Everyone complains about poor customer service. Everyone. Even me. But what about great service? You read about it sometimes, but never as much as you should. This is one of those times – I want to tell you about our Friday night.
As you may know, my fiancé works downtown Chicago and has a typical 9-5 work schedule (the antithesis of my freelance, work when I want from home, schedule) so I pick her up from work every day. Friday night, we decided to stop at Express to do some shopping then get some food at Trader Joe’s. For those who don’t know, you can park for 1.5 hours free of charge in the Trader Joe’s parking lot if you make a purchase. This is absolutely unheard of downtown, so we take full advantage of it – nothing better than free parking AND a $3.00 bottle of wine.
Well, we did our shopping and bought our wine at the store, had our parking validated, and went to the garage. You have 15 minutes to leave the parking garage; otherwise the parking company charges you $32.00, with no exceptions according to the sign by the gate. When we got to the car, I tried to start it up and nothing happened. It didn’t even turn over. It turned out that not only was my battery dead, but the contact literally fell off the battery. It was not even connected and had been leaking battery acid throughout the engine. We did the standard “call AAA, chill out, talk to the manager” while we waited for AAA to come. There is nothing worse than having your car completely die in a place that the longer you stay, the more you pay. It could have ended up being $65.00 to get out if it took as long as it typically does for AAA to come. But it wasn’t!
I explained our situation to the manager of the store and not only did he call the garage company to get them to let us and the AAA truck out for free, he offered to give us dinner since we were waiting! Ordinarily we would have jumped at that offer, but in another episode of great help, the AAA guy showed up 14 minutes after we called. 14 minutes. In downtown Chicago during rush hour. I can’t say enough how impressive that is. All told, we waited for 45 minutes or so to be ready to go again. So I thank AAA and Trader Joe’s for saving what could have easily been a ridiculously awful evening.
That thank you does not include the 17 people who walked by Brittany (who was sitting in a car with the hood up, all alone, and just sitting there) and said nothing. Someone even asked, “Should we offer help?” to their spouse then walked away. It was an interesting social experiment, to say the least.