Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mike Won't Lie

On Monday, I was sooooooooooooo annoyed with my car dealer, I fired them!
That's right.
I've had enough of their manipulative, fabricating ways.
Last week, when I called to make an appointment to have my snow tires removed, I asked how long they would need the vehicle for.  "Twenty minutes, half hour tops," he said.
"Really?" I asked incredulously.
"Yes," he said, "at that time of day, we'll be able to get you right in and out."
So, based on that information, and trusting it to be factual (my silly mistake), I arranged with my little chickadee that we would stop there after my haircut and "quickly" have my snow tires removed.
We arrived at the dealer and he informed me that they are now charging for storage of tires (it has been free 'til now, which is why I used their service).  My little chickadee quickly went into action rearranging the contents of my car to allow the tires to be placed in my vehicle for removal from the dealer's storage facility.
I would call Mike (my friendly neighbourhood mechanic) and give him my money.  Mike is the one who otherwise services my vehicle -- and he gives me exemplary service.  He recently expanded his shop to allow storage of tires.
"We'll wait," I said to the intake guy, "I understand it will only be about a half hour?"
"Yes," he responded, "we should be able to get you right in."
So off we went to the waiting room, in all innocence, and sat down to wait a half hour.
About an hour later, Pauple called to find out what was keeping us.  "We're waiting for my Mom's car," said MLC, "she's having the snow tires removed."
"What's she driving now?" Pauple asked.  "An 18-wheeler?  How many snows are being removed?"
At the 70-minute mark, I'd had enough.  So I wandered into the intake bay and asked if they'd lost my car.
The gentleman very nicely checked the record and told me that it should take about a half hour.
"Another half hour yet?"  I kind of quietly screeched.
"No, that's how long it takes once they start," he quickly clarified, "and I think they're working on your car now.  I'll just go and make sure."
Off he went to the service area and came back with the news that they would be "another ten minutes."
I returned to the waiting room and let MLC know that we should only be ten minutes longer.
Ten minutes later, MLC called my attention to the fact that it had now been ten minutes.
I reminded her that obviously, we should always double whatever timeline the dealer offers.
Sure enough, just better than ten minutes after that, my car was finally ready.  A mere 90 minutes is all it took for an estimated half hour wait!
All they had to do was give me that time estimation right up front, and we could have made other arrangements.  We'd have  put our time to much better use than sitting in their waiting room for the duration.  I was more than a little annoyed.
Why don't they just admit that it could be a while?  In my experience with this dealer (Southbank Dodge Chrysler, in case you're wondering), they have never once dealt honestly with me.  Sales.  Service.  It doesn't matter. They don't know what honesty means.  And I've bean dealing with them for 28 years!    
I paid the bill and got out of there.
That evening, I called Mike at his home and arranged to drop my snow tires off at his shop the following morning.
My snow tires are now safely stored at Mike's shop (Cooley Automotive).
One thing's for sure.  When it's time to have those tires installed again, if Mike tells me he needs my car for half an hour, that's how long I'll wait.
How can I be so sure of that?
Because my vehicles (and I've had several -- every one a Chrysler product) have all been looked after by Mike for lots of years now.
And Mike doesn't lie!

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