Not Licensed To Be This Stupid

, , , | Right | May 4, 2021

While I don’t typically work the front counter, I do jump on register to help from time to time. I also help to answer the phone. On one particular morning, I pick up a line. Here in New York, most license plates start with three letters and end in four numbers. Commercial plates typically are five numbers followed by two letters.

Me: “Thank you for calling [Auto Parts Store], [My Name] speaking. How may I help you today?”

Caller: “Yeah, I need a power steering cooler for a 2005 GMC.”

Me: “All right, sir, can you tell me what model GMC you have?”

Caller: “Uh, it says Z71 on the side.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but that isn’t a model. If you look on the back of your vehicle it might have the model name.”

Caller: “It just says GMC on the back.”

Me: “All right, sir, that’s fine. Is your vehicle registered?”

Caller: “Yeah.”

Me: “If you tell me the plate number, I can look it up that way.”

Caller: “The what?”

Me: “The license plate number, sir.”

Caller: “What’s that?”

I’ve never had anyone ask me this question before, and I half expect the caller to say he’s just kidding, but he doesn’t say anything else.

Me: “It’s the plate with seven characters on your vehicle.”

Caller: “You mean like the VIN number?”

Me: “No, sir. If your vehicle is registered, then it’s the plate on the front or back of your vehicle. Do you have a plate like that?”

Caller: “Oh, yeah. It says [five digits].”

I think that maybe it is either a specialty plate, but a search of those five digits comes back with nothing for New York.

Me: “Is your vehicle registered in the state of New York?”

Caller: “Yeah.”

Me: “Are there any letters on the plate, too?”

Caller: “Uh, yeah, there’s [two letters].”

I put the letters in my search, too, and his model finally came up and I quoted him his price.

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Can We Quote You On That?

, , , , , | Working | April 23, 2021

I have to have the windscreen on my car replaced, so my husband takes it to a repairer to obtain a quote. They write the quote on one of their business cards and my husband comes home.

After we sort out our finances, my husband takes the car back to have the work completed. As our financial situation at the time is not great, we have enough money in our account on this day to cover the work as quoted and not a cent more. When my husband goes to pay, he doesn’t pay attention to the cost; he just hands over his card. It is declined. He then realises he has been charged more than what was quoted, so he queries it.

The employee who gave him the quote confirms that the lower price is correct, so my husband pays the lower price, gets his receipt, and leaves. When he gives me the paperwork, I notice that the invoice and receipt have different prices. My husband tells me what happened and we think that’s it.

But no. Today, my husband received a phone call from an admin person at the repairer.

Admin: “I am just going through our books and I notice that your invoice doesn’t match what you paid.”

Husband: “Yes, that’s because you tried to charge me the wrong amount at first. It was higher than the quoted price, so it was adjusted.”

Admin: “But we ran your card twice.”

Husband: “Yes. We didn’t have enough money in our account to cover the higher price, so when you went to charge me that, the card was declined.”

Admin: “Okay, but the receipt and invoice still don’t match.”

Husband: “Yes…”

Admin: “And we ran your card twice.”

My husband explains again why that happened.

Admin: “But the card went through okay the second time?”

Husband: *Getting annoyed* “Yes, because the second time, I was charged the quoted price, which was cheaper than the first price you tried to charge me. We only had enough money in the account to cover the lower price.”

Admin: “But how was I supposed to know that?”

Husband: “I don’t know.”

Admin: “Somebody should have told me or left a note!”

Husband: “Probably.”

Admin: “The invoices and receipts need to match!”

Husband: “Um, okay, well, if that’s all…”

Admin: “Okay, thank you. Goodbye.”

Husband: *To me* “I’m not sure what she expected me to do about it. I don’t work there. It’s not my job to make sure their invoices and receipts match or to leave notes for her!”

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His Common Sense Got A Flat

, , , | Right | April 10, 2021

We own an auto repair garage. During a stormy and very wet August, a guy calls and says he has a flat, but he has enough air to bring it to our garage for a tire repair.

My husband puts it on the hoist and takes off the tire, looks at it for about a minute, and then looks at the other three tires still on the car.

Husband: “Yeah, I can’t repair this; the tire is too worn and won’t hold a repair.”

Customer: “Why not?”

My husband points to the bald tire with metal showing.

Husband: “One: it’s a hole on the sidewall. Two: this tire is completely bald and unsafe. And three: it was a rock that punctured it.”

Customer: “But I wanted to keep this set on until November and then switch to my winters!”

Husband: “All your tires are in the same shape; they’re all unsafe. You need a new set immediately.”

The guy didn’t want to replace the tire, and my husband wanted nothing to do with it. He didn’t even charge him, but he did warn that any fix was a temporary solution and it couldn’t be driven over a certain speed, etc.

Three weeks later, the guy was still driving on it and the other three bald tires.

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Scratch That, Just Report Everything

, , , | Right | CREDIT: Moosetastical | March 22, 2021

I work as an hourly technician. We have a repeat customer that comes in for oil and tires. She is a real problem customer; she complains about anything out of place or smudged on her car.

Customer: “I want all four tires done!”

Service Manager: To me. “I want you to make an account of anything you find on her car before you start your service.”

I take four hours on her vehicle as she waits on an uncomfortable bench. I write up every smudge and scratch on the exterior of the vehicle. The final report is a ten-page manifesto on her car.

Funnily enough, she never returned.

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Making A Squeak About The Leak

, , , | Right | March 10, 2021

A woman comes into the auto shop where I work and she seems really upset.

Woman: “I was in here earlier for an oil change, and when I got home, it was leaking oil.”

I apologize and ask her for her info so I can pull up the work order. A few minutes later, I have her file pulled up and I am looking at the work order. The technician had placed a note on the work order that she had an oil leak when they brought it in.

Hoo boy, it’s going to be one of those days, isn’t it? I brace myself for the inevitable explosion and tell the woman that we had informed her about the oil leak before we changed her oil.

I did not brace in vain: she blows up on me. 

Woman: “My car never leaked oil until I got it home today!”

I look up previous work orders on her vehicle. She actually brought it in every time it was due for a change. I note this.

Woman: “Of course I come in on time!”

Me: “Most people don’t do that, and then they wonder why their vehicles break down so quickly! It’ll take me a minute to look over your files.”

Each work order for the past year shows technician comments about an oil leak. I tell the woman the news. She blows up at me again.

Woman: “It did not have an oil leak before today!”

Me: “Ma’am, we have paperwork covering an entire year’s inspections, and an oil leak is identified on all of them. It is also noted that we specifically told you about the leak.”

She refuses to listen. She begins telling me how horrible I am at my job and how I refuse to accept that I broke her car.

Me: “Ma’am, I did not do the work on the vehicle. I am just the cashier. Our technicians identified the problem.”

She still tells me how dumb I am, and I tell her that if she keeps it up, she can leave.

She demands to see my manager, of course. I go out to the shop and call in the manager. I print out the past year’s worth of work orders, and as he enters, I hand him the small stack. From there, it’s not my problem, so I walk away and stock the shelves. About three or four minutes pass, and I hear the woman shrieking at him, telling him how he sucks at his job and that he broke her car, and demanding to see the store manager.

Well, this is an issue, but not for us. Our store manager rarely comes out at a customer’s request as it is a very large store and he is VERY busy. He is an awesome guy, though. I call his office and let him know that we have a very irate customer claiming that we caused an oil leak in her car. He sighs and comes out.

The woman is yelling at him even as he’s still approaching, and the service manager just hands him the stack of paperwork. The store manager looks at it and asks the woman to wait for a minute. He goes into the manager’s office to review the paperwork without the woman shrieking in his ear.

A couple of minutes later, I get called over, and the store manager asks me what was going on. I tell him everything from the beginning. He nods and sends me on my way.

Store Manager: *Coming out of the office* “Ma’am, I have a stack of papers here, all of it from a year’s worth of service. Every sheet indicates that you were notified of an oil leak. Just to be certain I am understanding you, you are refusing to believe that you were at fault?”

Woman: “You all made my car leak oil!”

Store Manager: “All right, you apparently cannot understand that this is an issue that you’ve had, and you never saw to fixing, so I’m going to tell you how this is going to escalate. I am going to turn this over to our insurance company to handle. We, at that point, will no longer be dealing with this issue.”

She takes a huge breath and he holds up his hand.

Store Manager: “Do not start. Be quiet and listen. I want you to understand what’s going to happen. The insurance company will want all the paperwork on work you had done on your vehicle from us and will decide what to do from that point on. Here is what will happen. Not ‘might,’ not ‘maybe.’ It is what will happen. You will receive paperwork telling you to take it to a different mechanic. If you want your claim to be processed, you will do this. When that happens, you will be required to send the paperwork stating which mechanic you go to. Do you understand so far?”

She nods mutely.

Store Manager: “Good. Now, this separate shop will inspect and repair the car. They will be fully aware that the insurance company wants a thorough investigation. If the insurance company does deny your claim, you will be responsible for payment to the mechanic for the repair, and any fees they charge.”

The woman puffed up her chest like she’d already won, and she clearly thought she was going to get a free repair.

We have seen customer responses like this before, but it never, EVER ends well for the customer. We already know what the verdict will be: she will end up paying for the repair herself. The insurance company we use is very stingy. They do not fork over cash to make a problem go away. They have a history of being fully willing to spend that money on an investigation, rather than fork over money to someone looking to get a freebie… no matter how small or cheap. They’re so notorious for it in company circles that as soon as word comes along that they’re investigating a claim, most people toss paperwork in the air and go, “Well, we know how this is gonna end. Want some coffee or popcorn for the show?”

The woman didn’t know this. She strode out with her head held high and the store manager shook his head, handed me the paperwork, and went into his office. Minutes later, I got a call from the insurance agent asking me to have the paperwork faxed to them. Naturally, I sent the fax ASAP with a small smile on my face.

Time passed, and the insurance company replied to the claim, “Denied claim due to proof of poor upkeep on vehicle. Claimant was notified of leak for over one year of issue with leak, and never had it checked nor repaired.”

They would have called the woman with this verdict, as well. I am sure some words were said and conniption fits were thrown, but it’s no longer our problem.

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