As some of you know I run my own tour guide business called New York Broadway Tours. Recently I had a request a few months ago from a blogger who wanted to write a review and take one of my tours. I was excited and asked them when they wanted to take it. She sent an email explaining that they wanted to actually take two tours but would prefer my Glee Tour. So I went out of my way adding their tour request to my calendar because they were already busy with other activities that weekend. They then had sent another email asking about taking a different tour all together in which I replied that I would be happy to offer them that one too. Normally the Glee tour is 2 hours and the Broadway one is 3 hours. I created the tours and could theoretically have given both at the same time but that would have made the tours a lot longer then 3 hours. Probably even 5 hours long…. and I suggested jokingly that I could do a mash-up OR they should let me know what other day they want to take the 3 hour tour. Well I never got a response or concrete answer back and so I signed them up for the Glee tour and that was that. Now, somewhere in the back and forth the miscommunication was made that I would give them both tours at the same time. Even though I joked about it she assumed that it was implied that I was offering them both tours at the same time. That was a mistake on my part to have even offered them that because even though I could have done it, it wouldn’t have done the tours justice for being separate for each review. She was going to write a review for each tour. That was the deal.
Adding on to the confusion was the fact that she had sent this email that implied that her parents wanted to take my 3 hour Broadway tour and her daughters wanted to take the 2 hour Glee Tour but that her daughters were the ones they wanted to enjoy the Glee Tour on their first trip and at a later time they would sign up for the 3 hour tour.
I did a follow up email with them explaining that they were taking the Glee tour with a different guide and to please enjoy it and let me know how it goes. I never heard back. Other people had signed up for it and then he gave a fantastic tour. A few days later I received an email from the lady saying that she and her girls loved it but she was confused on why they didn’t get both.
Now, I took a step back and had to go through my emails to see what she meant. The only thing that I found was that long email saying that she wanted the Glee Tour and that she and her parents would be taking the other tour at a different time. After replying back to her that it was a mistake she resent me the email where I had joked about doing them both. I didn’t realize that she assumed I was serious. I apologized and then explained that it must have happened for a reason because the two tours are so separate they deserve to be reviewed separately. She had now sent me another email saying that she refuses to write any reviews for my company unless she is given the other tour for all of her family members because it was not the tour they expected. She now thinks that I am not honest in my word. Now she wants to bring her whole family which is her two parents as well as her and her children. That’s 6 people. The 3 hour tour is $45 a person. Now you probably can figure that I am hurt that she refuses to write the review because of this misunderstanding and now am feeling that she is ready to bad mouth my company and is now expecting another FREE tour.
I have to pay the tour guide something to give the tour. And so I replied back that it would be in both of our best interests if she could offer to pay for two of the 6 tickets then I would see it as fair to offer another tour at her request. So out of a $270 I was asking for $90 for the 3 hours. And by the way it takes me and my tour guides at least 2 hours commute on top of this to get in and out of the city.
Now those of you who know me know that I always stick to my word. I am a power player and I know that the universal truth, if you say you are going to do something then you need to do it. What you say you will do in this world is worth every penny. I stood by my word when I offered them a free tour. I had even offered them a second free tour at a different time because she was going to review both of them separately. Now that she was backing out of writing the review altogether I realized that offering her the other tour wouldn’t work.
She was not accepting my apology and not owning up to the fact that she had too made a mistake by assuming I had offered her two tours at the same time. It was unreasonable for my self worth to reconsider offering anything to her anymore. NOTHING was going to please this person. She isn’t upset with me she’s upset with herself for making the assumption.
So then the weekend happens and I relax and then receive another email from her yesterday requesting that she take the tour whenever someone else signs up for it so that they don’t have to pay at all. I was already over this and had moved on.
I replied back that now thanks to her and this experience I actually have a new policy that states only one ticket for press/media/blogger per tour. And that we should both just move on to new opportunities. I’m grateful for this experience and thankful that I was smart enough to walk away. I am not taking this personally anymore because this was a misunderstanding and miscommunication by assumption. I apologized and that wasn’t enough for her.
Now I know better.
Has anything like this ever happened to you? What did you do to work through it? I want to hear your thoughts.