Customer Service and Brothel Advertising
Through my blog, I will share some entertaining stories from this trip. On the day before we left I needed an air filter for my Mercedes SUV. I swung into O’Reilly Auto Parts on Happy Valley. It turns out there were two possible filters for my vehicle. The young counterman asked if the vehicle was in the parking lot, grabbed both filters, and headed to the car, me in tow.
I popped open the hood and the parts man popped out the old filter and replaced it with the correct new filter. On my model of Mercedes, this is a 10 minute job. This was the best auto parts customer service story I’ve seen since I owned auto parts stores! The young man was awesome.
As a side note I used to hang with David O’Reilly at national auto parts conventions before he went big time, went public, and expanded nationally.
The Arizona Republic is featured in my negative customer service story. Our paper was not delivered the Sunday morning we left for this trip (we left Sunday afternoon). It is the 2nd time our Sunday paper has not been delivered in the last 8 weeks. I reported the paper missing and told the agent that a 75% delivery rate was not much to brag about. The guy had no sense of humor and said he would have my paper to me by 11:30 AM. I told him I like to read my Sunday paper at 7:30AM so 11:30 wasn’t helpful.
Long story short I did not receive the paper before we left at 2PM, nor was the paper delivered by 11:30 the last time it was missing. How do I, a person who helps clients make advertising decisions, ever recommend the AZ Republic?
Back to the trip. Carol and I have always enjoyed road trips. When we vacation via car we avoid the interstates and stick to the back roads as much as possible.
On Sunday afternoon we cruised up to Las Vegas. Not a gambling trip, it was just a place to spend the night. It was our first trip across the new bridge at Hoover Dam. We were expecting something much more magnificent. At least it was a time saver from the old route across the dam.
Monday we drove up US 95 to Fallon, NV and then over to Reno. I have always enjoyed the advertising for the two small brothels, Angel’s Ladies and the Shady Lady which you pass on the way. It seems the biggest benefit they offer is “Lots of truck parking”. If I was doing their marketing, I would knock off the old Burma Shave road signs and come up with some clever sayings based on the benefits of stopping at a brothel in the middle of nowhere. I am sure there must be some I just can’t think of any right now.
Now there online marketing – that’s a different story. Carol suggested I Google them. I said yeah, right. But intrigued, I did a search and was amazed. They had a price list, monthly specials, photo tours – everything you would expect from any retail website. I still think they could produce more revenue with better signage for “spur of moment” clientele.
We stopped for lunch at a Subway / gas station in Tonapah. While I was in line to get the sandwiches, Carol came out of the restrooms holding her sunglasses in a paper towel. Her explanation was that they fell off her head into the toilet and she had to scrub them after she fished them out. I was the only man in line with tears rolling down his cheeks from laughing!
And what goes on in Hawthorne? There are thousands of covered of bunkers all over the area. There is also a Naval underwater training facility on the south end of town and an Army detachment on the north end. It makes you wonder what’s in those bunkers? It is rumored they are ammunition storage bunkers and security is supplied by the Marines.
After seeing the filth of Las Vegas, it was refreshing to see how clean Fallon, NV was. There is Naval Air Station in Fallon. When I was training Marine reserves at NAS Alameda we shared A4 aircraft with the Navy. One of the Navy reserve pilots ejected at Fallon. The only trouble was he was upside down and ejected himself into the runway. The unit I was responsible for had performed the periodic maintenance on the ejection seat of the aircraft. There was an investigation, but film showed the seat worked as advertised.
Reno has fond memories for both of us. It was the first place we ever did any legal gambling. We had not been to Reno in at least 15 years until this trip. Years ago the MGM built a new hotel casino complete with a bowling alley and live lions. At that time we preferred the down town casinos so we seldom played there.
This trip we checked out the old MGM which is now the Grand Sierra Resort. Granted it was a Monday night, but the place was dead. We did spend a couple of hours gambling – successfully I might add. Carol won a couple of hundred bucks playing video poker and I had a great little streak at the Blackjack tables.
The place was interesting from a customer service standpoint. Every blackjack dealer asked the names of those sitting at the table. And then remembered them and introduced us to new players joining the table.
In my next post I will take you from Reno to Lake Tahoe, to Northeastern California and up through Central Oregon.