April 3, 2008
Dear Christine,
This message has been copied to Gary Bretz (RPTA), Karen Shandrow and Karl Stephens (city of Tempe ADA coordinator) for their review.  It represents an example of a happy contrast to the incident that took place on Easter Sunday.
At 11:23 this morning, I contacted your call center to arrange and cancel several trips for Karen and myself.  Melissa took the call.  Her attitude was professional and respectful throughout the transaction.  She was accomodating and empathetic, exploring options and making some practical adjustments for a couple of pickup times that were particularly adverse.  Melissa was accountable and proficient, admitting a couple of times her trainee status and asking questions of others, resulting in a couple of actions that delivered us a better experience than we might have had otherwise.  We couldn’t get everything exactly the way we would have liked to have it, but, frankly, that’s not exactly the point.  The important factor is that Melissa performed her job to the best of her ability, asked questions of co-workers when she needed assistance and took actions in the customer’s best interests whenever doing so was practical.  Karen has just arrived at home, and she agrees regarding Melissa’s professionalism.
Whenever we do business with anyone, including East Valley Dial-A-Ride, we expect the people to act in accountable and professional ways at all times.  The job performance of people like Alecia and Melissa, among others, represent solid examples of the things that are right about Dial-A-Ride.  We’d just like to see your organization doing more of these good things, and less of the bad.  Providing needed support, ensuring all employees receive and understand solid customer service oriented training, reinforcing positive actions and stamping out negative behaviors would go a very long way toward reaching a goal of accountable, courteous, dignified and professional service toward the taxpaying citizens with disabilities of the cities in the East Valley Dial-A-Ride coverage area.  It isn’t necessarily a matter of just “getting our way” but rather one of empathizing with the needs of your customers and treating them with respect and professionalism during all transactions.  I will always accept nothing less than this kind of treatment from anyone on your staff.
Best regards,
Darrell Shandrow
Accessibility Evangelist