Friday, October 12, 2012

An Update on My Open Letter to Dynamite

You know how you work yourself up into a flurry of righteous indignation, storm into an establishment with receipts and a complaint letter in your hand, and hurl your opening salvo only to discover that you were wrong and your entire premise was based on a mistake that you made and is your fault and only your fault? And then you want to say, “never mind,” and race home to delete your blog post on the subject at the same time as you shred the letter you were going to hand to said establishment in a fit of righteous anger?

That is what happened in the first minute of my walking into Dynamite Gymnastics Center this afternoon, where I talked to Michelle and Dov. In case you don’t know what I am talking about, I thought that Dynamite had kicked Quinn out of his gymnastics class, but we hadn’t been told about it. It turns out that I misread what was actually a billing statement. It was confusing because two monthly billing statements had come very close together (like a week apart) because the first one was late going out, according to Michelle. Furthermore, the statement read “(refunded)” right next to the amount I was charged, but I didn’t realize that if the amount wasn’t in parenthesis, that meant it was a charge, not a refund.

I know. I’m considering hiring fact checkers.

I was wrong. I apologize. I assumed that because communication had been so sketchy up to that point, that this was just more of the same.

But.

I am still very glad that I went down there. I am glad I wrote out what bothered me about Dynamite. I am glad I spoke to Dov and Michelle about it. Because, as Michelle herself said, “If there weren’t underlying things at play here, you wouldn’t have come marching in here.” Which is absolutely true. I stand by the things that happened to Quinn prior to my assumption about the billing statement.

Here’s the rest of what happened this afternoon though: Michelle and Dov listened to me. They heard out my complaints. They were kind to me. I feel like they really listened to me and they said that some of these things are issues that they are working on already. They admitted that some of their instructors are great at working with kids but less good at working with parents.

They agreed that communication should have been better. They explained more about what was going on with Quinn. I listened to them. We worked together to hopefully find a solution that will work for Quinn. We are going to move him to a weeknight class and they are going to have a second teacher available to help in that class in case Quinn needs it. I will talk to Quinn and tell him that he really needs to listen and follow directions and participate. Hopefully he can get settled and ease into being successful in the class. They talked to me for 40 minutes.

What happened before was bad customer service. What happened today was good customer service. I am hopeful that things can work out.

Then I had to tell them that I had a letter for them that I had published online. Part of me wanted to just not give them the letter and walk out of there and never mention it to them, but knew that was unfair to them, so I handed them the letter and told them that they would be seeing an update on my website, reflecting what had happened that afternoon.

I regret misreading the billing statement, and I apologize for that and for the assumptions that I made. At the same time, I’m glad that all of this is out of my system. I’m glad that the air is clear and that hopefully we can move forward in a mutually respectful relationship to make Quinn successful at Dynamite. I also hope that they can learn from my reaction to some of the things that happened and hopefully make communication with other families better as well.

Dov said that his goal is to make Dynamite the happiest place in the world for kids, that he wants it to be wonderland for them. I really hope this works out for Quinn. I can’t wait to tell him that he gets to keep going to classes there. I am hopeful and happy and I am grateful to Michelle and Dov for taking the time to make the situation better.

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