasonable temperatures?

And why didn't they call us to alert us of this lame cancellation of an event due to our collective sad, pathetic fear of POTENTIAL weather, so we could avoid rushing around and ultimately wasting an entire evening doing nothing but driving back and forth?

Had we canceled the class and not shown up, we'd have forfeited the fee. Who knows, maybe we've still forfeited it because they canceled. We don't know because they didn't have the courtesy to let us know, despite having taken our phone number when they took our money.

OK, so, they didn't call. Couldn't they have at least gotten a sheet a paper, a Sharpee and some tape and posted a note on the classroom door? A number of employees walking by asked if they could help us, but none -- other than the one who had access to a schedule -- could say whether or not the classes had been canceled.

Earlier in the day, I checked the Web site's "Events & Classes" page to check on where we ought to park. There was nothing there that I could see to suggest that classes had been canceled.

I will give special kudos to the employee that helped us out by checking the schedule for us. She gave my toddler an ice cream treat. Maybe she should be promoted to VP-customer service.

In the meantime, let's hope this hospital does health care better than it does customer care.

Talkbacks

Broner | Feb. 21, 2009 at 4:03 p.m. (report)

Hey JKranky, give the scenario Bobby gave, he has every right to be irritated. It wasn't like he walked a block to a coffee shop and didn't get his latte in 2 minutes. What I find more irritating than the place not calling to cancel is the fact that it got cancelled due to the gloom and doom weather forecast from all the local "Storm Centers." They get everyone worked up about the weather so things like this happen.

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Idle1 | Feb. 21, 2009 at 12:15 p.m. (report)

I agree with poster "dazucru". You could save the time of other young, harried parents by naming the culprit here. Although hospitals are operated as corporate entities , they frequently overlook the "service" in customer service. My guess here is the instructor is/was not a hospital employee, but a contracted consultant who assumed the hospital would handle the administrative details of the cancellation. The problem with sub-contracting: zero accountability when things go wrong.

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JKranky | Feb. 20, 2009 at 9:55 p.m. (report)

Yeah and a waitress wasn't attentive and the video store said I didnt return the video and the bus didn't wait for me and the world didn't make me feel special.

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dazucru | Feb. 20, 2009 at 9:14 p.m. (report)

Why not mention the name of the class "provider" to whom you paid your fee? While telling your story is cathartic, it would be more effective to note those responsible.

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