Pop quiz, everybody! Take a look at the following two buttons from Microsoft Outlook and then answering the following questions:
1. Which one of these is for treating a customer with kindness and respect?
2. Which one of these is for talking trash about the customer behind their back when no one in the organization can drag themselves away from Stuff on My Cat long enough to do their jobs?
If you answered “Reply to All” and then “Reply”, you’re officially more qualified to work for the Detroit Lions than the current season ticket staff. Instead, they’re stuck with ones that tell an angry season ticket holder “f— ‘em” in an errant email.
We’re fairly certain this level of truthful disclosure wasn’t required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, though we wish it was. It’s nice to see the Lions organization ahead of the curve in at least one aspect.
After being jerked around for years on his season ticket orders despite asking for more tickets, Kevin Furlong told the Lions’ season ticket staff that he simply could not bring himself to renew for next season. When the staff realized Furlong was serious about not spending $5000 on season tickets next season, they offered him new seats much like he was falsely promised for years.
However, Furlong stuck to his guns and made it clear he wasn’t angling for a better deal; he just didn’t want to spend his money on season tickets after a poor customer experience.
When one of the Lions employees (Matt Schul) tried to get his boss, Mark Graham (head of ticket sales), to talk to Furlong and failed, he sent out an email to the beleaguered Lions employee (Lance Powser) working with Furlong:
“Lance…he is not talking about you here. Mark was asked to speak to these people and he said no. F… ‘em until next year.”
Unfortunately, Schul didn’t take the quiz above, so he pressed “Reply to All” and off the email went to the rather surprised customer, Kevin Furlong.
Furlong told his local sports columnist, Pat Caputo of THE OAKLAND PRESS, who felt the incident signified the organization’s opinion of its fan base. Asked to comment on the email and the correlation, Lions COO Tom Lewland showed the organizational commitment to reaching out to all members of the Lions community:
“If you write that, it will be factually incorrect and bordering on slander. And I will come after you.”
Tom Lewland has clearly learned nothing from the Roger Clemens civil trial discovery period. Caputo would love for the Lions legal department to spring into action. If they’re as well-run as the tickets department, every last secret about the Lions organization will spill out onto the front page of every Detroit-area newspaper.
In other words, on behalf of Lions fans everywhere, we’re begging the Lions to sue Pat Caputo. Please.