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Discussion Starter #1
Last week we had two incidents regarding out of warranty vehicles that had very different endings.

The first was a customer with a Caravan that had over 90k miles on the clock (his coverage had long expired). The customer came in demanding that we diagnose his vehicle and bill him for it since he only had two dollars in his pocket. This is completely against company policy and the service advisor explaind to him that payment was due when serives were rendered and that the diagnostic charge would be applied to the needed repair. The customer got mad and demanded to see the service manager.

When the manager met with him, the customer said he had bought the van from our dealership when it was new and that he couldn't believe he was being treated this way. The manager explained to him the company policy. The customer then stated he had the money but it was at home and not on him. My manager then offered to have our shuttle driver take him home to get the money while the van was being diagnosed but he declined saying he had an appointment later in the day to get $700 worth of new tires put on. He then proceeded to mention he had bought the van from a wholesaler a number of years ago (caught in lie #1) and that he had much of his regular service performed here (lie #2 - he had no service history with us).

He stormed out for about 5 minutes and then came back in demanding the managers name and said he was going to call Chrysler. My boss gave him a business card with the Chrysler customer service number and his name on it and wished him a nice day.

Case number two which happened the same day. A customer with a '01 Ram came in for an oil change and his drain plug was leaking. Upon examanition of the plug and pan it was determined the threads in the pan were shot. At first he was a bit upset and told our manager he wanted a new pan since it must be our fault because we are the only ones ever to touch his vehicle. We pulled his service history and verified his story.

My manager explained that with over 170k miles on it and the oil being changed at 3k mile intervals, worn out threads aren't a great surprise. The manager then offered to install an oversize plug at no charge and if the leak was still present at the next oil change, he would sell him a new pan at cost and discount the labor to install it.

After thinking it over for a minute, the customer decided that he was ok with the proposed solution and thanked my manager and expressed his appreciation for the help. So far it seems the oversize plug cured the problem and the customer went away happy.

After examining both cases it's pretty easy to see that the customers attitude can make all the difference in the world. Being honest and straightforward paid off when lying and demanding didn't.
 

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Absolutely!

I give you guys credit dealing with people all day.

The service advisers at my dealer always seem happy to see me and try and help me out if they can. I remember several years ago, we had an '04 caravan that was always in for warranty issues, and I was the one that would drop it off. (Me being like 18-19) I remember telling the service adviser that the tracks in the back had broken and somehow the service manager came out with me and I showed him. He looked at them, and questioned how often we take the seats out of the van (to be fair it was a lot) and I also showed him the wheel cover that had gotten scratched up when it was in the last time. He said "I'll talk to him about that" and I assumed that he wasn't going to do anything about it, and I left kind of disappointed/frustrated. A few days later we get a call from the dealer that the parts are in, and they want to know when is a convenient time to bring our van in for them to correct the issues. After that, the service manager has ALWAYS acknowledged me whenever he sees me in there.

There was another time where I called in to book an appointment for my car and get a quote on new summer tires and the service manager answers, apologizes that they are really busy, but if he can take my number he'll call me back. Ok, thats fine. A few minutes later he calls me back and I ask to book the appointment and I ask him about the tires that I wanted. (I had the dealer quote me on winter tires as well, but they didn't have the ones that I wanted) He comes back with a price that beats the price of the independent shop that i bought my winter tires from. I thanked him and made the appointment on the spot to get the new tires. Fast forward to a couple months ago, and my dad informs me that we need new tires on our '07 caravan, and so I email the service manager again, and he gives me another deal on the tires.

On top of all that, they have been excellent with dealing with me with a couple nagging issues that my caliber had early on. For that reason, I will hopefully purchase my next vehicle from them, and i will continue to use them for our vehicles.
 

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We need more techs like that around here. Although they are nice and friendly, I've been hard pressed to find one that goes the extra mile to ensure the customer is satisfied. I understand it is not their responsibility, but it adds that human element to a job often associated with a non-relational position.
 

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Ahh the general public what a buncha a-holes. It only makes those pleasant people seem only better. I witnessed something just like this going through the hell I went through when I first got the Ram nice story Randy and a great lesson. And I bet the first person calls em stealerships and the second doesnt :p
 

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Ahh the general public what a buncha a-holes. It only makes those pleasant people seem only better. I witnessed something just like this going through the hell I went through when I first got the Ram nice story Randy and a great lesson. And I bet the first person calls em stealerships and the second doesnt :p
And I would call him a freeloader! :D
 

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Absolutely, Attitude DOES go a long way. Good OR Bad attitude makes a BIG impression. Like you all, I prefer the Good Attitude! ;)
 

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Agreed!! After selling auto parts for a couple of years with Advance and O'Reilly's I have experienced a lot of different situations as well. I have managed retail side and the commercial side. If you go into your auto parts store to see "your guy or gal" please leave the "tude" at the door. Once upon a time I had a pissed off farmer come in and tell me he needed a starter for 350 chevy. I asked him what year and he proceeded to tell me " AW HELL IT DOESN'T MATTER SON THEY ARE ALL THE SAME!!!" So I did not argue with him and went in the back and grabbed a chevy 350 starter that only fitted chevy 350 6 cyl. (they were popular back in the day for old grain trucks). Sold the starter to him expecting he would be back in a couple of hours pissed off, he did come back extremely pissed off and threw the starter back at me and said "sorry". So please be nice to your fellow car enthusiasts.
 

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My manager explained that with over 170k miles on it and the oil being changed at 3k mile intervals, worn out threads aren't a great surprise. The manager then offered to install an oversize plug at no charge and if the leak was still present at the next oil change, he would sell him a new pan at cost and discount the labor to install it.

After thinking it over for a minute, the customer decided that he was ok with the proposed solution and thanked my manager and expressed his appreciation for the help. So far it seems the oversize plug cured the problem and the customer went away happy.
It seems to me that with less than 60 uses on that plug that it should not have failed. From my experience, the oil pan plug (or the tapped hole), which isn't supposed to be under any stress, will be most likely to fail when some clunk cross threads it on replacement. I'd be pretty peeved with that lame offering if I had never touched that plug.
 

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It seems to me that with less than 60 uses on that plug that it should not have failed. From my experience, the oil pan plug (or the tapped hole), which isn't supposed to be under any stress, will be most likely to fail when some clunk cross threads it on replacement. I'd be pretty peeved with that lame offering if I had never touched that plug.
No it shouldn't fail. The drain plug should last the life of the truck--it's a part that rarely moves and is always loosened and tightened with proper lubrication. And probably one of the "technicians" cross threaded it and then hit it with an air impact.

I suspect the service manager realized this which is why he or she was willing to spring for the oversized drain plug and the labor to install it (which is fairly insignificant.) It's the proper fix, tho, for the problem--and installing a new pan is a fairly major undertaking both in parts cost but even more so in labor and downtime. Offering to do the least costly thing is not a lame offering, it's just prudent.

On a side note, I just finished replacing the rear main seal on my 96 Dakota 5.2. It is a major job for the home mechanic--even for a shop it would be a big one. Imagine my shock when I found a cross threaded pan bolt--either from the factory or done by a "technician" in a previous attempt to fix an oil leak. The proper fix, and not a biggy btw, is to take the bolt back out, get a proper tap and clean up the thread before putting the pan back on. My personal experience with "technicians" is that some seem to be in a hurry to get the job slammed back together--maybe they figure that by the time some future unknown wrencher finds their sloppy work they'll already have relocated to whatever afterlife bad wrenchers go to? --and I try not to let "technicians" work on my rides. Good enough usually isn't really good enough, the best part of doing my own work is that if I contemplate cutting a corner, I know who'll be losing sleep over it.
 

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Ahh the general public what a buncha a-holes.
I'm one of those *******s that tends to think of dealerships in less than cordial terms. I want my vehicle fixed right the first time--and the last time I had recall work done (a replacement main wiring harness on my motorcycle) the "technician" forgot to hook up the wire to the coolant sensor. The work was done under a recall because the penny pinching bean counters cheaped out on anti-chaffing protection for the main harness.

Yeah, I'm one of those *******s who MIGHT just have a bad attitude--mostly I put it in a back pocket and bite my lip.

BTW, I regularly shop at the local O'Reilly's--nice men and women who genuinely try to be helpful. Same with the service writers at the local Discount Tire outlet and Autozone. I know they don't get paid enough.
 
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