"I had to set things up in the clean area, go up on the roof, then go through the whole showering process again to get back to the modem," he relates.
Five showers and three hours later, Michael left. The piglet facility had a working system, and Worldwide TechServices had one very clean field service tech.
Not all rage is about the machine
Ron called a customer to give him an estimated time of arrival. The client was furious already, insisting that the vendor had told him someone would be at the house at 8 a.m.
"I politely explained that there must have been a mistake because we always call customers between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. to give them our estimated time of arrival," Ron says. "I was already at the first customer's front door. But I assured him I'd be there as soon as I had finished that repair."
At the designated time, Ron arrived and was lucky enough to find parking near the customer's front door -- though it was a tight squeeze next to a canal.
"As I got out of the car, the customer's door flew open and a giant of a man rushed out -- shouting at me," Ron says. With his back to the canal and the irate customer headed right for him, Ron put his phone and wallet back in the car. He was certain he was about to be sent into the drink for a swim. But the man rushed at him only to hand him a parking permit so that he wouldn't have to pay for that perfect parking space.
Ron retrieved his phone, wallet, and tools from his car and followed the man into the house. However, Ron had already determined that whatever had happened to this customer would require more than technical know-how and tools to fix.
"Before even looking at his computer, I asked him why he was so unhappy," Ron says. "It turns out he had been trying to get an engineer to his house for three months."
It was a slow day for Ron, so he sat down and asked the customer to tell him everything that had transpired. The two drank coffee and talked. "By the time we finished our second cup, the customer had calmed down," reports Ron.
"I proposed to go and have a look at the PC. I had already determined it was an intermittent problem and explained that these are hard to troubleshoot." But the minute Ron turned on the computer, the error presented itself and he was able to fix it quickly.
"A short time later, the customer submitted a service satisfaction survey with a near perfect score," says Ron -- and this was after waiting three months to get service. "It is a good reminder that sometimes what people need is for someone to take the time to have a cup of coffee and hear them out."
Do any of you have hilarious tales of irate service situations you'd like to share?
Got gripes? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.