Too Much got the Gimmies

by Trudy on January 17, 2014

I observed something over the holidays. Some a little too up close and personal.

This past holiday it seems that there were too many organizations suffering from the gimmies, otherwise known as greed, or making hay. Or at least that is certainly how it appears.

What do I mean?

I ordered my personal Christmas cards in early December, paid extra for rush shipping to ensure I had them in plenty of time, and they ended up being delivered on January 4th! (Sure made the ho ho ho message seem rather passé!). It seems this company was exulting so much in their prosperity this holiday season that they watched as it kept it coming in, forgetting that they would have to fulfill their sales too.

I experienced being bumped from an airplane for showing up 56 minutes BEFORE the flight left because I missed the closing cut off. They gave my and my family’s seats away to some of the MANY people they had overbooked on the flight. To get on a flight sooner than 5 days away I had to pay AGAIN for my tickets. Personally, this felt a lot like extortion vs. greed, but definitely a company making hay when the snow was falling.

Then the UPS shipping situation occurred, where they were unable to meet the demand for shipping over the holidays leaving sad faces all around on Christmas day. The growing online sales opportunity completely overwhelmed the UPS system. Again, just keep taking in the packages, let the revenues explode, and we will figure it out somehow did not seem to work as a strategy. I expect that UPS will now learn how to read its own capacity better, and create systems that allows it to scale up to meet the capacity or manage delivery date expectations at the engagement point.

A favourite family tradition of participating in a gingerbread-making event was unusually disappointing because they ran out of supplies because it was so “popular” this year. Now this one is a really bad case of the gimmies, because you had to book in advance, so they knew how much they would need for supplies.

Friends came for a visit on New Year’s Eve, arrived at the car rental location to get their car, that had been booked long ago, and they had to wait 3.5 hours to get a car. Why? Because they overbooked! And not only that, they were letting people walk up with NO reservation and get cars too. This is the most egregious case of the gimmees, a slap in the face to the bird they had in their hand (aka the customer with the reservation).

I have pondered this at great length. I have wondered, what the heck is going on here in business today?

Ultimately what it comes down to is that each of these organizations chose to take on more than they could handle, and they did this at great inconvenience and cost to customers.

And do you know who else pays in this situation? They do.

They made a conscious decision to follow the money, when what they really should have followed was the relationship. The cost of ATTEMPTING to repair a relationship is very expensive.

The level of ill will that is created through these actions does not sit well with the people who give them business, or at least have given them business in the past. I am certain many will rethink their choices going forward, I certainly will.

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