Customer Service: Stuck On Road 6

time to read 7 min | 1293 words

Road 6 is the biggest, bestest road in Israel. It's a pay per use road and you can drive 110 Km/h (68.5 Miles/hour) which is 20 Km/h faster than anywhere else in Israel. Today I got on the road 6, happy and pleased with myself. I was heading home for a short nap (two hours of sleep don't make a happy camper :-) ) when the car decided to choke and die. In the middle of the road at ~105Km/h, yuck!

The problem got worse by the fact that it wasn't really dead, it was dying. I could convince it to drive about a kilometer if I let it rest around 10 minutes between attempts. After fighting this for about an hour, I called the tow service that my car insurance directed me to. I've to mention that I also had a cart attach to the car, so that was an added complication, but I made sure the insurance knew about this, and since the cart is insured in the same company, I didn't have any problem with that.

During my problem I was approached by a road 6 patrol which inquired if there was any problems and if they can help somehow. I explained that I'd it under control, and they went away after taking my phone and promising to call later to see that everything was all right. Then I called the tow truck company (Slomo Sixt, and in Hebrew for all those that would google for it "שלמה sixt") which said that a truck should arrive in three hours.

I'm accustom to a certain service from tow truck companies, and I assumed that this meant that a truck would arrive in up to three hours. And the normal waiting period would be... well, normal; half an hour to an hour. After 45 minutes of waiting I called the company and asked the operator what was going on with my tow truck and when it should arrive. That was when I got a rude shock, the operator told me: "We told you that it would take 3 hours, and only 45 minutes have passed. Wait."

At this point I was stranded on the highway for about an hour and forty five long and very annoying minutes. I'd nothing to do and I don't handle boredom well. {I tend to start singing to pass the time, and that has adverse effect of the wild life survival rates. Many would simply run to the road in hope to be run over and not listen to me :-) }. I'd little to do but wait and wait and wait. The only point worth noting was that another road 6 patrol stopped by and asked if I needed anything. I told them that it is still in control, and they moved on.

At this point I want to point out that I was on the edge of the fastest highway in Israel, so I couldn't just wonder around, I was stuck in a dead car, in the heat of July. Not Fun! And I was stuck there for four hours (one hour of tinkering with the car with additional three to wait for the tow truck.) when I called for the forth time (the second and third calls were identical to the first, "We told you it would take three hours, only so and so passed." and were incredibly infuriating. The forth call was on the minute mark of the three hours, and then they apologized and told me that it would take another forty minutes. I huffed and puffed, but there was little I could do, so I endured forty more looong minutes, and waited for the truck.

The fun wasn't over when the truck finally appeared. Just at the time I was "celebrating" four hours and forty five minutes of sitting near the highway watching the inside of my head turn to mush. The company refused to take the cart; saying that I would have to leave it on the side of the road and have someone else pick it up. The truck that showed up was perfectly capable to handle both the car and the truck, something the driver, me and even their offices agreed. But they wouldn't let me!

To add even more aggrevation to fives hours in the heat of July with no water on hand, my cellphone decided that it's the time to issue low battery and go to bed. And the company called back its truck, leaving me stranded on the highway with no way out. Just to remind you, I've contractual relationship with this company through my insurance company. They agreed to handle stuck cars, and they handled mine miserably. At the end, I called the road 6 crew (*6116, if you wonder, as a last resort on the emergency reserve on my phone) and they gave me the number of a very nice tow truck which showed up in 30 minutes, took the car and the cart and put me home in another 20 minutes for 350NIS (76$)*.

I'm partly writing this post to outlet some anger, and yes, I'm probably going to take some sort of legal action against Slomo Sixt for the total ability to handle a simple situation.

  • It shouldn't take 3 hours to get a tow truck to a place as central as road 6. Reasonable time should be around half an hour to an hour. Under exceptional circumstances I might accept the three hours wait but not with...
  • The attitude of their customer service was abysmal; they acted as if I owed them something. I'm paying for the ability to call up on them and I expect to get a prompt answer for my money.
  • Talking about prompt, after making me wait for three hours, they most definitely shouldn't be late.
  • Then they should never leave a person who pays them on the highway with no obvious way out. If I didn't have some juice left in the phone I might have been still there.
  • The cart is insured in the same company as the car, and I assume that the insurance company (and most certainly road 6) wouldn't like me to just leave it up on the road.
  • If such a thing would happen again, I would ask for water from the patrols there. I was seriously dehydrated*.

Tomorrow I'm going to make sure that I'm never associated with this company again; there are other service providers who has better customer support, better ability to respond and are overall simply better.

The car is currently totally dead, and I would probably have to tow it to the mechanics to take a look at it.

I seriously dig the customer service of Road 6's crew. They were helpful, considerate and polite. I got the first one within 20 to 30 minutes from the moment I was stuck, and the next an hour and a half after that.

* I downed a 1.5 liters of water in about 30 seconds, and was still thirsty.