TALES FROM THE ROAD

ERSA helps give Scottish bagpipers, new MCI customer second wind


When Lindsay Hurn bought a new MCI® J4500 in June, salesman Roy Furo told him that now that he was an MCI customer, he should feel free to use MCI's Emergency Roadside Assistance for any of his coaches. Little did he know how soon he would heed that advice.

A week or so later, on June 28, Hurn, owner and president of Quality Coach, Syracuse, New York, heard from one of his drivers, who was driving through Cleveland, Ohio, with a group of Scottish bagpipers bound for a competition. One of the company's non-MCI coaches broke down.

Knowing his driver and anxious bagpipers were stranded along Highway 480, Hurn called his business partner, Steve Bailey, and they called ERSA, where Pat O'Connell took the call. She then called Lakefront Lines.

"It was about 10 a.m. on a Saturday," says O'Connell. "Weekends, it can be almost impossible to find a coach, but Lakefront is huge. They're one of our good customers. Fortunately they had a coach, but Sam, the dispatcher, said he still had to find a driver. Bless his heart, he called me back in about five minutes and said he'd found one, and we were able to get those people off the side of the road."

Lakefront got out to the scene fast — Hurn estimates his group was waiting for less than half an hour before the relief coach rolled up. "ERSA was phenomenal," says Hurn, who, with Bailey, has overseen sales growth of nearly 40 percent over the 21 months they've owned the company. "Bang, boom, it was handled. It was so comforting."

The bagpipers made it to their competition, and in fact they took first place. Quality Coach was then able to send one of its own coaches from New York to pick the victors back up, and the incident spurred yet another interaction with MCI. "As soon as the insurance check comes," says Hurn, "We're buying another MCI."

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