Free Rental Car Day: Thrifty Giveth, and Thrifty Taketh Away
I received an e-mail message from Thrifty Car Rental last night congratulating me that I have earned a FREE rental day through Blue Chip Rewards, as shown in the screen shot below:
I then received an e-mail message late this afternoon, asking me to accept their apology, as shown in the screen shot below:
In all fairness, I have not received a communication of any type from Thrifty Car Rental in greater than five years — and for reasons I will not divulge here, I have not rented any vehicle from — or conducted any business whatsoever with — Thrifty Car Rental for an even greater amount of time. In fact, I do not remember the last time I rented from Thrifty Car Rental, so it goes without saying that I have not rented from Thrifty Car Rental enough times to earn a free day.
Still, to commit such a careless error — Thrifty Car Rental called it a “slight mistake” — is extremely poor customer service. I do not expect the free rental car day to be offered — or perhaps I should — but at least give the customer a little something for their troubles, like a discount or a coupon. I may not have taken advantage of it — but at least I would have acknowledged that the company made some type of an effort, and I would have been just fine with that.
One look on FlyerTalk and I realized that I was not the only person who received this erroneous e-mail message, as FlyerTalk member travelcoupons proclaims that “Thrifty really knows how to drive customers away.”
I will not mention the name Fuddrucker’s, but there was a fast-food restaurant chain which committed a similar error just a few days ago, proclaiming a special offer at two locations in Nebraska — and I am based in Georgia. That anonymous restaurant chain then sent a follow-up e-mail message to me saying that that offer was only good for those residents in Nebraska and that it was sent to me by mistake — not that the offer was anything great anyway.
I promptly removed myself from their e-mail list as a result, as they lost me as a customer — and I will most likely do the same with Thrifty Car Rental even though I have not been a customer for years. Companies need to be more careful pertaining to their e-mail communications with their customers and be more diligent about preventing such boneheaded mistakes from happening in the first place as a result of their “eagerness.” Mistakes happen, sure — but to send out an e-mail message like the one above by mistake and then not at least offer the customer a token of good will other than “sorry” is just plain wrong.
Am I being unreasonable? Have you experienced anything similar? If so, how did you feel and what was your response?