Should Companies Pay Us for Waiting?

My Dutch friend walked into his bank for a short transaction and was kept waiting for 45 minutes. Infuriated, he told the manager that his time was too valuable for this.  Ten days later a credit of €25 appeared on his account!  

Why can’t service organizations that keep you waiting an overly long time all do this?  Admittedly the proper price is not easy — Bill Gates’s time is more valuable than mine. But companies that offer a credit on your account if you have to wait more than some posted time would have a competitive advantage in attracting clients; and the threat of payment would provide lower-level managers an incentive to improve efficiency.  The only example I know of this practice is our plumber, who advertises that if he is more than 30 minutes late, the cost of labor is waived. (HT to GAP)

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  1. Amanda Golden says:

    American Airlines posted 5,000 miles to AAdvantage accounts for members who were delayed at LAX due to “mechanical problems” (suspicious due to ongoing union dispute). American Airlines also emailed us directly to apologize for any inconvenience and asked for the opportunity to better serve us in the future. This sets AA apart from airlines like United, which literally lost a child and only reimbursed her parents the fee charged to escort their child from gate to gate. Pathetic.

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  2. Reader says:

    When companies give us outrageously large service/ delivery windows and then cannot send someone out in time, either the delivery or installation fee should be refunded or there should be a discount.

    I no longer buy appliances from Sears. Once I had an item that required sevice; I was given an eight-hour (that’s no typo) delivery window. After numerous calls to the service center, I was advised that the service guy “should” arrive by 4:55 p.m. As far as Sears was concerned, as long as the guy’s car pulled into my driveway before 5:00, they had satisfied that eight-hour window — never mind that the job itself would take more than an hour.

    Foolishly, I went back to Sears some time later to buy an appliance. I was given a four-hour window for delivery and installation. I made it clear that I had afternoon appointments, and to me 8:00 – 12:00 meant the guy was leaving my driveway by noon. He arrived at 11:55. I sent him away, and I no longer shop at Sears.

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