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Profiles in Customer Service: Trucks, Toys and Tows


I told you so.  That’s what my wife was going to say and I knew it, but I called her anyway.  “Yes, dear, you’re right, but right now, I’ve got to deal with this problem, so I’m just letting you know I’ll be getting home later, much later, than I thought.”  Crow for dinner, followed by a dessert of sour grapes, then I began the decision tree in my head, trying to figure out the best way out of the predicament in which I found myself.

It was 5pm on a Saturday evening in Raleigh, where I’d just finished a 3-day mini-residency for my MBA.  My 14-year old Landrover, which I love dearly, had performed well for the drive down from Asheville and subsequently throughout the weekend, but now, with daylight quickly fading and nothing open on a game day Saturday, my beloved Discovery II wouldn’t start.  My wife said this would happen.

And then it began to drizzle.

So glad I had purchased the Plus Plan at AAA.  One call to them set in motion a chain reaction wherein I had someone at my car within an hour, and when he had determined it wasn’t the battery (I told him it wasn’t the battery!), he actually arranged for someone to tow me…to Asheville.  Within an hour and a half of the initial call, I was on my way home.

Yes, I only got the first 100 miles for “free” (I now have the Premium Plan—first 200 miles free!), but the peace of mind of getting home that night, where I could then see my son who was at home for Fall Break and celebrate my wife’s birthday with the entire family and sleep in my own bed and arrange to have my local mechanic service my Landrover rather than with some stranger from afar, was worth the money.

And all I had to do was make one phone call.  THAT’S what I call service.

That Monday, after I had my Landrover towed to the mechanic (first 200 miles free!), I got into my little sports car after work and put the key in the ignition to start ‘er up…and the switch assembly broke, leaving my key to freely turn 360 degrees, with no ignition.  But that’s another story…

Thanks, AAA, for being there when I needed you—especially since it was three times in four days!

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