Venus Trapped in Mars

16 January 2014

You're Just a Number

I have been in several situations lately which really made me realize, wow I'm just a number. 

Let me explain. I know this is not concise (not one of my strengths in life) but I have a good point, I promise. 

Situation One: All Dogs Unleashed... July 2013 (Boarding Kennel) 

Backstory: I normally take the pups to Barney's Ranch when I have to board them for my work trips. They cost are a few extra bucks, but they always answer my phone call by saying, "Sarah is the General coming to see us?!"  (Ah yes, the customer service power of caller i.d. knows no bounds.)

But this past July when I was in Tampa for a 14 day photo shoot and the work trip was much longer, I thought I'd save a couple bucks a night and try a larger kennel that normally specializes in obedience school, but has a a slight discount for simply boarding your dog. Two dogs, 14 nights,  if you have ever boarded a pet before, you will know I was spending a small fortune. 

The Story: I drop the pups off before my flight and the lady says to me, "Feel free to call and check in on your dogs at any time!" As much as I love my babies, I've never been the overly worried dog mother, so I didn't call in until day 8. I just assumed no news was good news. 

So I called, left a message with the lady at the front desk, and was told that someone would call me back about Vee and Gee. 

A few hours later, a guy calls me and starts by saying, "Hi Ms. Webb, well I got the message you called to check about your dogs. They are learning to sit and they have even learned several new commands already." 

---- whoa whoa whoa wait. I interrupt immediately, honestly somewhat panicked that they had accidentally enrolled my dogs in obedience school. As I mentally envisioned my final bill at checkout, I said, "WHAT? No no, they were just there to be boarded, not obedience school. I didn't authorize that!!" 

Without skipping a beat, he responds by saying, "OH! Ok, well they're doing great. Getting along with the other dogs at daycare. Sleeping fine. Eating fine........"

Um.

This man didn't know my dog from the stray cat in the corner. He just had a generic BS spiel provided to every puppy parent that calls in, and since 99% of the people calling are putting their dog through obedience school, I was the first person to catch that my pups are just a number. 

The worst part? When I picked the dogs up, they were starved and looked sickly. General had lost 10 pounds in 14 days. On a relatively small dog, 10 pounds made it clear they hadn't eaten anything. Here is a picture of them on the drive home.....

Why couldn't he have been honest? I maybe could have given some tricks I use to get them to eat?! Or even if he didn't have any idea who my dogs were, why didn't he just tell me he would watch them for a few hours and then report back. I would have been great with that. 

Situation 2: Van Hyundai Dealership in Carrollton, Tx
Backstory: Remember on Tuesday how I said something was wrong with my car? Well, I was able to get it started and to the dealership, but I left it overnight for them to diagnose out why it wouldn't start in the first place. 

Story: 
8:15am: I called Tuesday morning to get an ETA on when I could pick my car up. I was the only person who had dropped the car off the night before so I assumed I was first on the list, or at least close to first. The man tells me that my car is being worked on right now and they are trying to diagnose the problem. 

I then ask, "Well, I'm curious, were you able to get it started or did you have to push it in to the shop?"

He says, "Uhhhmmm no we had to wheel it in, it wouldn't start. They're looking at it now trying to diagnose what is wrong. We will call you when we know something."

Ah, good I thought. At least I'm not crazy and something really is wrong with the car. 

11:44am:  rolls around and I get a voicemail, "Ms. Webb, we just wanted to let you know that your car is next in line to be brought back and looked at by our mechanics." 

Next in line? Wait, I thought they had to push it back? I thought you couldn't get it started and were already trying to diagnose the problem. Huh?

5:09pm: My rep calls and I answer. 
"Ms. Webb, we were unable to recreate the no-start problem you were having. Everything checks out fine, but we recommend that you keep it here overnight and we see if it acts up in the morning. Oh and you should replace all of your filters."

Me: "I thought you had to push the car back because it wouldn't start?"

Man: "No, sorry ma'am. I got you confused with another car as I explained in my 11:44am voicemail." 

What other car? There were no other overnight drop offs? Liar. You just didn't give a shit enough to really give me an update on my car and you were trying to get me off the phone.

Me: "Will these filters that need to be replaced cause the car not to start?"

Man: "No ma'am. We just recommend that you replac-----"

Me: "NO FILTERS. Just tell me when can I pick my car up."


Had he been honest, and told me that my car hadn't been looked at yet, I would have been fine with that. I expected to wait. But instead he lied and told me my car wouldn't start and was in the shop, all eventually leading to a really ticked off Sarah with a blog post up her sleeve....








From here on out, I will be going to the place that costs a couple dollars more a night, or going to the place that will take longer because they spend more time with each client. I will spend more and wait longer, and give my money to those businesses that deserve my hard earned money. 

Have you been in a situation like mine before where you caught someone treating you like just a number? 


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64 comments :

  1. That is absolutely crazy about the kennel! I can't imagine how ticked I'd be if someone had lied to me like that! I too have spent extra to have our dogs looked after by someone who knows us and is willing to go the extra mile!

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  2. You are 100% right in this post. A few years ago, I took our 10yr old BMW to the BMW dealership. The guy scratched his head and said the fix was approx $1000. It was clear from his stuttering and failure to look me in the eye, etc, that he didn't have a clue what the problem was and was just throwing me a number. I took the car to a mechanic friend of my Dad, good ol' Rusty, who fixed it for $250. Rusty works on all of our cars now. Rusty sends me Christmas cards and asks after my college-age children. I bake him cookies on his birthday. We have 5 cars. It's a beautiful friendship. I hope you find your "Rusty".

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  3. Poor pups :( I had something similiar happen with Remi but I don't think the people even went to the kennel for 3 days because they didn't answer my phone calls once.. the terrible reviews I wrote made me feel better but poor Remi probably thought no one loved her for a whole week.

    I'm sure your babies were so happy to see their mama! Hope your car gets well soon.. not a fun thing to come home to after a long trip.

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  4. This makes me so sad, but ah - such is life. I love smaller businesses that treat you like an actual friend, or at the very least - like a decent customer!

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  5. OMG! I would be so mad if my dog lost that much weight! How terrible that they wouldn't call you the SECOND they realized something was wrong and he wouldn't eat. You should at LEAST get your money back for that neglect! Sorry you and the pups went through that :(

    Bad customer service is the most frustrating thing on the planet. Sigh. If you don't know, TELL me you don't know. That's WAY better than making something up!

    Hope you have a better day!

    K

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  6. I would be pissed about the dog thing - your blog post is nothing compared to the meanness I would want to spread! I totally agree that good service and attention is worth a few dollars more. I get free oil changes at the dealership for my car, but my husband pays for them at a shop he uses for work because he knows and trusts the guys there to look out for possible issues and to only suggest work that needs to be done. Ugh, good service is hard to find!

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  7. Especially because I work for a small business and we are HUGE on customer service, I loved this post. I don't understand the lying part, I can deal with the fact that you don't know. Especially if it were about my dogs, I would FREAK. On weekends I work at a dog day care/kennel and we always get calls about the dogs staying there and we are always putting pictures up on facebook for the parents to look at. It is a little more expensive but I really feel that parents feel their dogs are safe there.

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  8. awe your poor dogs!! I would have been so mad and felt horrible that they hadn't eaten. Luckily we always have a family member that wants to watch our animals for us when we go on trips. Now that we have our own place I am sure my brother is going to love just coming to crash at our house while we are gone in exchange for watching Tank and Diesel.

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  9. The first one makes me so mad! I take Hawkeye to day care and I watch her on the video camera all day. If she looks like another dog is bothering her, I call them right away to take her out for a walk or a nap. They know exactly who she is. I'm sure they talk about me, but I'm fine with it. They know I'M WATCHING.

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  10. Had a salesman knowingly sale me a really bad Acura. It looked perfect, but he knew it had been wrecked (by his son, no less). But never told us that. Long story.

    When the car started having maaajor issues, we didn't want to take it to our local Acura dealership to have work done because we knew they were going to overcharge us. But I also didn't want to take it somewhere that was going to treat us like shit. Soooo the dealership it was!
    In the end? That place treated us so well that I tell every single person in Knoxville about it. The car needed a new engine, but instead of trying to sell us a new one, they told us where we could get a used on in perfect condition with even less miles than mine had (they had done all of the previous work on it. it had belonged to an elderly woman). When they started working, they realized that my blinker bulbs were different colors and the taillights weren't the right kind and a long list of various filters and issues. Those little things? They replaced for free. And they gave us as many discounts as they could because they said they didn't want us to view Acura cars in a bad light just because some shitty salesman in GA had screwed us over.

    So long story short, I realized that sometimes, it's better to spend a little more to be treated like a real person. Sure it cost me a little extra in the long run, but at the same time.. I got quality, reliable work. Worth it.

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  11. Oh my gosh. YES. The dealership I bought my car from, I took it in because the gas gauge was working all wonky and they didn't even look at the problem. They said they couldn't re-create it so it was all set to go. ended up going postal on their facebook page, sent an email to their dealership owner and bitched out he service manager for a good hour before he PERSONALLY took over the service being done on my vehicle. The issue still isn't fixed, but I will NEVER go there again.

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  12. I am feeling that way RIGHT now. We just purchased a BRAND NEW car and we have had so many problems with them and false promises.. I'm soo annoyed. Hope things get better.

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  13. Your poor babies!!!! That would have infuriated me that generic BS line!!! The beautiful thing about getting older and having a little bit more (little!) of extra income is now I don't feel bad about spending a tiny bit extra to not feel taken advantage of. Car stuff is so frustrating! I always feel like I'm getting screwed no matter what :-(

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  14. Omg, I can't imagine how worried you were about your dogs when those jerks tried to give you their standard "automated" response. And the fact that they didn't eat :( Honestly, if I was you, I'd write a review about that place and suggest the other one you normally bring your dogs to!

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  15. So sad about your pups, I would have been so upset! I feel like that every time I try and call the immigration office to deal with my visa. Whenever I call they always give me some generic bs but when my boyfriend calls and speaks Icelandic to them so they know he is actually Icelandic they are more than willing to give him all the information in the world, wtf.

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  16. This is exactly how I feel about our apartment complex. Since moving in this past spring we had a lot of maintenance issues. It seemed like I talked to someone different every time I had to call because they didn't comunicate. They always had some bs answer for us. They never remembered us by name or apartment number, only by the problems we were reporting. The customer service experience has been horrible!

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  17. I got so angry reading about your poor pups and their boarding experience! We have had similar incidents, so now we shell over a large fortune to the most expensive (but a truly amazing) daycare/boarding facility in Birmingham. In the end, it's worth the extra money to have piece of mind that my dogs are being taken care of. Oh, and another perk is that they take pictures of the dogs playing during the day and then post them on their Facebook page at night for all the dog moms and dads to see!

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  18. There is nothing more frustrating then feeling unappreciated by a company... especially when you're making a big investment. I'm really shocked about the pet kennel situation, I would have been livid too!

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  19. Car people are the worst! We have a mini and needed some wheel bearings replaced, and it takes a special knut to unscrew them, which we keep in the side pockets at all times. The guys at the garage said they looked for it and couldnt find it, so we tore the house apart thinking we had brought it inside, and had to call back and they ordered a whole new set of bolts with the new wrench for over 100 bucks. When we picked up the car my bf looked in the side pocket and there it was, with literally two other things, he didn't even need to move anything. After over a month of going back and forth with head office we finally got our money back, and we don't go there anymore. They also did an oil change and didn't screw the cap back on properly and our engine almost blew up. Car places can really be so careless! Still looking for a good one.

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  20. Boarding my dogs make me neurotic. Especially in new places. I boarded Sinatra and Prim once, and they came back with fleas. It took months to get rid of them. All because I wanted to save a few bucks. Never again.

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  21. ugh that is awful. the fog thing, not acceptable. i mean i might punch someone over that mess. and the car thing, like really people!? come on.

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  22. Oh no! The poor pups :( I hope you posted a review on yelp about them, so people know they treat pups like that!!!

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  23. Oh my goodness! Both of these stories are horrible! Why would they just lie to you or give you that bs. That is so unprofessional and down right rude. I believe I would be fired if I treated our clients like that. Good grief. And your poor pups! My heart broke. :( When we moved here we took our car to a Meineke for repairs but soon some friends referred us to a great family-owned shop and we will never go back!

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  24. oh god! this is why I have always been so afraid to board my dog. I have been lucky and just made my friends watch him whenver I have traveled so far, this story confirms I will never be able to board him bc i am one of the overly worried dog moms. so sorry you had to deal with that crap!! get those babies some burger king!

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  25. Wow. The audacity of these businesses. And you have a beagle. Wonderful.
    http://pastriespumpsandpi.blogspot.com/

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  26. I refuse to take my car to the local Hyundai dealer anymore, and really, I only took it there to begin with because I was still under warranty. I had a problem with air conditioner (in that it wasn't conditioning any air, thankyouverymuch) and they told me that I needed to replace my coolant. I said that that was a bunch of BS because the AC system is a closed system and the only reason that I would need to replace my coolant is if there was a leak, and if there was a leak, than replacing all the coolant wouldn't help because it would just leak out again. They insisted that I was wrong. I told them not to replace the coolant and to call me back when they fixed the problem. FOUR HOURS LATER I call them and I am told that they're halfway done replacing the coolant... at which point I totally lost it and told them that I didn't authorize that and that I absolutely would not be paying for it and I couldn't believe how incompetent they were. Then I went and picked my car up and tore the mechanic a new one and probably scared some people, and then I wrote a highly dissatisfied customer letter to the Hyundai area rep.

    A similar thing happened at a Firestone near my house. I needed all of my belts replaced (routine stuff after 100K miles) and sparkplugs, and they wanted to do all of this other crap, which I declined because I knew I didn't need it. And then they charged me $400 for spark plugs!? I hit the ceiling. The guy that owned the shop gave me a discount while I was there, then I wrote another dissatisfied customer letter to the Firestone service people and got ALL of my money back for the whatever the hell they did that cost $400 (because that is NOT what 6 spark plugs cost for a Hyundai Tiburon). Take home point: People think that other people are stupid and also don't care about the individual (as you have experienced) and I'm very sorry that you had to go through that. I'm glad the pups are okay, and I totally agree with you on using small businesses!

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  27. I have a little fur baby of my own (Riley, Cairn Terrier, 7 1/2 yrs young) and when he was a puppy, I took him to the groomer regularly because he has hair, not fur, and doesn't shed, and I knew when he was an adult he would have to go every 12 weeks or so. I figured starting him early would be a good thing. I had taken him to a small groomer that my parents used for their dog. The ladies who work there are completely phenomenal. The woman who grooms him also has a Cairn Terrier and we always had wonderful conversations about the quirkiness of the breed. One time, I took him to a PetSmart or something like that. The 18 year old girl who took Riley back into the room didn't seem to know what she was doing and they ended up calling me to say they couldn't do his cut and I had to come get him. She had no idea how to handle him and instead of her saying that, she said "he is very poorly behaved" which is something that the other groomer had NEVER said about him.

    Small businesses for the win!!!!!

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  28. Ho-lee shit. I would have LOST MY SHIT if I picked up my dog in that condition. I hope you wrote some crazy negative reviews all over the internet about that place. I loathe deceptive companies! They are the scum of the earth. So sorry you went through this.

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  29. I would have been so upset about the kennel situation! I am generally a nice person but I would have ripped them a new one when I saw their condition. I don't let people get away with something like that!

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  30. Oh my gosh, both of these scenarios just piss me off for you. I hate that they can't just be honest - they have to BS everyone to make it look like they're doing the right thing.

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  31. 10lbs in 14days! I would have lost my sh!t. If the dog hasn’t eaten for 2or 3 days that is cause for concern they should have called you, and the fact that you called and they didn’t know is completely unacceptable. I would have demanded every stinking cent back and then called peta to harass the hell out of them. What BS!

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  32. Thats one of my biggest pet peeves when doing business with someone..at least pretend you care and give me the truth..I stopped going to the dealership to get my car worked on bc of a similar issue..they were more concerned at with getting money than fixing the problem..I'll forever be a supporter of small businesses

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  33. I go to the same dentist I've gone to since I was like 7. I tried to switch once because I got a new job and he didn't take my insurance- BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER! The guy I went to was like Edward Scissor Hands in my mouth- was not very friendly, and basically yelled at me because he made my mouth bleed and it wouldn't stop. I never went back to him, and even though my dentist doesn't take my insurance, I go to him and pay extra. I needed a root canal a few months back, I was in such intense pain that I called his office asking for pain killers, an emergency visit, anything to get it to stop- I hadn't slept in days and felt like someone was taking a hammer to my mouth. He called me back within 25 minutes and met me at his office an hour later- on a Saturday. When you got a good thing, stick with it! You get what you pay for!

    Danielle @ Allusional

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  34. We bought a car at that same dealership (we live a couple of blocks from there) and we felt very jerked around and not happy with the service at all. And your poor puppies!!! I would have raised hell!

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  35. Oh girl! I would have been so upset. I don't understand how people feel comfortable being so rude and careless.

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  36. I would be fuming mad if my dog was treated that way!! This is why I have my Dad babysit my dog if I go away because I don't trust anyone else. I know not everyone has that option so finding a place you trust is always worth the extra money.

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  37. ahhh so so annoying! especially the doggy stuff. how long would it have taken him to actually check on your dogs and let you know what's up? i'd be so mad! and agreed that I don't mind spending more now to get better service!
    -- jackie @ jade and oak

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  38. I mentioned before that I live in a small town. I work at a pharmacy and it's pretty small. But it's the way that we treat our customers. We have a fireplace, free coffee, tea, water and cookies, couches and comfy chairs, with plenty of magazines. We have customers come in just to read a magazine and have a coffee. I know most of our clients by first name and remember them when they come in. It's all about knowing your clients.. it's what people want nowadays and it's what keeps them coming to us, instead of the bigger chains.
    I feel your pain and am sorry your pups were mistreated.. that has to be a shitty feeling for you.

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  39. Pisses me off about the dogs! Some places only want your money! :(

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  40. I hate when people do this. I once had a groomer call me after I pick up my dog. To tell me I owe them 20 more dollars. I told the guy that would not be happen b/c I already paid when i pick up my dog. I can't help it he charge me the wrong price. If he notice when i was still in the shop then i would have paid but i was already home and it was like 20 mins later.

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  41. i am SO MAD at the treatment of your pups. i would be in jail right now if that was me because i would have choked every single employee in that shit hole. and then i wouldn't stop trashing them until they were shut down. THEY should be in jail. for fucking animal abuse. omg i'm so mad. i'm so sorry your babies were put through that.

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  42. I'm so sorry to hear about those horrible experiences. This is a great post and a reminder for everyone that it doesn't take much more effort to make sure customers/clients have a good experience with your business.

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  43. We had a similar situation happen with our cat back in the day. We just went ahead and spent the extra money from then on, I agree sometimes it's better to spend a little more money on the places that you know are going to really take care of you. So sorry this was your experience.

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  44. Oh, no! It sounds like there's some bad mojo with people lately! I can't believe they didn't tell you about your pups not eating! We take ours to the place that is a 40 minute drive away for the reasons you said-- it's a small, family owned business who love the boxers and take great care of them.... even though they always some back dirty and smelly they are healthy and happy and the people love them! #worthit

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  45. Being a number really sucks. Which is why friends/support is so important because then you know your'e number ONE to them.

    Puns for days over here.

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  46. I just want to snuggle your dogs and feed them so many treats. We had a bad situation with a boarding place 2 years ago and I'm worried that we are going to have trouble finding a new place since we've moved. We are going to tour one place this weekend when we bring the pups to get groomed and I'll be asking one million questions. I hope your car and your pups are doing better.

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  47. That is so sad how can they do that to your dogs after you paid them money to take care of them?!
    Thank you for this post and reminding us all that we should take our business to places where people are actually valued. Not just a measly number

    The Artistically Challenged: Beauty, Fashion, Music, Lifestyle Blog

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  48. I recently switched from a large bank to a credit union. What an amazing difference! My credit union calls me by name, they asked me how my recent trip was, and actually seem to mean it when they ask if there's anything else I need. Those personal touches really do make things so much better.

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  49. Mechanics are THE WORST. One time, my old clunker broke down, but it was convieniently right next to a garage. It basically sat there for a week while they maintained they "couldn't find what was wrong." Finally, I asked around for a good car mechanic (this was also right after I moved to a brand new town), and had the car towed there (which I made the other place pay for). That place had my car diagnosed and fixed within 48 hours. ALSO...we've boarded Millie at PetSmart, and we called every day, and it seemed like they knew who she was...but now she freaks out at the vet and at petsmart if I try to leave her, so for our next trip I'm trying to find an actual person to watch our dog, through Rover.com.

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  50. WOW!!! Is all I have to say. But, I work for Corporate America and often experience feeling like "just a number" myself.

    xo, Nina
    afterthe40barfinish

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  51. I drive 20 minutes to take my dogs to their boarding place because they remember my dogs names when I walk in the door. They know which is which, they automatically remember that my dogs like to stay together and they always report to me how they did when I pick them up. Each time it is something different so I know it's not rehearsed. That is why I drive out of my way to take them there. I would have been so so SO mad in that situation of yours!!!! I would rather deal with a small business any day over a big place that just wants my money.

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  52. Wow that is ridiculous! I would have been so annoyed, in both of those situations!!

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  53. I would have lost it if Penny came home looking that hungry! I totally agree tis better to spend a few extra bucks. Sheesh the world stinks sometimes.

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  54. I would have been pissed on both accounts. If I boarded my fur baby & she came home looking like that, I'd have been raising some hell. I'm not the type to speak up, but when it comes to Izzy, no one neglects my girl! I hate how so many businesses are run like that. If you want customers to come back and tell people about your business, you have to treat them like they're human!

    Jamie @
    The Growing Up Diaries

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  55. Holy shit I'd be PISSED about the kennel situation. Ah hellz

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  56. Yes, always worth the extra bucks/time for customer service. Also, why my father taught me to go into the bank to do my business, and in general show my face and establish relationships with people providing services. If they know your face, they will go the extra step - you are a person, not a number.

    And seriously, your poor little baby! No food for 14 days… NOT ok. I am so sorry for the treatment that was given… or total lack thereof!

    xx
    Here&Now
    Enter my current giveaway!

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  57. Financial aid offices in any school!

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  58. this is a brilliant post, I always try to go to local small business the difference in service or care is remarkable! x

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  59. Your dog story really made me sad. What kind of sick people are out there? Seriously, if you can't afford to pay attention to the animals your boarding, you're going to get terrible customer feedback and that's bad for business. Not to mention, the animals could get sick; if they lose that much weight that means their immune system weakens along with it. Poor little guys.

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  60. I totally agree with this--take your money where you will be appreciated!

    That's terrible about your dogs. I'm so sorry. You should leave a review about that so future customers know!

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  61. I had a lemon Nissan Altima. Something was breaking on it all the time. Being a woman, several car shops treated me like crap and gave me the run around. I finally let them know I wasn't going to take their shit.

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  62. First off, I hate people who treat dogs like shit. That's not cool, especially because most of them have no way to really fight back. I've only had one really great experience with a "big business" car dealership but it was because I was working directly with one of the guys I had made friends with in the collision office. He always treated me really well. I referred my boyfriend there a bit too late, as Mike, my favorite collision expert, had left. They didn't do an amazing job with his car (it wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great) and we were really disappointed. I now refuse to bring my car to that place because they have done unnecessary work on my car just for funsies.

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  63. OMG that infuriates me about the kennel!! No one should work with animals unless they at least give a shit about them! I hope you filed a complaint...poor babies! Great post and so true!!!

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  64. I feel your pain. It seems like people are becoming more and more incompetent at their jobs...and it's considered acceptable against standards!? I'll admit that at my previous job, the company had a "if we don't know, we'll find an answer for you" mindset, and I really miss that at my new one. I miss the joy and reward in bending over backwards for someone to be sure they find answers or resources for all their needs. It's too bad this attitude is becoming less frequent as the days go on. Where did we go wrong?

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