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Ohio UPS Store Owner Goes Above And Beyond To Deliver Package

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Here is a story about a business going above and beyond to satisfy a customer in these very difficult times. Ardeshir Agahi owns a UPS store in a suburb of Cleveland. Earlier this month, a customer showed up with two large paintings to ship to his home in Naples, Fla. They had to arrive by Saturday, but UPS delivery was super busy and would not be able to get them there on time. So Mr. Agahi jumped into his 2011 Subaru Outback at 10:30 a.m. on a Thursday, and 1,250 miles later at 9:30 a.m. that Friday, he pulled up in front of his customer's house in Naples. Ardeshir Agahi joins us now on the line.

Welcome to the program.

ARDESHIR AGAHI: Thank you, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is some customer service there, sir. Tell us about that drive. I mean, that is a huge drive. Did you sleep at all?

AGAHI: Very little - maybe a couple hours. But I was very concerned to make sure that we make good on our promise to my customer, and that was extremely important to me.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You got to Naples, and I understand the owner wasn't there at home at the time, so you left the paintings with the person who opened the door. And then you just jumped right back into your Subaru and went back to Cleveland so you could make it to work on Saturday. I mean, that's dedication.

AGAHI: Yes. That's exactly right. I timed it so I can get to my customer's residence at 9:30 a.m. And once I unloaded the paintings and made sure they were safe - of course, I was in my UPS uniform with my nametag. And I got back in my Subaru. And when I actually pulled into I-75 towards Tampa, it was exactly 9:47 a.m. And I headed back to Cleveland so I can be here to support my wife, which is also my business partner, for Saturday opening at 10 a.m.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Wow.

AGAHI: And I made it on time.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter).

AGAHI: And when my wife arrived, she was extremely surprised, so...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: May I ask you, why did you do this? I mean, I understand wanting to give a customer good service, but that is above and beyond.

AGAHI: You know, as a small-business owner - we've been in business for now two years, actually. Now we are going through a very difficult time.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I was about to ask, how is your business doing during the pandemic?

AGAHI: Well, our business, since end of March, was generally down because a lot of the small businesses that we support - they closed. And then the shipping generally was down.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Just to clarify, you never saw your customer in Florida. Does he know about your trek?

AGAHI: You know, be honest with you, Lulu, I don't know.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, I hope he hears this conversation, and I wish you all the best at this difficult time. And I have to say, if I'm going to ship UPS, I'm going to go to Cleveland to your store (laughter).

AGAHI: Well, we would love to have you and help you in any way we can.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is UPS store owner extraordinaire Ardeshir Agahi.

Thank you so much for speaking with us.

AGAHI: My pleasure, Lulu. Thank you so much. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.