No Deal(ership)

, , , | Right | September 14, 2018

(I work in an auto repair shop. Just after we open at seven am, I get a call from a sweet-sounding, older lady.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Shop]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Parts department.”

(It’s about an hour earlier than that department arrives in the office. Additionally, as we do not sell parts themselves, only order them as needed for repair jobs, our parts department only takes incoming calls from vendors.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but they’re not available. Is there something I can do for you?”

Caller: “I need a price on a part.”

Me: “Okay, no problem; however, for us to quote you a price, we would need you to come—”

Caller: *interrupting* “I can’t come in. I just want a price on a rear window.”

Me: “I apologize for the inconvenience, but—”

Caller: “It’s the rear window. You know, the glass part that goes up and down?”

(Yes, she actually explains car windows to me.)

Me: “I understand, ma’am, but as we are a repair shop, not a parts shop, we don’t just sell parts. We would need to give you a quote on the full repair work. If you’d like—”

Caller: “Let me speak to [Person].”

Me: “I’m sorry; we don’t have anyone here by that name.”

Caller: “What? Let me speak to [Person]. He works there.”

Me: “Ma’am, are you maybe trying to reach another shop or a dealership? We’re [Shop].”

Caller: “Oh. Yeah, I need a dealership.”

Me: “Ah, okay. Then—”

Caller: “Transfer me.”

(We are associated with two different dealerships dealing with two different car makes, so I can send her to one of them if needed, but only if I know what type of car she has.)

Me: “Sure thing. Which dealership are you trying to reach? Do you have a—”

Caller: “F*** you!” *hangs up*

Me: *stares at phone in shock*

I Demand A Car That Never Breaks!

, , , | Right | July 19, 2018

(A customer calls to tell us that her Check Engine light is on two months after we replaced a sensor on her vehicle.)

Customer: *very condescending* “This is very inconvenient for me; I have to work! What is the latest I can bring it in and have you address the issue?!”

Me: “I don’t know how long it will take to address the issue, because we don’t know what’s wrong with it until we check the code. What is the earliest you can bring your car in?”

Customer: *yelling* “You’re not listening to me! What is the latest I can bring it in and have you address the issue?!”

Me: “What time do you finish working?”

Customer: “Two pm.”

Me: “Would 2:30 work for you, then?”

Customer: “I suppose I could do 2:45, but there had better not be anything else wrong with my car! I fully expected to not have to do anything to my car for the next three years, at least!

Me: “We’ll see you tomorrow, ma’am.”

A Storm Of Crazy Requests

, , , , | Right | June 25, 2018

(It is pouring rain outside, and our area is under warnings for severe storms. There have been tornadoes touching down in a couple of nearby towns, but nothing close enough to us that our shop would close. It is raining so hard that we can only see several yards outside of the windows, with thunder loud enough to shake the small front office building at times, and bright, frequent lightning. In the middle of this torrential downpour, a customer pulls his car up in one of the parking spaces near the office door and runs inside.)

Customer: *with water dripping off his jacket to puddle on the floor as he comes to my reception desk* “Hi, can someone come outside and look at my car? I need an estimate on repairs.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but we won’t be able to right now. Would you like an appointment for later in the week?”

Customer: “You mean no one can step outside right now?”

(He eyes my coworkers at their desks on the other side of the office.)

Me: “No, sir. I’m sorry. It’s a hazard for our team. Plus, it’ll be hard for them to really see everything that needs fixing in this rain.”

(I chuckle politely, but I’m thinking of the dangers involved in standing in the middle of an open parking lot with all the lightning flashing, not to mention the pouring rain and the hail and tornado warnings going on.)

Customer: “But I’m here now!”

Me: “Sir, there is no way I can send any of our team out there in this weather. We’d love to help you once it clears up, though.”

Customer: “I want to talk to someone now. It’s just the side of my car that needs fixing; it’s not a lot!”

(One of my coworkers comes over, all of them having heard the exchange. He tells the customer the same thing I did, then peeks out the window to try to see what the car’s damage looks like.)

Coworker: “From here, I can tell you that you’ll need…” *lists multiple pieces for the car, including a hood, a headlight, and several things on the side of the car* “And that’s not counting anything internal. You’re looking at least [high dollar amount] for all of those. If you want to come back later, we can definitely write it all up for you and get an exact price.”

Customer: “That much?!”

Coworker: “Yes, I’m afraid so.”

Customer: “Man, I thought this was going to be easy!”

Money Makes The Car Wheels Go Round

, , , , , | | Right | June 1, 2018

(A customer comes in looking for a quick check for a noise his car is making. It’s a Saturday and normally we are very busy, but today I have time to talk to the customer about his interest in buying a luxury car and the cost for upkeep on them. The mechanic checks it out and tells me what’s wrong. I price it up and give him about $80 in discounts.)

Me: “Well, sir, I have it all written up for you. It needs tie rods and sway bar links for the noise. It’s going to be $570 for everything, but I was able to apply some discounts and get the price down to $490. That’s the lowest I can go for the work.”

Customer: “This is too much money for me; I can’t afford it.”

Me: “I understand, sir, but unfortunately I cannot go any cheaper; I’ve applied all the discounts that I have to give. I’m not even charging you labor for one part.”

Customer: “Let me see your pen. I’m going to write a price down on this sheet, and you are going to do it at this price because I’m a good customer and its the price I feel is right for the work.”

Me: “No, sir, that’s not how it works.”

(He writes down $400.)

Me: “Sir, it’s $490 or nothing.”

Customer: “But I come here all the time! Look at my history!”

Me: “Sir, you’ve come in four times in four years: one for a bearing for which you ended up making us return your money and put the old part back on, then we didn’t see you again for two years, then you did two oil changes and one battery. You just spent thirty minutes talking to me about buying a Mercedes or a BMW. Honestly, if you can’t afford a $500 part on your Nissan, how do you plan on affording a $600 brake job?”

(The customer ended up taking his estimate and leaving.)

Something Was Lost From Mouth To Mouse

, , , , , | Working | February 20, 2018

(I am collecting my car from having been fixed from a new repair shop. A receptionist is helping me when his computer mouse stops working.)

Me: “Put it next to another mouse. That will make it work.”

(The receptionist does just that.)

Me: “That is mouse-to-mouse resuscitation!”

Receptionist: “It didn’t work.”

(I felt really embarrassed as he just didn’t get the joke.)

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