Saturday, August 15, 2015

Brake It Down

So, Rosie Pro is needing some new brake pads, and the Mazda dealership wants $500 for the whole she-bang.


So I called a couple places, asked a knowledgeable friend for his advice, and ended up with an appointment at Brake Masters in Roseville (there are two, I went to the one on Fairway Drive). I made the appointment for 9:30 this morning (Saturday), figuring it would be a bummer to give up some Saturday time for this errand, but this last week has been incredibly hectic and exhausting. After all, I started a new job, went back to full-time teaching for the first time in five years, and I've maintained a decent work out routine even though I haven't been sleeping all that well. I'm tired, but I was in a get-stuff-done frame of mind this morning.

I had a couple of errands to run before my appointment, and I ended up arriving at the shop at 9:10. I joked to the lady at the counter that I'm always early for stuff. She commented that being early is good. I agreed.

She told me they were quite busy but they'd call me when my car had been diagnosed. I figured this meant there could be a 15-minute delay on getting my car into the bays for inspection and set off on more errands in a good frame of mind. Only a mile down the road is a Sports Authority, and I needed some Gu.

After my trip to Sports Authority and a wander through JoAnn's Crafts, I headed back up the street to Brake Masters. I hadn't received any calls, but figured it had been almost an hour-and-a-half. There's no way my car hasn't been in. Right?


I was already in a slightly dour mood as I crossed the street to the parking lot of Brake Masters--I'd just been cat-called, which is never fun--and I started to worry a little when I saw RoPro sitting...right where I'd left her. It was now 10:50, an hour and twenty minutes past my appointment time.

When I walked into the shop, the same lady I'd dealt with earlier was still working. "Has my" I asked her, mentally preparing for the worst.

"Um, which one was yours?"

"The Mazda Protege. It's where I left it earlier."

"Oh, it hasn't been in yet."

"Okay. Well, I had a 9:30 appointment, and I have things I need to do, so I'd like my keys back."

"Oh! Let me just check how long a wait it's going to be!" She started to walk out the door to the garage.

"No. I want my keys back. I'm taking my car elsewhere."

It took her a couple of minutes to locate my keys--a worrisome thought, because, you know, I kind of need them to drive the car--but finally, she gave them back to me. By now, I was steaming. I had just wasted almost two hours of my Saturday morning in good faith that my appointment time would be honored--and I still do not have new brake pads.

As I walked out to my car, I had to pass the garage. I called out asking for a manager, and a man stepped forward. I told him my complaint and got the most half-assed "I'm sorry" I've ever received. Hey, business was hopping, so losing one woman and her Protege isn't going to bother him.

Thing is--it should. It should bother him. I may be but one customer, but when you treat me like my time isn't valuable, you are sending a message out in the world. Other customers see that. Maybe it doesn't stop them from getting work on their cars at your shop. Fine. You win, you're making money. But you are still really doing a shitty job with the customer service.

I told the manager I'd be taking my business elsewhere. He thanked me. Maybe, maybe, it was just an automatic response, but it felt more like he really meant it. If that isn't being an asshole, I don't know what is. Especially because--damn it--I was struggling not to cry when I made my complaint to him. I'm tired--really tired--this week and I was angry, and the tears were threatening to spill over at any moment. Thank God, they didn't. But that "thank you" made me want to punch him. Instead, I marched over to my car and yelled, "Shitty service!" at some random dude coming back from his break.

I have no patience for terrible customer service.

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