Suhail Fires Two DBC Members!

You know, at Falak Enterprises (Zen-Do and DreamBody Centre), we go out of our way to please our students and members.  We really strive to provide outstanding service and amazing experiences for our customers.

Of course, from time to time we might mess up, and when we do, we apologise and rectify the matter immediately, often providing the affected people with generous compensation gifts.

But every once in a while (every other year or so) there is a customer who is hell-bent on making our life miserable.  They complain constantly, and/or are rude to my Team.  When this happens we try to politely explain our point of view, and if this does not work, then out they go!  I give them the proverbial boot, and in most cases, their money is given back to them.

One of the worse and most inaccurate business maxim’s is “the customer is always right.”  To be honest I’m surprised by the number of people who believe this BS.  Don’t get me wrong, the customer should be treated like a king as much as possible, and you should go out of your way to please him, but that’s not the same as him being right all the time.

Let me give you an example.  Imagine someone walks into your store/business, helps themselves to any item and walks out, without paying.  Would you tolerate that?  What if a customer walks in, and decides to urinate on your reception desk, is he right?  You get my point.

At the DreamBody Centre (DBC), we’ve had two European members who’ve been complaining on and off for years.  Their names would come up in my management meetings every few months.  They complain bout the temperature in the DBC circuit, and treat our Team Members disrespectfully.  They happen to like the temperature to be FREEZING in the circuit, which causes other members to complain.

Like I said, we’ve been dealing with them patiently for a couple of years now, but recently I’ve had enough.  They’ve been shouting at and intimidating my Team Members (which affects their motivation and morale), and shouting at other members.  I asked my Marketing and Operations Manager to have a chat with them, which did not help.  In fact, it only lead to racial slurs from them.  That’s it, I thought, time to kick them out!

Just because they give us money does not mean they can treat us like dirt.  Of course, just because we’re about to give them the boot, does not mean it should be done disrespectfully.  So we prepared a polite, but firm letter, explaining the situation, and telling them that their membership with us has been terminated.

Here’s the letter that was given to each:

Dear ____________

This is in regards to your disappointment about the temperature inside our circuit. After the attempts of several Team Members to speak with you, it seems that there has been no resolution of this issue. I understand that you had a similar complaint in our Seef branch.
We have standards in place regarding our temperature inside the circuit, based on a few factors. These are
•    Member feedback
•    Change in weather/outdoor temperature
•    General feel in the circuit
We have had no other complaints regarding the temperature being too hot. On the contrary, we have had majority of our member feedback saying that it is “too cold” inside the circuit. All our members are important to us, including yourself, but in such cases where a common ground cannot be met, we must go with the majority of the feedback that we have received.
We are sorry to hear that this does not meet your standards.
As a result, we are forced to invoke the following, clause no. 10 on your membership agreement(enclosed)
“The Principal has the right to discontinue a Member’s membership for any reason deemed to be sufficient, without any explanation being given and without returning the Member’s subscription or any part thereof.”
Effective immediately, we will be discontinuing your membership at the DreamBody Centre. We will also refund you completely for the previous two months of your membership.
This is a very difficult decision, but we can no longer bear the disruption caused by this issue inside the circuit as well as confrontations with other Members and Team Members that have occurred recently.
I apologize for any inconvenience all this may have caused you and wish you all the best in your health and fitness goals.

Suhail Algosaibi
CEO and Founder
DreamBody Centre

Well to say that they were shocked would be an understatement!  They could not believe it, and they did not believe I wrote the letter.  They demanded to speak to me personally, which I did not do.  Once you’re out, you’re out baby.  If you can’t respect my Team, and cannot control your racial prejudices, then this is no place for you.  Sadly, these two European ladies accentuated the arrogant expat image some expats have here in Bahrain.  They are in the minority, but there is a category of expat (mostly Europeans) who look down at locals, and have an “oh we’re so much better at everything” attitude.  Not in my business!

They of course did the usual threatening, saying that they would write to the newspapers.  It’s not like I ever shied away from some publicity – or controversy for that matter.  Good riddance!

Talk to you soon 🙂

+++++++++++++++

I have written a follow up blog post to this piece.  See the link below:

Suhail Fires Two DBC Members Part Deux: Reflections and Apologies

34 Responses to Suhail Fires Two DBC Members!

  1. Amna 26 December 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    Dear Suhail,

    You are absolutely right! I am new in the business world and have noticed that the phrase “customer is always right” is being abused by miss treating the staff which effect their motivation and moral.

    Thank you for this post. keep up the good work and positive energy (thumbs up)

    Regards,

    Amna

  2. Hammad Hassan 26 December 2010 at 10:44 pm #

    Well done Suhail. There should be zero tolerance for people who discrminate on racial basis. Based on what you have stated, you seem to have done just the right thing and by the way, temperature has been freezing even on the gents side.

    • Suhail 27 December 2010 at 12:16 am #

      Yeah, it seems getting the temperature right is an ongoing struggle. Will discuss with my Team.

  3. TaTi 26 December 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    zain sawait feehom 😛

  4. Hussain hameed 26 December 2010 at 11:15 pm #

    Dear ….

    Am fully agree with you for your point ” customer have all rights” that’s BS is totally wrong, Coz in the company I work we have this problem ! Our management believe on that and we are fighting to change there mind.

    Any way suhali am one of the BDC members and am really happy to join this centre

    Keep it up

  5. Rabab 26 December 2010 at 11:39 pm #

    hi suhail ,

    so there is a vacancy … i can join DBC ….

    i am sure you did the right thing i really hates those who think that they are above ppl. besides i really want to get red of these pounds

    just want to tell you one thing i am a big fan of korean dramas … its sooo good you should watch it .. the thing is that they have grate body .. my dream body which i wanna get some day .. so i am asking you could you could you help me to get my dream body ?

    one last thing … for your marketing campaign of course if you like it .. its just a suggestion of course
    what if every memboer brought a photo for ideal body that he or she dreamed of getting and you and your team of course helps us to acheive that dream ?

    • Suhail 27 December 2010 at 12:15 am #

      Thanks Rahab. Yes, I can get help you get a great body, but I have no idea if you’ll end up looking like the Korean babes! The body works in it’s own way, and of course there are genetics to consider, so bringing in photos will create more problems than they will solve. You’re welcome to use the 7-day FREE trial and see the amazing before and after photos we have. Thanks again for commenting.

  6. Helen Al Shamlan 27 December 2010 at 1:23 am #

    Hi Suhail

    I have been a member of the D.B.C. for nearly two years, and it makes me sad to think that people from my part of the world are still perpetuating racial discrimination! I have had on occasion also felt the gym was a little warm! But, I also understand that we are all different and as in life, we have to accept and understand the differences. Not try and bully and change them to suit you. So well done! The dream body team are wonderful and deserve nothing but praise for their hard work and dedication. Happy New Year to all of you.

  7. Isa 27 December 2010 at 1:32 am #

    An outstanding customer care and employee care. DBC soon or now to be recognized as the employer of choice. I was a member at DBC until the recent month. And cant wait for the new year to renew my membership and also managed to convince my wife to join me. Respect others should be the basic principles in life..
    DBC DBC DBC DBC Keep it up

  8. Mark 27 December 2010 at 1:59 am #

    Hi Suhail,

    Fantastic, your team were always accomodating and helpful and to that end i can call friends, nothing was too much trouble. I cannot remember any instances in the Zen-Do where i heard any complaints etc from any of my fellow students. I commend the action sincerely, I am an expat i i believe all people should be treated how you would expect to be treated…no excuses for ignorance….

    Keep up the good work….

    Mark.

    • Suhail 27 December 2010 at 2:50 am #

      Thanks Mark 🙂

  9. Helene 27 December 2010 at 2:07 am #

    I have been looking in to join the Dream Body Centre, but after reading this message, I am too scared! I am an expat, and I think of myself as a very good person, who does not distinguish between race and colour of skins, but I am now scared that I will be branded as an “European Expat who thinks that she is better than anyone else”.

    • Suhail 27 December 2010 at 2:51 am #

      We don’t brand anyone. As you see from my post, it took us a couple of years to finally ask them to leave.

  10. Tareq 27 December 2010 at 10:10 am #

    How utter nonsense to pride yourself with, dear CEO. Before I go further I have one question for you,
    1- Did you bother yourself as an CEO to meet with your so called racist customers and hear their side of the story? Of course not you are so arrogant to do so “Once you’re out, you’re out baby”. And you have no time for them.
    You are so full of it to the extent you offended these respectable ladies without ever meeting them – Accused, Judged and Sentenced with no right to appeal “They demanded to speak to me personally, which I did not do”.
    P.S – Both “racists” are old enough to be your mother, married to respectable Bahrainis and been in this country before you were even born – GET THE FACTS RIGHT before you arrogantly brag about it in your blog.

    • Suhail 27 December 2010 at 11:33 pm #

      Tareq,

      A few quick points. No one was “Accused, Judged and Sentenced with no right to appeal”, they were politely asked to leave with money in hand. They may be old enough to be my mother, but it does not give them the right to treat my Team and other members disrespectfully. We are all adults and have to accept the consequences of our actions. I’m sure they will do well elsewhere and I wish them all the best.

  11. sudhir 28 December 2010 at 1:53 am #

    Good Job.ur a good BOSS.

    sudhir

  12. Marwa 28 December 2010 at 6:15 am #

    this is very unproffesional. How you’ve written the blog and about these two women is very childish. you say they were being racist but what does that make u by calling them the european expats who think they know it all and look down on locals? to those who don’t know its wriiten by you would think it has been written by a 14 year old boy who has a grudge.

  13. Maha 28 December 2010 at 8:01 am #

    Mr. Suhail,
    This is a very good lesson for business owners. The best part of it is in showing them practically how to deal professionally with such situations. Your blog have been always a place where everyone, especially people interested in business and management, can learn valuable information.
    Many thanks for sharing and keep up the good work!

  14. Helen Al Shamlan 28 December 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    Hi Suhail

    I feel compelled to write to you once again regarding the temination of said Ex-pat ladies from the D.B.C. I have just found out that one of the ladies in question is someone I have known for many years. She is married to a wonderful Bahrani man and has three beautiful children who have all been to government school and are completely Bahraini! I dont know the details of what happened, but, I have to say in her defence ” she is NO racist!”. I am very saddened by all of this, and can only think there has been some kind of misunderstanding.

    • Suhail 28 December 2010 at 10:27 pm #

      Thank you Helen. The DBC is not the right place for anyone who thinks they can bully and intimidate Team Members and/or other members. I cannot comment about whether they are racist in their every day life and in the way they think, that’s actually not the point. I’m sure you’re right as you know them. However, in my club they did disrespect my Team Members (on more than one occasion) and they did comment on on Team Member’s race, which I won’t tolerate. Hope this clarifies my point of view.

  15. Osman Safdar 28 December 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    Very powerful message! The way your assert your principles and actions is very commendable. Another inspiring piece of writing I’ll refer to again and again.

  16. Faisal Bin Rajab 29 December 2010 at 2:28 am #

    Nice work Suhail Wish you all the best. Customer service can be crazy sometimes.

  17. Alberto 29 December 2010 at 7:55 am #

    This is the article i sent to the Gulf Weekly newspaper with my opinion…

    i found this article disgusting and a very poor attempt to gain publicity. Obviously the man himself is not wise enough to get publicity with good genuine advertising and he is using an incident that happened in his gym to advertise his business. In his blog there is a sense of arrogance and self glorification that i find pathetic and childish. I am not a member of that gym and i will never become. i think in his blog he played with fire. A smart business man should know that a forward attempt of self glorification like the one he did can be a double edge sword in a small country like Bahrain. He think that most people would tell him “well done” when i think most wise people would not without hearing both sides of the story. It is very easy to seek for consent listening to only one side of the story! Mr Algosaibi is obviously exaggerating to make is point stronger. Well, he should know that not many smart people would think he is right. I think he went a step too far, without realizing that this move will hurt his business rather than grow it. Well done Mr Algosaibi, you say you don’t believe in the business maxim “the customer is always right”; I say you should start believing in another important business maxim “you learn from your mistakes”. I think this mistake will cost you your reputation. A smart CEO would have reacted in a more professional way, and a good advertising agency would have told you that this is a very poor way to push your business forward. Good luck with your business Mr Algosaibi… you definitely need it, because as far as business acumen you are a disaster.

  18. Paula 29 December 2010 at 8:10 am #

    Suhail, This is just a cheap advertising/marketing ploy gone wrong on your part. What a very arrogant young man you are. You are supposed to be running a business, where are your work ethics? Even if there is a problem in your business and every business has them you do not go to the newspapers. Shame on you. You are only giving your exaggerated point of view.

    You have supposedly have had these 2 european clients for years and so as loyal customers they should have been treated much better. You state they were complaining that they were experiencing problems with the temperature of DBC so what every person that exercises has their own personal taste so instead of meeting with them to find a solution to their problem or a compromise you tell them to leave!! without even meeting them. I ask you what sort of business sense is that.

    Regards
    Paula

  19. Reem 29 December 2010 at 8:27 am #

    I can’t believe how the owner of the DBC could behave so immaturely, who talks like that? I don’t know how he got to fill a whole page in a newspaper publishing to the whole country that he has “given the boot” to two expats with pride..and because they made a simple complaint about the temperature in DBC? I think this guy is lacking authority in his life and needs to show who is boss!! what a loser! “once you are out you are out baby!!” what are we living in the movies?!

  20. Tareq 29 December 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    First of all my dear Boy You do not fire customers you only fire staff or people working for you.. i was going to debate work ethics and customer service but to be honest i came to the unfortunate conclusion that your childish mind is already signed, sealed and delivered and you will never budge. Going to the paper showed how low you are prepared to sink for publicity. All I can say now is god bless your sole and the best of luck in the New Year. You will definitely need it.

  21. Mahmood 30 December 2010 at 6:34 am #

    Alberto, Paula, Reem and Tareq you guys are definitely mad you sound too personal. Are you guys related or something? did you even read the blog post? you sound too ignorant, Suhail I’m shocked at how you accept their comments its too obvious that they are friends or relatives…

    and what do you know about work ethics? yes you are living in the movies, you should take this as a lesson, and you should be thankful to god that there is at least someone who is raising the standards of customer service in the country.

    And tell me what great victories does he have to his credit which qualifies him to judge what can and can’t be accomplished? ~Napoleon Hill

    Happy New Year 🙂

  22. Bahraini small business owner 2 January 2011 at 9:33 am #

    May I ask the objective of publishing this story Suhail? What was your goal, honest goal, from writing about it on your blog? In the papers? Thank you.

  23. Sana 6 January 2011 at 1:20 am #

    You did the right thing Mr. Suhail.. I’m a member at DBC and I had also seen myself how they treated ppl around whether they are working there or are members of DBC they do not respect anyone except thier own ppl. I’m a person who does not have issues with ppl very much but they also created an issue with me ,all i could do was to ignore them completely and I changed my timings cuz no one can tolerate such behaviour. I really appreciate what you did and publishing this story is a good way to give a messege to all others who think like that.

  24. MAGI TWIST 7 January 2011 at 3:24 am #

    Grow up Suhail. I shudder at the thought of you being in any position of power ………..

  25. Bobby Gould 25 February 2011 at 10:44 am #

    It’s an interesting story but it leaves me a little sad to be honest. You accuse them of racism (without even speaking to them) and then sterotype European expats in a lazy, racist fashion that makes you sound as bad as those you accuse. One other thing – can you stop talking about yourself ALL the time? I know “all publicity is good publicity” and all that but you take self-obsession to heights I’ve never seen before. Next time you need to offload a couple of difficult customers, try doing it with a bit of class…..

    • Suhail 25 February 2011 at 11:32 pm #

      Bobby:

      1) Please see my follow up post regarding the “fired members”.

      2) As for being less self-obsessed, I’ll try.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Suhail Fires Two DBC Members Part Deux: Reflections | Suhail Algosaibi’s Radical Dojo - 30 December 2010

    […] it seems I’ve kicked up quite the storm with my recent blog post about the two DBC members I fired.  Lots of opinions on both sides; some supportive and some (really) unsupportive, to put in […]

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