Poor customer service is a common complaint.

Consumers adapt their expectations to the kind of retailer they are doing business with. Certainly, customer-service expectations are much lower at Wal-Mart than at Nordstom because the value proposition offered by each is so different.

As a rule, the more upscale a company’s offerings, the higher the customer expectations. This principle vividly came to life last week, when news reports and a YouTube video depicted three men in China taking sledgehammers to a Maserati, worth about $480,000 retail. This exhibition occurred outside the venue for the Quingdao International Auto Show. The Maserati owner hired the men to destroy his car because of his dissatisfaction with poor dealer service and inadequate quality of the auto, plus the dealer he purchased from put in a used rather than a new replacement part.

While the Maserati owner was eccentric, to say the least, one can empathize with his frustrations.

One business that has been notorious for having weak customer service and subpar amenities has been racetracks. Like the Maserati owner, I have often felt like my patronage was not wanted at a racetrack.

The view here is that when racetracks have become racinos, the level of customer service has improved dramatically. The casino operators seem to insist on treating customers with respect and providing an all-around better environment.

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