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  #1  
Old 06-29-2007, 06:32 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Visalia, CA
Posts: 379
Just another Friday afternoon...

... Customer shows up late for their appointment. Very late as it was for yesterday.

"Can you still get it fixed today?"

"Leave it and we'll see what we can do"

Customer states little to no airflow through heat/A/C ducts on their E32 740i. Blower works, flap motors seem to direct as requested. It really seems like just a very plugged A/C microfilter.

Call customer, get permission to install new microfilter.

Remove panels, glovebox, various control units, and then finally the microfilter. Sure enough, it seems like the original, from 220,000 miles ago. Replace with new microfilter.

Airflow is good!

Reassemble all the interior, fire it up and let it cool. It cools.

Relax, feel good, was able to squeeze customer in, fix problem with minimal time and expense. Good. Good.

Wait, what's that smell? Coolant? Better look...

Arghhhh... Big puddle, hissing, spraying coolant!

Shut car down, open hood.

Someone has blown the upper neck off of the radiator (common), and tried to repair it by cramming an aftermarket one-size-fits-all hose onto what's left of the radiator neck (sadly, also common). It, not suprisingly, didn't hold.

Dang. So much for the quick and easy. Now have to call customer and explain that the A/C is now cold, but they can't drive the car.

They'll love to hear that on a Friday afternoon.

Dang.

MV


Last edited by BAVBMW; 06-29-2007 at 08:04 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-29-2007, 08:10 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Visalia, CA
Posts: 379
I told you it would get better.

It did.

Customer not happy at all. They think it's all our fault.

Tried to explain, we wouldn't even have opened the hood if it were not for the obvious coolant leak.

No go. They feel that since it happened on our lot, we're to blame. They're going to contact the Bureau of Automotive Repair. We're not worried, we did no wrong, but it is a time consuming hassle. Then of course there's always court.

Yeah.

This weekend is going to start off nice.

MV
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  #3  
Old 06-30-2007, 09:10 PM
mgburg's Avatar
"Illegal" 3rd Dist. Rep.
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Onalaska, WI.
Posts: 221
Exclamation *** New pre-job requirement... ***

Have the customer pop the hood (even if they only want you to check the tires' pressure or wipe the bugs off the windshield) and go over anything that looks/smells/sounds a bit "hinky" while they're standing there.

Have them sign-off on the original repair. (Yeah, like that'll happen...)

Sounds like you almost have to have in-house cameras and employee-carried cameras to document your truthfullness.

Then, again, some customers would demand a complete "repaint" if they found a scratch on the car that was there before they "gave" it to you to do what you needed to do.

8888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888


Rule #1.) The customer is always right.

Rule #2.) See Rule #1.

Rule #3.) If the customer is still an @55 AFTER you've shown them Rule #1 and Rule #2, fix their problem, then kick their whiney-little @55 out of your shop and forbid them to ever return. Most of their acquaintances ALREADY KNOW THAT THEY ARE WHINEY-@55ES, so what they say will probably never affect your business or reputation.

8888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888


Life's too short to worry about idiots like that...as a business-owner, you still get to pick who you like to play with.

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M. G. Burg
'10 - Dakota SXT - Daily Ride / ≈ 172.5K
.'76 - 450SLC - 107.024.12 / < .89.20 K
..'77 - 280E - 123.033.12 / > 128.20 K
...'67 - El Camino - 283ci / > 207.00 K
....'75 - Yamaha - 650XS / < 21.00 K
.....'87 - G20 Sportvan / > 206.00 K
......'85 - 4WINNS 160 I.O. / 140hp
.......'74 - Honda CT70 / Real 125

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“I didn’t really say everything I said.”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ~ Yogi Berra ~
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  #4  
Old 06-30-2007, 09:28 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 286
Search problem areas for E32/E38's from any of the BMW boards and the radiator neck problem will be enemy #1, or dang close. Print it out for the cust.
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  #5  
Old 07-01-2007, 12:22 AM
Hatterasguy's Avatar
Zero
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Milford, CT
Posts: 19,306
Tell them to buy a new car and remove there currant POS from your lot. Then tack on a $50 a day storage fee.
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  #6  
Old 07-01-2007, 12:35 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 13,212
fix the car.. but then put a golf ball or some bearings in an interior panel where they fit so it makes alot of annoying noises when they take off or slow down
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  #7  
Old 07-02-2007, 02:38 AM
mgburg's Avatar
"Illegal" 3rd Dist. Rep.
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Onalaska, WI.
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Exclamation *** Getting even... ***

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDon View Post
fix the car.. but then put a golf ball or some bearings in an interior panel where they fit so it makes alot of annoying noises when they take off or slow down
Put in one of those "Super Balls" - the hard rubber ones...it makes a dull, thumping sound and should be really hard to trace.

Or...get one of the magnetic "Hide-a-Key" boxes, put a penny in it and stick it up under the dash...that should drive the freak nuts!

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M. G. Burg
'10 - Dakota SXT - Daily Ride / ≈ 172.5K
.'76 - 450SLC - 107.024.12 / < .89.20 K
..'77 - 280E - 123.033.12 / > 128.20 K
...'67 - El Camino - 283ci / > 207.00 K
....'75 - Yamaha - 650XS / < 21.00 K
.....'87 - G20 Sportvan / > 206.00 K
......'85 - 4WINNS 160 I.O. / 140hp
.......'74 - Honda CT70 / Real 125

.
“I didn’t really say everything I said.”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ~ Yogi Berra ~
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  #8  
Old 07-02-2007, 11:55 AM
Dee8go's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 7,190
Number three seems like a good start. Have them acknowledge any obvious problems you see prior to starting work.

It seems like the reward vs effort in most work are inversely proportional. That's been my experience anyhow. Sorry you had this experience on a Friday afternoon, no less.
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  #9  
Old 07-02-2007, 03:51 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Visalia, CA
Posts: 379
Ok, you know, it actually all worked out ok. They were quite upset over the phone, but by the end of the day, when it was time to pick the car up, they had calmed down significantly.

It would have been one thing if this had just been the first radiator blowout, and they knew nothing of this, but someone knew. Someone put a non-fitted aftermarket hose on the stub of the radiator. It's not like this was a never before heard of type thing. I'm just not into the upset screaming thing. We're all adults, let's sit back, use our brains and reason things out. All the yelling and threats are just a waste.

Oh well. It's over, they towed it home. We'll see if they ever return. They were first time customers, probably last time now. Can't say they'll be missed.

On another note, you guys are mean... vengeful sorts...

Quote:
Put in one of those "Super Balls" - the hard rubber ones...it makes a dull, thumping sound and should be really hard to trace.

Or...get one of the magnetic "Hide-a-Key" boxes, put a penny in it and stick it up under the dash...that should drive the freak nuts!

fix the car.. but then put a golf ball or some bearings in an interior panel where they fit so it makes alot of annoying noises when they take off or slow down.

Tell them to buy a new car and remove there currant POS from your lot. Then tack on a $50 a day storage fee.
I'll keep that in mind...

MV
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  #10  
Old 07-02-2007, 07:00 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Inside a vortex
Posts: 624
what goes around, comes around....they are just nervous because they can't afford the repairs and don't have the money, that's why your too blame....
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Last edited by Mistress; 07-02-2007 at 07:34 PM.
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  #11  
Old 07-02-2007, 07:15 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 254
Hurry and cash their check.
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  #12  
Old 07-02-2007, 07:34 PM
Hatterasguy's Avatar
Zero
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Milford, CT
Posts: 19,306
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulC View Post
Hurry and cash their check.
Ditto, you never know.
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2007 Tiara 3200

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
-Thomas Jefferson
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  #13  
Old 07-02-2007, 10:05 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
dieselarchitect
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
Posts: 34,887
Whenever I do work for anybody in another town I always go right to their bank and cash the check before leaving town.

Just in case.

I even did it with my great uncle, but not cause I was afraid it might be rubber, just so my local bank wouldn't have an excuese to hold the funds.

Tom W
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  #14  
Old 07-03-2007, 12:26 AM
mgburg's Avatar
"Illegal" 3rd Dist. Rep.
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Onalaska, WI.
Posts: 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by BAVBMW View Post
...On another note, you guys are mean... vengeful sorts...I'll keep that in mind...MV
Hey, it's your business, we were feeling your pain and helping you to "vent" - 3/4s of crap we write will never come to fruition (sp?) (we REALLY hope!) but sometimes the forum is an excellent place to spew one's spleen and feel clean when you're done...

And, where's the harm in that?

And that other 1/4 of the time...we know nothing!!!!


__________________
.

.
M. G. Burg
'10 - Dakota SXT - Daily Ride / ≈ 172.5K
.'76 - 450SLC - 107.024.12 / < .89.20 K
..'77 - 280E - 123.033.12 / > 128.20 K
...'67 - El Camino - 283ci / > 207.00 K
....'75 - Yamaha - 650XS / < 21.00 K
.....'87 - G20 Sportvan / > 206.00 K
......'85 - 4WINNS 160 I.O. / 140hp
.......'74 - Honda CT70 / Real 125

.
“I didn’t really say everything I said.”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ~ Yogi Berra ~
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