One of my staff – we’ll call him Bruce – recently had a flat battery and called the RACV for assistance.
The RACV mechanic came around and took over an hour to replace the battery because one blew up and he had to install a second battery. By the time he was done, it was about 10:30 on a Sunday night in Melbourne’s outer north-eastern suburbs. Finally it was payment time. Bruce was asked how he was going to pay. He said, “By credit card.” The mechanic replied, “Oh, sometimes the machine doesn’t work. Do you have cash?” Bruce: “Sorry, I don’t have $150 on me. Can we try the card?”
Needless to say, the card didn’t work and Bruce was asked if he could go to an ATM to get money out. Bruce said he wasn’t going out to an ATM that late on a Sunday and asked the mechanic what else he could do.
The RACV battery man called his boss, who insisted Bruce pay cash now or they would uninstall the battery. There was no attempt to put the card through manually over the phone then, and when Bruce asked if he could call head office to make the payment by card, he was told: “No, we’re subcontractors to the RACV, so they can’t take payment.”
So the payment problem was not resolved and yes, the battery was uninstalled…only for Bruce to ring the RACV again the following day after he had been to an ATM to get cash out.
Bruce called the RACV head office to complain, but they confirmed that the mechanics were subcontractors and head office couldn’t take payments.
- The service guy should have asked at the beginning about payment and, given the amount of time he was there, Bruce could have gone to the ATM to get the cash out while he worked.
- If your brand is RACV, your RACV battery brand and other services should all be able to take payment for all your services. I don’t care that it’s a subcontracting arrangement. As far as I’m concerned, you’re one brand and you’re all the same company.
- Surely the boss could have taken payment for his contractor over the phone using his machine?
- It was a waste of time and resources for Bruce and the RACV – two phone calls and two call-outs for something that should have been resolved in one.
- RACV should have taken the complaint on board and offered a solution.
It seems the RACV wants the benefits of appearing to be a full service business but with none of the hassles. If it was truly putting the customer at the heart of the business and creating great customer experience, all this would be seamless: “Yes, sir, let us take your money in an easy and simple way.”