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What do you say or do when you repair a customer vehicle, then that customer brings their vehicle to another shop and then complains whatever you fixed is still causing them a problem. Thry are obviously calling because they want some sort of compensation. Just wanted some reactions. In a nut shell i explained that they are fully covered under our warranty however all claims would have to be inspected and repaired in our shop. I'll post more when i get to a computer.

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I would say you handled it correctly. Your repair is covered under warranty. The customer needs to bring it by and let you look at it. If there are any questions, you will be more than happy to walk the customer through your diagnosis and guarantee it 100%

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So now that I am at a computer here is the whole story.

 

Guy brings 99 VW Beetle in with pregnant wife. Seem like a nice couple. Car is beat up. Slew of problems from tranny to engine. Leaks, running rough, misfires etc. Customer says he doesn't want to spend a lot of money (of course) and to let him know if its "worth keeping." The engine issue is his main issue. We scan the vehicle and do some diag. Misfires, some air/fuel codes and a cam sensor code. The code that keeps popping up is a cam sensor code. Explain to the customer the cam sensor is in a difficult spot and best option is to just swap it out instead of paying for scope diag etc. Customer agrees, we swap out the cam sensor which was actually cracked when we pulled it out. Car ran 10x better after the sensor was swapped. Still some codes however customer being on a tight budget I explained to him he can take the car and worry about the other stuff later (meaning bring it back to me when u have more money and time).

 

Get a call yesterday after about 3 weeks says the vehicle was un drivable and he HAD to bring it somewhere more local to him. The other shop scanned the vehicle and the cam sensor code is still coming up. He says, "I assured them the sensor was installed professionally and the code shouldn't be coming back." Anyway he pressed the issue that there was still something wrong with the cam sensor. He said he would call me back tomorrow with a final diag. I was polite the whole time but at this point I had a long pause and I said, "ok sir, you can call me tomorrow however I am trying to understand how I can help you in this situation." Then the dragon came out LOL. He started getting upset and talking all kind of nonesense. At that point I explained to him, "Sir, I understand your frustrations at the moment however you chose to NOT call me when you were having issues with the vehicle and you brought you vehicle to another shop and are now telling me you are seeking compensation for a repair that I could not remedy or inspect for defect since you brought your vehicle somewhere else." Things got ugly to say the least. A charge back was mentioned and I am apparently a crook now and all I care about is money.... ugh.

 

What people fabricate in their minds is amazing. Customer also made it sound like I coerced him into doing a repair on his vehicle say, "You asked for more money and I paid you." I presented our findings after an authorized diag and it was ultimately his choice if he wanted us to touch his car any further which I even said to him.

 

 

How do you guys deal with these types? I generally have very nice customers and I am just taken aback when I encounter such geniuses with fine logic. No matter how much sense I tried to talk into this guy it just didn't matter. I guess since he already brought the vehicle somewhere and was in the hole with them (also I don't doubt the other shop bad mouthed us, thats the quality of people we have here in NYC) he couldn't do anything else other than to defend his position. I think it is simple logic though. You are covered under warranty AT OUR SHOP. I can't take your word or the word of another shop.

 

Boils my blood.

 

 

I am sure you guys have encountered these types before, give me some feedback so I know how to better handle this situation for the next time.

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You handled it well. We have all been there. Can only tell Customer that warranty is at your shop only and you don't take any diagnosis from any tech that you do not currently employ...dealer included. However, i will mention a couple of things about the repair....you can use the scope at the wires coming from pcm if cant get directly to sensor easily. This is a possibility to get valuaeable info when sensor hard to reach. Also be sure to note any current issues that may lead to code returning or failure of part. Also if sensor is difficult to reach may think of using dealership part to help with possible inferior parts. Don't let customers economic situation put you in a difficult bind if you can help it....meaning you buy aftermarket part because is cheaper.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      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.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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