Customer Service Part 2, the Upsell

I get crappy service consistently.

Mostly it’s low paid droids that act as if they are going out of their way to do their jobs and help me.

But the other type that drives me nuts is the over-the-top service, especially when they want to run up the tab.

Car service is a great example of this. A few years ago I took my wife’s car to the tire shop. I want tires, nothing more. I even had an appointment. Dude tells me it’ll be an hour and a half. Fine. So I went next door to get my hair did. As I’m in the barber chair I see a dude get in Herself’s hotrod and bring it into the bay.

Cool. They’ll be done in no time flat.

So I leave the barber and waddle to the barbeque store nearby for a leisurely lunch.

When I’m done, as I walk back, I see the car about 2′ up off the floor, hood open, doofus under the hood. I know from cars. And I know there’s no tires under the hood, nor is there any reason to have it open to replace tires. So I get back into the lobby, watching tires not being installed on my wife’s car, steam flowing from my ears.

Finally the clerk come in an I ask about my car. Knuckles on the counter time.

He says they are very busy. To which I replied they’d clear the backlog of work faster if they did what I was paid them to do – install the tires I was paying for and stop screwing around. I got the blah-blah-courtesy check thing. Whatever dude, tires.on.

They always have a litany of ills for my car.

At one point I had a ’94 Camry with 200K on the clock. The tire store sings the song of bad seals, worn this or that. I think my response was the car was like a 90 year old man. I know it’s dying. When it does, I’ll get another one. FFS, If I’m not seeing oil on the driveway, the seals aren’t that bad.

Worst one was my 4Runner, where they screwed the VSS system. This is the system that tells the computer what is level so it can allot power properly. I had to find a level parking lot to reset it.

This time, when I was ordering the tires, dude is selling me on road hazard warranty, and I forget what else. Here’s the deal; They prorate wear. So unless I run over a screw at Home Depot in the next few months, I’m going to pay as much for a tire as the warranty would cost. Warranty is $90, prorated tire is $80. I’ve paid $160 for that tire, the tire that cost $140 new. I’ve done it in the past and always, always regretted it.

About the only thing I had to deal with this time was a tale of worn brakes. I don’t know how many times I’ve told them I do that myself. That’s like $50 and an hours time to me. I’ve done hundreds of brake jobs. The woman on the phone did mention my inspection is expiring and would I like that done?

Hell yeah I would. Once that’s done, all I need do to renew my tags is waddle to the grocery store and pay them some dough. Once it’s expired, it’s a trip to the fifth circle of hell known as the tax office. In Texas, car tags are a function of the tax office, not DMV. So yeah, do that.

Funny, they missed the two messed up CV boots and God knows what else. They probably wanted only the high profit jobs.

Car repair shops are but one example. But it happens everywhere. God forbid I buy a cheap tool at Horrible Fright. “Do you want the warranty?” for 1/3 the price of the tool I’m buying? Uh…thanks, no. If it doesn’t work I’m bringing it back. if it does work, it’ll probably do so for years. Shit ain’t that complicated. For what it’s worth, I paid $90 for a power snake to clear my pipes. That’s $10 cheaper than a visit from the drain dude. One cleared drain, I’m square here.

The solution here is to be ugly and mean looking. I simply stare at them and grumble no thanks after an uncomfortable (for them) silence.