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Home Updated: 6/09/03 List Entry

Golf Learning Center

Date: added - 5/25/03 - REMOVED - 6/09/03 (see updates below)
Location: Radnor Drive, Peoria IL.
Reason: I pretty much summed up the incident in my email to the Peoria Park District:

Peoria Park District,
After a recent visit to the Golf Learning Center in Poeria, I am compelled to send this email in an attempt determine if recent conduct from this facility is condoned by your organization. My wife had been asking me to take her golfing for sometime. She had purchased a new club and was anxious to try it out. Unfortunately, I had not had time fulfill this request until yesterday evening (5/25). She had come down ill the night before and I thought this might cheer her up some. Once we got everything out of the way we needed to that day, we loaded up our clubs and drove in to hit some balls. We arrived at the Golf Learning Center at roughly 7:40pm. My wife stayed at the car, while I went in to purchase a bucket of balls to share (it was the first time out for both of this year and we just wanted to knock some rust off). I entered the clubhouse and asked the attendant what time the closed. He pointed to the sign and said rather sharply 8:00. I then asked him if he would sell me a bucket of balls. He responded with a statement on how I couldn't hit a bucket of balls in that timeframe and thus refused to sell me them. No mention was made on my part on what size of bucket I wanted or the number in my party. Clearly I was putting him out, so I left the clubhouse stating that "This was the reason I do not come here anymore". As the door shut and I turned the corner I heard him call me an "Asshole". Somewhat startled, I turned back to verify that he did indeed call me that. Upon my question back to him (which was simply "Did you just call me an asshole?") he stormed out from behind the counter came through the door and stated "No, I called you an ass [and then some muttering which again sounded like the word hole]". Regardless of which word was used, I feel it hardly appropriate in any case. I questioned him again on the fact that it was 20 minutes before closing where he shot back it was 15 minutes - apparently I had already wasted 5 minutes of my life with this event.

He then challenged me by asking me if I could hit a bucket of balls in 15 minutes which I responded with "Yes I could". The latter being based on the fact I only wanted a small bucket and my wife was planning on hitting them as well - not to mention that I wouldn't have been too worried even if I couldn't finish them. Then to my surprise he continues his derogatory shouting by telling me he will go inside and sell me a bucket. Since this is an individual that just called me a name I was not fond of, I wasn't about to give him any of my money, nor do I ever plan on patronizing that establishment again. I should also point out that my wife witnessed this entire event and was in quite a state of shock upon my return. From there we departed and went to Wee Tee and had a very enjoyable experience (and they thoroughly enjoyed a recap of the previous event) - for reference, they are open till 11:00pm and from this point forward will be receiving my business. As a final note in this saga, I came home and researched your website at where I found this contact and a blurb on the Learning Center which indicated that it stayed open till 9:00pm - although that doesn't appear to have been updated since November/December. I personally find it hard to believe that a driving range with lights would close before sundown, but that is not the point of this email. If this is the kind of service I can expect at this facility or the rest of the Peoria Park District for that matter, then I will simply find another location to spend my hard earned dollars. A former Customer of the Golf Learning Center
Brian Doerfler

Update: 6/09/03 - As stated in the email below, the superintendent did address the situation and definitely exceeded my expectations! Due to the actions of PPD, I have decided to remove this business from the list - for the record, this has only happened once in the history of this list.

Dear Mr. Doerfler:
Thank you for voicing your concern about the Golf Learning Center. Public input is always a primary key to any successful business.

Your concern has been thoroughly discussed with the employee in question and with the facility manager. Customer service is always a priority and is stressed to all of our employees.

I certainly regret this incident and I hope you do not judge the District because of it.

At your convenience, please call me at [number removed] with any questions or comments.

[name removed]
Superintendent of Golf Peoria Park District

Update: 5/29/03 - I stand corrected. I apparently missed the response from the Peoria Park district. Indeed, they did respond with a very customer friendly email and went above and beyond my expectations.

Dear Mr. Doerfler:
Thank you very much for your e-mail of May 26. We apologize for your experience at the Golf Learning Center and wanted you to know that this matter is presently being investigated by [Name removed], the Superintendent of Golf. Our employees go through customer service training each season, and while we like to think our customers will be well taken care of at our facilities, it appears our efforts have fallen short with the employee you dealt with during your visit. We do recognize that even one experience like the one you described could cause us to lose even the most understanding of customers. [Name removed] will respond to you as soon as possible with what we hope will be an acceptable resolution to this matter. Our customers are very important to us, and we hope that we can earn back your patronage in the future. Sincerely, [Name removed] Peoria Park District Coordinator of Golf Operations

If I do recieve a response from the individual mentioned above, I will gladly take them off of my business list. Clearly the individual that responded to my email has a strong customer focus and is willing to go the extra step to resolve the situation. As a note, I did respond to this email thanking them for the attention and understanding

Update: 5/27/03 - I finally got in touch with the manager of the individual above. This took several calls, but to his credit he did call me back later in the day. I gave a brief summary of the incident and told him how I felt about it. To my dismay, he simply said he was going to have a talk with him. No explaination, no apologies, just a comment that he will talk to the individual involved. Apparently this displayed commitment to customer satisfaction extends further up the management chain. Fair enough, my opinion has been expressed and my future business re-directed. - I should also point out that the Peoria Park District never responded to this email - it appears my assumption was incorrect and this is indeed expected behavior. - Correction, please see update above!

Welcome to The List! - Maybe?