Invariably, Mistakes Will Be Made: The Three Key Tips For Great Customer Service Recovery.

October 25, 2021 by

I recently moved from Illinois to Florida.  No one likes a move.  As such, you want to make sure you hire the right Moving/Van Line company.  If you don’t, your move will quickly go from bad to unbearable.  Unfortunately, I did not and had an absolutely horrific experience with Bekins/Boyer-Rosene Moving & Storage, Inc. and will never hire them again.

Here is what went wrong and an outline of my terrible experience with Bekins:

The representative who sold me their services (Dean) was very prompt in returning my messages during the sales process, and all the way up to when they required pre-payment.  Once payment was made (almost $3,900), Dean became invisible.  I literally called Dean 13 times before he returned my call once.  Remarkable.

I then was contacted by my scheduling coordinator, Claudette.  We agreed that my move date would be Thursday, August 26th, 2021.  The next time Claudette contacted me she said she wanted to re-confirm my September 27th, 2021 move date, which was wrong by an entire month.  I politely corrected her.  The next time Claudette contacted me she said she wanted to confirm my move time/date as the morning of September 27, 2021, wrong again by a month.  I politely corrected her (again), but began to wonder why her memory would be that foggy and confused.  You can only imagine how stressful it was to know that I had to vacate my Evanston apartment by the end of August and being repeatedly told that my move date would be September 27th

Then, on the day before my August 26, 2021 move date, Claudette called me and told me the movers would arrive at my Evanston, I apartment sometime between 7 A.M. and 8 A.M and told me to be ready for their arrival.  Thus, I woke up early and prepared for their arrival.  They never showed up during that hour.

Worse yet and shockingly, I never received any phone call or communication from Bekins between 7 A.M.  and 12:30 P.M. when the movers finally showed up.  The three movers (who were absolutely great by the way) confirmed that Claudette and no one else ever told them to arrive at my place between 7 A.M and 8 A.M.  They also went on to say that Bekins “Management Team” was “completely screwed up and could care less about the customers.”

When I politely gave feedback to Bekins, my situation was escalated to someone in upper management, Laurie.  This is exactly when things went from bad to worse, and even worse.  When hearing my feedback, especially about Claudette’s errant and cloudy memory, Laurie became incredibly defensive and insinuated that I was making things up and lying to her.  Sadly, instead of doing the right thing and listening to the cost-free constructive feedback, Laurie did what too many companies do when things go wrong:   she blamed the customer.  When hearing that Dean does not return calls from customers on his voicemail, Laurie actually said “Dean does not listen to his voicemails,” which of course begs the commonsense question:  So why does Dean even have voicemail if he does not listen to it?   Incredible.

When told that absolutely no one called me to explain that the movers would not arrive until 12:30 on Thursday, August  26th, Laurie repeatedly said that she called me “many times that Friday.”  Obviously, Laurie had confused the two dates, showing that her memory was as cloudy and bewildered as Claudette’s.

It is important for you to know that I worked with nearly every Van Line/Moving company when I was the Chief Executive Officer at HR Solutions, Inc. including Bekins, conducting each company’s Employee Engagement Survey.  Back then, my experience with Bekins and its employees was incredibly positive and professional.  Things have obviously turned severely worse since then.

So what are the best-practice tips for great customer service recovery tips when things go wrong?  Three simple things:  

  1. Fully Accept Responsibility For Mistakes.
  2. Apologize And Re-assure The Customer That It Will Never Happen Again.
  3. Give Restitution.

Bekins did none of these.  As such, I would never hire Bekins again.  As such, if you are planning a move, based on my experience, I strongly encourage you NOT to hire Bekins.  Instead, I recommend using American, Atlas, Nationwide, or United, all companies with great reputations.


Kevin Sheridan is an internationally-recognized Keynote Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of Employee Engagement. For five years running, he has been honored on Inc. Magazine’s top 100 Leadership Speakers in the world, as well as Inc.’s top 100 experts on Employee Engagement. He was also honored to be named to The Employee Engagement Award’s Top 101 Global Influencers on Employee Engagement of 2017.

Having spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, Kevin has helped some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long-overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement. His first book, Building a Magnetic Culture, made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers.

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior. He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies.