7 hours ago
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
If you've been visiting here for awhile you may be aware of my regular rants on customer service. Today was the first time since the early '90s that I've lost my cool. To think about it, today was the worst ever. Normally I am mild-mannered person and even under difficult situations, I have been known to not even raise my voice a decibel. But today was not the case.
If you've been following me on Twitter you might already know some of this, but for others, here's a little background. For the past few months, our '89 Prelude has been in the repair shop several times. After the last round and several hundred more dollars, the car began to overheat and expected to cost at least a hundred more to repair. We had to decide to sink more money into it and hope it lasts until the end of the year or purchase another vehicle.
Being under the impression that the vehicle would be taking it's last few breaths within a few days, we made a deal to purchase a truck with minor body damage. Great price, right age, and low miles. We made a deposit with good intentions, with the expectation that the warranty work would be done professionally in the told short turnaround. After a week passed with several delay excuses and without the work being completed, they provided us a rental vehicle last Friday with the expectation the truck would be ready Saturday or Monday. Well TODAY the paint job was finally completed. There's a latch also to be fix and the salesman was to get it checked out tomorrow.
This evening, during a discussion between Hubby and the Salesman this afternoon, there was a "misunderstanding" about who completed the paint job so Hubby called me to return the rental, get the Prelude and our deposit back. (Son and) I immediately left Kroger (without badly needed groceries) heading to dealership.
Being my normal calm and composed self, I spoke to the salesman and then the sales manager, the used sales manager was not on site. Within a few minutes, the "misunderstanding" was resolved and they brought out the truck for my inspection. Now prior, I had been given the "oh, it looks great!" snow job. On first look, the work seemed ok. But after further inspection, I noticed curvature where there not should have been and bulges that looked worse than the back of my thighs. Salesman talked to Hubby on my phone and was telling him how "GREAT" the truck looked and the "painter" wanted to do a second wet sand later to give it a better look. He then left to "talk" to someone. I finally had a chance to tell Hubby how really crappy it looked. He agreed with me to stop the deal.
Now before I went back inside to get the "men", I said a prayer on whether I should accept what they were dishing or continue to get out of it. I also prayed to my birth father too, he was the one to teach me how to deal with car salesmen. There were no signs, so I moved on ahead.
I got them outside to show them what I disliked. I can't remember every word of the conversation but I did not accept "song and dance" that the sales manager began giving to me. Had the nerve to say that I had to wait till Friday for the return of the Used Car sales manager since he was the one who made the deal. That didn't make sense. Someone had to be a decision maker in his absence. Would you believe it was HIM, but he said that he WOULDN'T make a decision without the other guy and I HAD to wait. I do recall next my hand flailing at the adjacent building and their Lexus lot across the street as I stated their should be SOMEONE else who could make a decision. He mentioned Mr. "Man" (who owns 11 dealerships). So I stated I should expect a call from Mr. Man in the morning. I guess that wasn't the response he expected and quickly stated that he doesn't know his schedule.
This "song and dance" went on for too long enough. I can't recall what was said, but I know I was loud, arms swinging back and forth. Eventually I told them that I was leaving and to give me my keys. They were in the car parked on the other side of the truck. Son and I went back in building to get my (work) things. It was then that I realized that probably EVERYONE was out there watching the scene unfold. There was so much "red and white shirts" around. (I don't plan to reveal the dealer manufacturer at this time.)
On the way to my Prelude I had to pass the truck. I did not look at them directly, but there were now several more men there, crowding the truck at the area of my dissatisfaction. Once in the car, son and I got situated. He quickly made me aware that I had used the "H-word" several times, I wholeheartedly apologized and had to explain to him what had me so upset. Before pulling off, the salesman came to my window and asked me to wait.
Being that this car SHOULDN'T be idled, I turned it off, we exited, and waited at its rear. I got back on the phone with Hubby. By this time, I was cool again but that quickly changed. Mr. Sales Manager, said he talked to the other manager and said they could TRY to work on the repair again. My response was "how could I expect a professional job the second time around if you couldn't do it the first time." NO DEAL. He also said that they wouldn't return my deposit since they had already done work and they paid for the rental. I lost it again. It wasn't my fault that THEY did a poor job, it took longer than expected, and they provided the rental as previously agreed on deal day. He talked all about "their" inconveniences. We ended it as he would talk to the General Manager in the morning and I would make "my calls".
Later I received a call from the salesman with his "I got your back" spill. I listened and responded as a "sista" to play along. He is supposed to talk to the GM in the morning too, they "tight". Uh-huh, we'll see.
Well, I'm tight with a different GM, I prayed and felt the strength to endure whatever was thrown at me. I still do. We'll see what happens tomorrow, but this was quite unexpected with this industry and this economy.
Victory Thru Hair Power: This new fro works.
UPDATE: Within an hour of calling Toyota Customer Service this morning, I received a call from the dealership's Customer Service department informing me that I would receive my deposit back. Those folks have been apologizing all day, even after the refund was applied to my card. The refund transaction hasn't appeared on my account yet, so until then...