Customer Service Extraordinaire

There is good and bad customer service, but the best customer service is when a retailer fixes a problem on behalf of the client. I recently purchased a table and 4 chairs from Structube which is one of my favorite stores. Structube features modern furniture at affordable prices with stylish designs.

The store managaer, Alicia as well as the assistant manager, Gloria, took care of my dilemma. I realized that the table and chairs would not fit in my new small house. So, I decided to return them to the store. Unfortunately, I was away for a week and only returned the items several weeks after purchase. When I returned the items, the store manager informed me thay she could not take them back due to their 7 day return policy. Despite my disappointment, she was only doing her job and adhering to the company policy.

The main problem with customer service is that employeed are not empowered to make decisions of their own accord. And that is the reason why policies are a mistake. The only policy that should exist can be summed up in two words, customer first.

I worked at Mount Royal Commemorative Services as Director of Sales and Marketing. The Executive Director once asked me to prepare a customer service manuaĺ. At the meeting to launch the manual several weeks later, I sat down with the team and gave everyone a single sheet of paper that said ” families first ” and that’s all we needed. Make all your customer service decisions based on this premise and you will never go wrong.

In sum, Alicia and Gloria were just doing their job. And they did it very well. I commend them in the way they handled the situation. But they were handcuffed by company policy. They should have had the power to do what the head office decided to to which was to refund my money. I had to go through a lengthy process to reach a conclusion that we could have easily reached. So, empower your employees to make the right decision. They are on the front lines and inherently know what to do. Just do the right thing and you will never go wrong.

At the end of the day, I will continue to be a Structube customer and I will continue to be an evangelist for Structube. A much better role than the opposite, And instead of getting my money back, I purchased a smaller table for about the same price as my small table and chairs. Everybody won.

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So I recently adopted a dog from a elderly lady who was going into a senior residence. I was looking for a small, older, non-shedder, but Tyler came along and captured my heart. But I changed his name because Tyler is not really a dog’s name, in my humble opinion, and he reminded me of my goldendoodle Finnegan. And poodles are very smart and do not shed.

So after a couple of days, I realize that the concept of proper behavior is lost on Finn. He spent most of the first few days humping, pawing, jumping and basically driving me crazy. I have had 6 dogs in my like – Kelly, Brandy, Kelsey, Nikki, Finnegan and Finnegan #2. But I was lost on what to do in terms of getting his wild behavior under control.

Until this guy came along. Graham Smith of Bark Busters. I knew Graham back in the day as he owned a successful advertising agency and I am in the radio business. We worked together on the famous Felix and Norton account. Graham told me that within 5 minutes of his arrival, Finnegan would be a new dog. I said to myself ” ya right “. But what Graham said was absolutely true. And I was in shock. His theory is based on the fact that dogs are descendants of wolves and as such, he studied the behavior patterns of wolves. Wolves are pack animals and have to ascertain who is the leader of the pack. Dogs will try and establish that leadership role unless you take control. We also discussed food, walks and other behaviors. Two hours and I learned more about dogs than I had known for 60 years.

If you have a dog, I promise that Graham and Bark Busters can make a world of difference. Call Graham at 866 418 4584 or

Enjoy the video and have a great day.

Hang in There

Everyone is fighting a battle. Some have a tougher battle than others. But the good news is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not a train. With time, anti-depressants, cognitive therapy, support of family and friends, there is hope.

As a matter of fact, according to the National Association of Mental Illness, 1 in 5 North Americans suffer from depression. The numbers are substantial, however, the good news is that anti-depressants are effective 85% of the time. Approximately 60% of people respond favorably to them within a 2 month period.

It’s hard to have patience but it is a neccesity to heal. I ran a support group for 10 years and experienced a lot of positive outcomes. However, there were some sad stories as well. One member of our group hanged himself in his garage. Another called me and said he had a knife in his hand and was going to stab himself. I kept him on the phone until I got to his house and took the knife.

The reason I share my stories of depression is in the hopes of helping others. There is nothing to be afraid of. We have to fight the stigma and the more we talk about this phenomen, the better off the world will be. The other ohphenomenon that converns me is homelessness. The vast majority of homeless people suffer from mental illness. The next time you see a homeless person, stop, look them in the eyes and treat them like an equal. I give every homeless person I see a $20 bill. Some people say they will use it to buy drugs or alcohol. Not my concern. Give to give and never judge.

Customer Service Stories

The Best of the Best

1. Godaddy – their telephone customer service is stellar. I have been a Godaddy customer for years and anytime I call, they solve my problem. And they have a pleasant disposition.

2. Walmart – anytime you return an item in Walmart, there is never a problem. Look below.

3.Telus – my Apple phone had the grey screen of death where the screen bleeds grey and is unusable. I contacted Apple (they are in my worst customer service stories) and they were of no help despite manufacturing the product. I called Telus and asked for the President who passed me tona VP. The next morning, I received by courier a brand new phone at no charge. Now that’s cutomer service.

The Worst of the worst.

1. National Bank – the story is too long to recount but the essence is not to complain if you have a problem, just keep quiet and accept the incompetence which runs rampant.

2. Apple – they will play games in order to outlast you. They refused to accept responsibility for a phone that they made. And when you travel up the ladder to Tim Cook you will be blocked by Brandi Garcia who is the worst cutomer service person in North America.

3. Hotwire – be sure not to have a car breakdown when you book a Horwire hotel. They don’t care. They continue to talk about policy. By the way, policy is what ruins customer service.

Stories from Ogunquit

My recent trip to Ogunquit was absolutely phenomenal. I have visited Ogunquit every year for the past 25 years. I love the ocean, the people, the lobster, the great restaurants and most of all, Marginal Way and Perkins Cove.

Imagine watching the sun rise over the Atlantic, with only sand and water between you and the horizon: another day begins here in Ogunquit, Maine. The Dunes on the Waterfront is just across the tidal river from Ogunquit Beach on twelve quiet, secluded acres selected by our founders in the 1930s. You’ll notice that most of our land is undeveloped, so our Ogunquit cottages and hotel-style guest rooms can be spaced comfortably apart. Spectacular ocean views can be taken in from practically anywhere.

My trip started at the Dunes on the Waterfront where the people are friendly including Katie Keene, the GM, whose hospitality is stellar. I had the pleasure of meeting Seth Zimmerman and was fascinated by his stories of working with the Rolling Stones along with Jimmy Miller, a record producer and musician.

The cottages are spectacular and are great for families. Ogunquit means beautiful place by the sea. Ogunquit is a town on Maine’s southern coast. Ogunquit Beach, a long, sandy peninsula with grassy dunes, lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ogunquit River. Nearby, Marginal Way is a cliff walk with coastal views, benches and a lighthouse. Musicals are staged at the Ogunquit Playhouse summer theater. The Ogunquit Museum of American Art is known for its waterside sculptures and works by Maine-related artists.

In terms of restaurants, every trip starts with Barnacle Billy’s. The food is excellent and the view is stellar. My lobster sautee was delicious and the chef did all the heavy lifting. You should dine outside in order to enjoy the view.

In terms of shopping, Ogunquit is sprinkled with lovely shops. My favorite was Celtic on Main due to my Irish background with all 4 grandparents born in Ireland. The owners, Lisa and Percy and Theresa, were wonderful in helping me buy a claddagh ring. The Claddagh ring is a traditional Irish ring which represents love, loyalty, and friendship (the hands represent friendship, the heart represents love, and the crown represents loyalty).

The next store that you have to check out is Mim on a Whim. The owner, Mim Karlin greets you at the door and welcomes you to shop her wares. The shop is whimsical and has a variety of unique items including mugs with comical sayings.

And finally a store with a wonderful vibration, Art and Soul Gallery owned by Whitney. The shop is unique and I found a framed quote of my favorite saying, ” Everything is going to be all right ”

Now not every trip is perfect. For example, I walk into 2 banks and ask for my Canadian currency to be converted to American. Both ask me if I have an account with their respective bank. If I did, I wouldn’t be asking for American money. The answer was no account, no exchange. Where else should I expect to get this done?

And avoid the Van Ward Art Gallery. The owner is very suspicious and asked if I was there to sell him something. I said no, I was going to blog about your art gallery but now I will suggest you avoid it. Bad vibration.

Other places to avoid are The Crooked Pine Restaurant where I was yelled at for parking in their parking lot.

Avoid at all costs. Another restaurant to avoid is Food for Thought. I pulled into the restaurant parking lot and several of the spaces were blocked with orange cones. So some kid comes out and says I can’t park there since they are reserved. Reserved for who? Apparently for the patrons of the Air B N B. But there’s a parking lot 1/2 mile down the street. So if you want to walk to dinner, it’s the perfect place. Otherwise it’s to be avoided. Another bad vibration.

Finally why would you go to the beach and look at your cell phone?

Enjoy Ogunquit.

We live in an ocean of motion

As I sat admiring the ocean and the sunrise, I came to the realization that this is the essence of life. The ocean is always in motion and so is the human race. But the ocean has a calmness about it that brings inner peace. E.E. Cummings once said ” for whatever we lose, its ourselves we always find in the sea.

Of course there is that song by America ” the ocean is a desert with its life underground and the perfect disguise up above ” from A Horse with No Name. There is a tranquility that emanates from the ocean that you cannot feel from anywhere else on this universe.

By the Sea by Emily Dickinson

I started early, took my dog,
And visited the sea;
The mermaids in the basement
Came out to look at me.

And frigates in the upper floor
Extended hempen hands,
Presuming me to be a mouse
Aground, upon the sands.

But no man moved me till the tide
Went past my simple shoe,
And past my apron and my belt,
And past my bodice too,

And made as he would eat me up
As wholly as a dew
Upon a dandelion’s sleeve –
And then I started too.

And he – he followed close behind;
I felt his silver heel
Upon my ankle, – then my shoes
Would overflow with pearl.

Until we met the solid town,
No man he seemed to know;
And bowing with a mighty look

At me the sea withdrew.

One final thought. There is an organization called 4 ocean and their mission is ocean conservancy. They want to end the ocean plastic crisis which is endangering the lives of all all animals in the ocean. Each uniquely-colored bracelet represents an animal or ecosystem threatened by ocean plastic pollution and helps raise awareness to support and protect them.

Check them out at

The Law of Vibration

The Law of Vibration was taught to me by Bob Proctor. He is an American author, motivational speaker and success coach. I had the privilege of of seeing him on stage about 25 years ago in Toronto.

His teachings are simple. The law of vibration is one of the basic laws of the universe. It decrees that everything moves, nothing rests and we live in an ocean of motion. If you really want to master the art of selling, vibration is essential. And yet all the sales training that are done worldwide have nothing about the law of vibration.

Robert Louis Stevenson said everyone’s selling; you’re selling an idea, product or service, and it’s true. The teacher is selling the student, the parents selling the child, the child selling the parent.

So what does selling mean? The professional salesperson understands that selling is doing something for someone, not to someone. They will sit down and they will get to know the prospect. They will find out as much about the prospect as they can and they’ll have permission to ask the prospect questions in order to gather a lot of information. They will find out where the prospect wants to go and what they want to accomplish. They mentally get on the prospects frequency and help them go to where they want to go.

I think we all know and understand this phenomenon. But the challenge is living it every day. But I have noticed recently that if I project a positive and energetic, it will flow back to me. Simple but true. Just try it. Spend the next day in a positive vibration and watch what happens.

Enjoy your day and check out my book which is available at


We all work hard and tend to run from one appointment to another luncheon to another charity event with ever really taking the time to relax and berate. Although I am not into meditation ot yoga, just the simple are of a cappucino on a beautiful sunny morning is just as good.

And of course the second part of peacefulness is a dog. Dogs will help you in the following areas

  1. Improve heart health
  2. Keep you physically fit
  3. Help you lose weight
  4. Improve your social life
  5. Reduce stress
  6. Add meaning and purpose to your life
  7. Stave off depression

Anxiety is your body talking to you and saying that something is wrong. But that’s not necessarily true. It could be that your body is in cognitive dissonance. In other words how you are living your life is not in tandem the way you want to be living your life.

Are you working 80 hours a week, making six figures plus; and hating it? You have 2 choices – continue to line your bank account and be miserable or shift paradigms and do something yiu love for less money.

I recently reduced my work week from 5 to 3 days per week in order to focus my energies on some new projects that I am passionate about. So far, so good.

And help others because there is nothing more important in life than this.

Good Customer Service Snippets

I thought that I would share some short stories on positive customer service.

First, TD Bank. The manager of the branch, Vanessa Cox, on St John’s road welcomed me when I had an issue with my credit card. She sat me down, explained exactly what happended and fixed the problem to my satisfaction. But the most important part was the fact that she was both energetic and enthusiastic in her willingness to help. Remember, customer service is an attitude, not a department.

I met with Jeff Quenneville of Raymond James in Hudson. They are affiliated with Quenneville Walsh Private Wealth Management. Not only am I welcomed with open arms, the meeting is with the whole family including Jeff’s wife Carole and son, Mark and partner Richard Walsh. They have my portfolio to review, update all my files, suggest a new strategy moving forward and they make it SIMPLE. And so far my returns are excellent. I used to work with another financial advisor, who shall remain nameless, and I never once heard from him.

This week I am broadcasting live from Trevi Pools. What an incredible experience. When you walk into their store on the Tcan just east of Sources you feel as if you’re walking into a tropical paradise. The sales team is friendly and they know their stuff. And you can buy a pool or spa today and only pay in 2021. What a tremendous opportunity. Drop in and say hi today from 4pm- 7pm or Saturday and Sunday