Why is it that whenever you are in a hurry your car won’t start?
After the coldest week in Toronto, I woke up Sunday morning, leisurely getting ready for a brunch date. I showered, dressed and blew a kiss at Chubby before heading down to the garage. When I did not hear the familiar “click” as I approached the car, I thought something was amiss.
Darn it, did I forget to turn off the light again? This has happened 2 times already. The time I sweet talked the building’s security and superintendnt into jump start the car for me. The staff on Sunday were temporary staff I did not know of and the brunch was in an hour. I did not know if I had time to explain my situation.
I thought about the residents I knew in the building- none of them have a car. I thought of a friend who is just 5 blocks away, but I did not know if she had a cable or if she was awake yet.
That’s when I recalled someone mentioning CAA a few weeks ago. In between frantically explaining to my date why I would be late through texts, I jumped online to look up CAA. I did not have time to puruse the full extent of their service. I hit the “sign up” button as soon as I read that they provided jump start service and paid the basic membership fee and phoned them.
The phone service was one of those automatic robot service that asks you to speak into it. It was pretty smooth but we hit a snag when it couldn’t make out the model of the car. It was also very possible that I got the model of the car wrong too- my automobile knowledge is limited. Either way, the robot service was smart enough not to get stuck with this detail and moved on to the next question. It then told me that due to recent weather they were experiencing high volume of calls for assistance and they would update me when a dispatcher was on his way, which may be hours. It said that “Alternatively, you could also obtain other services and we can reimburse you if you save the receipts”.
Oh no! So I didn’t know when the dispatcher will show up? At this point, I thought that the machine would ask if I would like to retain the service or if I want to cancel and call an alternative roadside assistant provider, but it didn’t. It just asked me to provide feedbacks on the experience and the call ended.
I was a bit confused. I wasn’t too sure if this meant that a dispatcher was on his way or that I was supposed to call an alternative service provider?
Frantically, I downloaded the CAA app from google play. The app had an in- app “service request” option, which I quickly filled out. After filling out the details of the service, the app offered up a button to track the dispatcher. Fantastic! I clicked on that and to my horror it showed that I had 2 calls and they were sending 2 dispatchers to my address. The estimated time of arrival was 45 minutes. I was in the process of canceling one of the call when CAA phoned me to confirm my whereabouts. I apologized to them and said that they might want to cancel one dispatcher.
After that was done, I texted my date to update on the progress. CAA called again. This time it was the dispatcer. He was already here! Wow. That was faster than the 45 minutes. I ran out of the door to meet him and within 5 minutes I was on the road. The day was saved.
Overall I am very happy that I signed up to the membership. It looks like they have a very wide range of services, which hopefully I would never have to use. I do wish that the phone robot could be less confusing but it is probably one of the better AI out there I’ve experienced to date.