What Not To Do

Dec. 4, 2023
I recently read a story of a customer who brought his BMW to a repair shop for service (I won’t mention the name and location of the shop). Apparently, after the repairs were made, a shop employee took the car for a test drive. Normal procedure, right?

I recently read a story of a customer who brought his BMW to a repair shop for service (I won’t mention the name and location of the shop). Apparently, after the repairs were made, a shop employee took the car out for a test drive. Normal procedure, right? However, things got ugly.

According to the vehicle owner, after picking the car up and paying the reported $2,500 repair bill, he noticed that his stereo system wasn’t working. He said he spoke to the shop and was told that they did nothing that would have affected his sound system, so they were not liable. Luckily for the car owner, he had an in-car camera that recorded the “test drive.” According to the customer, he reviewed his in-car camera and found 11 videos that showed the car being driven over 100 mph, with a top speed of 113 mph. The videos showed the vehicle being driven erratically, even going through a red light  while the sound system was on at full blast.

After reviewing the videos captured on his in-car camera, the customer complained to the shop owner who, after viewing the video, apologized for the employee’s actions, and, according to the customer, agreed to pay for damage to the stereo system to the tune of about $850.

The story said several weeks passed and the customer still hadn't received reimbursement; the customer claimed the shop was “dodging him."

Granted, I wasn’t there and know only what I read, but I did see a video that appears to support the car owner’s claim. I’m simply referring to this as an example of what not to do.

If this actually took place, shame on the shop. Customers should never be treated like this. Customers place faith and trust in the shop to perform proper service and certainly do not expect the shop to abuse their vehicles in the process. In my opinion, if the afore-mentioned incident did take place as the car owner claims, the repair shop should do three things: fire the employee, make restitution for the sound system, and offer one or more routine services for the customer free of charge as a way to apologize and re-establish the customer’s faith in the shop.

If we want repeat business and expect to gain a reputation in the community for quality and trustworthy service, we simply cannot allow this type of behavior to exist. There is simply no excuse for abusing the customer’s trust. It’s a sure way to lose existing and potential future business, as there's a real risk of the customer sharing this experience  both through word-of-mouth and on social media.

It’s these types of inexcusable actions by one shop that give the rest of us a bad name.

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