I have been working out at the same gym for six or seven years – Balance Training in central Stockholm. As one of the more expensive gyms in Stockholm, my monthly fee has not been cheap, but getting in early saved me the high prices new members pay now. However, I have always been very satisfied. They have very nice staff, it’s clean, good equipment, good opening hours and so on. In short, I was very happy with the whole experience.
Nonetheless, I decided to try something new, and it was CrossFit at CrossFit Nordic. And since that isn’t cheap either, I wanted to cancel my membership at Balance.
And here comes what is standard practice, but what still surprises me. Balance has this 30 days notice, meaning I have to pay for one month more than I want to train. I cancel today, and want to quit training, but have to pay for one more month. Why?
It is strange that an experience that has been 100 % positive for me all of a sudden gets a bad taste. I don’t see any logical administrative reason for it. They will even charge for the days in next month that running are up to the 30 days after my call. It just seems like a last effort to squeeze some money out of a client.
It’s like a slap in the face to the customer who decides to leave, even if they were perfectly happy and would recommend the place up until then.
I don’t think I will ever understand businesses that put these kind of rules in place. Phone companies are even worse, usually with a 90 days notice.
No one likes a slap in the face! Got it?
One of the books I am currently reading is Planet Ponzi, by Mitch Feierstein. I just started, but just felt I had so pass something on already. We know that wars cost a lot of money, and we all understand that the U.S. has spent a lot on wars in recent years, but this is just amazing and crazy at the same time.
The Joint Economic Committee of Congress placed the cost for the war in Iraq at around 3.5 trillion dollars ($3,500,000,000,000). That is approximately $31,250 per household in America.
Could you think of better things to use the money?
Adding up the cost for Afghanistan, we need to add onother trillion or so, or around $10,000-15,000 per household.
I wonder how many americans know this. Do you?
According to Wikipedia, schemas are:
“…a mental structure of pre-conceived ideas, a framework representing some aspect of the world, or a system of organizing and perceiving new information.”
It is also something that:
“…influence attention and the absorption of new knowledge: people are more likely to notice things that fit into their schema, while re-interpreting contradictions to the schema as exceptions or distorting them to fit. Schemata have a tendency to remain unchanged, even in the face of contradictory information.”
So, what happens when something doesn’t fit in? Well, it might be interpreted as an exception, or we might distort it to make it fit in. And we might also talk.
As mentioned on Brains on Fire, when something disrupts our schemas we stop and think, and we talk. The challenge is to be disruptive enough to be talked about, but I think in many businesses, it might not take too much effort to come up with something disruptive.
Banks that are open when you are free from work?
Airlines that actually have good quality loudspeakers and an adjusted volume so you don’t suffer or have to put your fingers in your ears when they are in use?
Or when an employee actually is empowered enough to make a decision that makes you a happy customer, without involving a superior?
Other suggestions of easy ways to disrupt a schema?