Tom Curtin Cartoon Booking 10 July

One journalist = One crisis

July 10th, 2023

There is an unfortunate tendency in business to treat customers as a generic breed – like sheep – and as if they were all identical.

So, why not treat them all the same?  MAJOR, MAJOR ERROR.

As they say at that excellent business school, IMD, in Switzerland, let’s take a case. is a hugely successful online system with millions of users, and the vast majority are happy with the service.

And, of course, sometimes it is used by what we used to call in the old days VIPs. Spoiler: all customers are VIPs.

Camilla Long is a columnist at one of the UK’s most-respected newspapers, The Sunday Times. She has an attractive photo in her column, but don’t be fooled. Camilla comes under the breed of journalists called the ‘Rottweilers’.

So, she booked and went away with I’m not going to complete all the details of the ‘family holiday from Hell’ but here are some of the lowlights.

  • They arrived at their ‘two-bedroomed villa’ at 11.30 at night, and got all excited as they opened the door….to find a Dutch family enjoying their dinner.
  • The villa was too small to accommodate both families so the Longs got back into their car and after midnight went looking for a hotel in the middle of high season – of course everywhere was booked except a three-star dive on the seventh floor.
  • Eventually they found another villa – without any help from – which was in Camilla’s words ‘a tiny, wasp-infested one-bedroom villa in the semi-industrial part of the island’.
  • Eventually she had to threaten legal action to get her money back.

I’m not saying that the Long family should have got (not ‘gotten’ – I hate that word) special treatment.

But, it would have been nice if they had been treated like… customers, no matter who they were.

I’m just about to book a holiday at the moment so please pass me the Relais & Châteaux guide. I can’t afford the prices but nor can I risk my sanity.

As for, they can Book Off.

Have a great week


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