Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Finally, a customer service story you'll enjoy

But first....OK, OK, I give.  Apparently there are more of you oddballs out there who read the dribble I normally write about than I figured.  I'll continue to serve as your insomnia medication.

I think we've all experienced it:  You have a problem with your computer, iThing, washing machine....whatever....so you call customer service.  You're invariably connected to a guy in a land far, far away who speaks some version of English @ 100 mph, and sounds like he has his 'nads caught in a vise.  An hour later you're no better off than when you first called.  Grrr!

Yesterday I did something I'd never done before.  I called my insurance company's Roadside Assistance hotline.  I was a mile from home when I felt something wrong with my car's steering, indicating a flat tire.  

Simple enough....I pulled into a parking lot and started to change it.  I got the jack positioned and up a few notches, then went to get the lug wrench.  It wouldn't fit the lug nuts.  HUH?

I was dead in the water.  I called K at work (a mile away) and asked her to bring me her lug wrench, hoping against hope it would work.  No luck.  *sigh*

One ring later:  "Thank you for calling USAA's Roadside Assistance.  With your permission we can pinpoint your location through your cell phone.  Is that OK?"

ME:  "Uh...sure."

Two seconds later:  "What is your USAA member number, please?"

ME:  "1234567."

Ten seconds later:  "I see you're covered, so there will be no charge to you.  We have your location pinpointed, we've already called service, and they will be there within the hour.  Please just stay with your car."

Fifteen minutes later:  "The Guy" showed up and had me rolling away five minutes later.  (I would have spent more time than that just cussing.)

Then, before I could even get out of the parking lot I received a call from USAA saying they showed my car was fixed.  "Was everything handled to your satisfaction?"

SWEET!  :)

My testimonial:  USAA is the best insurance company EVER!  (Years ago when she lived in a small town in the frozen north K had a wreck one night, and early the next morning the USAA adjuster called to say he was already in town and wanted to know where he could see the car.  He totaled it, and in record time had her a check that exceeded her expectations, no arguing.)

And for what it's worth, USAA is my bank, too.  All check deposits are handled by their cell phone app, and if I ever need to deposit cash (the bank is 300 miles away in San Antonio, TX) I can go to any UPS store and deposit the cash with them and have it credited instantly to my account.  

They don't have ATM machines so I can use any bank ATM anywhere and agree to pay the sponsoring bank's fees, and USAA will reimburse me those fees.  All my bill paying is done through them electronically, a service offered for free.  In fact, I pay no fees for anything!

For once, kudos for GOOD customer service.  Thanks USAA.  :)



  1. I used to have AAA and never had a problem with them on the few occasions I needed service. But then it got too expensive. I'm hoping I don't have to find out how good Geico's service is.

    One time I had a flat and went to change it and the stupid lug wrench in the car actually broke, so after AAA came to fix it I bought one of those cross-shaped wrenches from Target or Wal-Mart or somewhere like that.

  2. If you are just going to post about boring "good" stuff from a bank, I am going to stop reading!!

  3. Wonderful that you will continue to enlighten and entertainment people like me with no life. I am forced to give very high marks, most unexpectedly, to none other than AT&T who managed to quadruple our internet connection speed within hours of my call complaining about how slow it had become. Guy must have had to climb four poles, but no complaints and no charge. Good stuff. fin

  4. Now THAT's customer service!


  5. How refreshing to experience good customer service. It's so rewarding it's hard to understand why more companies aren't focused on it.

  6. Well, I've never heard of USAA, being exiled as I am. Is it like a bank combined with AAA? I told you I was uninformed! But I do read your blog! LOL

  7. I always was under the impression that USAA was for military personnel - am I mistaken?

    And I agree, it's nice to hear a "good" story like this about an incident that usually is more frustrating than anything else.

  8. Well darn, I was going to ask how I could get in on that, but if it's for military folks I'm SOL...

  9. Here's the scoop: USAA is a member owned Federal Savings Bank that also handles investments and all types of insurance, too. Any active duty or former member of the military can join (like a credit union) and so can their family members. That's how I got in.

  10. I was a member of USAA for years, until I retired from the Military. Always good service. Nice post.


  11. They also have most excellent car buying and home buying services