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The Customer Is About To Ignite

, , , | Right | December 16, 2021

A woman brings her car in.

Customer: “What would it cost to replace the EGR valve?”

She then promptly spends the next ten minutes running down the shop that has been ripping her off for years, explaining how EVERY TIME she brought her car in to them, they said it was this, and when that didn’t fix it, so she had to pay more…

Me: “So, would you like me to fix the car or replace the EGR valve? They may not be the same thing.”

Customer: “What do you mean?”

Me: “We could inspect the vehicle, identify the faults, and make a recommendation based on our findings.”

Customer: “You would charge me for that?”

Me: “Yes, of course.”

Customer: “No, just change the EGR valve. They already told me what’s wrong with it! You guys are all alike!”

I write up the repair order, specifying, “Replace EGR valve per customer request.” I call her a couple of hours later and tell her the EGR valve has been replaced.

Customer: “It still runs terrible! You didn’t even change it, did you?!”

Me: “Of course, we replaced it. I have your old EGR valve right here, along with the large chunk of carbon that had blocked it open. We took the liberty of inspecting the engine after the work was done so I would be able to explain to you why it’s still running so badly. If you’ll look right here, you can plainly see the ignition spark escaping the plug wire arcing to the cylinder head. The chunk of carbon that blocked the EGR open resulted from unburned fuel entering your exhaust. You need a tune-up. I have that estimate for you right here, and as soon as you pay for the work we’ve already done, I’ll get started on it.”

Customer: “Why should I have to pay for that? You didn’t fix it!”

Me: “Because you asked us to, as evidenced by this signed repair order, which expressly authorizes a mechanic’s lien in lieu of payment for services rendered. If you choose not to pay this bill, I’ll place your vehicle in storage at $19 per day until such time as I can apply for a permit to sell the vehicle.”

She politely paid the bill and paid upfront for the tune-up. The next day, she drove away in her perfectly running car.

Question of the Week

Tell us about a customer that lied or scammed to get what they wanted.

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