Late one Thursday afternoon George Mitchell went to the airline ticket counter of a major carrier that had recently launched an ad campaign challenging customers to “find out how good we really are.” Mitchell needed to reschedule his flight in order to reach a client by 9:00 Friday morning. Not only did Mitchell wait 20 minutes in a long line, but the ticket agent was not very sympathetic. After what seemed like a great deal of haggling, he was reticketed for an earlier flight. When he reached the departure gate he learned that this flight would be more than an hour late. Finally, climbing into the plane and taking his seat in the business-class section, Mitchell was ready to relax. He could not unwind, however, because of several small, crying children traveling with their parents in the first class section. (They were travelling free on frequent flier awards, Mitchell assumed.) The flight attendants in the business-class section had made themselves scarce. Mitchell remarked under his breath that indeed he did find out how good the airline really was. Comment on Mitchell’s experience in terms of the role of the service provider delivering the service at the end point of the marketing channel.
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