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Your customer service is so good it is bad
Old 03-19-2020, 09:35 AM
SpyOne SpyOne is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Virginia Beach, VA, USA, Sol3
Posts: 339
Default Your customer service is so good it is bad

This story is nearly a year old.

I was between vehicles (waiting for the new one I bought to be delivered) and taking Uber to work. I would take Uber or possibly a bus home. (Uber is 3x the price but 1/3 the time.)
One of those companies that rents scooters via an app had moved into our city, and I thought I'd try one out, hoping it would be somewhere in the middle in terms of time and cost. The vehicles in question are an old-style push-scooter but with an electric motor, essentially a skateboard but with one large wheel at each end, the front one able to steer and with handlebars attached.
I put $10 credit on the app and started out.

It took virtually no time to discover that I am not their target customer. I returned the scooter to where I had found it and ended my session.
The app asked me how my first ride had been, so I told it: it was terrifying. The throttle seemed to range from too fast to WAY too fast, the thing required significant effort to get it started. Also, riding it on the sidewalk seemed unsafe, as the tiny wheels and uneven surface made controlling it very difficult, and operating it in the street is illegal.
Oh, and at no point in setting up the app did it mention that only licensed drivers are allowed to rent a scooter, or that I would need a helmet: that message only came up after I picked a scooter and rented it.

I received an email offering me a refund and saying they were sending a repairman to pick up the scooter. I replied that I didn't think there was anything broken about the scooter, and I hadn't been looking for a refund. Then I asked if there was any way I could give my remaining balance to someone else, since I was never going to be renting one again.

This went back and forth a while, usually with them explaining that there was no way to transfer my money to someone else, and then apologizing for my somehow having wound up with a broken scooter. And then I would try again to explain that I didn't think the scooter was broken in any way, but was in fact functioning as designed. I just didn't enjoy it.
Surely at some point in developing this business plan it must have occurred to you that someone might try it and not like it.

Eventually they refunded my rental, then reversed the entire $10 charge to my card. None of which I asked for: I didn't know if I would like it, I expected to pay to find out. And I'm still not sure they understood that I just didn't like it. They seemed to think everyone would love the experience, so my negative reaction must be because I got a defective scooter.

Last edited by SpyOne; 03-19-2020 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:10 PM
dalesys's Avatar
dalesys dalesys is offline
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Location: Salsa Lake City, UT, USA
Posts: 7,143

Quoth SpyOne View Post
... They seemed to think everyone would love the experience...
Chef to lobster...
I am not an a**hole. I am a hemorrhoid. I irritate a**holes!
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Old 03-21-2020, 02:43 AM
earl colby pottinger earl colby pottinger is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,751
Default Failure

One of the biggest causes of failure in a new business is the people running it thinking the general public will like the same thing as them.

My dad was always try a "quick rich scheme" and I saw a number of his businesses fail because he insisted everyone would have the same tastes as him. Example: He tried selling Jamaican Patties before they became popular here (Ontario) but he insisted on only ordering the very spicy versions because that is what he liked. Of-course since at the time there were not a lot of West Indian people here, a lot of the customers tried them would had preferred a milder patty, but my dad insisted on the spicy ones only.

Result: Almost no sales.

Today, stores that do sell the patties have spicy, mild, goat, chicken and vegetable versions - they make good sales because they have different items for different wants.

All the original poster needed was a slower scooter, but the company reps refuse to entertain the idea, to they everyone must want to go fast.
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Old 03-21-2020, 07:08 AM
Buzzard Buzzard is online now
Store Manager
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 748

Going fast is great and all, but the throttle should have settings other than 'risk to self and others'. Electric throttles can be pulsed for momentary power/moderate speed gains, but that's far from an ideal for matters of control and equipment life.
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Old 03-21-2020, 12:46 PM
Mental_Mouse Mental_Mouse is offline
Store Manager
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 652

As far as refunding your money, that's just standing by their "satisfied or your money back" policy, which is good.

Failing to acknowledge (and probably ignoring) feedback... that's not so good. Especially since the very points you mention are all things which scooter rental companies have been called out for before. Called out, and sometimes sued, prosecuted and/or kicked out of the town. Basically, their business model only works if they ignore pesky state and local regulations (such as safety rules).
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