Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Good or Bad?

Headed home
The difference between a good contractor and a bad one is how they handle their mistakes. — Radio talk show host in Sacramento, CA (if I knew his name, I'd include it)

Tonight, a story to go with today's one-liner...

Several weeks ago my wife dropped me off at the Trax station so I could ride to work. I walked up to the ticket machine, told it what I wanted and fed it my five dollar bill. Nothing happened. It was then I looked at the screen to read "Exact change only." Hmm. Mildly irritated, I figured I'd cancel the transaction and use a different machine. The cancel button cleared the screen to its normal start position but it didn't return me the money. What?!?! I irrationally hit the cancel button a couple times to no effect. I restrained any further physical aggression towards that machine, assumed this was going to be an expensive train ride, went to another machine and completed a successful transaction.

When I got to work, I went to the UTA web site, found a web form for comments and explained what happened. I hit send with no expectations of hearing anything. Several days later I had an e-mail from UTA asking for some clarifying details. I replied and heard nothing. For weeks. Until today when I received a check for five dollars in the mail.

In spite of the machine with a stupid user interface that caused the problem in the first place and in spite of the anonymous web form with pretty much zero feedback, UTA in the end did the right thing with little hassle. Good job.