When Hy-Vee Aisles Online was created, it wasn’t expected to also serve as an emergency service.
On a typical weekday in late February, Dean Leaders, the Aisles Online manager at the Council Bluffs No. 2 Hy-Vee, was sifting through orders. He noticed that a weekly Aisles Online customer had placed her typical order, but then had placed two additional orders. That was odd, he thought. He looked a little closer, and found that the two additional orders each had only one item. That was even more odd.
“I decided to check the comments, and that’s when I realized that our customer needed help,” Leaders said.
In the comments, the customer had typed, “HELP HELP HELP” and “I’ve fallen and I need someone to help.”
Leaders called the local non-emergency number and an ambulance was dispatched to the customer’s home. The customer had fallen and was unable to reach her phone. She was able, however, to reach her tablet. And that’s when she decided to use Hy-Vee Aisles Online to send out an SOS distress signal.
“Thankfully she was able to think quickly and send the Aisles Online orders. We had help on the way within an hour or two,” Leaders said. “She uses a walker and is limited in her mobility. Her brother checks on her once a week, but he wouldn’t have been there for days.”
Later that evening, the customer received her usual online order from the Council Bluffs No. 2 Hy-Vee, along with a friendly check-in.
“She is such a nice lady and she was very appreciative of the quick response,” Leaders said. “We’re so lucky we were able to help.”