Friday, November 28, 2008

Auto Assist

That was what I needed just now. Thank fully, I was spared the agony a fellow blogger had to suffer.

While driving with my window shut, air-cond blowing at full speed, my car suddenly had a little hick-up. The car began to jerk a bit. I looked down at the dashboard. The fuel gauge was a pointing to "E". I had noticed it earlier. Remembering that I had fueled yesterday, I paid no attention to the gauge. The car was known to have given false alarm every now and then. But this time "E" meant "Emergency Stop"! As the car glided, I maneuvered it to the emergency lane. I hit the brakes when the car reached a well lit area.

I looked out of my window, trying to figure out where exactly I was. Had I passed the R&R? Or is it just a few kilometres away? I pondered. Should I started walking to what I thought would be a R&R? It was dark. I don't want to risk my safety by walking.

I called Uncle Jack for help. He gave 1001 excuses but promised to try to find solution. I half expected what would be his solution: called another uncle for help. As expected few minutes later, he called, help is unavailable and said he'll try to find other way. After he hung up, I pretty much knew, I couldn't count on his help and problem solving skill.

As I stared blankly at the highway in front of me, I noticed a sticker from my insurance provider on the windshield:
"Auto Assist... 1800-xx-xxxx... 24 hours breakdown..."

Cool! I dialed the number and was immediately connected to a human being (and not the some-times-very-anoying-IVR).
Lady: bla... bla... bla... (Introducing her self as Zarina)... How can I help you?
Me: My car stopped at the highway.
Zarina: Do you need to be towed?
Me: No. I think it's the fuel. Can you send someone to bring fuel?
Zarina: Fuel? Hold on. [I could hear her asking her colleagues and her colleagues saying yes]. Yes we can arrange. Where exactly is your location?
Me: [Describe my location as best as I could]
Zarina: Are you alone in the car?
Me: [In a very calm and collect tone] Yes. That's why I'm calling Auto Assist.
Zarina: [In a very panic tone and sound very urgent] Okay. I'll arrange immediately. Please stay in the car, lock all doors and windows.
Me: [still in a very calm tone] Thank you very much!
A few minutes later she called.
Zarina: I've called highway patrol. They'll come to your location. They will ask for money to buy fuel for you. Please wait for the highway patrol, and not other people.
Me: Thank you very much.
Zarina: You're welcome. Be careful and take care!
With windows shut and no air-cond, it was getting stuffy. I took off my jacket and sat at the passenger seat. I took a stack of my office files and started to go through them. 8 files later, the highway patrol truck came.

Two friendly guys in police uniform got out of the car. I moved to the driver seat. Instead of winding down the window at the driver seat, I wind down the one behind the driver seat. The policemen were puzzled! Anyway to make this already long entry short, I hopped into the patrol truck. One of the policeman steered my car while being towed by the truck. Then Zarina called for the third time.
Zarina: Has the highway patrol car came?
Me: Yes. I'm in the truck right now.
Zarina: How long have it been?
Me: About 15 minutes.
Zarina: [With genuine concern voice] Is everything okay? Are you safe?
Me: Yes. I'm okay and safe. Thank you very much for calling.
Zarina: You're welcome. Take care.
And so I arrived safely to my destination. I felt very insured! Thank you UniAsia!


mieza yusoff said...

u know what..the same thing happened to me and the family two weeks ago.coz kereta aku rosak..kami stuck kat tepi highway for almost 1 hour jugak ..nasib baik highway patrol car datang cepat..but i think its danger for u to stay in the car...another car could smash ur langkah selamat ialah berada di luar pagar besi jalan..tu la yang highway patrol tu cakap kat aku...tapi paling selamat pastikan kereta anda diisi dengan minyak yang secukupnya!!

Lynn said...

wow! Zarina sounds genuinely concerned. wish we have more 'human' people like her in customer services

Me said...

You should have heard her genuinely panic voice!

I'd just fueled my car. And the fuel gauge have the tendency to give false alarm every now and then. So, I pretty much ignore the gauge.

I've been with the same insurance provider since the day I bought the car. They've earned a lot of brownies points from me :)