Did you ever acquire a device to help you deal with one issue, and then discover that it gradually became an indispensable “helping hand” in a dozen or more others? I have! And today as I returned to a website first visited several years ago, it delivered a reminder of how and why I’m likely to find the “helping hand” permanently indispensable. And furthermore, that customer service of the sort most of us feared may be out of reach “a bridge too far” in this digital era dominated by robots.
A comment appearing at the website helpinghand.us.com said, “A good summary of the excellence of my invaluable Tru-Grip is to tell you that it allows me to pick up a crumb, a Sunday New York Times or a vintage bottle of Dom Perignon with equal confidence. You can be proud of your products and the representatives you have chosen as your face in the US.” And it was signed Annette-New York.
Little did I know when writing that comment several years ago, that the cheery yellow trimmed “reacher” initiated to help me follow the orders of a physical therapy guru who issued a temporary caution against heavy lifting and bending would still be my ally today. It turns out that it is just the “assistant” I need as I sort and distribute papers variously categorized as “keepers” “maybes” and definite “shredder fodder.”
As you can imagine, unless I had a table of the proportions of King Arthur’s Round Table it was inevitable that the sorting would move to include the floor. Helping Hand to the rescue. Its recipe for universal usefulness has been built over the years in the rescue of the earring back that inevitably rolls under the chest set so close to the floor that no grown-up hand could reach to retrieve it. Or the fork that heads straight for the space between sink and stove only wide enough to defy rescue. Oh, and the newspaper you would like to bring in from the corridor if guaranteed that no one will see your “not for prime-time costume.”
The reacher I use at present was purchased as a gift for a tall neighbor (at 32 inches, longer than the one I sadly lost) and then received back from him when his fractured elbow healed. So as not to be rightly labeled an “Indian Giver” –whatever that is meant to mean – I set out to find the height appropriate one for me and return the reclaimed one to my neighbor.
That’s when I ran afoul of Walmart which showed the replacement I sought on their website. But sadly, they seem to have had their site hijacked and I found myself in the hands of someone who informed me that because I had called to place an order I would be “eligible” for a $100 bonus. When asked by this persistent fellow (who seemed not to understand the meaning of “No thank you”) why I would not want this “bonus” I said, just before he hung up, that it was because I am a discerning consumer aware of scams designed to put your personal information into the absolutely wrong hands. He hung up. And then my phone registered another call.
Happily, that one brought “Cat Densham” of Helping Hand in the UK to the rescue. Seeing her UK number on my phone, I was surprised and delighted to hear that she was responding to a concern I had expressed about dealing with distributors more attuned to taking mass orders. She rang to offer an alternative. The lesson I learned is that 24-karat Customer Support is alive and well across the pond. She offered and implemented a personalized service that would provide me with a contact point that would make her my voice with their distributor and bypass, in style, the potential negatives of being a one-woman customer base. “For us,” she said, the single consumer is every bit as entitled to our help as the corporation that buys by the thousands. What an ambassador!
And so, I serve notice on all the lost, misplaced or inconveniently located objects in my life. Be warned that my new, height-appropriate reacher will soon be coming for you. With that, I turn my attention to editing the comment now appearing on my “champion’s” website. Should you one day see that amended comment, you will know that it is not exaggerated and most gratefully meant.
Opening photo by Bigstock by Shutterstock; product photo courtesy of Helping Hands