Rental Car Tips - What To Do When You Have A Problem
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Miscommunication, misunderstanding, poor interpretation and general confusion is only possible when two or more people are communicating. I didn't get this from my Psychology 101 class, I got this knowledge factor from the school of hard knocks! We have all had situations when we think the other person is saying something completely different from what we are saying only to realize minutes later that we were both saying exactly the same content, just differently. Dealing with service industry personnel is no different as they are human too. (Yes, I know, I have dealt with Beelzebub the gate agent, but even she/he was partially human!) But when you get to the point when you have said the same and heard the same thing three times, it is time for intervention. The intervention can be local with a manager or supervisor or, distant with a customer service representative at a home office or head quarters. In any case when it comes to the point that you move to this lever, continue to be polite and as clear as you can in your explanation of the situation to the supervisor.
Normally an agent has to call a supervisor from a distant location. Take this time to step back and catch your breath. At this point, it is very unlikely you will be able to convince the agent of your argument so just wait and collect your thoughts. When the supervisor arrives, let them control the situation. They are trained to sort out just these sorts of problems so let them do it. I am trying hard right now to think of a situation which I turned over to a supervisor which wasn't resolved. Maybe not to my complete satisfaction, but resolved. If by some strange circumstance, the supervisor can not resolve the immediate problem and you are denied what you think you rightfully deserve, cut your losses and move on to the next level which may require the manager on duty or a phone call, in the case of something needing immediate attention, to the corporate level. Beyond this, letter writing is all that is left. Again, if you hope to negotiate to a successful conclusion, do your best to follow these basic steps:
- If you are getting nowhere with the service agent, do not belabor the point.
- Calmly, politely and if need be, persistently ask for a supervisor.
- While the supervisor is on their way to mediate, collect your thoughts and take some deep breaths. Do not continue rehashing the problem with the agent. This will not be constructive.
- When the supervisor arrives, let them control the situation. They are trained and interruptions from either you or the agent will delay the process. Let them ask questions and make a determination. The more confrontational you are, the less likely they are to assist you but, the more it seems you are in need of assistance, the more they are ready to help you.
- If you get nowhere with the supervisor, repeat steps 2 and 3 and hope for a better outcome.
Bob Jones, OneTravel.com Chief Frugalist