I love discovering hidden pockets of great customer service – especially in unexpected places or situations.

I love discovering hidden pockets of great customer service – especially in unexpected places or situations. In case you’re thinking great customer service should be the “norm” I agree with you, but sometimes we’re all not the best customers and so I can understand when clerks, waitresses, etc. are just a little harried.

Last Friday, I was wearing down from a long day of being on the road when I came home to find our Internet service was still out following the overnight storms earlier that morning. When you work from home and can’t access your wireless connection it becomes a big problem very quickly.

The AT&T automatic attendant options were less than helpful and the message at the end of the recording stated that they were experiencing heavy call volumes and those callers were enduring longer than normal wait times for assistance. I decided to hang up and try to fix the problem myself.

Another half hour rolls around and I’m nowhere closer to being connected to the outside world so I tried the automated attendant again. Same song second verse; the information and options provided by the recording came nowhere near fixing nor alleviating my concern.

Frustrated, I decided to forgo the “longer than normal wait time” warning and punched the key to speak to an attendant. Placing my phone on speaker I began to lay it on my desk with the plan of tackling my filing stack while I waited. No more had my phone settled into place when I heard, “AT&T, this is Sherita, how can I help you?”
What followed next was a full hour of this lovely, patient, funny and very competent customer service rep walking me through step-by-step the various problems that could have been mangling our wireless service. Together, we unhooked cables and rerouted connections; we deleted old wireless connection options, and reset passwords.

By the time we had reached the end of both of our ideas for the cause of the problems and right before we were ready to admit that my laptop had somehow been fried during the evening’s lightning strikes, Sherita asked if she could remotely take over my computer and see if she could find the problem. Permissions were checked, boxes were opened, passwords were re-entered, and then just as it looked like all hope was lost — she found it. A remote, distant, hidden email address was reset to the earliest possible version thus rendering our Internet connection unable to communicate fully throughout the house.

We ended the phone call by my promising that if I ever became a “gazzillionaire” I was going to travel to the AT&T call center, find Sherita and offer her a ridiculous sum of money to come work for me. She obviously has the patience of Job and the technical smarts to keep me and my business out of trouble.

Lori Marble writes a weekly column for the Daily News.