Roger Goodell and The NFL: Is Good Customer Service Still Alive and Kicking?

Jeff CockeyCorrespondent IFebruary 7, 2011

DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 07:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (R) look on after speaking to the media during a press conference at Super Bowl XLV Media Center on February 7, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

How many times have you made reservations for an evening meal, requested the table by the window with the ocean view so your date can see the dolphins swimming by in the moonlight, picked the perfect bottle of wine, consolidated all of you credit card debt to one of those late night TV paid advertisement places so that you would have a zero balance card available for which to pay for this special night, ordered your overly expensive yet portionally challenged meal only to receive your food cold or worse, her food was prepared wrong and had to be sent back or there were pieces of broken plate in her salad (true story), and the restaurant not only didn’t comp the dish, but they didn’t even comp a desert, maybe a round of drinks or have the decency to send the manager out to apologize?

That entire paragraph could be the longest run-on sentence of my writing career, but back to the point. This happens all the time in America today. All too often customer service has become a thing of the past which is why I was extremely encouraged to see that Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the National Football League, is leading the charge to bring it back.

For those of you who weren’t aware, the NFL had their Superbowl this past Sunday and it was in Jerry Jones’s brand new, state of the art, $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium. The maximum capacity of this monstrosity is approximately 110,000 people, including standing room areas. The NFL had announced that they were going to set a Superbowl attendance record with 105,000 seated fans at this years contest and evidently in order to achieve this record setting number 1,250 temporary seats were added.

As it turns out these 1,250 seats were not completed in time for the game, or at least not up to the safety standards of the fire marshal and thus they were unable to be occupied by the individuals who shelled out $800 (face value) per ticket. By the way, face value of Superbowl tickets has risen more than a guy on Levitra reading the latest Bleacher Report WAG column, and I’m sure these people paid much more than face value for their tickets.

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I was lucky enough to attend Superbowl XXII (Washington Redskins v. Denver Broncos) and the face value on my ticket was $100. Our seats however, cost us several more benji’s and they were much better than these temporary seats. With this in mind, I feel pretty confident that these poor people dropped more than $800 to be able to witness this game in person.

The NFL was able to relocate 850 of these displaced individuals by giving them seats that were originally occupied by people from the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys. So what happened to the other 400 people? Judging by what customer service is like these days I was sure they would be reimbursed their $800 (even though they paid several thousand per seat, several hundred for hotel rooms, flights to Dallas, helmets to protect from falling icicles when entering Cowboys stadium, etc…) and sent on their merry way. But the NFL surprised me in a very positive way.

Not only did Roger Goodell make sure that these fans got inside the stadium to see the game, albeit standing room only or viewed on monitors in a club behind Pittsburgh’s bench, but he also allowed those fans to go onto the field after the game had ended. In addition, the fans were triple reimbursed for their tickets ($2,400), plus they were given free NFL merchandise, food and beverages. But wait there’s more. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Roger Goodell pulled out all the stops and made those lucky 400 fans official guests of the NFL at next years Superbowl in Indianapolis.

It makes me happy to see that customer service, at least in one organization, is truly alive and kicking. These lucky fans will reap the rewards when they are sitting in Indi at next years Superbowl. Great job Rog; now how about you focus on making sure that we even have a football season next year so you don’t screw these 400 people two years in a row.

How many of you think we will even have an NFL season next year and if so do you think it will be shortened? By how many games? Let me know why in your comments for a future column on a possible lockout. Thanks.


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