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Crappy customers get under my skin!

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Background history for those who don't know my shop... We are a German Specialty shop and we work mainly by appointment...


New customer calls to ask for directions to the shop, ends up being a drive up no problem. Vehicle had a misfire. We didn't have a packed morning so I said we could see his car this morning. 2002 Mercedes C240. Says he got a diag at Pep Boys. Turns out they pulled his codes with some BS printout and the guy ended up paying $50. Felt bad for the guy told him he really shouldn't go to Pep Boys to get any diag work since they probably don't have the proper scanners to perform a lot of needed tests. Anyway get the guy in, explain to him (as per Joe's advice from the forum) that we would charge him to read the codes but we will charge accordingly as we go along with the diag process depending on what tests we need to perform etc.


Turns out that he had 2 faulty injectors after 1.5 hrs of diag time (only charged him $50 btw). Recommended to replace the 2 injectors as they were tested and were not working. I also explained to him that there might be other factors that could contribute to his misfire however we need to take care of the known bad components before we could determine if there was anything else to address. I went through this speech about 3-4 times with the same response from this Einstein, "So the injectors will clear my computer RIGHT?" At the end I got a little exasperated and I said, "Sir like I said 3 times before, we need to replace the injectors first then we can continue with our tests." Then the truth came out, "Well I just don't want to spend over $500 on this car otherwise I'll get rid of it and get a new car I don't want to deal with headaches."


After that nonsense I booked him to come back in the next day (because this fine gentleman just HAD to drive to work today with his misfiring vehicle).


Got a call from the customer about 2 hours later and the conversation goes something like this:


Customer: "Heyyyyyyy... I just wanted to know are your SUREEEEE there isn't anything else I need?"


Me: "not that i know of sir, we tested your injectors and they were found to be faulty. That is obviously your biggest issue, once we fix that we can move on to diagnose if there is anything else causing a misfire"


Customer: "Oh reeaaallllyyyy... well because I have a broken hose here."


Me: "Is it a coolant hose or an air hose or..."


Customer: "Air hose"


Me: "Ok sir well we weren't looking for an air leak because when we scanned the vehicle there were specific codes that came up for the injectors. We tested them and 2 of them were found to be faulty. If there was an immediate indication of an air leak we would have performed a smoke test. If you have a broken hose we can most certainly figure all that out tomorrow."


Customer: "Ok but I want to ask you something, can I stay around while you work on the car?"


Me: "... Yes you can wait around like you did today, it will take approx 1.5-2 hours to finish.."


::::Cuts me off while I'm talking::::


Customer: "No I mean can I watch you while you work on my car"


Me: "No sir, we don't allow customers in the work area"


Customer: "Ok then I can't have you work on my car I'll have to find someone else"


I already knew his line of questioning was getting me to admit to breaking his hose or take responsibility for a broken hose without coming out and saying anything directly. At this point I just want to get rid of this guy.


Me: "Ok sir thats no problem you can take your vehicle anywhere you'd like"


Customer: "Go and see if I can stand and watch you guys work"


THE EFFFFFFING NERVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Me: "No sir we don't do that. Good luck"



Hung up on him before I could get a response.


The balls on these people!!! I really think I should go back to my old policy of charging customers for every single little thing we do. It definitely helped to weed out these trouble makers. Does this type of situation bug you guys out as much as it does to me? We are very nice and courteous to customers. Honesty is part of our creed. We have a nice clean shop and one of the only true specialists in the area. I take offense big time to customers who want to accuse us of doing shady work or have shady practices.


Just needed to vent I'm sure it'll be fun for some of you guys to read and relate.

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The mistake that most shops make is they end up not charging these whiney custors yet never give the good customers a break. If a customer gets an attitude or rude, I charge them full price and ask them not to return. I believe that if someone acts like that then everyone they know already knows how they are so if they bad mouth you it will fall on deaf ears.

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We have all been down this road, and if there is one thing I cannot take is rudeness and how some people don't respect what we do. 


If you think about it, the first red flag was the fact that he took his MERCEDES TO PEP BOYS.


I am not putting down Pep Boys, but they "target low price, get it done cheap".  


Most of us do not operate like that, we offer the very best at a fair price.


Another lesson to take care of your profile customers, and let some pass you by.

How do you address it once their already your customer? Lol


Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2



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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
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