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Jeff Porchak's Blog


Our Share Of Rogers

Published: February 17, 2011 12:40 pm ET

Last Comment: August 9, 2011 11:31 am ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Wednesday was an expensive day for me. I shelled out for new tires and brakes for my car and I also had to get my dryer fixed. The dryer cost $200 to fix, the car almost four times that. C'est la vie.

I needed a ride back to get my car. The auto shop, a nationally recognized chain, told me that they could not pick me up. They were able to drop me off earlier. In spite of this, I was told that at no point during the day would someone be available to get me.

Although I figured it was a longshot, I asked Roger - the dryer repairman - if he was heading in my direction for his next call. Alas, he was not. I told him my dilemma. He apologized for not being able to help.

After going back to his vehicle to make out the invoice, he told me that he'd drop me off to pick up my car. Even though it was in the opposite direction of where he was going, he took the time to go out of his way for a customer and went above and beyond the scope of his duties.

Whether just a gesture of kindness or appreciation to a loyal customer, a lesson needs to be learned here. Neither business I dealt with yesterday is the only game in town. I have dealt with both before. In my lifetime I have surely given more money to the one that wouldn't give me the ride but I will certainly pass on the name of the company that did to anyone in the Kitchener-Waterloo area who needs a fridge, stove or dryer repaired. (I will also tell people who wouldn't pick me up.)

Last month, I was talking to a friend of mine in the racing industry. He mentioned a friend that went to a track in a slot-enhanced region and related that experience.

"This guy started to like racing a few years ago. He took one of his sons to the local track. Told me it was a deserted dump with leaky ceilings. Left him and his son feeling sad and discouraged about the sport. He said if tracks were part of a national franchise that store would either be closed or renovated, and keeping it open is an obvious detriment. Why would you want to damage the company reputation?"

Ontario has its share of great facilities, but the facade of the building can at times be just that - a facade, something superficial but lacking depth and something strong underneath. As the Ontario Racing Commission aims to revamp the racing product to be more, in their words, "customer-focused" I certainly hope the racing framework involves ways to make the experience at the track itself more "customer-focused".

While a "game changer" as proposed by Jack Darling last week could go a long way to get people to the track, it's necessary for the customer to have a pleasant experience once his or her feet are in the door. Our reputation relies on it. Roger the dryer repairman gets it, the national auto chain clearly does not. I can only hope that our racetracks, harness racing's gateway to the masses, have their share of Rogers.

August 9, 2011 - 11:31 amThe way I understood it,

Jeff Porchak SAID...

The way I understood it, Mike, he made the decision because he had time and didn't make the next customer wait. I wouldn't expect him to inconvenience someone else for my benefit, and I certainly wouldn't glorify it.

Thanks for reading.

August 9, 2011 - 8:40 amA touching little story, did

A touching little story, did you ever stop to think what the next customer was thinking during the extra wait while Roger drove you the opposite direction to get your car. Gues it's a what can you do for me world isn't it, and you seem to fit right in.

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