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All payments are final

The coordinator of a local mom’s group told me.  We hadn’t been able to attend a playgroup program that I had signed us up for, something that Elisabeth had never tried before.  The shopping cart function didn’t work that well initially for me and in my haste to just get it done, I didn’t see the purchase policy…or don’t remember seeing it.  I had emailed the coordinator to explain that one of us was teething (not naming any names, okay?) and I thought it better to not bring a cranky baby to a program.  I’m a new mom and while I *think* she was teething maybe she had a cold…so why take the chance and expose other babies?  When I finally heard back from the coordinator, I was told that no, I couldn’t switch to a different session and “all payments are final.”

Really? I was astonished.  This kind of poor service is something that I would expect from anywhere else…except an organization that focuses on supporting parents and children.  I wasn’t asking for my money backStop Sign or even a copy of the giveaway that was promised that my child missed, just to attend a later session.  In essence, I was asking for someone to be generous.  She (a mother with a teething child herself even) couldn’t be bothered.

I have a sour taste in my mouth.  It doesn’t matter whether or not the policy was stated and I missed it or if it wasn’t clear or if it didn’t come up when it should of or if there was a technical hiccup.  What matters is that this customer is disappointed and likely won’t be purchasing something again.  The customer, me in this case, wants to feel understood, forgiven, heard.  None of these things happened.

“When did people stop being people and become, traffic, customers, users, members, followers or a target audience?” asks Bernadette Jiwa in a recent post.  I don’t know to that question but I do know that it doesn’t feel good being part of that latter category.  It doesn’t have to be this way.

Have you ever had an experience like this?  How did it make you feel?  What did you do?