Tuesday, August 01, 2006

My way, right away, at UHaul now

Now that I've bitched about the shit service I got from Nokia a few weeks ago, I thought I'd go the other route and give credit where credit's due.

I moved downtown this weekend (more on that later). Because the buggy isn't much for totin' furniture, I made arrangements with the local U-Haul dealer to get a truck a week in advance. He called me the morning I was supposed to pick up the truck to tell me that the starter was out, but he was going to try to get it fixed.

A few hours later, I get a voicemail from a different man, saying that the truck was ready for pickup. He happened to call again when I was in the car, and I assured him I was on my way to pick it up.

When I got to the dealer, the man looked at me from across the counter. "Didn't you get my voicemail?" he asked. "You were supposed to call before you came out here. The trucks' down. They're holding another one for you at a different store."

Things started falling into place. The second man I'd spoken with had been from another dealer, but I hadn't realized that when we were talking.

"I don't have time to drive out there," I said, eyeing the clock and mourning my diminishing lunch hour. Eventually, he helped me make arrangements with a third store in the town I was moving from, so I could pick up the vehicle there and drop it off in the city. Now all I had to do was get some one to take me out there.

"Don't forget to call that 800 number," he admonished. "I don't want 'em to charge you for not pigskin' up that other truck."

So I called, navigated through the automated system, and sat on hold for 20 minutes. Finally, frustrated, I hung up. I tried again Monday morning, thinking they couldn't possibly be busy at 6:30 a.m. They were. Thirty minutes later, I had to leave for work, and I still didn't have the issue of the pick-up failure fee resolved.

Still gun-shy from my experience with Nokia, I sat down and tapped out an email, explaining what had happened and asking for assurance that I wouldn't be charged for not picking up the second truck. It was, of course, followed up within a matter of seconds by the "We'll respond within 48 hours" email that's so common among service centers. I figured if nothing else I'd have it as documentation, and that I'd call again when I got home from work.

Instead, as I sat down at my desk, the mailbox icon was blinking. UHaul had already responded to my inquiry, including apologizing for the inconvenience, stating that they'd credited me any service fees that may have been charged, and asking if there was anything else they could do to assist me and make the experience better.

That is the way it should be done. Life is fluid. Things can't always go as planned, but when the unexpected happens, you do whatever it takes to keep your customer. UHaul has a client for life in me, and you can rest assured I've told everybody I know how great they were at handling things when life threw 'em a curve ball.

Way to go, UHaul. You're a shining example of what the service industry should aspire to be!

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