I’ve just had an interesting customer experience that is probably the very opposite of what Business Continuity (BC) is supposed to be about. Instead of ensuring that it could continue provide its essential services, an airport taxi company that I was booked with charged me, the customer, an additional amount because their telephone system failed!
I was flying back from Hong Kong to Manchester via Dubai when the flight from Hong Kong was delayed by 4 hours because of a tropical hailstorm over Hong Kong, causing me to miss the connection in Dubai. I was due to be picked up at Manchester Airport by the airport taxi company from the original flight, and the agreement that I had with them was that if I needed to change the pick-up time then there would be an additional charge unless I gave them at least 12 hours notice.
Dutifully, I called their contact number using my mobile, but after one ring the connection was terminated. In all I tried 15 times until, in desperation, just before I boarded the new flight that I had been re-scheduled on to from Dubai to Manchester I called our house cleaner to see if she was available to actually go to the airport taxi company in person to tell them that my pick-up time needed to be changed.
Fortunately, my cleaner was available and went to the airport taxi company where I called her mobile and spoke to the company on her mobile. By this time, of course, the 12 hour limit had passed, but the company acknowledged that there was a problem with their contact phone line and I did manage to re-arrange the pick-up time.
When I finally arrived at Manchester Airport I was given a letter by the driver informing that there would be an extra charge because I failed to advise the company of the change in arrangements in time, but because their contact phone wasn’t working they would give me a discount.
So, they had a failure of the phone system, and they wanted me, the customer, to pay an additional charge because they did not manage to provide continuity of an essential service.
As you can imagine, I won’t be using this company again.