Well..here we go..off on a topic I haven't thought of in awhile, but one that drives me totally batty!
Has anyone gone to an automotive dealers service department? If so, I wonder, was it a pleasant experience? I highly doubt it, but..hey, anything is possible.
I just had a family member get hit by a shock, and boy, did it bring back some pretty awful memories. Warranty work that was totally covered, suddenly costing a chunk of money, because..while doing the repairs covered, suddenly other issues were noticed, and of course fixed willy nilly. Those issues, of course required immediate payment from our pocket. Money was handed over when service was suppose to be free.
See, I live a life of budgeting. Every single penny has some hand out waiting for it. Vehicles, well, yes, they are a necessary expense, but, when it is an issue that the manufacturer is liable for, and has sent out a message telling us to go on down..the price is right..FREE..it should be something one doesn't become concerned about. No worry about the money, because none necessary. Go ahead, you will have to suffer some inconvenience, but your hand can stay out of your pocket...even coffee is free..well sometimes.
Warranty work, I think, is a way for service departments to sock it to the unsuspecting. Last trip we made, ended up costing an extra $1500 for issues we did not even know about. Top that off with the fact that the one issue we actually requested they address, they claimed we were imagining. We were not..in fact less than one week after dishing the money out for the things we didn't request, we got hit with the result of them not finding the issue we requested they fix.
See, I have to keep my eyes open when we deal with sh*t like this. Last time, my honey went to the counter before I could get there, and took the smack in the head, quietly. I should have been faster, because..I think what they do is pretty darn close to criminal.
When you take a vehicle in for a particular issue, they request your phone number. I have to wonder why they do this. You would think if they come across something out of line, they would pick up the phone and call the listed number to inquire what you would like them to do. Nope! No call, they just take it upon themselves to do whatever suits their fancy, and then have the girl behind the counter type up a really neat invoice listing all sort of labour costs, and parts, that if you don't have a mechanic ticket, you can't possibly decipher.
My whole family once sat at a dealer service department.We were out of town for Christmas shopping, and decided to go on in for one of those Winter Tune ups they advertise for a pretty decent price. There we all sat, kids impatient to go shopping, parents going snakey trying to keep them seated. It seemed to take a very long time, and then I saw the guy wave us over to the counter. I had the cost of this tune up in my purse, separate from the gift shopping money. Well..imagine my shock at the price on the bottom. Apparently they replaced ball joints, along with the $129. tune-up. WTF??? Well, as I have said before, life has always been a little touch and go..money has to be spread out thinly, and back then, it was tough going. That bill, took up the allotted cash, plus the gift money, plus some of the bill money in the bank.
I lost it. See, I don't like people taking advantage of others, and I especially don't like that uncomfortable feeling of having strangers being "intimate" with me against my wishes. We were not alone in this area, but I didn't care. I informed the counter person that they had screwed up our whole Christmas. I told them Santa would not be visiting my kids, thanks to them. I told them they had no right to do work that was not requested, and that they had all the opportunity to walk across the hall and speak directly to us, because we had sat like bumps on the wall waiting right from the start.
We didn't walk away with having to only pay for the tune up..that would have been perfect, however, we did leave having to only pay for the parts. I have done this before..go in for an advertised special and end up with some massive costs, because the advertised special didn't include your make of parts. See..its the major matter of them having the means to contact you..why do they take the number, if they can't seem to call? The first one..I got at the advertised price..because I was "making a scene" and they wanted me out of there. I didn't go off the deep end because I wanted to make a scene..I went there because someone screwed me, and didn't even whisper in my ear.
Times around these parts are getting pretty tough now. Folks are not getting the great big pay days because they worked a month straight, 12-14 hours a day. There are fewer zeros on the take home pay. Costs have not dropped, income has. Fort St John has had a nice run of things. Lots of young people with money to burn, new vehicles for oil patch jobs, ATV's, restaurant meals, big staff parties, high priced homes..that is over. Each and every business in this city will suffer, as those patch workers struggle to attempt to survive this bust.
Business knows exactly what is happening to its customers. The same customers who allowed them to flourish during the good times. Why on earth would a business feel the need to screw those who helped them along the way? I can guarantee those folks working for the business are feeling the pinch, and know there is not a whack of extra cash sitting in many pockets, because , yep..cash is likely slimmer in their own. They must understand a warranty job is one that is paid for by someone other than the vehicle owner..cripes... they will get the payment for this job. So, instead they don't do the warranty job, instead they claim to have found something major besides it, screw everything up, so it is incapable of leaving the facility it managed to drive to, and hand over a bill for absolutely nothing!
I imagine they expect the person to dig through the lint and find that spare money hidden away for these surprise costs. Again..I believe they themselves do not have this spare money..so where is it to appear from?
Times will turn again for this city. It has happened before, this time, maybe it will take just a little longer than the past. Screwing loyal customers is definitely not something one should be doing, when times are tough. Warranty work can certainly be done elsewhere, and when you stop selling new vehicles, and folks try and get by with some duct tape fixing, the fact that you can't be trusted, might just be enough to close your doors! You get more bees with honey..you start handing out crap..folks will just go where things are a little sweeter!