Insuring Swimming Pools Against Theft


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Customers are getting weary of service providers overselling them features they do not need and will never need. When my phone bill seemed higher than it needed to be, I called my phone service provider and learned I had been paying for a feature I would never use in a million years. The call center reps retort: “You should have read the fine print.”

I recently had my car serviced. When I looked at the bill, it showed a charge for a front end alignment. It just happened that the week prior to this routine service, I had accidently run over a curb and taken the car into the same car service business for a front end alignment. When I asked for an explanation, the service person said, “We always do a front end alignment when we do a routine oil change.” When I mentioned they had done an alignment just the week before, he advised me: “You should have told us that when you brought your car in for service!”

We recently ordered an emergency alert for my 95 year old mother to put around her neck that would enable her to call 911 should she fall since she lives alone. The sales person was wonderful. However, on the very day the alert arrived, my mother’s physician suggested we put her in an assisted living facility. She would obviously not need the alert and cancelled the account. When we called to get instructions for returning the unopened box, we ran into merchandise return hell. We were told by the service department to wait for a special mailing label to be mailed which had to be attached in a certain way. No emailed PDF label like most companies. But, here is the trying part. Everyday someone from sales calls to find out when we are planning to activate the alert. After three weeks and numerous calls to their service department, we are still waiting on that special return label. We suspect they are hoping we just give up so they can bill for the superfluous equipment

Many customers are struggling with very tight financial circumstances. And, the scary recession has made them much pickier about getting true value for their hard earned dollar. They expect service providers to be fair in their dealings and customer-centered in their fees, charges and return policies. And, when they get “stiffed” by a “rules ‘r us” employee more interested in the size of the bottom line than the source of the bottom line, they quickly exit for more fair-minded deal. Are you insuring your customers’ swimming pools against theft?

Chip Bell
Chip R. Bell is the founder of the Chip Bell Group ( and a renowned keynote speaker and customer loyalty consultant. Dr. Bell has authored several best-selling books including The 9 1/2 Principles of Innovative Service and, with John Patterson, Take Their Breath Away. His newest book, Sprinkles: Creating Awesome Experiences Through Innovative Service, will be released in February.


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