My husband and I spent the past weekend in Las Vegas celebrating his birthday. It was a wonderful trip. The thing that he was really looking forward to was renting a specific convertible for the trip. We went through Enterprise Rental Company and all was great until it was time to return the car.
We arrived at the airport with 45 minutes to spare before the check-in time limit to board the plane. We had already prepaid for the car rental and were not checking any luggage in, so we had plenty of time. The Enterprise employee came out to process our return on his hand-held device. Running into some problems with the device, he went inside to get our receipt. We waited about 10 minutes. Because we realized that time was getting close, my husband went in the office to get the receipt and to see what the delay was. When he entered the office, our agent was helping another customer! My husband again reminded the agent that we had to get to the airport. He was told to wait and that we needed this paperwork. So he waited 15 more minutes, all the while stating that we had to leave. He again was told that we needed this paperwork. Because he didn’t want to be liable for anything without a signature on the receipt, he waited. Finally, he was given a curt apology for the wait and a receipt. My husband asked where he was supposed to sign and was told that wasn’t necessary, everything was taken care of. My husband was very irritated and frustrated and explained that we would quite possibly miss our plane for absolutely no reason. We only stayed because the agent had told us that we needed the paperwork he was generating. We figured they needed a signature to close the transaction.
Once we waited for the shuttle and got to the airport, we missed the check in time for our flight by 3 minutes. We were put on standby for the next two flights, but were unable to get on either of those. So, we had to reschedule three meetings between us, ask my inlaws to reschedule their plans and stay with our children another day, and our children missed some of their after school activities because my inlaws are unfamiliar with the area and didn’t know exactly where to take the kids. We also had to spend another night in Vegas and pay for dinner, the hotel, breakfast and lunch.
So because of one rental agent’s disregard and inconsideration, all of our schedules had to be altered. The most frustrating thing was that it was for NOTHING. There was no receipt that we had to sign. He simply didn’t want to take the time to mail it to us. He wasn’t looking out for us, knowing that we were in a rush to get to the plane. His customer service was doing the bare minimum to his preferences, not ours. We had left enough time to get processed through the system, knowing that we had no bags to check and could check in easily through the kiosk at the airport.
Needless to say, our customer satisfaction was EXTREMELY low.
The lesson to be learned here for small businesses, or any businesses for that matter, is to see where in your system are you throwing up obstacles. Be prepared for extenuating circumstances and empower and expect your associates to serve the customers in their best interest.