King Jai Singh was one day walking in casual dress along Bond Street of London. He saw a Rolls Royce showroom and went inside to inquire about the price and features of their latest model, the Rolls Royce Phantom II Tourer. Considering him to be just another poor Indian citizen, the showroom salesman insulted him and almost showed him the way out of the showroom.
After this insult, King Jai Singh walked back to his Mayfair Hotel room and asked his servants to call the showroom and say that the King of Alwar is interested in purchasing a few of their cars. After a few hours, the King returned to the Rolls Royce showroom again, but this time in his full royal grandeur.
As he entered the showroom, the red carpet had already been placed on the floor, and all the salesmen were lined up and bent with respect. There were seven Rolls Royce cars in the showroom, the King purchased all seven of them! He paid cash there and then, plus delivery charges with one condition, that the same salesman, who had initially ushered him out of the showroom, and had now, totally unaware it was the same person, had just taken the order for the cars, must deliver them to India…
The young man did so, much to the envy of his colleagues, and on the appointed day, the cars were arrayed in front of the King’s palace in India, paintwork gleaming and engines purring as the proud salesman stood by. The King came out to greet the salesman and review the gleaming seven Rolls Royce cars he had purchased, and watched the salesman’s face turn to horror when he ordered that the cars be sent to the municipal department where they were to use the 7 Rolls Royce cars for cleaning and transporting the city’s waste.
The news spread all over the world rapidly that the cars were being used for transportation of the city’s waste, and the reputation of the Rolls Royce Company was at its lowest ebb. Whenever someone used to boast in Europe or America that he owned a Rolls Royce, people used to laugh saying, “Which one? The same that is used in India for carrying the waste of the City?”
The damage to the car’s reputation started to result in falling sales and a drop in revenue for Rolls Royce. Rolls Royce sent a telegram to the King in India offering apologies and requesting that he stop the transportation of waste in Rolls Royce cars. Rolls Royce also offered seven new cars to the King, free of charge.
The King made the company wait for a reply, but after two weeks, when he observed that Rolls Royce had learnt the lesson, their staff instructed to be more compassionate to customers, and were sorry for their mistake, stopped using the cars for carrying waste.
Source Credits: Kathakali Biswas and Stewart Rushton