Quantcast
Jump to content


Gonzo

Article: Jewel of Denials - yea, they say they didn't do it... but ya know they did.

Recommended Posts

Jewel of Denials

I think everyone should experience working with the general public at some point in their life. The variety of people you meet is absolutely fascinating. They come from all walks of life and from every part of the globe. If you’re a people person, working with the general public can be wonderful experience.

For the most part, that’s how it is, but every now and then you find that one, you know the one, the one we all know as our crazy relative or neighbor who seems to over exaggerate everything they say and nothing seems truthful.

Their stories are real gems, that’s for sure, and their stories are usually as long as the Nile River. At first you’ll listen intently but it doesn’t take long before you have to wonder at what level of sanity you’ve just left. I’m usually the guy behind the service counter that at some point leans back in the seat and waits for the story to end. Then, I can start asking questions or write down what seems to be important. Deep down I’m already thinking that I’ve got to write this one down because nobody is going to believe it. Denial and finger pointing seems to be the favorite thing when it comes to their car repair.

One of my all-time favorites is this guys. Let me tell you his story.

A rather tall gentlemen comes into the lobby and asks, “Can you guys replace a wiring harness?” To which I answered, “Yep, not a problem. What kind of car is it?” That question was soon overlooked and not answered. The seriousness of the problem was his major concern. Me, I’d like to know what kind of car it is and what brought you here in the first place. Although, this unknown car seems to have more than “car” issues to deal with, most of which he’s already self-diagnosed. However, even with the self-diagnosis the issues with this car seemed to be getting stranger and stranger as the story went on.

First off the front end was wrecked and repaired by a shoddy bodyshop. Although the “crappy” repair job (as he put it) wasn’t his concern. It was that the battery was dead, and it kept going dead, which he attributed to the headlight and turn signal wiring as the cause. According to his technical knowledge if I fixed the wiring under the front bumper the battery drain would disappear. The story just kept getting deeper than just the wiring harness or the dead battery. “The car hasn’t been started in three years,” he tells me. “That’s not a problem,” I said, “I can get it started and then check for what’s causing the battery drain.”

He was all for it until he mentioned one more thing, “OK, I’ll check with my neighbor.” Now, why in the world does this guy need to check with his neighbor? I had to ask. “Is there a problem with the car that you have to ask the neighbor about it?” Oh there was all right, the car IS his neighbor’s car. “Oh, so you’re just checking up on the repair costs for your neighbor then?” I asked. No, he wasn’t. He was doing this on his own. Why you ask? Well, that got a bit strange too. Turns out the car is in his garage, and it’s been there for the past three years! OK, I’ve got to ask, “Why has your neighbor’s car been in your garage with a messed up front end, a dead battery, and not been started in three years?” “Because that’s where I parked it after the wreck,” he tells me.

You mean to tell me this guy has had a borrowed neighbor’s car in his garage for the past three years? Apparently, yes. Now that’s some nice neighbor I’d say. I mean really, for three years his neighbor never questioned when he was going to return the car he borrowed to go down to the grocery store? I’m not sure if either one of these neighbors are playing with a full deck.

This guy even wanted his neighbor, whose car it was, to pay for the damaged front end that he caused! Of course, he denied having a wreck and getting it slapped back together by this so-called bodyshop, or that the car had some sort of battery problem to his ever-so-generous neighbor. How did I know that? Because he asked me not to tell his neighbor about it. I haven’t met that guy yet, and if he’s anything like this guy, oh man! Glad I’m not living next door to this guy. Borrow my hand saw, or couple of wrenches sure, but my car and then not tell me about it for three years? I’m shocked. I mean seriously, admit ya done wrong, and go on. Quit trying to deny it.

Then there are the typical denials that happen on a regular basis. Dad buys son a car, son tears it up and then tries to say “It just happened. That telephone poll just jumped right out in front of me.” Right, I’m sure it did. Especially when the right front tire is wedged under the car from sliding over the curb and the front bumper has the shape of a telephone pole left embedded in it.

Insurance frauds are another denial that I see too often. Where the owner is trying to get more out of their insurance company than what they should. Like the time this guy got into a wreck and even before it left the crash site it wouldn’t start. Upon further investigation the problem turned out to be a severely worn out timing belt that finally snapped. The timing belt was so worn out that it literally crumbled to pieces as you touched it. (I still have the timing belt on the wall.)

Somehow, someway, this guy got his insurance company to foot the bill for a new timing belt. Why? Because it wasn’t like that before the wreck. Ya mean it wasn’t worn out and about to fall off before the wreck? How long did ya expect the original belt to stay on there, dude? I’m sure the sudden stop from the wreck probably put the final nail in the coffin for the old tired and worn out timing belt but seriously, that is strictly a maintenance issue that you’ve neglected. Which of course, he denied that he ever missed any scheduled services on his car. The insurance company bought his story, and I changed the belt. Everybody was happy in the end. Although, I’d hate to see what this guy’s insurance premiums look like now.

Ah yes, there are a few gems out there that can make ya chuckle or leave you wondering what in the world just happened. But, at least ya can smile, write up the work order, and go on. If nothing else, you can at least look forward to the next jewel of denials.



Click here to view the article
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites



  • Similar Forum Topics

    • General Liability / Garage Keepers Insurance Quotes... What do you pay?

      I have a 2 bay facility that I rent and one employee plus myself. I was quoted about $2346 per year for both general liability and garage keepers from Liberty Mutual(using CoverWallet as the broker). - General liability was $1,032 per year if paid in full for $1,000,000 limit and $2,000,000 aggregate - Garage keepers was $1320 per year if paid in full for $75,000 coverage Does this sound right? I am in the process of getting other quotes but wanted to see if I am in the right ballpark. This is my first time getting insurance for the business and it seems like some places don't want to insure you unless you have history. Shop size: Employees: Location: Own or rent: Coverage: Insurer:   Thank you

      By [email protected], in Auto Repair Shop Management Help? Post Here!

      • 1 reply
      • 210 views
    • Best Scanner for General Repair

      Hello,  We're in the market for a new scanner and figured I'd ask fellow shop owners their ideas and experiences. I did search the board archives and didn't see much within the past year or so.  We are a general repair shop servicing most anything, according to customer attitude. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.   Thanks in advance 🙂

      By Extracareman, in General Automotive Discussion

      • 5 replies
      • 468 views
    • Sharing my experience with a uniform vendor

      This is a rant, pure and simple, but I hope that it can serve as a cautionary tale for others.  Unifirst came in with a proposal as the "AAA preferred uniform vendor".  As we are a AAA approved shop we qualified for special pricing, almost 30% less than what we were paying at that time.  We gave them our business and it has been a cluster since.  It took almost 6 months for them to deliver, and when they did the sizes were all over the map.  About half of my employees (and myself) had to have size changes.  They embroidered all our dark shirts with dark logos and had to re-do them which took months.  They actually embroidered them wrong TWICE before they got it right.  My tech's shirts came back with with huge oil and rust stains after their first washing and have never been clean since.  The towels are usually oily and sometimes have metal shavings in them.  They routinely mis-deliver and fail to deliver uniforms, leaving techs short for the week.  I've had the service manager, plant manager, and regional manager all in my office to tell me that this would all be corrected, to no avail.  We have a new service starting in December and I anticipate threats to sue on the three year agreement they require.  I've been cataloging, photographing and corresponding with them over the past 8 months and I am confident that we can prove that they are unable to provide anything close to the level of service they promised.  I have learned, yet again, that you get what you pay for.  Don't let Unifirst in the door.

      By Andrew Cutler, in Auto Repair Shop Management Help? Post Here!

        
      • 24 replies
      • 1,650 views
    • A healthy repair shop business starts with a healthy mind and the right people

      The day to day operations of running a business can take its toll on anyone.  To be a business owner means to address problem after problem and finding the right solutions. Sometimes the decisions we make will be the right ones, sometimes not.  If we are not careful, this emotional roller coaster we call being in business, can make us focus too much on the negative, and not the positive things that happen in our lives. With nearly 4 decades as a business owner, I can say with certainty that one of the basic building blocks of being successful in business is having the right team of people around you and getting yourself in the right frame of mind.  You need to find and hire great people. But once you have them, you need to do all you can to take care of them, train them and make them successful in order for you to be successful. Is it easy? No. But it is essential. Most important; you need to treat each day as if it were a gift from the heavens and base your entire perspective from a position of strength and remaining positive.  I know it’s not easy, but I can tell you, it works.  

      By Joe Marconi, in Joe’s Business Tips For Shop Owners

        
      • 12 replies
      • 1,198 views
    • Article: Electronically Handicapped - - The general public (and myself) are getting way to reliant on electronics

      Electronically Handicapped       Are we so inundated with electrical devices we’ve forgotten how  to do certain tasks without them? I believe the time has come when  common sense values and electronics have crossed paths to change  the way some people assume things are done. Yes, we’ve become  electronically handicapped by the very means that are supposed to  make things better.       Expecting those electronic wonders to always be in working order  is one thing, but not knowing what to do when those devices fail and  having to resort to good old fashion “hands on” is where the problems  and frustrations begin.          Case in point: a guy calls and asks if I can fix his speedometer. He explains he wouldn’t be able to drive the car to the shop, because he has no idea how fast he’s going. I suggested he just stay up with traffic or download one of the many apps displaying mph. This led to even more hysteria because he was afraid of an electronic bug affecting his phone. Instead, all he wanted was one of those “I ain’t holding ya to it” estimates. Not knowing the reason why his speedometer wasn’t working, I gave him a rough guess on the cost of the various components related to a speedometer problem.         He then tells me, “Let me know when the part shows up.” I asked, “What part?” Now I’m confused. Finally, it came down to one question. “Sir, even if I knew exactly what component or problem you’re having, how are you going to get the car here? Tow truck, or do you want me to come and get it?” I asked. Absolutely no tow trucks, and he didn’t want anyone else to drive his car. Instead, he was going to check “YouTube” for a video on how to fix it.           Then, there are those individuals that common sense has entirely left them.  A lady called to tell me her door locks stopped working, and how she was trapped in her car for several hours until her husband showed up. (He unlocked the door with the key from the outside.) I asked her, “Why didn’t you just unlock the door from the inside?” Her answer, “Sir, I pushed the button several times but it never would unlock the door.” I calmly asked (although I was secretly bursting with laughter), “Why didn’t you use the mechanical lock knob or push the manual lock lever in the opposite direction?”        The tone of her voice was enough to tell you she was more than a little shaken up over the whole door lock ordeal. Thinking I could ease her obvious tension, I suggested that she could have rolled the window down, but that just spurred her anxiety even more. She couldn’t understand why I would suggest such a thing; she would have had to start the car in order to do that. Since the windows were up, the fear of carbon monoxide poisoning was an even bigger concern.            Now with back up cameras, lane departure systems, auto parking, active cruise control, and perimeter warning systems some of these folks that barely understand how to turn on a light switch are going to be even more lost when these systems in their cars fail. I'm convinced by the actions of some people that it's already happening. Like the time my wife's rear view camera was covered in mud, she stopped the car, calls me and says, "The camera isn't working, is it safe to back the car up?" What's the world coming too?       Pretty soon, there will be a generation that won’t understand or even care to know anything about some of the old technologies. That is until they’re face-to-face with a situation calling for some nostalgic common sense and a bit of mechanical know-how. We’ve modernized the family car into a nightmarish electronic wonder, which has caused a lot of people to lose touch with the basic fundamentals of its operation. Not only is it more complicated electronically, but it’s also becoming more reliant on GPS and computers.        Here’s something else that I don’t understand: We still call a manual shift transmission a standard transmission. There’s nothing “standard” about it anymore. It was the standard for decades, but not anymore. Now it’s rather rare for new drivers to even know how to operate a stick shift.         Even now, you see people who don’t have a clue how to use their turn signals. I doubt they know the proper hand signals or for that matter how to stick their arm out the window. Of course, that would mean rolling down the electric window, which probably doesn't work either. What about the tire monitor systems on cars these days? How many people know how to properly use a tire pressure gauge? Then again, why? We’ve got electronics to take care of that stuff.        A vehicle operator seems to require less common sense these days as the electronic world has already accomplished these tasks with minimal to no effort with things like voice activated entertainment to navigation controls. Why, we even have crash avoidance systems and air bags to keep us safe. More to the point… less personal responsibility for your actions; make it the car’s responsibility.           I grew up in the time when road maps were in every glove box. Folding one back up from the passenger seat while giving directions could be a contest of wit and skill to say the least. You paid attention to the road signs and observed the different land features as well as points of interest that were pointed out in the map details. These days, you listen to this voice on the navigation system that says, “Turn right in 500 feet onto exit 227.” Why, I’ll bet you didn’t even notice you passed the world’s largest ball of string a mile back. It seems the navigation voice failed to mention anything about all those roadside features the folding map could tell you about. Just goes to show how much we have become dependent on these electronic devices.        We’ve all become so complacent with our modern electronic conveniences that opening a garage door by hand seems barbaric in some way. I know I’m guilty of it myself.           One time after a rather long and frustrating day at the shop, I came down my driveway tapping my finger on the garage door remote button. The door refused to move. Not to be outwitted by a garage door remote, I sat out there bashing the button and cussing at the door… determined to get that blasted thing to raise one more time. Eventually, the wife comes out and opens the door from the inside button. She was standing there with that typical wife look of disbelief, staring at her goof ball husband having a four letter word conversation with a dead garage door remote. Her response was priceless, “The battery is probably dead in the remote dummy! Just get out of the truck and open the door!”      So, you say, “Yea well, I might be a little electronically handicapped, but I’m not as bad as ya think. I could handle living like they did a hundred years ago. No battery needed to start a horse.” Oh, really? A century ago anyone over 10 years old could hitch up a two horse team to a buggy for an afternoon trip to town and knew how to deal with their horses’ temperament. Can you? Back then, that knowledge was passed down from father to son. These days, well, you’re more likely to Google the answer than ask Grandpa.   
      View full article

      By Gonzo, in AutoShopOwner Articles

      • 1 reply
      • 273 views
  • AutoShopOwner Sponsors



×