Strange Times At The Used Car Lot

, , , , , | Working | March 19, 2019

(I am at a used car market which is basically a free-for-all, buy-at-your-own-risk affair. I am an ethnic Chinese woman, and it looks like there are no other people of East Asian descent or women shopping alone. This is a collection of some of the characters.)

Me: “Can I start the car and see how it runs?”

Old White Guy: “Why?”

(Another instance:)

Me: “Would you take R55,000 for this?”

Guy: “No, but can I have your number?”

(Another instance:)

Old Indian Guy: “My son is a dealer. I’ll give you his address. Don’t buy cars from black guys; a lot of them are stolen.”

(Another instance:)

(The reaction of multiple guys when I ask about maintenance issues:)

Them: “Do you have a husband/brother/father at home?”

(Another instance:)

Young Indian Guy: “Hey! Over here! I have the perfect car for you!” *points at a tiny, ugly, subcompact of an unfamiliar make I have to Google*

Me: “Do you think I’m going to buy some random China car just because I’m Chinese?”

Unfiltered Story #142816

, , , | Unfiltered | March 10, 2019

(I work in the Internet Department for a popular car dealership in our area. As an Internet Consultant, it’s my job to answer calls & emails with any questions from customers, and arrange test drives. I am calling a particular customer about his interest in one of our trucks.)

Me: Hi (Customer)! I see you had some questions about this (truck)?
Customer: No, I’m actually looking for a hybrid. Don’t you have one?
Me: …I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that they actually make the (truck) in a Hybrid version. If you’re open to a sedan, the (hybrid sedan) is a fantastic option!
Customer: What color is it?
Me: The (hybrid sedan) is white, with black leather interior.
Customer: Okay, yeah, but what color is it?
Me: …um, the exterior color is white, and the interior is black leather?
Customer: No, the DRIVER’S SEAT. What color is it?
Me: Sir, the interior of this vehicle, driver’s seat included, is all black leather. I also want to let you know the vehicle has heated seats and a sunroof.
Customer: …sunroof? What do you mean SUNROOF?
Me: Um. Well. It’s a panel of glass that goes on the top of the vehicle over the front two seats? If it’s a power sunroof, you can push a button and it’ll open right up for you to get some fresh air in the vehicle? Think of it like an extra window?
Customer: …Okay, but what color is it?

At this point, I go through the color of the vehicle again, and promptly get shouted at because he wanted to know the color of the SUNROOF. He then complained about the price of the vehicle, and disconnected the call.

Will Recall This Customer To Refuse Service

, , , | Right | March 1, 2019

(I am the phone operator for the service department of an auto dealership. I receive incoming calls to the service department, and also send out calls for scheduled maintenance reminders, completed service, and recall notifications. I receive a call from a customer.)

Me: “Service Department. This is [My Name]; can I help you?”

Caller: “I received a call about a recall open on my car; I would like to find out what the recall is.”

Me: “I would be happy to find that out. Just a moment while I access your account.” *pulls it up on computer* “Okay, ma’am, I’m showing the open recall is for the evaporative canister, which is part of the emissions system.”

Caller: *screaming* “I swear to God, I hate your dealership! I had this taken care of! You need to take me off the f****** list!”

Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am, but I must ask: did you get this done at a [My Automaker] dealership? Unless it is taken care of at a [My Automaker] dealership, the recall will remain open on your vehicle.”

Caller: *still screaming* “It doesn’t matter where I had the f****** job done; it was done, so take me off the list and stop calling me!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, this is a [My Automaker] national list. I do not have the authority to alter that list. If you—“

Caller: *still angry* “I know I’ve dealt with you before! You’re nothing but a rude, stupid, ignorant b****!”

Me: *banging phone until customer hangs up, breaking my keyboard in the process*

Service Advisor: *in the hallway with frightened look* “Are you okay?”

Me: “No.” *explains what happened*

Service Advisor: *puts a note in the system to refuse service to this person in the future*

(If this person got the canister replaced with an original part, that part must still be replaced with the redesigned part to comply with the recall. If she does have the original part replaced with the recall part at another shop, she can get reimbursed, but only by contacting [My Automaker]; otherwise, she’s out her own money. And if this part isn’t replaced with the redesigned part, she will likely fail the Illinois automotive emissions tests, and be forced to get the care repaired anyway. Knowing this makes me feel a bit better.)

I Tire Of This Call Almost Immediately

, , , , | Right | February 25, 2019

(I work in the parts department of a car dealership. As such, we sell our fair share of tires. I know not everyone knows their tire size off the top of their head, but most people know enough about their vehicle for us to be able to easily to figure the size out — things like year, model, and trim level, if need be. Not this caller.)

Me: “[Dealer] parts; how can I help you?”

Caller: “I need to get a quote on a set of winter tires for my [Our Dealer Brand].”

Me: “Okay, do you happen to know your tire size?”

Caller: “Uh… No, I don’t, sorry.”

Me: “Not a problem. What model of [Brand] do you drive?”

Caller: “It’s a 2012. or ’11. I’m not sure.”

(We get this a lot: people answering a different qualifying question than the one we asked. Things are still pretty normal it this point, but then this happens:)

Me: “Okay, but which model is it?” *lists off two or three of our most common models*

Caller: “Oh!” *short silence* “I don’t know.”

(I don’t quite know what to say. I’ve never had a customer that was completely unsure of what they drive. So after a short pause, I ask:)

Me: “Is it a car, truck, or SUV?”

Caller: “I don’t know.”

Me: *head-desking already* “Well, is it a—“ *lists off every model we currently sell, or have sold in the last ten years or so*

Caller: “No, it’s none of those.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but it has to be one of those. Are you near the vehicle? Or do you have a copy of your insurance or registration handy?”

Caller: “It’s in the garage. How can I find out what it is by looking at it?”

Me: “There should be a name badge on the trunk or rear hatch.”

Caller: “Okay.” *short pause* “It’s a—“ *garbles the model badly*

(I’m blown away. The name of the model I decipher it to be is six letters long, and pronounced exactly as it is spelled.)

Me: “You mean an [Automobile]?”

Caller: “No, that doesn’t sound right.”

Me: *head on desk* “Okay, hold on a moment.”

(I throw together a quote for some tires that may or may not fit the car, but at this point, in a matter of thirty seconds, the caller has made me lose any motivation to try and sell them some tires. I give the price and tell them that without knowing what kind of car it is, I can’t guarantee the price will be right. The caller agrees, and hangs up.)

Manager: *hearing my side of the conversation* “Fun one?”

(We never heard from them again.)

A Car By Any Other Name

, , , | Right | February 20, 2019

(Our dealership service department runs a skeleton crew on Saturdays; on the weekdays there are five service advisors working but on Saturdays there’s only one. I’m the newest employee and therefore I’m the “lucky” one to work Saturdays. This means if anyone has a question on Saturday they get me, even if they usually work with someone else. A customer approaches me and tells me she’s glad to see a woman working in my position and that she’s had experiences with men in shops treating her like she doesn’t know anything. She starts to ask questions about a symptom she’s having, then asks if the vehicle might still be under warranty. Different cars carry different warranties, so I ask her for more information.)

Me: “What kind of car do you have?”

Customer: “Um… I’m not sure.”

Me: *wondering how some people have no idea what they drive, though it happens periodically* “Has it been here before? I can try looking it up in our system.”

Customer: “Oh, yes, I’ve brought it here many times!”

Me: “Perfect! Let’s try to find you in the computer. What’s your phone number? That’s the easiest way to look up cars in our database; the last name lookup function can be buggy sometimes.”

Customer: “Um… I’m not sure. Try [number].”

Me: *types it in* “It doesn’t look like it came up under that number. Do you have another?”

Customer: “Try [different number].”

Me: *tries the new number* “Nope, still no luck. Sorry.”

Customer: “I can’t think of any other numbers.”

Me: “Maybe we should try your last name after all; it does work most of the time.”

Customer: “Um… I don’t know what name it’s under… How about a social security number? I bet that would find it!”

Me: “No. We don’t do financing in the service department, so we would never collect information like that about a customer, let alone save it.”

Customer: “Oh. I guess I didn’t buy the car from you guys, anyway, so I never would have filled that out here even for the credit.”

Me: “Yeah, let’s try the name lookup. What’s your last name?”

Customer: “I don’t know; I’m not sure what name it’s under. Try [Name that’s usually a first name].”

Me: *types it in and it doesn’t come up* “It doesn’t seem to be working… Just to be sure, that’s your last name?”

Customer: “No, it’s my first name.”

Me: “Sorry about that! It does file by last names. What’s yours?”

Customer: “[First Name].”

Me: “No, your last name.”

Customer: “[First Name].”

(When she did eventually manage to remember what her last name was, surprise! We found her car in the system. But I still wonder how she doesn’t know what type of car she drives, what her phone number is, or what her name is, but was SURE I could find her car with her specific social security number that she was so ready to give out. I also did not tell her that when people treat her like she doesn’t know anything… it’s probably not because she’s a woman.)

Page 1/41234