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Best of John Grochowski

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When casino customer service goes wrong

22 September 2009

Players go to casinos to gamble, to eat, to watch shows — for any number of reasons.

What keeps them coming back? The easy answer is winning money, but nearly all players lose more often than they win.

What really keeps them coming back is customer service. The right combination of comps, rewards and friendly service can keep the guests feeling like they've had fun even when the inevitable losses come.

Sometimes, though, the customer service aspect goes wrong. When that happens, players like these who have shared their tales with me start looking for somewhere else to play.

Joyce: "I split my time between slots and blackjack. I keep hoping for a big jackpot, but I really like talking to the blackjack dealers about their lives, their boyfriends, anything. Mostly, they're pretty friendly. One time, though, I knew it was trouble when our dealer went on break and the next one started off, 'I'm here to take your money.'

"Usually, they wish you luck. Not this lady. She was grumpy all the way through. One of the players, a guy, of course, rattled on about how she was 'real' and 'refreshing.' She wasn't refreshing. She was a … well, I won't say.

"My cards were OK, and some of the guys at the table were fun, so I stayed. Then after a while, the guy who thought she was refreshing was undecided on whether to hit. He asked her what she would do with the hand, and she said, 'I don't care what you do. I just want to get to my break.'

"The pit boss was standing right there, and he didn't say anything to her. She was rude and crude and abusive to players, and it hit me that even her supervisor didn't care that that's how she was. A bad dealer is one thing, but if even the supervisors don't care about how they treat the customers, I'll take my money elsewhere."

Hilda: "One day I started having a sneezing fit. Sometimes my allergies kick in, and that happens. I'm allergic to some perfumes, and sometimes bad smoke gets to me. I don't know what it was that day, but my eyes were watering, and I was getting a little puffy, and I was sneezing and sneezing.

"A slot attendant came over and asked if she could do anything. I told her I needed to take my pills, and could she get me a glass of water. She sent a cocktail waitress over with a bottle of water, and the waitress charged me a dollar!

"I couldn't believe it. I'm spending money in their slot machines, and I'm obviously having a problem, and they won't even give me a glass of water to take my pills? I've never been back."

Jared: "I was at a casino with friends one night. Some of them were playing craps, some went to the slots. I was the only blackjack player, but I was having a decent night. I wasn't winning a lot of money, but I was holding my own, about breaking even.

"I was betting pretty good, too, $25 a hand. That's a lot for me. I played a pretty long time, probably four hours while the other guys were off doing other stuff. We were going to meet for dinner at the coffee shop, and it was getting to be about that time. I called over a pit boss and asked if he could write me a coffee shop comp. He said no, I didn't qualify. So I asked how long I'd have to play at $25 a hand to qualify for a $15 comp.

"He said, 'I wouldn't give you a comp if you played from now till the end of time.' There were only three other players at the table, but they all looked shocked. Everybody was looking at each other. There hadn't been any incidents, I hadn't complained about anything. I don't know what the problem was. But the next time my buddies and I had a casino night, it wasn't there."

Kate: "I left my players club card in a video poker machine when my husband and I went to lunch. I didn't even realize I'd forgotten it until after we ate and went back to play. I tried to retrace my steps and go back to the same machine, but the card was gone.

"So I went to the club booth and told them, and asked them to issue me a new card. I got the third degree. The woman practically accused me of trying to get free points by leaving my card in while somebody else played. She said they didn't have to honor my points. In the end, they left my points alone, and a supervisor sort of apologized. He said, 'That's Alice, she goes off like that sometimes.' You know, kind of a non-apology apology.

"I guess that's not all that serious a problem, but it makes you think twice about where to go next time."

Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

Winning Tips for Casino Games

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski