Sunday, November 26, 2006

Does the US really have a culture of customer service?

When across in the US earlie this month, I expected to face wave after wave of smarmy, saccharine “have a nice day” advice. But not in SF.

Millbrae train station is a single stop on the local BART transit system away from San Francisco Airport (SFO) and all the naïve tourists and visitors it must bring to the region. From there it's onto the longer-distance CalTrain service.

Both sides of the CalTrain platforms at Millbrae display the same really helpful sign.

While it tells you where you’d reach if you set off walking up the track, it doesn’t tell you which side of the platform you'd expect to wait on to catch the train going in your prefferred direction. In fact, nothing tells you which platform you need to wait on until you either ask someone or a train arrives.

It’s quite a long way up and across the bridge should you find yourself standing on the wrong side when the train arrive.

And the electronic platform signs tell you the name of the train company, their website address, and a security message, but not the time of the next train. Helpful or what?

Oh, and the hotel overcharged me $260 when I checked out - ignoring the room rate on the booking confirmation. Not so much as a sorry when I pointed out the error.

Customer service hardly at its best.

1 comment:

Jefferson Davis said...

San Francisco is the worst representation of hospitality in the United States. Next time you are over, come down to one of the southern states. We are known for our hospitality.

San Franciscan's are known for being smart arses. :)

Sorry about the hotel screwing you over Alan. I hope you'll come back again. If you come near South Carolina, I'll make sure you are treated well. Take care...