Outsourcing Your Customers’ Safety?

I’ve become accustomed to doing the order entry activities that suppliers used to do. I’ve even become fairly good at it, other than the occasional failure to notice I reserved a hotel room in Abu Dhabi rather than Dubai. Mistakes happen….

But two aspects of “outsourcing” that common travel-related vendors have accomplished really unnerve me. First, and this one is just a pet peeve, is that hotel cleaning staffs seem unable, unwilling, or untrained to make sure all the light bulbs works in a room before considering their job done.

The second, and this one jeopardizes our safety, is that car rental companies fill your return with gas, run it through the wash and consider it ready to hit the road again. No verification of tire pressures, fuel levels, or that the spare is actually in the trunk. And heaven forbid that they clean the inside of the windshield or change the wiper blades! It’s been months since a car I’ve rented (regardless of agency) has been fully functional.

When I responded to the rote question “was every thing alright with the car?” with “no, there was no windshield wiper fluid” or some other observation, only on one occasion did some obvious action occur. A car rental employee marked something on the drivers window in what appeared to be chalk. I’m hoping that was a message about the problem, and not an inside joke about whining customers.

I don’t mind that most of my suppliers have outsourced much of our administrative relationship to me but I am concerned that the auto rental agencies have outsourced my safety to the customer just before me. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but what if he’s given up reporting problems the same way I have? Or what if he reported a problem but the car was simply filled with fuel, washed, and given to me?

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One thought on “Outsourcing Your Customers’ Safety?

  1. I would hope that car rental companies use “secret shoppers” to check on the performance of their staff.

    The rental companies seem able to find door dings to charge customers for. They should be able to look at fluid levels at the same time.

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