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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!”

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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.)

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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?”

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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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Low-balling Your Standards

| USA | Money, Transportation

Customer: “[Coworker] hasn’t contacted me back yet. I left him a message an hour ago. I don’t understand why he hasn’t called me back.”

Me: “I’m sorry about that, ma’am, but he’s been in and out of the front office most of the afternoon, working on a couple of estimates.”

(I don’t tell her that all of our adjusters have dozens of jobs to oversee and often have 10 or more messages waiting to be returned at any given point in the day.)

Me: “I can write down your information and let him know you’re waiting on a call back, if you’d like.”

Customer: “Yes, thank you. I’m [Customer], and he had called me about my car. I just can’t understand this at all… Why is the insurance low-balling me?”

Me: “Low-balling you?”

Customer: “Yes! They wrote me an estimate for my car for $2,000 and now [Coworker] is telling me they took the car apart and the estimate is now $4,000! How in the world can that be? I can’t deal with an insurance that will try to cheat me! I pay them good money for my policy, and I can’t understand why they would be so unfair to me!”

Me: “Ah, I think I understand what’s going on, ma’am. Did the insurance adjustor write the estimate just from looking at the car?”

Customer: “Yes. He walked around it and wrote an estimate and it’s way too different than yours!”

Me: “That happens a lot, actually, ma’am. The insurance adjustor could only see the outside of the car. He did his best, but he couldn’t see to know what got damaged behind the outside pieces and so he couldn’t include that in the first estimate. His paperwork was just to get the claim going. Once you brought us the car to take apart to fully inspect and start fixing, we were able to see the different parts inside of the car and tell what else had been broken by the wreck. So, we wrote up a new estimate for the new damages found, and we will work with the insurance to get that paid and fixed. [Coworker] was just letting you know what the new total was so you’d be up to date on everything.”

Customer: “But how can there possibly be that much more damage? I don’t understand why the insurance was low-balling me!”

Me: “Well, depending on where the damage is, there are lots of internal parts to your car. And, unfortunately, they add up quickly if they need to be repaired or replaced.”

Customer: “But I don’t understand!”

Me: “Let me get your contact number so [Coworker] can call you back…”

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