For your convenience

I’m staying at a rather “upscale” Manhattan hotel and when I got back from dinner last night I wanted to get some ice. It’s a small hotel so I grabbed the bucket and wandered down the hallway to find the ice machine. No luck.

Back in my room I noticed a small card on a table that read “for your convenience the ice machine is located on the second floor.” My room is on the 10th floor. Not so convenient.

I was reminded of a recent group dinner I participated in. When the check came I saw that there was a note indicating that “for your convenience a 20% gratuity has been added to your bill.”  The service had been terrible. I wasn’t feeling very good about the restaurant’s management acting presumptuously on our behalf.

To be sure, these are first world problems. And obviously there are underlying constraints or economic drivers that cause brands to settle for certain solutions or engage in less than customer-friendly practices. But let’s not kid ourselves: these actions are done for management’s convenience, not ours.

If you want to be a brand that is known to be on the same side as the customer, don’t insult our intelligence.

And that’s the inconvenient truth.

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