Monday, April 11, 2011

Oil Change, Yes. Attitude Change, No!

No good topic to talk about so I’ll tell you about my boring oil change story which happened last Thursday. My car was due for an oil change and I had been putting it off until I found a coupon for a good deal offered by Discount Tire Centers for $16.95. I went on their website to find the nearest location and found one about 4 miles away. There was an option to make an appointment so I made one for 8:30 A.M. When I arrived the next day just short of my appointment time, there didn’t seem to be a line of cars waiting although there were about 3 being worked on and one customer sitting in the waiting room. I approached the desk and notified the man there that I wanted an oil change and that I had an appointment. He responded curtly that it will be a 2 hour wait because there were a lot of other cars coming in. When I asked about my appointment, he said it didn’t matter. Because of the long waiting time, I briefly considered putting the oil change off for another day or finding another mechanic. I was planning on using the waiting time to do an hour of my run/walk workout. I had to change it to 2 hours of brisk walking instead to kill the additional waiting time. There was not going to be any hill walking on that day because if you know the city of Lakewood, it’s pancake flat all over and not even a bridge to climb on. So I left the car keys and started my jaunt around the flat city. After going out for a mile, I figured I should try to use my Android cellphone GPS app called the Runkeeper which functions similarly to a Garmin GPS wristwatch. Initially it was giving me a pace faster than I thought I was going, but it evened out after several minutes and appeared to be closer to my real pace. I made a slightly over an hour loop back to the car shop with the intent of checking on my car, then heading to a different direction for another hour in case my car wasn’t done yet. I saw that the car was already inside one of the repair bays so I approached the man at the front desk again. He said he tried to call me to let me know that they found other problems with the car. As he began what I expected to be a litany of repairs that needed to be done, I stopped him and said “just the oil change please”. I guess that didn’t go too well with him because if he was curt at the start, he had turned surly now. He went to the mechanic to tell him that I didn’t want any repairs, then returned to me so I can pay for the oil change. In an effort to disarm him,  I asked if he was okay because he appeared so serious. He said yes, but his demeanor didn’t change. The guy must have been having a bad day, or maybe I didn’t give the shop enough business by refusing to hear about and get repairs on supposed defects of my car. I was just being wary because there are reports and exposés of car shops being unscrupulous by suggesting repairs that are not necessary. In any case, I picked up my car, went home, and since I didn’t feel taxed by the slightly over an hour walk on a flat surface, I did 20 minutes of fast paced spinning on the stationary bike just to satisfy my exercise cravings.
I’m still wondering why the man at the desk was so surly. He never smiled and was not very welcoming. Was that his normal personality? Does Discount Tire Centers not have customer service training? And what about setting an appointment time? Was it just useless window dressing for the company since they don’t adhere to it anyway? Or maybe it was just that one unusual day that I happened to be there and it was just bad timing on my part? Well, at least I got the oil change out of the way.

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1 comment:

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