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Tanner’s Wheelchair Repaired « Right Side of Right

In Canada on August 6, 2010 at 10:43

Tanner’s Wheelchair Repaired

August 5th, 2010

I’ve been touring in Maine all week and have not been as connected to the news as I normally am. So by the time I heard about Tanner, the boy who’s $15,000 wheelchair was broken by Air Canada, the airline had already taken measures to remedy the situation. Considering the nature of Tanner’s illness and his dependence on this unique chair, Air Canada did the only thing they could do: apologize, repair it immediately and make a meaningful gesture as compensation for the trouble. As I understand it Tanner would like to visit Disneyland and the airline will also make that happen.

If I were Air Canada I would look carefully into what happened to prevent this from reoccurring; but I must say the airline’s response, albeit likely fueled by the groundswell of public support for Tanner, should be commended. Air Canada found a 24 hour repair shop, had the wheelchair fixed and offered an apology that took responsibility for the damage and then they looked beyond the event to offer to fulfill one of Tanner’s dreams (to go to Disneyland). Their recovery from this incident was reflective of the outstanding nature of the poor customer service Tanner received; so AC was right in dispensing with regular company protocol for these matters.

When I speak at customer service and social media events and conferences I mention that the companies of tomorrow, who “get” social media today, understand that customer service issues are bound to occur but that they also need to have a recovery plan in place to deal with those. It’s nice to see that Air Canada is thinking about their future with this incident, by acknowledging that every single customer has a voice and deserves to be treated with respect. Congratulations to Tanner and his family for making themselves heard and empowering the rest of us in the process.


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3 Responses to “Tanner’s Wheelchair Repaired”

  1. Jessica Thompson says:

    Well said Dave! Couldn’t agree with you more on all counts.

  2. Emme Smith says:

    When I first learned of this story this morning in the Globe & Mail blog, I was really really angry and I felt bad for Tanner & his family. I couldn’t believe that it seemed like the airline wasn’t going anything or cared too much. There was a lot of noise on the internet about it. Wasn’t sure all of the facts, but now at the end of the day adorable Tanner has his chair back and he was apologized to and then some. I was happy to hear that the airline never pointed fingers and accepted their wrong. They quietly made what they needed to Right. Thanks Dave Carroll for your insight and way of putting things.

  3. Elaine says:

    Thank you Dave, for creating awareness around good business practices. You do so in such a positive way, and I feel strongly that this results in the best outcome.



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