Why I’d rather buy a car from Subway than a sandwich from Chrysler.

I’m terrified that my Mother’s 2014 Dodge Dart by Chrysler will end her life one day due to failing brakes. If only this automotive company would implemented the practices that the Subway franchise did to gain our confidence back into their business.

Last week as a quick meal idea my Fiance and I grabbed a couple sandwiches from Subway. When he opened up his sandwich he found their bread knife wrap just under the sandwich. Thankfully he was not hurt but I took the opportunity to snap a picture. Over 3100 insights on Facebook in 24 hours, a dozen shares, loads of comments on Twitter and Instagram to follow.

I replied to their online survey:
“Friendly service, tasty sandwich and the free knife was a nice addition but for the future maybe don’t wrap it up with the sandwich. Someone could get hurt.” Linking them to my Page to see the picture of the knife and sandwich. @KilmaMusic

SubWay Knife Sandwich

I did it with a sense of humour because I knew it was an accident. It was still important they knew what happened and that it wasn’t going to go unnoticed, but I wasn’t about to freak out.

As someone with 10+ years of retails and sales experience, in additional to training employees and dealing with unhappy customers, I was very interested to see what they might do to resolve the issue. I wanted to test the theory that if you are calm and un-demanding that great companies will see opportunities to excel and give regardless to gain a loyal fan. While other companies make excuses and wait for the client to fuss before budging.

I received a phone call first thing the next day. The Woman apologized profusely and assured me it had never happened to any store in our city. She was shocked it happened since they always implemented a specific routine in training to assure these sort of things wouldn’t happen. The new hire was already being retrained from scratch due to the situation. She told me that she wanted to clear this up as quickly as possible and offered me $250.00 in gift cards ready for pick up and able to use at any Subway across Canada.

I was floored. Rarely in large franchises do you get such great response time and offers without making a big stink first. Or at least it was a first for me. I was impressed! With a company like Rogers Wireless, I’d have to talk to a few people including sending a few angry emails to get an issue resolved. With Subway’s District Manager’s, her sense of urgency, willingness to fix the problem and empathy she was able to make two Subway fans for life.

Chrysler on the other hand, has some explaining to do.

My wonderful Mother purchased a Brand NEW  2014 Chrysler Dodge. Beautiful vehicle, drives like a dream until it turned into a nightmare. The vehicle’s brakes failed within the first few weeks after purchasing. Thankfully she was not hurt but this happened more than once. She never knew when the brakes would stop working again, it was a gamble. Once the dealership looked over the car and work with Chrysler to figure out the issue, they were able to confirm the brake failure was in fact a result of how it was manufactured.

Chrysler responded unsympathetically to her situation. After asking about compensation they eventual offered her one free regular oil change for her” inconvenience”.  She simply had to pay for it in advance and then send in the invoice for reimbursement. Are you laughing yet? Oh it gets better because after being fixed, THE BRAKES FAIL AGAIN. 

Subway screws up on a $7 sandwich and I get $250.00 in gift cards to use towards more sandwiches. No one got hurt.

$20,000 car and the brakes fail. She receives nothing, until asking and even that “offer” was laughable. Responce time a week.

Let’s look at another company that had a similar situation with their automobiles.

General Motors had about 2.6 million recalls on their 2014 vehicles that included resulting in a known 13 deaths because of failures due to the way the vehicles were manufactured.

Where is Harvey Spector? Because we need him now.

So my question to Chrysler, “How many car accidents resulting in life changing injuries and deaths have to happen before your company starts taking this issue more seriously?” Is there a special number of deaths to pay out to? Do only the rich people willing to sue the company get a settlement or the families that lose loved one because of it? It doesn’t leave your customers feeling like their safety is top priority when making such a huge purchase.

With my smaller scaled business I understand the urgency to quickly address issues that clients and fans bring to my attention. Even if the issues seem silly to you and I, they are important to someone. Address issues with a sense of urgency and willingness to resolve them with a sprinkle of empathy and understanding and watch the dynamic of your company change.

Considering the danger it put my Mother in what could have been an easy fix for Chrysler in compensation will now turn into negative marketing for their company. Eventually when the deaths start happening due to failure of their vehicles, articles like this one will be one of many as a warning sign of poor service and quality of product.

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