Doesn’t Have Tow-tal Recall

| Berlin, MD, USA | Liars & Scammers, Transportation

(I own a garage in a small town. We get a call about a woman stranded on the side of the road. It’s from her roadside assistance company whom we’ve done work for before so it’s a no-cost tow for her. They bring her car in and we get it into the garage. Her car starts up, but can’t seem to rev up past an idle and won’t go faster than a few miles per hour, basically moving like you had it in gear and took your foot off the brake. I gladly take a look at it and within a minute I see the problem. The throttle linkage has come loose. Easy fix, but my policy is that if it came off once, then it might be a little worn and might do it again at a later date. I check my parts distributer and see that it’s a $15 part.)

Me: “Ma’am, the problem is the throttle linkage. It came loose. I put it back on, but since it fell off once it might fall off again. I don’t have that part in stock, but I can get it in by Monday and it’ll take all of five minutes to swap it out. Since your tow was from [Roadside Assistance] there’s no charge to you. I’m not going to bother with labor for a two-minute fix. You can take your car and head home, no charge, but I’d be careful as this could happen again. I suggest you let me order the part and have you come back in when it arrives. That would be $15 for the part and again, I’m not going to charge you for the labor.”

Customer: *flips out totally* “How DARE you try to screw me out of my hard earned money with your mechanical scams!”

Me: *hands her the keys* “The car is working. No charge. Good day.”

(I walk back into the garage and get back to work on one of the other cars. A few hours later I get a call from the roadside assistance company.)

Roadside Assistance: “We are calling to explain that if you’re going to be scamming and price gouging the customers, we’re no longer going to use you in the future.”

Me: “Is this about the woman you had towed earlier today?”

Roadside Assistance: “It is.”

Me: *sighing* “It was a disconnected throttle linkage. I pulled back the retaining clip and slipped it onto where it is supposed to be. It literally took me longer to explain it just then than it took to do it. I charged her nothing for the repair and since the tow was on you guys, no charge there. I DID say to her that if it came off once it might come off again in the future and that it might not be a bad idea to get a new one at a cost of $15, and again, with no charge for labor since it would take maybe five minutes. At that point, for this to not be any less price gouging I’d have to pay her to let me fix her car for her.”

Roadside Assistance: “Umm… Well… I see. We’re putting a note into her account and we appreciate what you have done for her. She was telling us that you tried to charge her for the tow and was going to ‘make her fork over $600 to replace half the engine.’ I’m sorry for wasting your time and we look forward to working with you in the future.”

(That was the first time I wished a customer’s car would go boots up on them.)

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You Are The Reason We Need A Holiday

| Oslo, Norway | Holidays, Transportation

(I’m the owner of a small auto garage. In Norway it is common for most people to have their summer holiday in July. It’s also common that most businesses close down for the time, and so do we. I get a phone call on the 29th of June, two days before the summer holiday season.)

Me: “Hello, this is [Company]. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, I’m a customer at [Competing Garage] but they are closing for summer holiday on Friday and can not help me. Can you?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we are also closing on Friday and have more than enough to do serving our own customers.”

Customer: “Okay, do you know anyone that can help me?”

Me: “I’m sorry, my best advice is that you go to Yellow Pages –” *business register* “– and call around to see if anyone can help you.”

(The customer totally exploded and yelled at me.)

Customer: “Why the h*** is it so difficult to get some help with my car? It’s not a f****** human right to have holiday in July!”

Me: “What’s the rush? Why do you have to have your car serviced now?

Customer: “We are going on holiday this Friday!”

Gave It A Good Try

| Baton Rouge, LA, USA | One-Liners, Popular

(A serious-looking gentleman in his forties comes in to pick up a completed car from the shop. I had never interacted with him before, having been off the day he dropped the car off for repairs.)

Me: *looking at file* “It looks like you owe your deductible of $1,000 on the repair. I can process that now for you.”

Customer: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes, sir, your insurance advised us they will cover the amount due over the deductible, but I’ll need to collect that from you.”

Customer: *shrugs* “Well, you can try.”

(He doesn’t move to get any money out, and I freeze, as he still looks very serious and I can’t tell if he’s joking. I reply with the first thing that comes to mind.)

Me: “Well, then, I guess you can say you tried to pick up your car?”

(Thankfully the customer bursts out laughing and hands me a debit card.)

Customer: “Good response!”

(He paid his bill and went on his way as happy as could be.)

The Engine Of Your Destruction

| Denver, CO, USA | Extra Stupid, Transportation

(This customer has had their vehicle towed in.)

Me: “So, what issues are you having?”

Customer: “It won’t start.”

Me: “Okay, let me take a look and I’ll call you right back.”

(As I approach the vehicle I can see metal pieces on the ground. The customer’s engine had literally exploded and chunks of broken engine parts fell out whenever it was moved. I look up their service history to see if they could even hope for warranty coverage. They had no oil changes in over 28,000 miles.)

Me: “Due to lack of maintenance your engine is destroyed and needs to be replaced. The cost for this repair is around $6000.”

Customer: “Well, it’s a lease, so can’t I just turn it in?”

Socks To Be Them

| Cincinnati, OH, USA | Bizarre, Transportation

(I’m another customer in this story. I’m waiting for my tires to be changed when the other customer walks up to the desk.)

Attendant: “We’ve found out what was causing the banging noise. Your tires are so badly worn that the steel cords are showing and it seems that one of them hooked a sock.”

(By this point the attendant is trying hard not to laugh.)

Attendant: “And it seems that it was banging against the inside of your right front wheel well when you drove.”

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