Over the weekend I took The Girl’s truck in to get some new tires and spark plugs. I’m no mechanic, nor do I play one on TV, but I didn’t expect the entire job to take more than a few hours.

The Wife and I drop the truck off at the mechanic’s place at 9am. We had an appointment and they knew exactly what jobs were to be performed. In fact, we made the appointment in advance so they had time to order the necessary tires. Head mechanic says that it shouldn’t be a problem to complete the job in a few hours, the tires arrived a few days earlier. The Wife and I think we’re good to go and should have the truck back by lunch.

Lunch time rolls around and we haven’t heard from the shop. The Wife calls the shop and is told that they are bringing the truck in now and it shouldn’t take too long.

At 2pm I call to see how the truck is coming along. Mechanic says that they’re bringing the truck in now and it shouldn’t take too long. Um, what? Now, the problem is that The Wife and I hadn’t connected about the truck between our calls. I had no idea the shop had told her the exact same thing. Was I irked that we had dropped the car off at 9 and they were just getting to it at 2? Sure, but whatever, I didn’t think we were in a hurry.

Post call I tell The Wife what the mechanic told me. She explains that they had told her the same thing a few hours earlier. Now I’m getting irked. She also reminds me that the shop closes at 4pm. I reassure her that getting the new tires shouldn’t take too long and I doubted the spark plug job would be overly complex.

At 3pm The Wife calls for a status update. Mechanic starts to tell her that they got a bit behind and they were bringing it in then. The Wife calls bullshit on them and reiterates the earlier conversations. The mechanic apologizes profusely and says that he was mistaken. The truck is in the middle of getting the tires replaced and they should be done soon. She asks about the spark plugs and he says that they’re on it.

At 3:55pm we get the phone call to let us know that the truck is ready and a reminder that, by the way, they close at 4pm. Of course we now have 5 minutes to get across town to get the truck.

Driving like a man possessed, I somehow hit every light green and make it to the shop as the guy is jingling his keys before throwing the lock, shutting the place down for the night. The wife goes in, pays, and asks about the work done. Turns out they got the tires swapped, but that was it. They “ran out of time” to do the spark plug job. WHAT THE HELL? She goes OFF on the guy, reminding him that they had the truck all day and that the service level was unacceptable. He apologizes and offers a free oil change to placate her. She takes it and heads out.

On the way home she notices that the hood is wobbling a lot, much more than you would normally experience. She doesn’t think anything of it, but mentions it when she arrives at home. I go take a look and realize that THEY LEFT THE HOOD UNLATCHED! The whole way home it was one or two good shakes from lifting up and blocking The Wife’s entire view of the road. Now, fortunately The Wife drives like a retiree, so she never went over 35, possibly saving hers and numerous other lives. Amazing!

Today I receive a survey from the shop asking me to give feedback on our recent experience. I unload. They scored a 0 on every category related to timeliness, communication, and overall satisfaction. Then, the coup de grâce, they offer me an open blank to explain why I had a “less than satisfactory” experience. I UNLOAD with all of the details, including the “you fucking had the truck ALL DAY and ran out of fucking time to swap the spark plugs” note. I finished off with the “you left the fucking hood unlatched and were one step away from causing The Wife’s death (or at least a horrible accident).”

About 10 minutes after submitting the survey, I get a phone call from the manager of the shop. Apparently he wasn’t in on the day the service occurred, otherwise “things would have been different.” He swears up and down that, he’ll “get to the bottom of the problem.” The thing is, I don’t really care. His shop totally screwed up and basically lost a good customer. I have four vehicles and am only a few years away from a 5th. All of them were serviced at this shop. What a pity because it was so close to home and had been, up to this weekend, a very reliable and solid shop to take the cars to.

I already have an appointment for the spark plug job with a guy who came highly recommended on the complete other side of the Metroplex. I’m willing to drive 45 minutes if it means good service. I’ll let you know how it goes, should be interesting.

So, my recommendation is, avoid this particular shop at all costs. I don’t want to say the name outright to avoid getting sued, but it rhymes with “Tirestone.” Save yourself some major headaches!

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