Can’t Lose What You Never Had
By Steve Portigal at 8:39 am, Friday June 28 2013

Thrifty really blew it here. Out of the blue, I get this email containing some good news.
Congratulations! You've earned a FREE rental day through Blue Chip Rewards!   You'll receive your Blue Chip Rewards certificate in three to four weeks at the address listed in your profile.   To redeem your free day, book online at Thrifty.com or call 1-800-THRIFTY and present your certificate at the counter.   Keep earning free days! You'll earn another free day certificate after 16 more rental days.   Enjoy your free day and thank you for choosing Thrifty!


And then shortly after that comes this bummerific communique.
Dear Valued Customer,  This morning you received an email from us offering you a coupon for a free rental day through Blue Chip Rewards. Unfortunately, this offer is not valid. You will not be able to book this offer online and you will not be receiving a coupon in the mail. Please disregard the email you received. We're very sorry for any confusion our eagerness may have caused.  If you have any questions regarding this email, please contact Customer Service at bluechip@thrifty.com. We sincerely appreciate your understanding in this matter. We value you as a customer and we look forward to saving you money down the road.   Thank you for choosing Thrifty.

The customer-pleasing standard seems to be to stand behind mistakes that benefit the customer because of the disappointment (or worse) than results when you take back something you offered. While I was unlikely to ever claim the windfall from the first email, the crappy feeling the second email left me with is something that will stick around.

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2 Responses to “Can’t Lose What You Never Had”

    Aw c’mon, Steve, the apology started out “Dear Valued Customer.” So clearly you are valued. Is that not enough?

    Comment by Milan Lazich 06.28.13 @ 9:56 am


    You are right. The salutatory language is pretty warming in and of itself.

    Comment by Steve Portigal 06.28.13 @ 9:59 am