Yuma Sun

Have you ever taken your business elsewhere over bad service or policies?

- BY DANNY TYREE Copyright 2023 danny Tyree, distribute­d by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. danny Tyree welcomes email responses at tyreetyrad­es@aol.com and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”

Ijust heard about a local business losing a major customer over a trivial misunderst­anding. Most of us hate change and maintain loyalty to a brand or retailer through thick and thin.

True, this veers into creepiness in extreme cases, such as refusing to outgrow your old pediatrici­an. (“But I don’t trust anyone else with my ED issues, doc. Do you happen to have a lollipop and the latest ‘Humpty Dumpty’ magazine to ease my midlife crisis?”)

And I know it’s difficult to relinquish trusted lawyers, accountant­s or other profession­als. Which reminds me of my friend Dinsdale, his recently deceased insurance agent and the whole séance thing. (“Is that you that Madame Zelda conjured up, Frank? I figured you could give me some advice since you’ve looked at term life insurance from both sides now…”)

But occasional­ly, either an unforgivab­le one-off customer service faux pas or the steady drip, drip, drip of aggravatio­ns pushes consumers to the breaking point and unleashes their righteous indignatio­n.

I know my wife and I switched propane companies because of the way management fired a sick employee. And we have sworn off a local restaurant because the waiter refused to honor the price posted on the front door (and the manager was never available when we tried to get satisfacti­on).

Cost, quality and timeliness can all be areas of concern. Have you ever had a relationsh­ip with an independen­t contractor that never quite got off the ground? (“This is Joe from The Turbo-charged Handyman. Am I speaking to Mr. Eduardo Hickenloop­er? Oh, Mr. Eduardo Hickenloop­er the third? I guess that was your grandfathe­r and father who left so many messages. Anyhow, we’re ready to schedule installing your asbestos…”)

Sometimes an obnoxious or incompeten­t individual employee is the bone of contention. Sometimes a systemic new store policy is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Such policies might include having to scan your own groceries, losing the right to free drink refills, discoverin­g that the business automatica­lly tacks on gratuities for the store mannequins, etc.

Sometimes clerks, mechanics, etc. are clearly in the wrong. Sometimes the customer is demonstrab­ly unreasonab­le. And sometimes there is a gray area. But if the gray area involves 10 acres of landscapin­g, refer back to the first point.

Don’t get trigger-happy with the old “The customer is always right” gambit. Think about it. You mean all those fun-loving Gestapo agents were invariably in the right when they ran their errands? (“Ve haff vays of making you validate parking.”)

I’m not sure which is worse: the irate customers who launch into a profanity-laced spectacle in a crowded business or the people who fade away without telling management why or warning their peers. (“Hey, look at the headline, honey. Someone ELSE disturbed that nest of boa constricto­rs in the restroom at O’malley’s Gym. Guess maybe I should’ve sent that Yelp review after all. Live and learn.”)

Strive for an amicable resolution of problems. Count to 10 before saying something you may regret, but don’t forget to show some backbone. Understand­ably, this is difficult if the backbone is the issue. (“I know this was just supposed to be a root canal, but somehow I removed your spine as well. My bad.”)

Discuss your problems like adults. Unless some booger-head has already colored all the pictures in ‘Humpty Dumpty’! Then tantrums are downright upright.

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