Yesterday I had the “pleasure” of experiencing some of the worst in person customer service ever in my 33 years on this planet. Yesterday (Saturday August 4th 2012) I had a tee time reserved at Beaver Meadow Golf Course in Concord NH for 10:30am. I had purchased rounds for 4 people on a website that sends me local deals to golf courses called golf18network.com. When I arrived at the course and showed the pro shop my receipt I was told that the “deal” I had bought didn’t include a cart even though when I purchased it they said I saved 35% on the total cost of the round and the regular walking price at the course on this day was $32! SEVEN DOLLARS LESS THAN MY SO CALLED DEAL!!!! WTF?!
I say, “well the deal must include a cart right?” Wrong. So they first tell me sorry, nothing we can do, carts are not included, we can’t make any kind of deal to make it right. I can either pay more or refund the whole thing and start over. So that’s what we do, have to call golf18network.com and get the whole purchase refunded and then each re-buy our rounds at the course, what a pain, but ok no harm done we are on our way now. Or so we thought…
We pay for our now $32 rounds then we walk up to the first tee box. The ranger now drives up and says “show me your slips please” we do and he sees we are set to play 18. He says “we are closing at 1pm for an event you can only play 9 holes”. What!? We just went through all that crap to get our rounds paid for and now we can’t even play what we paid for because there is an outing at 1pm? How come nobody said anything when we reserved the tee time FOUR DAYS AGO, and better yet why didn’t anyone say anything about that when we just repaid for our round ten minutes ago!?
We made plans days in advance because we had other things going on in the evening and wanted to make sure we got golf in early. I asked how they were going to fix all this since clearly they had made an error. I suggested they let us start off the back (because apparently the outing was a shotgun start on the back a 1pm) which meant that we would be long gone and out of their way on on the front before the outing ever happened. The response was absolutely not, out of the question. We were basically told you either play nine holes and like it or get lost. REALLY!?
So you know what we did? We went back into the pro shop and cancelled our round AGAIN and left the course. We went down the road to Plausawa Valley Country Club and played a great 18 holes there. I was furious at the way we were treated at Beaver Meadow, there were lots of things they could have done to try to make this right such as:
- Offer us a free round some other time
- Let us off the back to play
- Offer us the 9 hole round for half price
- Give us carts at no charge or a reduced price
The point is to illustrate how important that customer interaction and experience is. Not one member of our foursome will go back to Beaver Meadow this season. That will be at least $700 that Beaver Meadow lost simply because they were rude and unaccommodating in a situation that they created.
Your customers are your life blood, you need to treat them as such. Furthermore this experience also underlines the importance of good internal communication at your business. It’s obvious that nobody was on top of the pricing set on thegolf18network.com website which is why our “deal” was not such a deal in the first place, not to mention the fact that they were selling 18 hole rounds when they then insisted they had no capacity that day. When these basic factors break down you end up with our situation, a complete and utter mess that was handled so poorly it’s going to cost Beaver Meadow revenue over the next few weeks.
Customer service and communication it’s what will make your business great and keep it that way. Have you ever had a similar experience like this? If so please share in the comments below. What do you think about all this? How do you think they should have handled it? I wanna hear what you think.