A Chat with Courtney the Advance Auto Parts Chat Representative


I have been looking for a power steering pump for a ’68 Cadillac.  I know what you are saying, “Those are easy to find.”  And if you are saying that, I can tell you that you haven’t looked for one, because that is hardly the case.  The ’68 Cadillac Deville power steering pump can be ordered in two ways, with a reservoir and without a reservoir.  Now finding a pump without a reservoir is easy.  They are all over the place.  They are like the McDonald’s of power steering pumps.  However, finding one with a reservoir on it is quite a different quest.  It’s like finding a McDonald’s that serves steak and crab legs and gives you free back massages and after-dinner mints and doesn’t automatically add gratuity.

“So why don’t you just buy the power steering pump without the reservoir?”  Because I need the reservoir.  It’s what holds the power steering fluid.  And if I have a power steering pump with no power steering fluid, I might as well just leave the broken pump on there because it would be the same big stupid useless part creating the same big, heavy, virtually-unsteerable sail barge.

“Why don’t you just switch the reservoir to a new pump?”  Great question!  That, you see, is a complicated process that is far beyond my comfort zone of automotive repair and requires the expertise of someone who can rebuild the pump.  So that leaves me with trying to track down a power steering pump with a reservoir.

Advance Auto Parts had one listed on their website.  And I was going to order it.  But there was an issue with calculating the shipping.  After three attempts to get the shipping to work, I got a prompt for a chat box.  Now normally I don’t chat with websites because most places just give you the run-around.  But I’d had a long day and figured what the hell, this might be entertaining.  And I was correct.

The chat conversation went a little something like this:

Thank you for choosing Advance Auto Parts.  A representative will be with you shortly.  Thank you for holding.

Thank you for chatting with Advance Auto Parts and Batteries.  You are now chatting with Courtney.  How may I assist you today?

Courtney:  Hello! How may I help you today?

Doc:  Hey, Courtney.  I’m trying to select a shipping option.  I chose standard shipping, but when I click “apply changes” it doesn’t change anything or show any shipping.

Courtney:  I understand your concerns.  I’ll do my best to help you out today.

Doc:  It just brings up a box that says “select any of the shipping options.”

Courtney:  Would you mind holding for a few minutes while I look into this for you?

Doc:  Sure.

Courtney:  May I have your zip code to check availability, please?

Doc:  28056

Courtney:  Thanks.

Doc:  No problem.

Doc:  Are you able to see my order screen?

Courtney:  I check and no stores have it in stock, nor the warehouse don’t have it at this time.

Courtney:  Yes I see it.

Doc:  So no one has the part?

Courtney:  No not at this time.

Doc:  Well that, and excuse my language here, blows.

Doc:  So while I’ve got you here, why does it list the part on the website if no one has it?  Is it something that can be special ordered?

Courtney:  You will need to go to the store and they will special order it for you.

Doc:  Oh, so it can be special ordered!  Awesome!  Courtney, you are the best!

Courtney:  You’re welcome.

Doc:  Will it cost the same to special order it or will it be more?

Courtney:  Good bye and thank you for chatting with Advance Auto Parts.  Join us on FaceBook!

Courtney:  Would you be willing to please complete a short 5 question survey of the service that I have provided you with today?  If you click on the End Chat button it will prompt you to complete a survey in reference to the service you received.  I would appreciate your feedback.  We will use your responses to provide even better service in the future.  Thank you for chatting with Advance Auto Parts.  We look forward to serving you in the future.

Doc:  Whoa, hold on, I wasn’t finished!

Courtney:  That has to be done at the store only.

Doc:  Oh, so it may cost more to special order it?

Courtney:  I can’t answer it has to be done at the store only.

Doc:  Gotcha.  I mean, it’s not a big deal.  I can’t really drive the car without it.  Well, technically I can, but steering the thing is a real sonofabitch with no power steering.

Doc:  I’ll check with my local store.  Thanks for all the help, Courtney.  Now what’s all this nonsense about a survey?

Courtney:  I do understand.

Doc:  Thanks for being understanding.  I feel like we’ve really connected in the last few minutes.  I’d be happy to fill out the survey for you and give you a stellar review.

Courtney:  Thank you very much.

Doc:  I hope you have a great day or afternoon or maybe even night depending on your time zone.  I’m in Eastern Standard Time.

Courtney:  Thank you and same to you too.

Doc:  Have a good one, Courtney!

Courtney:  Thank you and same to you too.

After I hit the end chat button I was asked to evaluate the chat service.  I was even more excited when I got to this open-ended portion of the survey which asked:

Please provide us with any positive feedback and/or suggestions for how we can serve you better:

I wrote:

Courtney did a fantastic job!  She was an absolute thrill to chat with.  She was smart and clever and got my issue solved quickly and efficiently.  I would recommend Courtney handle all your chat related issues.  And if that’s too much for her to handle, you should at least give her a raise or some sort of promotion.  Or perhaps even just give her some sort of cool gift for being a great chat representative. 

Now granted we only chatted for a few minutes and Courtney wasn’t exactly open about her personal life because she was focused on doing her job, but from what I gathered in our random and oh-so-short chance encounter, I created, and these are just some off the top of my head suggestions, a list of good gifts for Courtney for being such a great chat representative.
– a massage (women love massages)
– a gift certificate to a Pic ‘N Pay or TJ Maxx
– hair tie (women always need hair ties)

I certainly hope Courtney is rewarded for her service to the company.  So many companies overlook their customer service employees, which I assume is why a lot of them are in a bad mood a lot of the time.  Courtney must be just a really nice person, or maybe she just hasn’t dealt with enough a-holes yet.

About BatDoc

I’m a dynamic figure, often seen scaling buildings and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train and bus stations on lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention and reducing high-traffic areas. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees and write award-winning plays about pastry. I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I make meatloaf. I have been known to woo women with my sensuous and god-like electric air-guitar playing. I can pilot riding lawnmowers up severe inclines with unflagging speed and accuracy and can cook 30-Minute Brownies in 20 minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Brazil. Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon River Basin from a horde of ferocious smaller-than-your-pinky-finger fire ants. When I’m bored, I build full size models of airplanes out of Popsicle sticks. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, I repair TVs and VCRs free of charge. I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Last summer, I toured Wisconsin and Minnesota with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat 400. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me. I can hurl coat hangers at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read War and Peace, Moby Dick, and Great Expectations in one day and still had time to repaint the exterior of my house that afternoon. Though not a narc, I have performed several covert operations with the CIA. I can recalibrate and repair gas lines with blinding speed and precision, and I don't require a face mask. I still find time to sleep eight hours a night; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation to Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me. I balance; I weave; I dodge; I frolic; and my bills are all paid. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a jello mold and a toaster oven. I used to breed prize-winning killer dolphins. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, performed open-heart surgery, and have spoken with Elvis. I have been to Area 51 and seen the complex. I enjoy cake and my best friends are Edmund the Penguin and Dr. Narco the Intelligent Thermos. I tied Jose Canseco in home runs last week, and I’m mere words away from completing a New York Times crossword puzzle I started on in 1988. Volumes and volumes of written works have been produced about me, but they were all lost in the fire. I am an extrovert. I’m marginally more popular with feminist than Rush Limbaugh. I don't scrape my vegetables onto my grandmother's plate when no one is looking. Hard as it may be to believe, I have never lost a pole-vaulting competition. I was nowhere near the grassy knoll on November 22, 1963. I’ve never hit a silver-medalist in the knee with a club. I wear sensible clothing, and I did not mastermind Julius Caesar's death. That was Cassius.

Posted on August 7, 2014, in A BatDoc Original, Original Series, Short Essays and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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