Thank you for showing us our shortcomings so we can improve our future customer’s experience. This situation is the result of an honest miscommunication as all three parties involved are at fault.
This was the first time I offered to market someone else’s classes on the Monarch Defense website. Selling a contract class means we can run two classes simultaneously at peak hour to better serve the customer beyond my personal limitations. It also entails a risk as I can’t be in full control of the customer experience. It was my fault for not working with Rick proactively to ensure that his class would run smoothly.
Rick’s shortcoming was not communicating to me clearly that he was going to cancel the class. This was his first time working with Monarch Defense, and he is unaccustomed to having someone else handle his registrations. While I did notify him that your order came in, it was too late by that time to warn you that this class was canceled. You must recall, Monday’s and Tuesdays are my admin days. Friday after a long day of work, before a 16 student class Saturday morning, is not a realistic time for us to troubleshoot customer service requests. We run a very small operation which requires enormous amounts of hands-on attention to run smoothly, and do not have the resources of a dedicated customer service team.
You knew about the class a week prior, yet chose to sign up on the last day. How are we supposed to make proper arrangements to accommodate you if you don’t tell us you’re coming? In this age, any email, phone call, or Facebook message ahead of time could have allowed us to prevent your disappointment. We serve our customers on a prior arrangement basis. It costs money to reserve a shooting range. Sometimes just we have to make a decision to reschedule a class. Had we known a few days prior that you were interested, I could have easily accommodated you.
My standard policy is to reschedule for cancellations, so any refunds are on a case-by-case basis. In this case, it was our error to have registration open for a canceled class. It is important to note that my offer to refund your class was before you posted a 1 star review to Yelp. Think about it David: I work very very hard to serve my customers. It’s not possible for me to be perfect on every front, but I sure will try. Of the roughly 100 customers I teach per month, there will always be one who I will fail to satisfy. I accept this, and if it means you will leave me a poor review anyways, where is my incentive to serve you? A professional such as myself has nothing but a reputation in business. I work very hard to satisfy my customers, and I will work with you until you find what you are looking for, but it is not fair for you to judge me so poorly while I’m still working to make things right.
We all make honest mistakes David, we are all human. Unlike a larger corporation, we can’t afford to shrug off dissatisfied customers. The three of us share fault in what happened, and I ask all three of us to accept some responsibility in fixing it.
May I suggest a few potential solutions?
1. You insist upon keeping the 1 star review, I insist upon my no-refunds/reschedule only policy. You are upset and won’t reschedule. I have your money but I’m unhappy for not earning it. We lose you and many future customers. You lose your money and waste your time. No one gets to teach or take a good class, and all parties are unhappy.
2. I offer you a full refund and in exchange you remove your review. You feel like a sellout to the Yelp community, that I bribed you to take your bad review off. I feel like I’ve failed to serve my customer. We part ways unsatisfied, but without any significant loss.
3. In consideration of my sincere apology, I offer you a partial refund, and you reschedule your class. Rick and I learn from this mistake and improve our communication; You get a great deal on great training. If we disappoint you a second time, then we deserve it, but meanwhile you withhold your review until after the class, then you rate us a fair grade based upon the full experience, and document my willingness to make things right for future customers to read.
Which of these sounds most palatable to you? If you choose #3, you have my promise it will be worth the full 5 stars.