Local Customer Service

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Feel Good Story from Maine May 28, 2012

Filed under: Customer Service Stories — sdullinger @ 9:34 am

Driving home on a snowy night, Ryan sees a pair of flashing lights ahead of him.  He slows down and observes two people looking under the hood. He pulls over and gets out to see if there is anything he can do to help. As he steps away from his SUV a nervous looking young woman gets into the stranded Chevy Blazer. 


“I could smell burning rubber, thought it was the tires from being in 4wd.  Then everything just shut down.”  Said a young man.


Ryan takes a peak at the front of the engine. “Your serpentine belt is gone.  It’s an easy enough fix if we can get a belt.”


“What part store is going to be open this late?” said the young man.


I know this sounds crazy but I’m pretty sure I have a belt in my garage, is this a 1999?”




“With A/C?”




“I need to make a phone call.  Jump in and warm up.” Ryan says.


The young man looked at his girl in the passenger’s seat.  “I think I’ll stay out here.”  He said.


“Suit  yourself.”  Ryan said and got into his driver’s seat.  He called his wife and told her what was happening and what he thought he could do.  She looked up the part on her laptop and confirmed the belt Ryan had purchased for her 99 Blazer would fit.   Ryan sold then 99 a week after buying the belt, but like many other things, he kept it ‘just in case’. 


Ryan got out and walked over to the young man to tell him the good news.  He offered the couple to come along for the ride to at least stay warm for the next half hour or so. The woman gave him a half-hearted line about waiting for AAA.  Ryan knew she was lying, but he couldn’t blame the young Massachusetts couple for not wanting to get in the car with a stranger, out in the woods of Maine.  He told them he’d be back and they each threw him an apprehensive smile as he drove away.


About ten minutes later Ryan pulled into his driveway and went to the garage, got the belt and a couple of hand tools.  His wife brought out three travel mugs filled with hot coffee.  Ryan kissed her, gave her a description of the couple, their vehicle and the plate number, just to be safe.  Then drove back out into the snow.


Shock!  Was the look on their faces when Ryan returned.  When he handed the woman a hot cup of coffee shock turned to appreciation and her eyes swelled with tears. 


Ryan asked the young man to assist and in less than five minutes, the belt was on.  The woman cried openly at the sound of her engine starting again.


“What do we owe you?” The young man asked, wallet in hand.


“You don’t owe me anything.”


“At least let me pay for the belt”


“Just remember that there are still good people who want to do the right thing.”  Ryan handed the young man a business card.  “And the next time you need car parts you’ll know where to go.”


 The young man looked at the card. 


 Ryan Kessler

General Manager

Advance Auto Parts

South Paris, Maine


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