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Customer Service Fails, Yeah Write

Customer Service Fails: He Knows He’s Fired, Right?

I haven’t done an entry into my Customer Service Fails feature in a while so I figured I’d grace you all with this little ditty.  This story goes waaaaaay back.

Um, not quite that far back…. (Image via comicvine.com)

In the late 90′s I worked in the Tire and Lube Center of the first Wal-Mart ever in the Detroit metro area.  As I was standing out in the shop with my supervisor one day talking about something so unimportant that I cannot remember it, one of our technicians got behind the wheel of a vehicle on which they had just completed an oil change to drive it out of the shop.

He turned the ignition switch and the engine roared to life.  Literally.  It was apparent right away that the RPM was rapidly increasing.  The oblivious technician put the transmission into drive, and then the tires squealed as the vehicle shot out of the bay amid the cloud of smoke.  A cloud of smoke which was the result of the tires spinning in place on the concrete.  The technician was able to avoid hitting any cars in the parking lot and stopped the car, amazingly, perfectly into a parking spot.  There were skid marks left on the bay floor where it had been parked.

My supervisor had watched this scene play out before us with his jaw on the floor.  He slowly turned his gaze my way afterward, and, eyes wide with shock, said, “He knows he’s fired, right?”

You’re fired.

Words failed me, so I said nothing.  This was very unlike the technician to do something so stupid so I decided to reserve judgement until I heard what he had to say.

It turns out, the accelerator on this particular car stuck often, and the customer failed to notify anyone of that fact.  Luckily, no one was hurt and no vehicles were damaged, but it was sure as shit funny after the fact.

EDIT:  No, he didn’t get fired.  Sorry I didn’t clarify that.

Audience Participation Time!

Your turn! Do you have any funny stories from an oil change shop? Or perhaps an auto repair shop?

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Discussion

61 thoughts on “Customer Service Fails: He Knows He’s Fired, Right?

  1. So if it wasn’t his fault, was he fired?

    I try to avoid auto mechanics, my ex husband was one and still is. But mostly because they see a women, they think I’m dumb and know nothing. Worse, they see a women who looks like she doesn’t know Spanish (even though I do but have light skin and black hair) and think that they can comment on how much they want 5 minutes alone with me, to each other, in Spanish, and not know that I know perfectly well what they are saying.

    Then, I turn to them and say in Spanish, they couldn’t take 1 second with me, and the whole shop gets quiet as you hear wrenchs and crowbars dropping to the ground.

    True story. I got my oil change and brake pads for free and never returned there again.

    Like

    Posted by Claudia Bette | June 19, 2013, 1:33 pm
  2. That’s seriously bad of the customer. Whenever I took the car for a service, I usually had a list of things that weren’t working, and would describe them in as best detail as I could, although my terminology was perhaps not accurate!

    Like

    Posted by faithhopechocolate | June 19, 2013, 1:37 pm
  3. Oh boy, Twindaddy, I could fill a book with stories from an auto shop, since that’s where I’ve spent my working life for almost seven years now. I’ll be good, so as not to get myself in trouble, but I will share this. We have a showroom, service center, parts room and body shop, as we are a full service dealership (one of the Big Three). Every so often, I’ll pick up the phone, in my delightful way and say “Blankety Blank Motors, how can I help you” only to hear “Gimme your parts” or “I want your parts” on the other end. Sometimes, an invoice will go across my desk to be billed out simply stating the purchase as “body parts”. You just can’t make this shit up.

    Like

    Posted by thecheekydiva | June 19, 2013, 1:57 pm
  4. My break light wire had a problem and the result was that the break light always on – and my father had me take it to his friend/mechanic at K-mart (this is 1989)…and he told my father he’d take care of it ‘cheap’… so he CUT the wire. Gee -thanks.

    Like

    Posted by Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher | June 19, 2013, 2:55 pm
  5. I usually try to get Hubby to do all the car maintenance shit, since I don’t care/don’t know/don’t wanna know what’s goin’ on in there. I’m sure there are feminists abound who are rightly appalled at my lack of ‘who gives a fuck’ but that’s it. As long as the vehicle has gas in it and I get to work on time, I’m good. Thanks for asking though. :)

    Like

    Posted by Kayjai | June 19, 2013, 3:07 pm
  6. I try and stay out of auto repair shops!!! This is a funny story, though. That guy is very lucky it has a happy ending.

    Like

    Posted by mamarific | June 19, 2013, 4:56 pm
  7. Very funny. I cracked up at the image of the vehicle shooting out of the bay “amid a cloud of smoke.”

    Like

    Posted by Karen | June 19, 2013, 6:45 pm
  8. I had just finished expressing my displeasure to the body-shop guy who had not replaced the door of my VW that kept popping open, which is what I had paid him to do.

    He put his finger in my face and said “That attitude, missy, is why you have no friends.”

    “I guess you’re right,” I responded, “because I thought the guy who recommended this place was a friend.”

    It’s so rare that I get to say the perfect retort at the right time instead of 10 minutes later.

    Like

    Posted by Elyse | June 19, 2013, 7:39 pm
  9. I took my car four times to a dealer to have my tail light repaired. Each time it worked for the first five minutes and then failed. My husband inquired about why it wasn’t fixed, and they lied and told him that I didn’t know which light was out. However, this doesn’t compare to your story.

    Like

    Posted by dorothyadele | June 19, 2013, 7:48 pm
  10. HA! I love the boss – so funny

    Like

    Posted by Lady Googoogaga | June 19, 2013, 7:59 pm
  11. I know nothing about cars. I sometimes shudder to think about how badly I may be getting ripped off

    Like

    Posted by The Cutter | June 19, 2013, 9:06 pm
  12. He’s fired!!

    Like

    Posted by Anonymous | June 19, 2013, 10:14 pm
  13. Oh customers! Things that should have been brought to his attention…YESTERDAY.
    Funny story with a happy-ish ending!

    Like

    Posted by erin graves | June 19, 2013, 10:53 pm
  14. I don’t have any crazy stories about mechanics; now if you want to hear about running and bike rides, I’m your girl. Glad the guy didn’t get fired after all.

    Like

    Posted by TriGirl | June 19, 2013, 11:41 pm
  15. Scaaaary! Not whether he was fired — the stuck accelerator! Talk about an accident waiting to happen!!! Glad the technician was able to wrangle that car into a safe spot. I have some stories about mechanics, but they are stories I’d rather forget :)

    Like

    Posted by Esther | June 20, 2013, 1:47 pm
  16. Skid marks??? Ha!

    Like

    Posted by nataliedeyoung | June 20, 2013, 1:49 pm
  17. How do you not mention a stuck accelerator? I also think that if it was revving like that and I didn’t know why, I’d probably just turn off the car for fear I’d blow up or something. But then again, that’s why I’m not a mechanic. Funny story!

    Like

    Posted by Michelle Longo | June 20, 2013, 6:20 pm
  18. I’m so glad he wasn’t fired! He gets big points for parking that baby!! LOL!

    Like

    Posted by PAMO | June 20, 2013, 8:58 pm
  19. Wow I am like way down here in the comments. You are one famous storm trooper. Anyway, this is why I’m glad my husband is a mechanic. I don’t have to deal with this stuff. Okay, so I deal with it lying all over my house and yard, but at least I don’t have to deal with going to a mechanic. He has told me all sorts of stories of the stupid stuff people do with their cars. Now he works for the police department garage, and they still don’t know what they’re doing. He does find some interesting stuff in those cars, though.

    Like

    Posted by aliceatwonderland | June 21, 2013, 11:01 am

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