Dealing With Unscheduled Delays
The Unexpected Delay
On a recent business road trip, we decided to drive to take in the scenic route. About seven hours into the journey, we blew a tire! Thankfully it was a rear tire and we were able to safely pull off to the side of the road. This resulted in a four hour delay requiring us to cancel two scheduled meetings and move them to the next day.
Challenges To Find Help
We contacted the “not to be named” vehicle roadside assistance company and this added to the unscheduled delay. The initial call went like this: “Thank you for calling, we know your location and will be right back, please hold”, as we listened to some music for several minutes. Then the call was disconnected.
Called back, no knowledge of the call, back to the beginning of the queue. Several minutes later, someone took the call. “Oh, I cannot help you, let me connect you to Roadside:”. Okay guess I was calling to buy a membership? On hold again (hum the tune to Jeopardy here, I know I did a few times).
Another person picks up the call. They ask many questions and then respond with “We cannot assist a Canadian vehicle in the US. We will pass you on to our Canadian division”(more humming). The Canadian division person asks the same questions and a few more. Then we are informed they will pass us over to the Canadian roadside assistance. Great! Thank you! Patiently holding again.
Patience Running Out
The roadside assistance asks the same questions and then some more. I asked one question after answering them “When can we expect a tow truck?” The answer was “Well we are just gathering information and we will have to call you back once we find out if we can even have someone come out because you are in the US.” I admit I ran out of patience here, after all we were on the phone for half an hour with no solution in sight.
Thanks to my travelling companion, Steve, who had already attempted to pump the tire with the air/foam tire sealing device designed to eliminate the need for a spare. Unfortunately, the damage was too severe for the foam to seal the hole.
We took matters in our own hands, called a local tow company, they showed up in twenty minutes, towed us to a dealership who sourced a tire. The bad news it would not arrive until the following week. They helped us rent a car, paid for our ride to the car rental place and wished us luck the rest of our journey.
The car rental place took good care of us and they were empathetic about our dilemma. We initially made arrangements to return the car at the Detroit Airport (on the way back we dropped it back off to the same place instead and they were accommodating).
Under Promise, Over Deliver
The dealership contacted us the next afternoon and told us the good news: the tire arrived in their late afternoon shipment! The vehicle would be completed for our drive back on Sunday saving us an unscheduled trip the following week to pick it up. Bonus service: they even took care of a manufacturer recall for the radio while it was in their service bay. Well done!
On Sunday, we headed back home. The car was ready and parked right where the dealership mentioned. We picked it up, returned the rental and enjoyed the rest of the ride home. The trip was an overall success even with the initial delay, rescheduling appointments and arriving several hours later than anticipated.
Thanks to Steve for keeping his composure and reminding me to just breathe when we run into unscheduled delays. Some days are just not quite as expected. They will challenge us to make the best of them even when you get caught up in your own emotions while stranded on a hot sunny day on a busy highway. Just breathe. It will be okay.
How do you deal with unexpected delays?