this is not a blog dedicated to fighting the cause of customer service ... truly
... but sometimes i have to just get stuff off my chest ... and if i can't do it here ... just skip to the next blog if this stuff bores the pants off you
so my car was hit by someone in a car park ... and the wheel arch was badly damaged and it needed repairing ... as they had to spray the side of the car to blend the colour or some such nonsense we asked them to go a little further along the wing and repair a bad scratch that had been there for awhile ... our insurance was paying so we handed it over while we were away for two weeks ... nice timing ... all good
and please as we continue bear in mind i am just a customer putting a car into a Saab Dealer for some bodywork and a service and an MOT while they are at it ... as we know very little about cars we always ensure it is serviced and anything is put right to make sure the car is safe and roadworthy ... we have always used Saab Dealers to ensure that we are using people who know the car and have all the right diagnostic tools and knowledge ... you would think
keeping this as short as possible ...
the car was returned to me ... with ... (big breath) ... one front speaker not working ... my in-car phone system no longer playing through the speakers ... my indicator stick thing needing to be held up or down with your finger to make it blink (no idea at all why it was even fiddled with in the first place)... the passenger window seal popping out and flapping in the wind every time the window was opened or closed ... an engine flush/clean not done even though it was on the job list ... and replacement switch for our wing mirrors just ignored and not fitted ... both our key fobs no longer working and no way to arm the alarm ... oh and overcharged £50 for an MOT (something which we felt should be glaringly obvious to a garage as an MOT is countrywide standard) charge
now you can imagine the incredulous face and the spluttering 'I Don't Believe It' style expletives ... i figured that in the face of this list there was no need to rant and rave ... i would just explain and see what they do
no apology ... no explanation but an assurance that all the relevant parts would be ordered and they would need the car for a day to put it all right ... i made it clear i would not pay for anything i saw as their responsibility ... after all i had put my car into the garage and it had come back with more wrong with it than when they started
and i am sorry about this but my standard line in situations like this is that i had not asked them to do anything difficult ... this is what they do every single day ... fix cars ... in particular fix Saab's ...this was a car ...and it was a Saab ..where is the problem?
so i drive over the following morning so they can fix the indicator and programme our keys ... i wait ... for three weeks ... for parts to arrive ... in that time i could have purchased and opened a factory and made them myself ... slight digression but why is that in this age of modern communication and computers and stock control everything takes much longer than it used to?
a few days later we discover that in re-programming our keys they had somehow managed to set it up so that the car did indeed lock and then alarm itself and then just as you walked away it very quietly popped open the boot ... leaving the bag full of ipod/sat nav/sunglasses etc nicely laid out for any opportunistic thief to just ... have ... hopefully they would close the boot afterwards
(our bin men took away a broken bin ... one would think they then pick one up from the depot they visit every day and drop off a new one ... at the worst bring it next week ...apparently not ... at least three weeks to get a new bin ... can nobody organize anything properly?) ... this of course has nothing to with the car story just another example of the mental decisions that someone somewhere makes on an hourly basis)
in the huge gales someone hit our wing mirror and the bits must have blown away so we had to add new glass and backplate to our growing car repairs ... another delay of a few days while the parts came in ... tum de tum
yesterday i take my car to the garage at 7am ... my logic said let them have the car as early as possible to give them the maximum time available to fix everything ... i walked to a tube station and then took the train home and waited
mid afternoon i get a phone call from the electrician at the garage asking for the security code for the cd player as they had removed it and now couldn't get it started again ... hmmm ... i can feel my confidence ebbing as we speak ... he then asks me if it is right that there are three speakers that are not working because they can't hear anything coming out of the speakers in the doors ... i calmly ... without screaming ... point out that there are no speakers in the doors and would they please refrain from dismantling the doors to prove that as they didn't have a very good track record at putting stuff back together again ... all due respect
end of the day i go to pick up my car ... they give me the key and say they will not be charging anything at all as a gesture towards all the inconvenience (and your complete stupidity ... i only thought in my head cos even i know about gift horses and looking and stuff) ... i gracefully accepted and thanked them and took my key and thoughtfully drove it out of their parking so they could close up for the night ... i pulled over and checked a couple of things like did my speaker now work ... ummm no ... did my phone work ...umm no
i go back into the garage ... speak to a manager who comes outside checks the car with me ... we discover together that the boot still pops open
he was very nice ... despairing of the stupidity of it all ... neither of us can fathom why they would return the car if it wasn't fixed ... and has promised to get me a replacement car and everything fixed on monday
now i ask you ... is it me?
or is this what passes for a normal experience
there is nothing we have done in the last few weeks that involved money or buying stuff that hasn't been fraught with mistakes ... stupidity ... and down right ignorance of the product or the ability to deal with the smallest problem
one shop assistant in a major electrical store after weeks of me being messed around and total stupidity by all levels and areas of the company actually used the line 'i only work here i don't own the store' ... working anywhere used to mean you did a job to the best of your ability or else you lost that job ... working somewhere used to mean that you were proud of your company and what it could achieve ... working anywhere means doing what you are paid to do
tomorrow i will visit a job agency and request a job in retail ... don't care where hardly matters ... where i can be paid to turn up ...do little ... sneer at customers ... do everything slowly ... know as little as possible about the items i sell ... talk to my workmates and ignore any eye contact with members of the public ... and at the slightest suggestion or display of irritation by a customer start shouting about my rights and calling security to remove them from my sight cos i is offended
well a big chunk of the country seems to get paid to work that way so why shouldn't i
is it just me?