He Motor Boated Himself

, , , , , | Right | September 27, 2019

(My husband and I own a mobile marine repair business. We do not have a shop; we repair boats dockside or in a person’s backyard. I have submitted several stories about things that happened at our business but this one really shows the stubbornness of some people. Keep in mind that we charge a minimum of $100 to even look at a customer’s boat and then give advice, so we are paid many times just for our expertise. We get a call in March from a gentleman about getting his boat ready for spring. My husband sees ice in the motor.)

Husband: “Um, sir. Did you winterize this boat?”

(Winterizing a boat entails several things. The biggest step is making sure all the water is drained out of the boat and motor before cold weather hits.)

Owner: “Winterize?” *laughs* “This is the South. That is why I moved here to get away from all the cold weather. You don’t have to winterize anything down here.”

Husband: “While we don’t normally have the cold weather you see further north, we do get temps below freezing during the winter months; plus, you have stored this in your yard in the shade underneath a tree canopy. This motor is full of ice and I don’t even want to think about the ice that may be under the deck. The only thing I can suggest you do is get a heat lamp out here and put under the boat. Let it warm it up for a couple of days and then we can see if the motor is damaged. I won’t charge you to come back and check on it.”

Owner:What?! That is ridiculous. You have no idea what you are talking about. It didn’t get cold enough for ice to form. You have the keys; just start it up.”

Husband: “No, sir. I will not be responsible for what will happen.” 

(My husband wrote on the invoice what was wrong and that the customer was ignoring advice, and insisted that the owner sign it. Then, he handed the man his boat keys. The owner told him he was being silly, climbed up in the boat, and started it up. The motor roared to life and owner smirked at my husband. A few seconds later, there was a huge boom which jolted the boat partway off the trailer, the motor stopped, and black smoke poured out. He stood in the boat, stunned, for several minutes. Embarrassed, he asked my husband to look at it . My husband told him he wouldn’t even have to. The motor was blown and the guy ended up doing over $20K worth of damage to the motor and boat. Why pay us for our expertise and advice if you aren’t going to listen to it?)

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I Question Your Way Of Questioning

, , , , | Right | September 24, 2019

(I am a female secretary at a family-owned automotive repair shop. Though I have had no experience with vehicles before this job, I have learned a great deal, not only about vehicles, but about the owner’s preferences when it comes to dealing with customers. The shop is named after my boss, so most customers tend to ask for him directly. In an attempt to weed out those who don’t REALLY need to talk to him, I try to get as much information as possible from the customers. I am sitting at my desk and there is a customer waiting in the lobby when a gentleman walks in.)

Me: “Hi, sir, how can I help you today?”

(The customer describes what would be considered a custom job.)

Me: “Okay, sir, with jobs like these, [Boss] likes to discuss it personally with the customer. So, if I could get some contact and vehicle information, he will give you a call as soon as he can.”

Customer: “Can I just talk to him now?”

Me: *knowing the boss is busy with another vehicle* “He’s busy at the moment, but I promise he will give you a call.”

Customer: *getting aggravated* “I just want to ask him a question!”

(I end up going to the back and getting my boss, explaining the situation to him.)

Boss: “Hey! How can I help you?”

(The customer goes on to describe the job again.)

Boss: “Okay! Well, if you give [My Name] all of your information, I will give you a call later to discuss it all with you.”

Customer: *noticeably calmer* “Okay, sounds good!”

(After he leaves, the customer waiting in the lobby looks over to me.)

Customer #2: “Didn’t you say that?”

Me: “Yup.”

Customer #2: “I hope that doesn’t happen often.”

Me: “You’d be surprised.”

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Unfiltered Story #159885

, , , | Unfiltered | August 4, 2019

(I am involved in a minor fender-bender that results in the driver’s side of the hood being dented in and the side mirror knocked off. My parents have my boyfriend and I take the car to the repair shop for an estimate, and are given a $3000 and three-day repair job, which my boyfriend (who is in school for automotive repair) had originally estimated at $300. Shocked at the price and still being on my family’s car insurance, I ask for a copy of the paperwork to show to parents so we can discuss our options. We decided that we don’t have much of a choice, so my mother calls the shop to schedule the repairs.)

Mother: Hi, my name is ________, and my daughter and her boyfriend were in yesterday to get an estimate on a repair job?
Technician (laughing like he knows something she doesn’t): Oh, yeah, I remember those two.
Mother: I’m sorry, what do you mean?
Technician (in a falsetto voice): Ohh, I have to go talk to my Daddy about these prices! (laughs)
Mother: I’m sorry, I don’t get what’s so funny here!
Technician: (silence)
Mother: She did the right the thing, she’s still on our insurance, and she was very scared, and right now, we are just very happy that no one was injured in this accident! You shouldn’t be laughing and making jokes about this!
Technician: …So anyways, if you want to bring in the car tommorow, we can start working on it.

(Both my parents were furious with this guy, who seemed to always make sure he was never in the waiting room or answering the phone whenever my parents stopped in. We continued to have more problems with this shop (such as them not calling us or the car rental company when they kept the car three days past the esitmated repair time) and have had issues with this same man mocking my mother and I the last time we took a car in after an accident. We definetly will not be going there again.)

Truck Drivers Are Happy To Have You On The Team(ster)

, , , , , | Working | July 14, 2019

(I am a twenty-something blonde woman. I take my car to a small chain brake repair shop to get my rear brakes done. I cross the road and kill a few hours at the mall before I wander back, only to find my car still up on the lift.)

Worker: “Oh, there you are. Yeah. Your whole brake system is shot. We have to replace everything.”

Me: “What? No, you don’t. Just replace the rear brake pads!”

Worker: “Nope. Can’t do that. It’s not road safe. We have to do the work here and now as we can’t let that car on the road in this condition.”

Me: “How much?”

Worker: “$2,500.”

(I lose it, yelling and demanding and threatening, but he stands there unmoved. I then pull out my phone, and he asks dismissively:)

Worker: “You calling the cops?”

Me: “No. I’m calling a Teamster.”

(It isn’t a threat; I just want some advice from a good friend who is a driver, but the man’s face changes instantly.)

Worker: “Wait. What?”

(I don’t understand the fear in his eyes, but I go with it.)

Me: “Yeah. Looks like I need some help here.”

Worker: “I’ll get your keys.”

(He goes in the back and has my car lowered and pulled out of the garage by a coworker as he returns.)

Me: “No rush anymore. They’re almost here.”

(That wasn’t true. I’d actually never even dialed once I saw the fear in the man’s eyes, but I was MAD! I went out and hopped in my car. They hadn’t done any work — which I’m relieved about — so I screeched out of there and headed to a more reputable shop. I wish I’d reported them, but it never occurred to me at the time. The whole chain went under a few years later, though.)

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Bumper To Bumper Problems

, , , , | Right | March 21, 2019

Customer: “The bumper is falling off of my car!”

Me: “Oh, no, I’m sorry to hear that! Unfortunately, we don’t do body work here; only mechanical repairs. Do you need a referral to a body shop?”

Customer: “No, YOU have to take care of it. My car is less than two years old and it’s a lease. This should be under warranty!”

Me: “Let’s go take a look.”

(We go out to the service driveway where his car is parked. The bumper is indeed separating at the fenders, but the lower section of the front bumper is clearly dented, scraped, and generally mangled, with some trim pieces falling off.)

Me: “Did somebody hit your car? There’s clearly signs of impact. Unfortunately, the warranty doesn’t cover outside influence. If you were in an accident, you may want to consult your insurance company about covering the repairs.”

Customer: “Nobody hit my car. I did that. My driveway is steep and there’s a dip going in, so the bumper hits if I pull in or out too fast. I mean, if I go slow enough it won’t, but… I hit it a lot. And sometimes I hit the curb when I don’t get the angle right, too.”

Me: “That would DEFINITELY qualify as an outside influence. The manufacturer’s warranty only covers factory defects.”

Customer: Well, it’s a FACTORY DEFECT that they built the car so low! I shouldn’t have to go so slow in my own driveway! So this should be covered under warranty!

Me: “Yeah… Unfortunately, the manufacturer doesn’t see it that way.”

Customer: “But this is a lease car! I’m going to have to give it back and they penalize for damage. I am NOT paying for this!”

(I knew I wasn’t going to make any headway, so I ended up referring him to the manufacturer’s corporate helpline. The case manager assigned to him ended up calling me for confirmation of his complaint, laughing and incredulous that the customer thought his inability to drive without hitting things should be considered a ‘factory defect.’ Unsurprisingly, he did not get his way. And best of luck to him when he tries to return the 3/4 of his car that will probably be left at the end of his lease!)

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