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Two Can Play The Time Wasting Game

, , , , , , , | Working | November 25, 2022

I leased a new car from a dealership. When closing the deal, the salesman told me that I had three free months of a radio subscription service. I never activated the subscription or listened to the service. I am one of those (according to friends and family, odd) people who like to drive in silence.

Three months after leasing the car, I began receiving calls on my business phone from a number I did not recognize two or three times a day. No messages were left. The area code was unusual, so I Googled the number. I learned that the number was from [Company], which “encouraged” people to subscribe to [Radio Service]. Adding insult to injury, the number was not toll-free; if I called the number to ask why I was receiving these calls, I would pay a fee.

So, without my consent, [Dealership] sold my information to [Radio Service], who then, also without my consent, sold it to [Company]. And [Company] was calling me multiple times a day.

I gave myself a Friday afternoon off. I first called the salesman at [Dealership] and blasted him for not telling me that my information had been sold to [Radio Service].

I then called [Radio Service]. When the receptionist answered, I gave her my name and phone number, and I told her that every time I received a call from [Company], I would randomly call someone listed in the [Radio Service] company directory and waste as much of their time as possible before stating the real reason for my call: to cost them time and money.

I then called [Company] and got an automated receptionist. I listened to the directory and chose a name at random. When he picked up, I told him what I told the receptionist at [Radio Service]: I would randomly waste the time of [Company] employees every time I got a call from [Company].

Come Monday, the calls had stopped. I was never called again.

Wish We Had Customer-Noise-Cancelling

, , , , | Right | November 15, 2022

A customer has recently purchased an SUV and has brought it back to have an accessory they ordered installed. The request is for a fairly simple badging upgrade; however, customers will sometimes take this time to ask service or their salesperson about a feature or to report a problem.

As I’m finishing applying the badging and making sure it’s installed correctly, the advisor handling his work order comes to me with a question she’s unable to answer.

Advisor: “The customer is telling me that the two rear speakers aren’t working properly.”

This is odd, but occasionally, vehicles do ship with a feature not working, though it’s usually caught before customer delivery.

I start looking into the concern by shifting the radio playback balance to the rear of the vehicle and note that, while there is still music playing, there are two speaker grids that don’t appear to have any sound coming from them. I note this and check the vehicle’s equipment sheet to determine what sound system it has. As it turns out, it only has a basic sound system, one speaker in each door, and one in the dashboard at the front.

The two grids in the rear are actually for a new feature for this model: Active Noise Cancellation. It basically makes a sound that can’t be heard by normal human hearing to muffle the sounds of the road and wind, making the cabin quieter and more comfortable.

With this knowledge, I inform the advisor:

Me: “This vehicle only has a basic five-speaker sound system that is functioning normally, and the speakers in the trunk are not used for radio playback.”

I leave to park the vehicle in the pickup area, and the advisor asks me if I can explain the sound system’s function to the customer. I hand off the paperwork and the keys to the advisor, who leads me to the customer.

Customer: “When my kids are sitting in the third row, they’re saying they can’t hear the radio out of the speakers back there.”

Me: “I understand that. I looked into the exact sound system your truck has and found out that the only speakers used for radio playback are in the doors and dashboard; you have the basic five-speaker system.”

Customer: “Yeah, but they can’t hear anything back there. Is there something we can do to fix that?”

Me: “Unfortunately, no. The ‘speakers’ in the trunk area aren’t used for the purpose of playing music; they’re exclusively for Active Noise Cancellation.”

I explain how that all works and am satisfied that I cannot possibly break it down any further.

Customer: “Well, they can’t hear anything back there! Isn’t there a way you can change the radio to make them work?”

Me: “Sir, the speakers aren’t broken; they just don’t work the way you think they do.”

Customer: “But you can change them so that they can make noise, right?”

Me: “Sir, that would defeat the point of the system.”

Customer: “But I don’t want that feature!”

It’s not optional and can’t be removed.

Customer: “I want the radio to work in the back of the car!”

Me: “Unfortunately, sir, I can’t change how your sound system works, it wasn’t designed for what you want, and I need to return to my work. The best thing I can suggest is shifting the balance to the rear and turning the volume up slightly.”

The customer still could not understand why a speaker that was not connected to the radio couldn’t play music. After what felt like thirty minutes of trying to explain the same things and just moving in a circle, I turned back to the advisor and told her there was nothing more I could do here and I needed to do more important work. As far as I know, he never did get those speakers “working”.

This Is Why People Stereotype Car Salesmen

, , , , , , | Working | November 13, 2022

I didn’t buy my first car until after I graduated college in the mid-2010s. I was in a situation where I had the cash to buy a decent used one. I’d done some research online and found a local small dealership that had a car I thought was decent — a 2001 Dodge Intrepid — and asked my dad to come along because I’m no car expert.

When we arrived at the dealership, the owner started talking about the car and showing it to us, and then he allowed us to take a test drive. I got in, put the key in the ignition, and started it up. Immediately, my dad and I both heard something off.

Dad: *Glancing at the owner* “That doesn’t sound good. It sounds like there’s an issue with the timing belt or chain.”

Neither of us knew for sure if it was a timing belt or chain on this specific model, and it was in a spot that you basically had to take the engine apart to see, so we couldn’t verify even after opening the hood.

Owner: “Oh, we just got it. The woman who we got it from assured us that the timing belt was just replaced. It’s fine.”

Both my dad and I were wary, but we took it on a test drive and everything went fine. We negotiated with the guy, and I wrote him a check and drove the car home. I liked it a lot; for my first car, it wasn’t bad even for its age, and it suited my needs at the time. 

Exactly a month after I bought it, I was dropping my mom off at work before I went to work one morning and the car just died. No alerts, warnings, or lights, just flat dead. I’d just barely started the turn into the parking lot where she works, so I popped it into neutral and managed to get it into guest parking.

I called my dad, who drove me to work and helped arrange things with a tow truck so that we could get the car back to the dealer. The dealership also had a small shop, and when I bought the car, part of the deal was that if anything happened, the owner wouldn’t charge me for labor.

It took a couple of days and he reached out to me.

Owner: “It looks like your timing chain essentially disintegrated. I can try and fix it, but since I’m not charging you, this could take a while.”

Me: “What kind of time frame, and what are you thinking is going to be the process to fix it?”

Owner: “I’m going to have to see if I can find a new chain and get that on there.”

I went to a friend who happened to own a mechanic shop and asked their opinion on the situation.

Friend: “It’s not going to be cheap, but your best bet is going to be a new engine. Honestly, on a car that old, I’d see what you can get for it and just wash your hands of it. Unfortunately, you’re going to end up putting more into it than you paid, and with the way he brushed off your questions initially, I’d be worried about what else could potentially be wrong that they either didn’t verify or didn’t bother to fix.”

I ended up reaching out to a junk place and sold them the car for like $150. In the interim of getting that handled, I went to an actual car dealership and got a different used car. When I showed up to transfer stuff to the junk people, the dealership owner then tried to convince me to buy another car from him. I just told him I’d gotten my car situation handled and left.

Pretty Sure Lying Is The Opposite Of That

, , , , , , , | Working | November 4, 2022

My husband and I had a hard year a while back. We lost our house in a flood and then had a car wreck ten days later. The wreck almost killed my husband. He had multiple surgeries and blood transfusions and stayed in a hospital for months.

When my husband finally got out of the hospital and got his wound vac taken off, he was able to drive again as long as his arm was wrapped up.

The new car we had purchased ended up with a broken window after a few months, so we went to the dealership to try and price the window replacement.

A car salesman saw my husband’s arm wrapped up and asked us our story. Once he heard everything, he offered my husband a deal: come to his church that Sunday with him and he would pay for the window replacement. My husband tried to say no. but the man insisted. claiming he was doing God’s work.

That Sunday, we got our baby ready and headed to the church. When the man saw us, he wasn’t happy. He spoke with my husband and wrote down some stuff on a slip of paper.

He told us to bring the car to the dealership the next Tuesday and he would make sure our car would be fixed. That Tuesday, we did as he said and took the car to the dealership.

Once we got there, the dealership informed us that the man had quit just the day before. They didn’t know why and they couldn’t help us.

So much for doing the Lord’s work, I guess.

Some People Just Never Get With The Times

, , , , | Working | October 26, 2022

I used to be a cashier in the service office of a car dealership. Our inventory clerk was going on maternity leave, and I was going to cover her desk, so we got a cashier from a temp agency.

It turns out the last time our new cashier had worked in an office was twenty years ago, and she had no idea how to use a calculator or a computer. She went to lunch and never came back.