Monday, December 4, 2006

Not seeing the forest for the trees (and mud)

There was a story on the news last night about Thrifty car rental, and how they are marketing buffoons.

OK, it wasn't about that, but it amounts to that.

Recently, a guy got stranded in Olympic national park near here, after heavy rains washed out the roads to where he was at. He and a friend hiked out with help from the national guard. Only problem was, his car was still there.

It'll take anywhere from 3 months to a year to get the roads fixed. Thrifty wanted to charge him $30 a day, or anywhere from $3000 to $12000.

That was just typical corporate red-tape type stupidity. Irregular case, some clerk doesn't know how to circumvent procedure.

The buffoonery starts when a news story runs on the subject, and what does Thrifty do? They offer him a discount rate of $13 per day. So, now the get to extract the princely sum of somewhere between $1500 and $5000, and look like customer-hating buffoons while doing it. This makes a lot more sense than waving the cost entirely and painting a picture of a company that cares about its customers.

Seems like a big hit to your corporate image for just $5k, but then they are Thrifty, after all.

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