Pathetic PR Produces PO’d Patrons 


Incident #1: Bad Automotive Motives! Two decades ago, my car’s AC had conked out. Fortunately, one of the dealership’s mechanics, a man named Art (who could’ve been a member of an Indy 500 pit crew), quickly got me back on the sweltering, summertime road. Unfortunately, upon closer examination of my bill, I discovered I’d been charged for TWO hours of labor even though I knew fully well the mechanic had taken only half that time.

Suspecting a clerical error, I returned to have a talk with the service manager, who explained that… Art’s efficiency notwithstanding… it was customary to assess labor charges based upon the industry-set standards. This was so wrong on at least two levels.

[1] Art wasn’t idle during that hour he had saved for his boss. He promptly moved on to his next repair assignment, and that customer also got overcharged… and so on and so on. [2] The dealership’s swindle the customer policy was thumbing it’s collective nose at loyal customers. Case in point… my father, sister and I had purchased a total of five cars from them.

Even though this dealership has since changed ownership, whenever they service my car, my mind automatically flashes back to this incident. The only reason I go back there stems from my suspicion that auto repair ripoffs are also an industry standard.

Incident #2: Toxic Radio-Activity! Ten years ago, my local NPR affiliate had entered the final hour of their weeklong, fall pledge drive. Their station falling tens of thousands of bucks shy of their goal, the on air staff had promptly gone into panic mode… their fundraising tactics devolving into tackiness and offensiveness. They were practically equating non-contributers to lowlife deadbeats. True, nobody had actually uttered that D-word, BUT, their implication hadn’t even needed their transmitter to be heard loud and clear.

What they had failed to realize was how they were begging for money against the backdrop of 2008’s global, financial meltdown… while many of us were prIoritizing our own bottom lines over a public radio station’s. Since they had implied I was unwelcome… well… for the longest time… their guilt trip had caused me to totally stop listening to them.

Another thing they had failed to consider was how economic woes oft, eventually, go away. And then what? Would the listeners they had told to get lost even be around to hear their future pledge drive appeals? One wonders, too, whether or not the folks they had intimidated into contributing were even able to make good on their pledges?

Incident #3: WordPress Peer Pressure! Recently, a fellow blogger began bombarding his followers’ Readers with his posts offering his FOR A FEE, Mr. Know-It-All / Mr. Fixit services. His claims were that [1] once we ponied up, we’d soon attract multiple thousands of adoring followers and attain the blogosphere straosphere AND [2] sans his help, we’d remain clueless flounderers. Folks… NOBODY… and I mean NOBODY… not even a masochist… ever wants to be demeaned in that way… especially on a daily basis.

To sum up these three incidents… savvy businesspersons ISO $$$ understand that [1] they (literally) cannot afford to offend either actual or potential consumers… [2] people never take kindly to shoddy treatment… [3] pissed off people have long memories… and oft take to the www / log in to social media sites… to vent their grievances… as my post amply demonstrates.