What is Your Plan B?

A few weekends ago, I traveled to Colorado for a conference of Technical Customer Support Professionals.  The first day I was there, I went into the restaurant which was attached to the hotel to get a quick lunch before our afternoon meetings started.  When it came time to pay, my waitress took my credit card and after a few minutes, came back with an “old school” imprint paper slip and my card.

She informed me that they were having problems with their Point of Sale device and that they would have to run my card the old fashioned way.  She quickly and efficiently made a copy of my card and gave me the receipt.

Two days later, as I was preparing to leave the event and the hotel, I stopped into the hotel gift shop to pick up some shirts and souvenirs for my family.  When I presented my credit card to the woman running the shop, she tried running my card and then let me know that they were having difficulties with getting credit cards to go through.  I remarked that the restaurant (which was only about 50 feet away) also had issues a few days before, to which she replied that they were on the same system.

At this point, I expected her to make a paper “old school” imprint of my card, however, she handed back my card and told me that I would have to go get cash from the ATM in the hotel lobby.

Slap me in my face, this was not what I expected!  What happened to the quick paper copy?  I have had pizza delivery people who could make an imprint, but she could not?

Perplexed and a little put off, I went to stand in line (with others who were shopping on their way out of the event) and got out cash to pay (I really wanted these souvenirs for my kids).  When I went back to pay, I asked her if it was an issue for some customers and she said that it was. 

What a difference.  One of the hotel’s establishments knew of the problem and had a solution ready.  The other knew of the problem and forced the customer to come up with a solution. 

What is your plan B?

Does it impact your customer or is it seamless?

Thanks for reading,



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