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Pet Peeves 2 - Overwhelming response so I had to do a second story


Gonzo

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Pet Peeves 2

Pet peeves, how many are there? Well, enough of them that one article wouldn’t hold them all. I have received so many emails, texts, and phone calls about it that I thought; Why not put everyone’s pet peeve into a another article and give credit where credit is due. You know, to the guys and gals that not only read these stories, but live and work through these pet peeves as well. So here we go, in no particular order “Pet Peeves 2”

Butch, Pittsburgh, Pa. – Doing a tire rotation and the owner has no idea where they’ve tossed the wheel lock socket. It’s somewhere in the car is the closest gps location you ever get.

Jack K. - My biggest pet peeve is when the vehicle owner has to have it finished today or else, so we work extra hard to get it done putting other cars off and when we call them to pick it up they say, Oh I will get it tomorrow.

Mark S. Wichita, Ks – People in unrelated professions that want to tell me how to do my job. Aircraft pilots for example, find enough time to talk about their car “woes” while they are in flight. These guys all get together and trouble-shoot their cars while maintaining a constant glide path. They arrive at a diagnosis, a systematic solution including which tools to use and of course, all of this without any tests or actual knowledge of the inner workings of the systems, just what they think they can surmise as to how the system must have evolved into today’s sophisticated electronic nightmare.

Then they tell me what’s wrong, how to fix it, and just how much I should charge for it. For some reason, they get all upset when I tell them that I have no way of knowing what they have come up with is correct or not. “We know what’s wrong, can’t you go off that?” they’ll tell me. I might say, “Since you seem to know, why don’t you go ahead and fix it yourself?” I probably shouldn’t have said that, but after trying at length to explain the process to them, I figure they are going to be nothing but trouble, which is usually how things turn out with most of them. I wonder how they’d take it if a few of us got on a plane and then started making suggestions on how to fly it?

John Z. Tulsa, Ok. – People who call competitors to get a quote on a repair while they’re still in my lobby. There’s always going to be somebody cheaper, always. There’s no balancing act between fair pricing and quality work, it is what it is. What tips the scales is people’s conception as to what it should cost and shops that don’t do their homework as to what it’s going to take to do that particular job. Someday I’d like to beat them at this game. You know, diagnose a job, then, get a quote from everybody you can think of. That way when the customer tells me, “I can get that done cheaper over there.” I can say, “Nope, done checked it out.” Not that I want to be the cheapest mind you, I just want to see them tell me that so and so is cheaper-faster-better when I’ve already checked it out or have a better idea who they are comparing me too. You know, apple to apples.

 

Sheri, Castle Rock, CO. Customers who come in without an appointment for things like a discounted oil change offer or some other special priced deal we’re offering at the time. While you’re trying to moving heaven and earth to get them in they start complaining about how long it's taking when in real time it’s probably only been about 90 seconds since they walked in the door. Argh!

Z. Drummer - A car brought in for diagnostics, repair and or a drive cycle verification for a state inspection....with the gas gauge on "E".

Bob B. Akron, Ohio – The gas tank is always full when the fuel pump goes bad. Oh, it wasn’t full when they noticed it wouldn’t start, oh no… they thought it was just out of gas of course. But, adding a gallon or so won’t do. Oh no, let’s squeeze every ounce of fuel into the tank that we can by bringing the level up until it runs out the filler neck.

Gary, Iowa – They tell you the hood doesn’t open easily, and there’s a trick to it. You tell them, “You mean go outside and tap on the hood once or twice and it will pop up enough to reach the safety latch?” It ain’t a trick; a lot of them do it, but to some of these aficionados of the car world they are completely shocked that I revealed their secret without the need of a demonstration.

James, Rapid City, Iowa. – Customers that neglect to tell you that the window won’t roll back up or the hood release cable has been rerouted through the front grill with a couple of nuts tied to what’s left of the cable.

Brian B. Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. It’s a giving rule, when a bolt or tool falls and makes it to the floor; it HAS to go to the exact center of the car where you can’t reach it without sliding under it. But, if it didn’t make it all the way through the maze of parts and hoses, it’s hidden in a crevice where even the beam from a flashlight can’t reach it.

Oh the stories we all could tell. What’s really amazing is it doesn’t matter what part of the country you’re in, it’s the same thing everywhere you go. At the time when all this is occurring, it may not seem all that funny to you or the customer, but when you take a moment, step back, and then take that second look, you know, it actually is pretty hilarious after all.

I enjoy the emails, keep them coming. We keep this up, I’m sure they’ll be a “Pet Peeves 3” in the making. Happy wrenchin’!


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After the latest magazine was in print my email, facebook, twitter, etc... has been flooded with funny pet peeves from all over the country. My editors wanted a follow up article for it. Well, here it is... rough draft, not finished, but an idea in concept.

 

If you'd like to get one added, just leave a comment and I'll try to fit it in. I've only got so many words per page I can have and a limited page content. (depends on the amount of advertising each month) But, I'll try to squeeze yours in too.

 

let me know. Gonzo

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Why is it if you fix a car and the repair goes south, they come back at light speed demanding you make it right, but if they come in with a problem someone else fixed, they refuse to take it back to them and then complain about what you charged to straighten out someone else's mess?

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I like the guys that are saving money by fixing their car on their own. The story goes like this, my uncle had a car doing the same thing as mine was and injectors fixed it, so I replaced my injectors myself to save some money but it was doing the same thing. So I did some research on the internet and decided to replace the fuel pump, but it still does not run. Now I need you to give me a worst case estimate on the phone because I don't know if I can afford diagnostics or the repair for that matter. I just spent $ 1400.00 dollars saving money!!!

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I like the guys that are saving money by fixing their car on their own. The story goes like this, my uncle had a car doing the same thing as mine was and injectors fixed it, so I replaced my injectors myself to save some money but it was doing the same thing. So I did some research on the internet and decided to replace the fuel pump, but it still does not run. Now I need you to give me a worst case estimate on the phone because I don't know if I can afford diagnostics or the repair for that matter. I just spent $ 1400.00 dollars saving money!!!

 

Wow, I love these stories. I never have any problems talking to these customers about their own ignorance. There will always be times you guess and get the repairs right, but most of the time they will be wrong. Diagnosis is cheap, repairs are expensive! Next time I go to the doctor I am going to tell them I need a pace-maker. I will also tell him not to ask me why. How f'n stupid can people be. LOL!

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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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