Casino Consumers don't have to take bad treatment

Jul 12, 2011 3:00 AM

Thanks to Facebook, the average person now has the opportunity to reach out to many people very easily.

Many companies have a presence on Facebook, so if you want to ask a simple question you can do so easily, and probably get a quick answer either from the company itself or another customer.

Of course, you also have the opportunity to let a company know when you are disappointed in its performance in some way – although, I can’t promise they won’t quickly delete your post if they don’t like it.

Of course, a single person saying they don’t like something about a particular company probably won’t be very effective at getting the company to make changes. Sometimes, what occurred was an aberration and a company will quickly rectify the situation in some way.

Unfortunately, many times companies simply put policies in place that don’t really put their customers first. They somehow get the idea in their heads they can treat their customers any way they want and they’ll just keep coming back.

The question is did they get this idea based on past experience or are they just using wishful thinking? It is probably a combination of both, which has always bothered me quite a bit. Why do people allow themselves to be treated poorly by a company they are paying to do something?

It seems like as customers we have set our expectations so low we’ll take anything that comes our way. We have lost the art of a good effective boycott of a company that chooses to abuse its cash-paying customers!

No, I don’t have a particular company in mind (at least not a Las Vegas casino). We did just finish a rather eventful trip to Las Vegas, with both highs and lows in customer service. In the end, our rental car company (mostly) came through after a flat tire left us stranded on I-15 near Flamingo.

A very heartfelt thank you goes to the NV-DOT worker who came to our rescue! As a result of the way we were treated by the rental car company, we very nearly were in a position to find a new regular company to use on our trips. Fortunately, the manager stepped up and made amends for one of his employee’s poor behavior and judgment.

Still up in the air (pardon the pun) is how our airline will deal with a far worse situation. I’ll save those details for a future column (or my blog!). The bottom line is the airline will either make the situation right or we’ll be looking for a different airline to use when we travel. If you allow a company to treat you poorly and you just keep using them, then the company learns they can treat you poorly with no consequences.

So, what does this have to do with casinos and gambling? Casinos are companies. You are their customers. If you don’t get treated the way you want to, you are well within your right to ask to be treated differently. If what you are complaining about is a specific rude occurrence or employee, don’t hesitate to speak to a supervisor or manager.

While the casinos have tightened their belts greatly recently, most do not want to be known as a place that treats people badly. A few years ago, I complained that my non-smoking room smelled a lot like smoke and I even found a cigarette butt near the window. A half hour later, my wife and I were being moved to a one bedroom suite on the top floor. All I asked for was a replacement room for the one I had booked!

Sometimes, the problem is a casino policy. These can be far tougher to get changed on short notice. If the casino has decided to make significant changes to their cash back or comp policy, or slashes its pay tables, you can voice your dislike, but it is not as likely a manager can just restore your prior level of either.

They might be able to do something to make you feel a bit better if you ask, but at some point you will have to ask yourself if you want to "agree" to this change by continuing to go to that casino or if you want to make your unhappiness clear by going elsewhere.

Just keep in mind that if you change nothing about your habits – that is you keep going back just as often and play just as much, you will be quietly telling the casino the change is completely acceptable to you. On the other hand, if enough people reduce or eliminate their trips to this casino, you may just find them changing their policy again – but this time in your favor.

The bottom line is every dollar you play is like a dollar spent at a retailer. You choose where you play and how much you play. There are literally dozens of casinos in Las Vegas, and although many are now owned by the same corporation, there is still enough competition to let a casino know you’re not going to take it anymore and take your business elsewhere.

Don’t be afraid to speak with your dollars!

Speaking of Facebook, if you get a chance, go on over to my FB page and "like" it! (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gambatria/153757698005564). You can also do this from my website at www.gambatria.com.