Making A Graceful Exit… Eventually

, , , , | Hopeless | August 5, 2019

(I’m the bad customer in this story. I drop my fare card after passing through the subway gantry, so when I reach my destination, I have to talk to the station staff. I pay my fare in cash on the spot so he lets me through, and they call to my entry station to ask them if they have found my card. Luckily, it was in a distinctive cardholder, and they are able to find it. That evening on the way home, I stop at the office to collect my card. The next morning, I have a bout of asthma, so I’m running slightly late. When I reach the station, I try to use the card, only to be told “exit error.” The card was used for an entry yesterday, but not an exit. I have to talk to the station staff.)

Me: “I dropped my card yesterday after tapping in.”

Staff: “Yes, it’s showing that you tapped in, but did not exit.”

Me: “Yes, but I collected my card from the office here yesterday evening. They knew that I’d dropped it; why didn’t they reset the card?”

Staff: “Oh, perhaps it was a different staff member who found the card.”

Me: “But when I collected the card in the evening, I had to explain the situation again. The staff member who passed me the card could have done it then.”

Staff: “Okay, I’ll do it now.”

Me: “I’m going to be late.” *panicking by this point*

Staff: *scanning the card* “Okay, so when you reached [Destination] did you pay your fare?”

Me: “Yes, I paid the fare in cash. You can call the station and check with [Staff] who helped me yesterday.”

Staff: “Do you have the receipt?”

(I try to search but I can’t find it.)

Me: “I don’t think I kept it.” *panicking*

Staff: “Okay, but I know there’s no way you could have gotten out unless you’d paid. Since you’re standing here and not stuck at [Destination], I’ll reset your card and refund the charge on your card.”

Me: *relieved* “Thank you!” *realises that he is trying to make me feel better with a joke*

(I get to work on time, thanks to his quick thinking. Later, I find the receipt, which fell to the bottom of my bag. On the way back a few days later, I see him on the night shift. I stop by to apologise.)

Me: “Hi. Do you remember me? I was the girl who dropped my card and was not able to tap in the next day. I found my receipt, and I wasn’t late to work, thanks to your able assistance.”

Staff: “That’s great. Yeah, I remember you. I’m glad you made it to work on time.”

Me: “I’m sorry if I was impatient the other day. It wasn’t that I was upset with you. I had a bout of asthma before that, so I was running late for work. I would usually be there in plenty of time.”

Staff: “No wonder you were in such a panic. I could see you were just frazzled and in a big rush. I didn’t take it personally. But it’s nice you stopped by to say thanks. I appreciate it.” 

(He looked quite happy. Thank you, friendly station guy, for helping me, keeping your cool when I was upset, and trying to make me feel better with a joke!)

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Three Cents Of Kindness Is Priceless

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | August 4, 2019

(I am in a store buying two coloring books for my little sister. I only have ten dollars, which my mom has just given me.)

Cashier: “Your total is $10.03.”

Me: “Oh, well, I guess that I’ll just put one of them back.”

Cashier: “It’s only three cents; I’ll pay it!”

Me: “No, no, it’s all right. You don’t have to do that. I’ll just put one back!”

Customer Behind Me: “No, you won’t. I will pay it!”

Me: “No! It’s okay!”

Customer Behind Me: “Look, it’s no trouble to me. It’s only three cents, and if you want to pay me back, all you have to do is do the same for someone else. It’s Karma or something. Besides, I’m sure whoever you’re buying these for would like two coloring books.”

(I still objected, but she wouldn’t hear any arguments and paid the three cents. I thanked her profusely and cried all the way to my car, and most of the way home. My little sister loved the coloring books!)

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Getting You Where You Need

, , , , | Hopeless | August 2, 2019

(Around four months ago, I got the call from my mother that my grandfather had suffered a massive brain aneurysm and was in ICU. She didn’t tell me that they didn’t expect him to live, but I knew from my experience in healthcare that his time was limited. I told my mother I was coming home to see him. The only problem was that I live 1,000 miles away from home. My wife helped me get a rental car so that I could begin the trip. We called a car rental place that had a location at the local airport. The customer service representative for their 1-800 line asked for a credit card to book the car, and I informed her that I only had a debit card. I asked if I could use my wife’s card, and she told me I couldn’t unless my wife was coming with me. She told me that I could use my debit card if necessary, but that a $100 deposit would be placed on my card until I returned the car. I agreed and booked the car. My wife drops me off at the rental place, and my conversation with the location’s customer service representative is as follows:)

CSR: “All right, I have Nissan Altima booked for [MyName]. I just need your ID and the credit card you’ll be using to pay!”

Me: *handing him my ID* “I spoke to a woman over the phone who told me I could use my debit card, but a $100 deposit would be charged to my card.”

CSR: “I’m not sure why you were told that. We don’t even offer the option to use a debit card for in-state drivers.”

(At this point, I begin to cry. I don’t know what I’m going to do to get home before my grandfather passes. I’m a wreck. Before I can decide what needs to happen next, the customer service representative addresses me again.)

CSR: “You look like you really need to get to where you’re going, though, don’t you?”

Me: “Yes. I’m trying to make it to Iowa to see my grandpa in the ICU. I don’t think he’s going to make it.”

CSR: *nodding* “I’m going to do an override. I do have to place a $250 hold on the account, though, because the transaction will be considered high-risk. Is that okay?”

Me: “Yes! Thank you so much!”

CSR: “Travel safe!”

(I sign the paperwork, get in the car, and begin my 17-hour drive. When I return the car to the rental place near the hospital, I ask the representative when the deposit will be returned to my account.)

CSR: “Oh. There’s no deposit on your account. You’re good to go!”

(It warmed my heart that the man in Maryland was so willing to help me in such a trying time. I made to the hospital in time to see my grandpa before he was too sick to speak to us, and got to be with him while he took his final breath, all thanks to this man’s kindness. Rental care employee, you made me feel that it’s not always hopeless.)

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Applying A Little Customer Kindness

, , , , | Hopeless | July 31, 2019

Both my father and I have worked retail but my mother has not. I ordered a small appliance from a store who ended up sending me two of the same appliance. It was an accident; I checked and I only ordered and paid for one. 

As I was unpacking, I was on speakerphone with my parents. I told them that the store accidentally sent me a second appliance. My mother said, “Oh, you should take it to a store so they can have it back.” My father and I tried to tell her that it doesn’t work that way; I would just get a refund for the one I purchased. Once it’s out, it’s out. She did not understand this.

Several days later, she called and said she talked to corporate and that they confirmed they could not just take it back without a refund. According to her, they were very perplexed with the situation and said that nobody had ever tried to return something they were sent accidentally. They suggested she keep it, which she did, and my mother enjoys it greatly. She even wrote a review on the website along with this story and said how great the customer service was. Really my mother is just a sweet cinnamon roll and it warms my customer service heart.

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Kindness Is In The Air

, , , , , | Hopeless | July 29, 2019

(I am visiting my sister in France along with my parents, but I am traveling alone on the flight back home. I need to change flights to reach my final destination with only an hour and a half to get off the first flight, complete immigration, and navigate through an airport that I don’t know to catch my next flight. This is my first time traveling alone and I don’t speak or understand French so I am a bit nervous. When I try to do the self-check-in through one of the kiosks at the airport, it gives me an error. Panicking, I flag down an airport employee to help me check in. He opens up a counter and starts to check me in.)

Employee: “I see that there is a problem at [Intermediate Destination] airport.”

Me: *already worried about the journey, and sure that I will miss my next flight* “What sort of problem?”

Employee: “Connectivity problem.”

(He continues to enter something on the screen.) 

Employee: “I will put you on a flight directly to [Final Destination]. It leaves a bit later, but will reach there at the same time.”

Me: “O-Okay…?”

(He motions for me to give him my old tickets. I don’t immediately respond as I feel like this is some sort of scam.) 

Employee: “Don’t worry; it will arrive at the same time! You will not be late for the rest of your journey.”

Me: *still not sure of what is happening but gives him my old tickets anyway* “Thank you.”

Employee: *hands me new tickets* “No problem.”

(The first thing I did after getting my new tickets was to find a board displaying flight schedules to check whether the flight he put me on was a real flight! I later realised that he must have changed my flight because there was very little time for me to catch the next one, and that was what he meant by “connectivity problem.” Whoever you are, airport employee, thanks to you I was able to reach home safely!)

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