It's nice when one is shown some goodwill that arises from an employee's ability to show his initiative. Better still if the recipient is yours truly.
It all started on Sunday when my three-year-old Volvo car decided to stall on me after I had dropped my golf bag at SICC Island Location. Luckily I was able to nudge it to the side so that it would not be holding up traffic.
About two hours later, after the Automotive Association technician had pronounced it was not the battery but the alternator problem, it was towed to the Volvo workshop in Alexander Road. It also meant the end of what I thought would be an enjoyable day on the golf course.
The next morning, Volvo's service consultant Catherine Lee, called. I told her what the AA said was the problem. A subsequent call a few minutes later, she gave me the bad news -- the culprit was indeed the alternator and that it would cost me $1,600-plus to get it replaced.
I protested as I was not happy to have to pay for a new alternator because my three-year warranty had ended less than a month ago.
I argued that it was ridiculous that an alternator could last only three years, especially when the mileage of my car was so low. I asked that it be replaced free of charge.
It was apparent that Catherine was not in a position to grant my request, so I asked to speak to someone higher up.
In less than 30 minutes, a guy who identified himself as Doy called me. After I explained to him why I should be entitled to a free replacement, he, in a pleasant, non-defensive voice, said he understood what I was saying and agreed readily to my request.
However, he said he would have to charge me for the labour cost, which I thought was a fair compromise.
But I really appreciate Doy's initiative and willingness to look at the problem from my point of view.
I phoned Volvo's service centre today to find out more about him. The man who answered my call said his full name was "Doy Chan". Asked if his designation was a service manager, he quipped: "Not yet".
Doy is now a service supervisor, but if first impressions are anything to go by, I bet he will become a manager real soon.
A bouquet for Doy Chan!