Dry Cleaning
In what is clearly an example of common sense prevailing over a vexatious litigant - the owners of Custom Cleaners in Washington.

Dry cleaning rarely gets coverage in the news media, but this story was so sensational it got worldwide coverage.  The amount claimed reflects some of the madness of the US legal system but it also highlights a key issue for dry cleaners, what to do when thing go wrong.

As the quality of garments goes down, dry cleaners increasingly bare the brunt of consumers dissatisfaction with faulty garments.  I've always felt this put the dry cleaner in an awkward position, but I feel the use of independent test houses to look at the garments provides an intermediary in what can be a fairly heated customer service situation.  I think by assuring a customer you will 'work with them' to resolve the issue one way or another you sidestep the feeling that the customers issue is not being addressed.  Sure, it's a pain - especially when it's nothing to do with you, but it's a way to show customers that you care and that you will strive to get them satisfaction.  By working with your customer as a 'partner' in resolving the issue, you can prevent what can be a nasty, adversarial conflict.  At the the end of the day, you want to retain the customers, as a dry cleaner sometimes you need to go that extra step to keep them happy.

Meanwhile, if you get a customer coming into your store called Roy Pearson (the guy who wanted all those millions), might be worth asking him if he is a judge and carefully considering if he is the kind of customer you want!  I hope that all the extra publicity has sent the business of Custom Cleaners through the roof - every cloud can have a silver lining.