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Three people that made me want to rip my face off.

TD Bank call centre representative: “I’m sorry sir, but our policy is to charge $10 to send you a copy of the cashed cheque you are looking for.”

Me: “I understand that it is your policy, but as I explained, my monthly fee that your bank charges me includes getting copies of all cashed cheques. I received copies of all the cashed cheques from last month except this one for $525. It appears one page is missing from my statement.

I apologize but I am going to need to charge you $10 to tell you who that cheque was written to.”

But I pay for it already in my monthly fees and you guys didn’t send it to me so it’s a mistake on your side. I am just missing the one.

Sorry, I apologize, but I am going to need to charge…

I have been banking with you for 21 years. I will cancel my account which averages a $10,000 monthly balance if you charge me $10 for a copy of this cheque.”

“Sorry, I apologize, but I am going to need…”

Please stop, is this call being recorded? It is? Good! I recommend this call be used for training purposes. Just so you know, I am ripping my face off right now because you are a robot and your superiors clearly haven’t provided you with common sense training. You don’t even have the authority to make a simple $10 customer care decision.

After 30 minutes on the phone a supervisor agreed to get me a copy of the cheque in question at no charge. Unfortunately I couldn’t read it for weeks because I had torn my eyeballs out of my head during the conversation.


Me: “Here is my tire warranty.”

Lexus service representative: “Oh, I have never seen one of these before, I need to investigate this because I am not sure we can accept this.”

Me: “But it says ‘Lexus tire road hazard warranty’, why would you not accept it?

Let me look into it and I will call you, in the meantime let’s get the tire fixed.”

Next day, Lexus service representative: “OK, your tire is fixed and I looked into the warranty, it’s only for Lexus on the Park and we are Lexus Downtown. So, I can not accept it.”

Lexus on the Park? Where does it say that?”

Right here, in tiny letters on the bottom.”

OK, well I am a customer of Lexus, I don’t really consider myself a customer of Lexus on the Park or Lexus Downtown. Can’t you guys work this out between you?

Unfortunately not, I apologize.”

But it’s not like I can plan to have a flat tire near Lexus on the Park. The fact is, I was closest to this Lexus so I came here. I think, from a customer satisfaction stand point and my continued service business you might want to discuss this with someone else because I feel like I want to rip my face off, it just does not make sense.

In the end I paid Lexus Downtown and eventually, after much back and forth, got Lexus on the Park to pay me $325 for the tire repair. But they refused to pay for my reconstructive surgery I required after ripping my face off.


Me (having checked in for my 6 p.m. flight and speaking to the gate agent): “Hi, I’m ahead of schedule today, I am on the 6 p.m. to Toronto and I understand there is a 5 p.m. flight, I’d like to take that one if there is room.”

Agent: “There is room, plenty of room actually, but it will cost $345 to change your ticket.

Me: “What? How could it be so much? And why, if there is room, wouldn’t you just put me on the earlier flight if I’m here and on time for that one?”

Agent: “It’s our policy based on your fare type.”

Me: “OK, just want to get this straight. You have plenty of room and I am here, no checked bags, just me, but if I do not pay $345 you can’t put me on the 5 p.m. flight?”

Agent: “Correct.”

Me: “Does that make sense to you?”

Agent: “My job is not to try and make sense of the policies.”

Me: “You have the option to care, to try and make sense of it. You can have an impact that would not leave me wanting to rip my face off.”

I ended up taking my originally scheduled 6 p.m. flight while carrying the skin from my face in my hand as I boarded.


Consider implementing an ‘avoid driving our customers to the point that they want to rip their face off’ policy.

1. Train common sense because only about 20% of the population actually has it. Weird I know. Common sense training should include dozens of examples of actual situations that your front line people will find themselves in.

2. Empower everyone with these questions: “Is it good for the customer? Is it good for the company? Are you willing to be held accountable? Then don’t ask, just do it!”. Or, an old Aware Marketing core value, ‘it’s better to ask for forgiveness afterwards than permission beforehand’.

3. Set bonuses on problem resolution satisfaction, not customer satisfaction on it’s own. It’s more important to measure the satisfaction of customers who had a problem not the satisfaction of the customers who didn’t have a problem.

4. Never hire anyone who has not been tested for ‘fit’. Fit to the job and fit to your culture. This is not testing for skill set, experience, domain knowledge or IQ. Testing is Clearfit. Testing is Predictive Index.

When you implement an ‘avoid driving our customers to the point that they want to rip their face off’ policy, you not only increase customer satisfaction, retention and general happiness, you also have a major impact on employee engagement and satisfaction.