Heather Hamilton, Manager of the ADS Security Washington, NC branch (right) and customer Linda Lancaster formed a decades-long friendship that started by writing notes to each other on billing invoices.
Linda Lancaster has been a customer of ADS Security since 1996. She had recently lost her husband when she decided to get a security system to help her feel safe. That’s how her friendship with Heather Hamilton, Branch Manager of the ADS Security Washington, N.C. branch began.
Back then, billing was done by hand, and knowing Linda’s story, Heather would write a personal note of support to Linda on her monthly invoices.
Eventually, Linda began to write back to Heather and the two formed a special pen pal relationship through the billing process.
“Linda told me she looked forward to getting her bill each month for the special note,” Heather said. “As our friendship formed over the years, I got a card from her when I got married, when I had each one of my children, and I still receive Christmas and Valentine’s cards from her every year.”
About five years ago, Linda stopped by the office to drop off her payment and Heather noticed she wasn’t herself. When Heather asked, Linda revealed she found out she had breast cancer right before she came in.
“The news was still fresh for her. She hadn’t had time to process it and hadn’t told anyone yet,” Heather shared. “I think I may have been the first person she spoke to. It was very humbling to have this sweet customer confide such personal, life changing news with me. I would think of her often and send her notes and cards checking in with her.”
“We became good friends even before the breast cancer,” Linda said. “Heather was always there to support. I put the notes and cards she sent me on my fridge and looked at them every day for inspiration.”
In addition to being there for Linda through her illness, Heather was there to support with security needs as well. “All I ever had to do was call Heather and she was always there to help with my alarm system. If it was something she couldn’t fix over the phone, she would send someone out,” she continued.
Fortunately, Linda has never experienced a break-in since installing her ADS security system. “But I have set it off accidentally myself,” she chuckled. “Each time the ADS people called to make sure everything was okay and they are so nice.”
In a turn of events, Linda was able to reciprocate Heather’s support when Heather learned of her own breast cancer diagnosis last July. “For a while, I didn’t tell anyone outside my immediate family except Linda. I called her to get advice, encouragement and support, and she provided all those things. She is truly more than a customer to me, she is family,” Heather said.
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