Wacky Customer Responses
The things people will say....
Did ya ever notice some people just have an excuse for just about anything? Did ya ever notice how some people can have a quirky explanation of the problems with their cars? I sometimes wonder what some of these folks would think if they actually could understand it from my side of the counter. I've heard it all… nothing surprises me anymore. (Or at least I think I have.) So, I thought I would jot down some of the wacky problem descriptions and customer requests I've heard over the years. For those who work on my side of the repair counter… see how many of these you've heard before.
Here's a few of my all time favorites:
"I've got a shortage in my car." (What are you short of?)
"I drive my car a lot, and it does this every day; last time was a month ago."
"My car, it's going to blow up… I heard it ticking."
"Every time I shut my car off, it won't start."
"My valve stems won't stay aligned."
"The tail lights went out on my car." I answer, "When did you notice they were out?" They'll answer, "At night."
"My brother used to be a mechanic, so he knows everything."
"It's not intermittent; I know it does it sometimes."
"I don't want this car to last forever, I just want this one to last long enough until I can afford one that will."
"I only drove the car a few miles since I left your place, so it's still under warranty." (Funny, we always record the odometer when a car comes in the shop… hmmm, seems like this mile is about… 5000 + miles long…)
"I can't afford the repair, so just fix what's broke."
2 weeks after a customer has called, they arrive at the shop and tell you… "I'm the guy who called yesterday."
"I'm not in a hurry for it." (A sign they'll be calling in less than a half hour to check on it.)
"I have a relay switch going bad." (So which is it, a relay or a switch? Can a relay switch be going good?)
"I need to pick it up today." (Closing time comes along, and they are nowhere to be found.)
"I lost my voltage in the car." (Well… go find it…!)
On Wednesday they drop the car off and tell me, "It only acts up on a Tuesday."
"Is it cheaper if I help?"
A lady drove up to the door, came into the office and said, "I can't have you fix my car right now, I'll have to come back… I'm waiting on a call from the aliens." (There's no way I could make this stuff up! I had never met this lady before, and she never came back. I guess the aliens got her!)
"I don't care what it costs, just fix it." (Sure ya do…)
"My car is having issues."
"I'll have to wait on it, even if it takes you all night to fix it."
"Here's a 10 spot, put my car ahead of that other guy's." (But the last guy gave me a 20… now what? Start a bidding war??)
"All you mechanics are alike!" (Hmm, so you've met the twins?)
"I should have learned to fix cars, so I could tell you what's wrong with it."
"I was told at the last shop that I have a controller bearing out of sync." (When you sync the bearing… what does it control?)
"You'll have to work around my dog, he stays in the car."
"I already know what's wrong with it; I don't need you to tell me what's wrong." I ask, "So what's wrong with it?" Their answer… "I don't know…"
"I sued the last mechanic who worked on my car."
"Call me when you're not busy. I'll bring it then, so you can get right to my car." (I wouldn't be sitting by the phone waiting for that call…)
"My car goes, chug, chug, chug, pippity pop, pop… and that's just to get the driver's door open. You should hear it when I start the car." (More door noise or the engine???)
"You don't expect me to pay for that? Do you?"
"I could have fixed that myself, if I knew what was wrong with it."
"I want to speak to the mechanic who worked on the car. Oh you did? Then I want to speak to your boss, oh, you're the boss, well then I want to speak to the owner. Oh, you're the owner, then I want to speak to someone in charge."
"I saw smoke coming out of my vents, so I poured water down them. Now when I turn on the blower motor it gurgles in the car. Did I do that?"
"What kind of guarantee can you give me that I won't be back?" (And here I was thinking I wanted repeat customers… this one I just don't know about…)
"Are you busy now? No… I'll be right over."… 3 days later… "I'm here"
"Here's the keys. It's the blue one sitting out front." (There is only one car out front… and it's blue…)
"So everything is working now, and I'm not going to have any problems with my car ever again… right?" (Dangerous question to answer yes to)
If this doesn't fix it, can you recommend a better repair shop?"
Ah yes, never a dull moment at the repair shop, that's for sure. Oh, there's more wacky comments I could add… but I think I'd run out of room to write them down. I'd like to think each and every one of us at some point in time said something stupid to a service person… I know I have, and I'm sure with my wacky sense of humor they'd be talking about it for a long, long time. You know, ya just gotta laugh at the comments after awhile. You can't take it seriously, or you'll just drive yourself crazy. Next time you get somebody at the counter and they want you to take a guess at a repair rather than actually diagnose it… tell em' what I tell them. "Sure, I'll take a SWAG at it." and when they ask, "What's a SWAG?" You can tell them.
"Scientific Wild Ass Guess" … Best diagnostic short cut I've found to lighten the tension in the front office. Hey, they ain't the only ones who can use some wacky terminology… I can too.