It was the gum…


A pilot busted for flying under the influence from NY to FL blamed his alcohol level on the gum he was chewing. 

Will this be the new “the dog ate my homework” excuse?

Customers who flew on that plane are outraged and not just because their safety was at risk.

Your customers may have legitimate concerns when they call you. Take them seriously, hear them out and don’t hide behind an excuse. Ask yourself if you really need to explain why it happened or if you need to apologize and offer a solution.


If there’s a chance this will happen again, and educating the customer will solve it proactively, then explain how it happened.

For example:  I’m sorry to hear you were caught off guard by the late fee charge.  Let’s confirm the address we have on file, perhaps you haven’t received our notices.

If you’re explaining your policy, internal process or dirty laundry, then it’s going to sound like an excuse:   

I’m sorry you were caught off guard by the late charges. We sent you 3 emails, but Suzie is new in our data entry department and hasn’t had the Excel training yet ‘cause her computer was down and she probably sent it to the wrong address.  That happens all the time.

Don’t blame it on the gum.  Hear their concern, own it, and make it right.