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When a Bad Situation Turns Into a Good Story

Hiking

Over the span of a year, we’re bound to experience some unfortunate events.

We’ve actually considered ourselves pretty lucky so far, in the sense that nothing catastrophic has happened. Although it could have been so much worse, we were still bummed when we were involved in a hit-and-run last month. We were in Yardley, Pennsylvania getting lunch and noticed afterwards that our driver’s side mirror was broken. The majority of the mirror was lying on the concrete. Immediately after noticing the mirror, we saw that there was a policeman’s business card on our window.

We called the police and were told there was a witness to the hit and run. She was able to give a full description of the vehicle that fled the scene.

Unfortunately, the cop was unable to find anything in his system or through Google that fit the description. He said that he would continue looking into it and get back to us. We weren’t really sure what to do – were supposed to hit the road within the next day or so.

First, we called surrounding Mercedes dealerships to see if anybody could get us in to look at the mirror. Responses we received are as follows. “The earliest I can get you in is Thursday. If I have to order parts, the mirror won’t get fixed until next week.” “I don’t have any openings for 3 more weeks.” Super bummed and starting to get worried, we called one last location: Mercedes-Benz of Ft. Washington. We had to leave a voicemail, but almost immediately a woman named Susan called us back. She was able to squeeze us in the next day so we enthusiastically thanked her and made the appointment.

When we arrived at 10:00AM, Susan made it feel as though she had been waiting for us. It was clear that she was very busy but that didn’t matter.

She immediately greeted us, gave us coffee, and made sure we knew about surrounding areas we could wait at. We decided to walk across the street to a suggested Starbucks for coffee and free wifi. Within an hour, Susan called us with an update. She was able to report which parts needed to be replaced and how much of the mirror they salvaged. It ended up being half of the mirror. This was GREAT news as it cut the entire cost of the damages in half.  Susan did let us know that she would have to order some parts but that she would keep us in the loop on progress. She continued to check in throughout the day to see if we needed anything and to report any progress.

Somehow, Susan was able to get our parts on a same-day order and had them delivered by 3:00PM. QUICK REMINDER: we got the van in at 10:00PM. We had previously been told by other locations that ordering parts took a minimum of 2-business day. Susan and the Mercedes team were able to fix everything by 5:00PM, same day.

As if the speedy replacements weren’t enough, we had some random questions regarding our Sprinter. I’m not sure what time Susan was off work (I’m assuming 5:00) but she stayed late to help us. She even answered our questions that were not even remotely related to the damages we had the car in for. Furthermore, she printed out a check-sheet on all the maintenance that any given Sprinter should receive throughout its life. I’m talking a timeline for everything. How often to replace a filter (both combo and rear filter). When to check water drains in the sliding door. How often hoses are inspected. The list had truly every tiny detail that our car is checked for anytime it is in a Mercedes shop. She even told us when to double-check that things were really being inspected, on the more important parts.

Beyond that, Susan provided us with a Mercedes “help-line” of sorts. The number provides flat tire replacements, tows, diesel if we run out, and more. Services are included in our warranty, which we were never even aware of.

IF THAT ISN’T ENOUGH, Susan provided us with her personal contact information. She told us to get in contact with any future questions, that she would always be available to answer emails. I mean seriously, this woman was heaven sent. She was more than kind to us. Susan went above and beyond what was required of her. All I can say is that I hope she’s a cherished at that location because she is one hellovan employee. (See what I did there?)

We left the Mercedes of Ft. Washington feeling encouraged but still a bit thrown off by the hit-and-run. I (Katie) really pushed to go pick up a copy of the police report. I can’t tell you why, but I felt it was important. When I walked into the station, the policeman immediately said, “We knew who hit your vehicle.” Turns out, the witness of the accident actually CAME BACK to the police station the next day with VIDEO FOOTAGE from where she worked. It caught the driver hitting our car, pulling into a small lot nearby, getting out of their vehicle to inspect damage, then driving away.

This footage allowed the officer to track down the company who owned the vehicle and find out which employee was driving the vehicle at the time. He took a copy of our receipts from the Mercedes location for reimbursement and told us that we were more-than-likely going to be reimbursed for all costs.

We didn’t have to pay anything out of pocket, except for the police report.

This was worth it though because after paying the $15, we were able to find out the name of the witness and her contact information. We ended up sending her a warm hand-written note, thanking her for going above-and-beyond. Many people see things that they think are wrong but not many individuals are willing to stand up for what is right, let alone march into the nearest police station and make a formal statement. For her privacy I won’t mention her name but I really do want to give her a virtual round of applause for being an exceptional citizen. People like her and experiences like this are really restoring our faith in humanity.

Overall, the situation could have been SO MUCH WORSE. We got so lucky with the help of the witness, the police officer, and Susan. This could have been some grimy story of anger but instead, we’re able to celebrate in how many people helped us with this unfortunate event. Maybe it will inspire us to go above-and-beyond for someone else in the near future. The world could use a little more kindness.

2 Comments

  • Wow, someone is looking out for you guys! After reading about those other dealerships,it reminded me so much of the dealership I’m stuck dealing with in my hometown of Saskatoon. I’m wondering if you would be able to share that checklist that Susan so graciously provided to you. Thanks for any help you can provide.

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