Customer Service Is Going Downhill

, , , , , , | Working | March 30, 2021

I am at University in the 1980s, living in a shared house at the top of a long hill. Although money is tight, I am just about able to afford to own and run an old car. I even manage to get enough money together to get basic car breakdown coverage.

One morning, I find my car will not start, so I call the breakdown service. After giving my membership number and current location, there is a pause, and then the telephone representative comes back to me, very apologetic.

Representative #1: “I’m sorry, sir, but it seems your car is currently located at your home address and you do not have the optional ‘home start’ coverage.”

Me: “So, how far from home do I need to be for my basic coverage to kick in?”

Representative #1: “At least a mile, sir.”

Me: “Thank you.”

I hung up, went back into the house, and rounded up my housemates, who helped me push the car onto the road and face it down the hill.

Ten minutes later, I phoned the breakdown service again.

Representative #2: “And where is your car currently located, sir?”

Me: “At the bottom of [Road], about one and a quarter miles from my home.”

The breakdown service arrived fifteen minutes later and my car was started.


This story is part of our Best Of March 2021 roundup!

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