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Rules are rules are rules. But …

Submitted by on Monday, 18 May 2009 No Comment

customer_service2Evan’s overweight and tried to buy two seats on an airplane so he wouldn’t inconvenience fellow travelers.

That’s a good thing, right? Courteous and considerate, not to mention expensive for Evan.

Delta said “no.” We have rules against selling two tickets under one name, he was told. No matter how many ways Evan offered to do it, no matter how many people he pleaded his case with, the airline still stuck to its rules, The Consumerist reports.

How silly. But how typical. Not just of Delta, not just of airlines but of too many businesses for which the rules are more important than the customer.

Having flown recently with Delta, I can say with a high degree of certainty that the airline is a huge part of the problem in Evan’s case. It simply doesn’t like to issue adjoining seats, not when you’re one person, not when you’re an adult traveling with a 3- and a 5-year-old.

I had to beg the person boarding us to keep us together on our flight, who had to ask other passengers to trade so Big Guy wouldn’t wind up in a separate row. He probably would have been fine with that. Me, not so much.

That one eventually got worked out. I didn’t even try to work out a situation with Verizon recently, because I knew the answer was going to be “no.”

The issue was the never-popular contract cancellation fees. When I bought my Blackberry, I wanted to get Dad one, too, but it would have cost $115 to cancel his contract. Never mind that our total bill would have been $50 more a month than the separate totals. Nope. Can’t waive it.

So we didn’t cancel.

In two months and a few days, Verizon would have made back the money from the waived cancellation fee. Probably sooner by the time you add in the accessories we would have bought for Dad’s Blackberry. The company couldn’t see that, though. All it could see was its rules.

Just like the computer company that wouldn’t let me change my shipping option on an order a few months back – a change that would have kept my business on that order and for years to come.

Ay, but the rules do let me cancel the order. So that’s what I did.

And that’s what I’ll continue to do: Work with companies that work with me when I’m not asking the world but instead need only a reasonable exception in order to continue doing business with them.

Let’s see who’s willing to be that company.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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