When Toyota debuted its Lexus LS400 model, two drivers reported a minor issue. Toyota recalled every one of the 8000 cars sold. They sent a dealer to pick up the car and leave a loaner car free of charge. The car was returned repaired, washed, detailed, with a full tank of gas and a gift.
Research shows that mirrors in public places like retails stores will improve customer behavior by increasing self awareness. You won’t act like a jerk if you had to watch yourself doing so.
Wong Kei is one of the UK’s largest Chinese restaurants and once described as “the rudest restaurant in London”: staff would shout at customers, insult them if they asked for knives and forks, and chase them down the street if they felt they had not tipped enough.
The practice of playing music for callers on hold began with a faulty phone line connection. A loose wire touching the steel frame of an office building caused it to act as a giant radio receiver, allowing callers to hear music from local radio stations while they waited on hold.
There is a small café in France that sells coffee to rude customers for €7 while polite customers get coffee for €1.40.
Piggly Wiggly was the first true self-service grocery store. Before their founding in September 6, 1916, grocery stores did not allow their customers to gather their own goods. Instead, a customer would give a list of items to a clerk, who would then go through the store, gathering them.
During combat, a US Marine’s rifle jammed, so he called customer service to help him fix it.
The world’s oldest known complaint letter was written to a Sumerian copper merchant named Ea-Nasir almost 4000 years ago on a clay tablet: “You put ingots which were not good before my messenger and said: ‘If you want to take them, take them; if you do not want to take them, go away!'”
A 75 year old woman was arrested after she took a hammer to a Comcast customer service center and smashed up the waiting room. “It had never occurred to me to take a hammer to a phone company before, but I was just so upset…”
Dick’s Last Resort, an American bar and restaurant chain, encourages the staff to act obnoxiously towards their customers. The restaurant has its origins in the owners’ original opening of a “fine-dining” establishment. The establishment was a failure, which resulted in bankruptcy. Rather than continue with the upscale restaurant motif, the owners retooled their efforts and decided to “go sloppy”. The end result was a success, leading to the creation of six additional locations.