This Attitude Is Going To Wreck You

, , , , | Right | July 23, 2018

(I have been in the collision and body shop business for a while, and this comment almost did me in.)

Customer: “So, yeah, I am here to get my things out of the my car that you guys decided to total out.”

Me: *in my head* “Oh, yeah, because we were the ones driving when the vehicle was wrecked?!”

Chip Off The Old Crazy Block

, , | Right | July 11, 2018

(I finish a job for a customer and give him his invoice.)

Me: “The amount will be [amount].”

(The customer pulls a card out of his wallet and hands it to me. I notice it’s got a chip, so I stick it into the chip reader.)

Customer: “That chip won’t work; I disabled it. I told them when I got the card I didn’t want any d***ed chip.”

(I look at the credit card reader, and sure enough, it tells me the chip isn’t working. I use the option to swipe the magnetic strip and the transaction goes through.)

Me: “Yeah, I think all new credit and debit cards are going to the chip rather than the magnetic strip.”

Customer: “It’s just so the government can track you. I told them I didn’t want to be tracked, so I didn’t want a card with a chip in it.”

Me: “Well, if they want, they can still track your purchases when you just use a card to buy something.”

Customer: “I didn’t mean tracking me when I buy something; the government is tracking people using the computer chip they put into credit cards. I disabled mine so they can’t track me. They do it with fake cell phone towers.”

Me: “Oooookay.”

(The customer signed the receipt and left. I stepped outside and looked up in the sky for black helicopters.)

The Quality Of The Front Will Send Them To The Back

, , , , , | Working | May 4, 2018

(I am 19 and have bought a truck that is about ten years old. It looks bad on the outside, but I know it is sound mechanically. I take my mother with me to pick it up. On the way home, she insists on taking it to a national chain oil change store where she will pay to have it done, even though I already know my way around cars, and have done major engine work on previous vehicles I have owned. I think she just doesn’t want to take the chance I will spill oil on her new driveway. While in the waiting room, the mechanic comes up to us.)

Mechanic: “Okay, I am very glad you brought this in. It is in bad shape. It is not safe to drive.”

(My mother is visibly upset.)

Me: “Excuse me. What are you talking about? It is fine mechanically.”

Mechanic: “Listen, son. I know my business.” *he turns to my mother* “This thing is a death trap. I am surprised it even got here without crashing. The front end is totally shot. Your steering—”

Me: “Hold on. I do know quite a bit about cars. I have been working on them with my father since I was old enough to hold a wrench, and there is nothing wrong with the front end. It drives just fine.”

Mechanic: *ignores me and continues talking to my mother* “Listen. If you want to endanger your son’s life, you go right ahead and listen to him. I can give you a great deal and redo the front end for around $700. Be a mother and protect your son.”

(At this point, I about lose it. My mother is about to do it when I tell her they are lying. I tell the mechanic the car is in my name and I refuse to allow them to do any work on it. We pay for the oil change and leave. My mother is terribly upset, so I drive out of my way to a mechanic’s shop that is owned by a man I know my mother would trust. I do not tell him about what we were told, but ask him to do a quick check on the lift.)

Friend: “Oh, man. You got a good deal on this. She looks great underneath the hood.”

Me: “How about the front end?”

Friend: “Oh, it looks great. I can tell it was rebuilt less than three or four months ago. You really did good with this.”

(The other business closed within a year as their reputation quickly spread through the town for being dishonest and continually — accidentally, of course — leaving the oil caps off the engines after oil changes. You would think a national chain would be smarter and more careful in who they hire; guess not.)

You Can’t Filter Out Dishonesty And Gullibility

, , , | Right | March 30, 2018

(I manage an auto shop, which is basically a quick lube. A customer I’ve never had before comes in for an oil change. All goes well until I give him the bill.)

Customer: “Why did you change the oil filter?”

Me: “We always change the oil filter when we do oil changes.”

Customer: “Mine doesn’t need it.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Customer: “My [Car Brand] has a special filter which never needs changing; you shouldn’t have changed it. It just cost me extra money.”

Me: *pause* “I’ve never heard of an oil filter which doesn’t need changing. The oil filter takes impurities out of the oil so they don’t harm the engine. If you don’t change the filter, it’s eventually going to get clogged, and you won’t have good oil flow. Plus, it can’t do its job removing impurities from the oil. If you don’t change the filter, it’s almost as bad as not changing the oil.”

Customer: “Well, when I had my oil changed at [less than reputable Competitor], they told me that I didn’t need a filter because [Car Brand] uses a special lifetime oil filter which never needs changing.”

Me: “Honestly, this is the first I’ve ever heard of a special lifetime oil filter. The filter I replaced was a standard [Filter Brand] filter, and I replaced it with filters designed for your vehicle. See? Look.” *I show him the filter application book* “Right here, it has your vehicle listed and the number of the filter I put in, which this book says is the proper replacement filter. If it had a special lifetime filter, it wouldn’t have a number, and would likely have, ‘NS,’ listed there for, ‘Not Serviceable.’ If your car didn’t require a new filter every time, they wouldn’t make filters for it.”

Customer: “I still think it was a waste, and you’re just trying to get money out of me. I’m going to go ahead and pay for it, but I’m not satisfied.”

(Note: The customer’s cost of the filter is around $5.)

Me: “I can assure you that I’m not trying to rip you off, and you should always replace your oil filter. But just in case [Car Brand] came out with something new that I’m not aware of, I’m going to do some research and find out if they do, indeed, have a special new oil filter. The one I took out looked the same as the one I installed.”

(The customer paid and left, and I searched the Internet for a special [Car Brand] lifetime oil filter. Finding nothing, I called the nearest [Car Brand] dealer’s service department and explained the situation to the manager. He assured me that [Car Brand] oil filters need to be replaced just like any other vehicle, and they don’t have a special lifetime oil filter. Turns out the other auto shop which changed his oil previously didn’t have that particular filter in stock, so they lied to him about it needing to be changed, and he believed them instead of me. What my dad always says is true: a dishonest auto shop will make trouble for all the honest ones around it.)

If Only He Knew How Crazy His Request Sounded

, , , | Right | March 16, 2018

(I live in Germany. We have a loyal customer base who always come to us when their American-made motorcycles have any kind of trouble. Some of them think we are omnipotent and can solve any problem over the phone.)

Customer: “My bike is making some strange noise.”

Me: “What kind of noise?”

(Usually I would expect a description of the sound and the general area it comes from on the bike. Instead, I hear the bike start up and the customer revving the engine several times while holding the phone close to it.)

Customer: “Now you heard it. What do you think is wrong?”

(I had to patiently explain that I need to have the bike in the shop to check it out instead of giving him a diagnosis over the phone.)

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