People love to complain about bad customer service.

They post their grievances on social media, complain to customer service and refuse to do business with companies that get it wrong.

But what about the businesses that do things right over and over again? How come we never hear from happy customers?

Well, now you are.

Last weekend we had a positive experience with a local car dealer we have done business with for years.

Because of good customer service my family has purchased four trucks, two cars and an SUV in the past eight years from this dealership. (Clearly we have too many kids.)

But what keeps us going back is the great service we have received after the purchases were made.

Case in point: Last weekend The Husband and I went to a wedding near Fort Worth where we spent the night. We woke up Sunday morning with plans to do a little shopping.

But there was a problem: The car wouldn’t start.

The Husband tried to jumpstart it. No luck. He scrolled through the owner’s manual in search of a problem and solution. No luck.

The only thing left to do was call roadside assistance. We hitched a ride back to Stephenville in the pouring rain with a friend and had our car towed back to town.

That afternoon, the tow company called to say that the gate outside the car dealership was locked. I panicked.

I called the owner dreading that I had to make a Sunday business call.

He happily answered and when I explained the situation, immediately agreed to drive to the dealership to unlock the gate to allow my sick car to be dropped off.

Then he asked if I had transportation to work on Monday.

He never huffed, never complained and genuinely seemed happy to help.

When I relayed the conversation to The Husband, he replied with his usual response: “That’s why we always buy local.”


Since marrying the man almost 27 years ago, his No. 1 rule when it comes to spending has always been to support local businesses. He is wise that way.

Aside from the obvious economic benefit that practice has on our city, there is a less talked about, but equally important benefit for consumers who buy local - customer service.

What we have found is that when you do business with people who are your friends, neighbors and fellow church members, you get great service.

Why? Because they care. You are not a stranger to them and they go above and beyond to help.

We shop local whenever we can, and if you are not doing the same thing, you should.

You will no doubt be pleasantly surprised.

Oh, and as far as my vehicle is concerned, it’s fine. It was just the battery.

Just don’t tell The Husband I told you.

Sara Vanden Berge is the managing editor of the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at 254-965-3124. Follow her on Twitter @ETeditor.