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If a customer just towed or drove from another shop, RED FLAG!


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My new policy is if a customer says he just came from another shop I want to know what shop, how long it was there for and what it was there for. Then I will give that shop a call and see if the story checks out.

 

Dealing with a situation with a RIDICULOUS customer that I come to find out was pushed out by 2 other shops.

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Great Tire Deal

Dealing with a situation with a RIDICULOUS customer that I come to find out was pushed out by 2 other shops.

 

Posting, so I get emailed when this story unfolds. Looking forward to hearing what went down.

 

We ask to see the paperwork / estimates from the other shops. This typically sheds a lot of light on the situation. We have never gone so far as to call the other shop ... but we also have not run into this more than one or twice.

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I got a call from a customer this past Sunday. Conversation follows from the customer.

 

"Hey, I'm at the dealer, and they're saying I need a new computer for my car. Can I get my car towed to yall to look at the fuel injector on cylinder 2?"

 

"We would love to serve you. Can you give us a bit of background on the issue?"

 

"Yeah...uh, my car's been misfiring a lot, and I'm getting a cylinder 2 misfire code. I took at to 2 different shops in the area and now the dealer. They all said I need a new computer, but I think my fuel injector on cylinder 2 just has a lot of carbon on it. I want you to look at it and clean the injectors."

 

"Ok, that is a valid complaint. Injectors can get carbon built up on them sometimes. Have the other shops inspected the injectors for you already?"

 

"No, they refuse to inspect them, that's what's ridiculous!! They say it's the computer, but I know it cannot be the computer causing the misfire. I'm pretty sure the injectors are just covered in carbon."

 

"Ok, well, if 3 shops have all made the same conclusion, it is likely an issue with the signal from the computer not reaching the injector. We can certainly clean the injectors for you, but I'm going to put my bets on this not fixing the issue."

 

"How much is it? I just watched a YouTube video on this, and the injectors are just right under the manifold. It's only a few bolts."

 

"I'm not in front of the computer right now, but why don't you call back Monday, and I can get you a price."

 

Never heard back. Some of these conversations just leave you absolutely bewildered....

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I got a call from a customer this past Sunday. Conversation follows from the customer.

 

"Hey, I'm at the dealer, and they're saying I need a new computer for my car. Can I get my car towed to yall to look at the fuel injector on cylinder 2?"

 

"We would love to serve you. Can you give us a bit of background on the issue?"

 

"Yeah...uh, my car's been misfiring a lot, and I'm getting a cylinder 2 misfire code. I took at to 2 different shops in the area and now the dealer. They all said I need a new computer, but I think my fuel injector on cylinder 2 just has a lot of carbon on it. I want you to look at it and clean the injectors."

 

"Ok, that is a valid complaint. Injectors can get carbon built up on them sometimes. Have the other shops inspected the injectors for you already?"

 

"No, they refuse to inspect them, that's what's ridiculous!! They say it's the computer, but I know it cannot be the computer causing the misfire. I'm pretty sure the injectors are just covered in carbon."

 

"Ok, well, if 3 shops have all made the same conclusion, it is likely an issue with the signal from the computer not reaching the injector. We can certainly clean the injectors for you, but I'm going to put my bets on this not fixing the issue."

 

"How much is it? I just watched a YouTube video on this, and the injectors are just right under the manifold. It's only a few bolts."

 

"I'm not in front of the computer right now, but why don't you call back Monday, and I can get you a price."

 

Never heard back. Some of these conversations just leave you absolutely bewildered....

 

 

You just wasted 5 minutes of your life that you will never get back. Be thankful you didn't book him for an appointment. :D

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I got a call from a customer this past Sunday. Conversation follows from the customer.

 

"Hey, I'm at the dealer, and they're saying I need a new computer for my car. Can I get my car towed to yall to look at the fuel injector on cylinder 2?"

 

"We would love to serve you. Can you give us a bit of background on the issue?"

 

"Yeah...uh, my car's been misfiring a lot, and I'm getting a cylinder 2 misfire code. I took at to 2 different shops in the area and now the dealer. They all said I need a new computer, but I think my fuel injector on cylinder 2 just has a lot of carbon on it. I want you to look at it and clean the injectors."

 

"Ok, that is a valid complaint. Injectors can get carbon built up on them sometimes. Have the other shops inspected the injectors for you already?"

 

"No, they refuse to inspect them, that's what's ridiculous!! They say it's the computer, but I know it cannot be the computer causing the misfire. I'm pretty sure the injectors are just covered in carbon."

 

"Ok, well, if 3 shops have all made the same conclusion, it is likely an issue with the signal from the computer not reaching the injector. We can certainly clean the injectors for you, but I'm going to put my bets on this not fixing the issue."

 

"How much is it? I just watched a YouTube video on this, and the injectors are just right under the manifold. It's only a few bolts."

 

"I'm not in front of the computer right now, but why don't you call back Monday, and I can get you a price."

 

Never heard back. Some of these conversations just leave you absolutely bewildered....

It sounds like another one of my many stories.... been there, done that, seen the movie and bought the T shirt. ROFL Yea, people can be so unpredictable and ignorant to what a shop is telling them. What I've found over years of doing this, is that it comes down to what they've heard from a friend or watched on You Tube. I chalk it up to the old analogy, "Everybody is an expert except for the experts." It's crazy how this trade has to deal with this stuff day in and day out.

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You'd guys might appreciate this. So I was pretty upset over my situation and if the car was going to going out of the shop I figured it only be right to warn some of the shops nearby that there might be a trouble customer coming their way. The response I got was immense, lots of laughing and thank yous. One guy said he wished more people in our industry would do that. One other shop called today to let me know of a particular customer he had that had been to 4 other shops. He also went as far to suggest we start a closed private forum for local shop owners to report against these customers. to paraphrase he said, "These people have Review sites and Yelp to talk crap about us, we should have something too." I thought it was an interesting proposition but it would have to be a totally private site/message board. A site to review customers. What a novel idea ha!

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I have seen this many times. I get these phone calls daily. I have an X3 in here right now for that same reason. He's an engineer, yay, and a YouTube fanatic also. What a gem. He told me he had some warning lamps on, (SRS, 4X4, Brake, and Light bulb), and they all came on at the same time. Sure they did? Dealer to him he needed a steering angle sensor, DSC module, Heater Control Unit, and a passenger occupancy sensor, vehicle had no heat, and all the bulbs are working. Dealer told him it may have communication issues? Something definitely didn't sound right to me. He brought the vehicle to me. We went through the diagnosis. It had multiple faults in many systems. So, I decided to drill him a little, and found out the lamps did come on at different times. Also, he told me intermit. his low coolant lamp comes on. One of these days people are going to take responsibility of their ignorance.

 

What we found out:

 

1.) Needs a steering angle sensor (took care of his Christmas Tree dashboard)

2.) Needs a HALO bulb

3.) Needs a coolant expansion tank - coolant was way low and leaking externally! Not a control assembly.

4.) His valve cover was puking oil!

 

Thank you dealer. He bought everything. It just took a little extra time.

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When a customer comes in and the first thing they say is "I've been to 3 shops and I'll never go back, they charged me just to look at it?!?" I know that I'm going to be the next guy added to their list. In these cases I print out an estimate for diagnostic time and have them sign so there are no surprises. They usually decline.

 

Had a good one this week, kid installed his own tie rod and came in for an alignment. Just an alignment, hes the expert. Tech noticed the car was squealing like crazy. I called him and asked for authorization to fix his belt. NO was his response he has a new belt and is going to do it himself. OK no problem, your alignment is almost done see you in a bit. End of story. His mom calls yesterday screaming that we sabotaged his car because his belt broke, its all my fault. Her baby is stranded because of us. The alignment ruined her motor. "Ma'am we didn't even open the hood" mind boggling.

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  • 8 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

It appears the blacklist site is free now, but I'm hesitant to use it. I'd rather keep positive thoughts flowing. I did get burned for $21 this week, we did an inspection for a guy and while his car was here another shop owner told me that guy owes him $$$$ and keeps changing phone numbers. Yea yea whatever I'll inspect him - long story short he forgot his wallet was going to swing back in with my $21 for the inspection. I'm still waiting. What a jerk, this is the type of guy who probably skips out of restaurants.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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