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Recently I received a frantic call from one of my clients that I work with on a regular basis. They were upset because they could not process credit cards; their DSL line had been hit by a contractor doing work on the site. The internet provider told them it would be at least three days before the service could be restored. I immediately thought of this tip and thought it would be a good idea to re-share it.
This tip came to us from an operator that would not allow his first good washing day in months to be ruined by the loss of his DSL line. The sun was out on a Saturday morning and the cars were lining up at his lot. He opened for the day to find that his ability to wash cars was being challenged by the loss of a phone line, leaving him with no internet connection. He could only accept cash, and as we all know, a large portion of our business is done by customers using credit cards.
So what did he do to get his credit card processing working again? He went to the local electronics store and bought an Air Card. Air Cards are offered by most cellular phone companies so you can get internet access on your lap top and in all the places where you use a cellular phone. The Air Card can be plugged into the USB port on the computer used to process the credit cards, and after downloading and installing the software, his ability to process credit cards was restored. The processing time was down only slightly, but was still faster than the typical dial-up internet access.
For the operator that gave me this tip, his Saturday went on to be a great day washing cars. During the first hour or so of business when he was unable to process credit cards, he gave away enough washes to people that only had credit cards, to more than pay for the Air Card and the first month of service. The addition of an Air Card to your bag of tricks will be a good one, potentially saving you a great deal of money while keeping your customers at your wash if you lose your normal internet connection.
Robert Andre is the President of CarWash College. Robert can be reached at RAndre@carwashcollege.com. For more information about CarWash College certification programs, visit www.carwashcollege.com or call the registrar's office at 1-866-492-7422.