Sunday, January 16, 2011

Package Plan Member #96

Package Plan member number 96 is no longer Dottie Binckley. This is actually a milestone of sorts. Dottie Binckley was one of the first one hundred Columbians to sign up for Columbia Associations’s Package Plan when it was first introduced in the late sixties. For the average Columbia family, Package Plan was a huge bargain over individual memberships for the recreational amentities like swimming, tennis and golf. For a family of eight like the Binckleys it was a no brainer.

Through all these years Dottie has kept her Package Plan membership even though all her kids were grown up and had moved out. She’s in her eighties now and the only amenity she enjoys is an occasional visit to the health club. It would make sense of course to simply cancel Package Plan and pay a daily rate at the health club, but there was that sub 100 number. She was number 96. It was part of her Columbia pioneer bonafides.

Her son hoped that maybe CA could cut her a break and let her keep the number for some sort of reduced rate. He visited the Customer Service Center and pleaded her case. “If we did that for you we’d have to do that for everyone,” he was politely told.

“Really?” he wondered. How many eighty year old Package Plan pioneers could there be?

Not surprisingly, his plea to find some accommodation for preserving his moms Package Plan legacy fell on deaf ears. He turned in #96,

Though CA can spend years and waste millions of dollars on a customer service software program that still doesn’t work they seem to have forgotten what real customer service looks like.

Ironically, this occurred in the same month that CA was touting their improved connectivity with lien payers with a new Facebook page.
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