Wellness Coupon becomes Annoyance Coupon
In the middle of last year, it was my birthday again. And at this time, you always get the question: “What do you want for your birthday?” Familiar, isn’t it? And as is so often the case, I couldn’t come up with much. But after having a think, I suddenly knew: a sports massage at Spa Puur, the Tilburg wellness centre. I had been there recently, and it did me a lot of good.
Flexible as a concrete wall
The gift-giver went to the spa, hoping to buy me a coupon specifically for a massage. Unfortunately, this was not possible, but she was able buy a Wellness Coupon for € 25, which could then be used to pay for a massage. So far, nothing strange.
That was, until I wanted to book the massage this year. It turned out that in the time since the coupon had been bought, the company had changed their policy. From now on, a massage could only be booked in combination with a sauna visit, meaning I would have to pay another € 27. But I didn’t want to visit the sauna; I just wanted the massage!
However, rules are rules and they could not deviate from them. Unfortunately, the wellness centre was as “flexible” as a concrete wall in solving a problem that they had created themselves. The coupon had been sold under different conditions.
From Super Promoter to Anti-Promoter
I made all this clear to the various telephone operators, but they made no attempt to find a solution. And if I wanted to submit a complaint, they told me, I had to fill in the form on the website. I gave up. I did not feel like getting a massage anymore; the pleasure of the experience was gone.
I informed the generous donor, and she was even more furious than me. She is also a frequent visitor to Puur in Tilburg, often with her daughters and girlfriends. But she was also unable to persuade head office to change their mind.
Would they even notice what they are achieving with this rigidity?
As a result of all this, this lady never goes back to this spa and she now takes her daughters to another spa, about 4 or 5 times a year. Moreover, she also holds influence within her group of friends, who all make at least 3 or 4 annual visits to the sauna. And I can tell you, she tells this story time and again with great passion on people’s birthdays!
Per year, this all equates to a few thousand euros that Puur stand to lose. And all because of a dispute over € 25.
Puur managed to turn a Super Promoter into an Anti-Promoter in one fell swoop.
Is this what they mean by “Penny-wise, pound-foolish”?