Low-balling Your Standards

| USA | Right | March 29, 2016

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…”

Time To Put The Brakes On Misogyny

| TX, USA | Right | February 29, 2016

(I’m a girl and I run a brake shop. People call, I diagnose the issue, give them a quote, set appointments, and order parts. You could say I know a lot about brakes but something like this happens at least once a month.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Brake Shop]; this is [My Name].”

Male Caller: “Hi, honey. I need a quote on a brake job. Do you need to transfer me to somebody else?”

Me: “No, I can handle your quote.”

Male Caller: “Great! I just love a woman who knows her brakes.”

Me: “And I just love a man that can be condescending and sexist in one sentence.” *click*

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His Brain Has A Busy Signal

| Marietta, GA, USA | Working | February 5, 2016

(My car is in the shop and for a week now, I’ve been trying to get somebody on the phone. Today, I get through.)

Employee: “Hello, [Car Place].”

Me: “Hi, this is [My Name]. I’m calling about the Taurus.”

Employee: “Yeah, it’s been sitting there. We can’t work on it until we get an okay.”

Me: “Yeah, sorry about that. I keep trying to call back but you don’t have an answering machine and I keep getting a busy signal.”

Employee: “Are you sure you have the right number?”

Me: “I called you today with it…”

Maybe Santa Can Give Him A Lift

| IL, USA | Right | December 17, 2015

(It is two weeks before Christmas:)

Me: “So, here is what we found. The cause of the issue with your car is a bad [component]. The price with parts and labor is [price], and we just happen to have one in stock. We can get it fixed for you today.”

Customer: “That’s way too expensive. I can’t afford that right now.”

Me: “I understand. Just don’t take the car out of town until you can get it fixed. There is a good chance it may strand you.”

(Fast forward to December 24th, 12:45 pm. We close at 1:00 for Christmas. This has been posted on every door and window in the place for a month. A car pulls up to the door, and the driver lays on the horn. I open the door and the driver from two weeks ago gets out of the car… along with his wife and three children. The car has a large car-top carrier on top of it.)

Me: “Can I help you?”

Customer: “I need my car fixed right now.”

Me: “Okay, well, we close in 15 minutes.”

Customer: “We are going out of town right now and I need the car fixed.”

Me: “Well, let me see what I can do.” *I hear the audible groan come from the mechanics who are ready to leave* “Have a seat in the waiting room.”

(20 minutes later…)

Me: “Well, I am sorry, but we won’t be able to fix the car today.”

Customer’s Wife: “What?! We are leaving for a 300 mile trip right now! Why can’t you fix our car?!”

Me: “We don’t have the part in stock right now.”

Customer: “But you told me you had it!”

Me: “Yes, I did… two weeks ago. We don’t have it anymore because we sold it.”

Customer: “So you are telling me you are going to ruin my family’s Christmas?”

Customer’s Wife: *to Customer* “Wait… you knew about this TWO WEEKS AGO?!”

Me: “I am sorry to deliver the bad news, but we don’t have the part in stock right now.”

Customer’s Wife: “You mean to tell me you told him this needed to be fixed two weeks ago?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Customer: “How long will it take you to get the part?”

Me: “Well, seeing as how tomorrow is Christmas and we are closed, it would be sometime next week before we could have it.”

Customer: “You mean to tell me you can’t get it tomorrow?”

Me: “No. As I said, we are closed. In fact, we closed five minutes ago.”

Customer: “This is bull-s***! I want to see your boss RIGHT NOW!”

Me: “Since he is currently in Florida with his family for the holidays, I’m afraid that won’t be possible.”

Customer: “So you are just going to completely ruin our Christmas?!” *points towards his children*

Me: “Sir, I cannot fix your car if I don’t have the part to fix it.”

Customer’s Wife: “You should have every part for any car you work on in stock.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m afraid it is just not possible to have every part for every year, make, and model of every car always in stock.”

Customer: *as he leans in and gets right in my face* “I will be calling customer service and telling them how poorly you treat your customers!

Customer’s Wife: *to Customer* “You know, if you had fixed it two weeks ago this wouldn’t be a problem!”

Customer: “I’ll never be back to this dealership! You have lost my business for life, you a**-hole!”

Me: “Okay, I think it is time for you to leave now.”

Customer: “I’ll leave when I’m god-d*** good and ready!”

(I realize three of my mechanics have been listening to the conversation. All are over six feet tall and menacing. Suddenly they are standing behind me with large wrenches in their hands staring burning holes in the customer.)

Customer: *to his wife* “Honey, I think maybe we had just better leave.”

Me: “I think that may be for the best. Have a Merry Christmas now!”

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Car Repair Despair

| Denver, CO, USA | Working | November 17, 2015

(It is winter, and we notice our car is having trouble starting, despite being a newer model. We decide that eventually the bad weather could possibly damage our car further, so my mom calls our usual repair shop.)

Mom: “Hi, my name is [Mom], and our car is a 2012 [Model and Brand]. We’re noticing that it’s starting to have troubles starting up, and we’re thinking it may get worse as the cold increases. We’re wondering if we can come in to get it checked out.”

Representative: “Hi, [Mom]! Yes, I can see if I can schedule an appointment for you! Unfortunately, I’m a little backed up on the phone right now, but I can call you back in an hour at the most to get a spot sorted out!”

(My mom agrees, so the representative hangs up promising to call back later. A day goes by, and no call back. My mom leaves a message.)

Mom: *via message* “Hi, this is [Mom] calling! I called yesterday concerning a visit with my car, which is [Model and Brand], and was promised a call back. I did not get one, and was hoping you can call me back soon! Thanks!”

(Keep in mind, my mom was polite and calm, thinking this was just a small mistake. We still get no call back, and my mom sends the same message. After a week, we get no call backs. Finally, we call a different repair shop who manage to get an appointment the day after the call! Our car is fixed, and we get awesome service from the mechanics that turn them into our usual repair shop. A year later, my mom gets a call…)

Representative: “Hi, [Mom]! I’m calling about an appointment we can make for your car!”

Mom: “Um… check the date on the messages I sent you…”

Representative: *confused* “It says you sent them over a year ago.”

Mom: “Exactly…”

Representative: “So… concerning your car repair?”

(My mom hung up, and we never called that repair shop again.)

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