Hang Up! If you ever hear this…
Sometimes we get a certain vibe that comes from a situation we find ourselves in. It doesn’t exactly feel right, but something unexplainable feels, off. If you’re like me, I know you’ve had those feelings before. It’s especially painful and confusing when you’re having those feelings, and it’s from a company. You should never feel confused in a situation when you’re paying for a service, bottom line. In today’s article we are going to give you tips for how to address those, uneasy feelings, when on the phone with a repair shop.
In an example scenario, let’s say, we are calling around to receive price quotes for a repair we think our car needs. Now, it is kind of hard to know exactly what it will take to fix your car, wouldn’t you agree? However, we have a base map to go with that’s for sure. We could have some background with cars, a friend might have helped us in the right direction, we could have searched the internet or maybe we just asked the local parts store for help.
Maybe our car is making a certain noise, it’s not accelerating properly, a leak can be seen from below, something doesn’t work like it’s supposed to, or it flat out doesn’t start. All these scenarios leave room for different areas of concern. That’s a fact. But how does the repair shop your calling handle the information you’ve given them?
If they say any of the following, here’s when you should hang up:
“I’ve got no clue what it could be, you’d have to bring it in to for me to see.”
Yikes! Were they even listening to you? Did they ask you any questions at all? If they didn’t and appear to have no interest about the situation you’re, in hang up. They’re obviously not going to be too forth coming with information and just want your car there to boost up their numbers.
“We don’t give estimate over the phone here.”
Are you kidding me? Why not? I can google the exact same job and find out roughly how much it’s going to cost anyways. So why can’t YOU help me by telling me how much you’d charge? I’d obviously like to business with you, if I haven’t hung up yet, but now... I’m having second thoughts.
“We’re booked up ‘till two weeks from now. ”
Really, and there isn’t any way could help me? Sometimes shops do get backed up, we can all understand that right? But did they give you any recommendations or ask when you needed it fixed by? If they’re not trying to offer you solutions that aid your situation, why continue the phone call? The least they could do is offer to call you back and check in with you when they get freed up.
“I can’t do anything without the VIN.”
Another way of saying this is “it’s not worth my time if I can’t be exact.” What about my license plate number? Can your system decode my VIN from that? Because I have a picture of the car on my phone sir. Some cars are very specific on which parts they require, and it does take the vehicle’s VIN to get exact pricing, but what about at least an estimate range?
“It could be between $40-$2000, depending on what you need.”
Speaking of ranges... why do those two numbers seem vastly different? I get it, I know what you’re doing. You want me to hope for the smaller number, but be prepared for the larger number, because you weren’t exactly listening to my situation or trying to help me. Right now, you’re trying to cover yourself incase my car gets in and needs something big. Thanks, but no thanks.
A lot of places out there have these attitudes like we, the consumer, are supposed to feel lucky that the shop answered phone, instead of it being the other way around. That’s a mentality that I don’t believe either of us will agree with.
Now let’s say that we got through our phone interview, no problems so far, and brought our vehicle to the shop for repairs. Now we are waiting for our vehicle to go through a set of phases. Like being checked in, diagnosed, or repaired and a follow-up call on the progress. When should we call it quits or do we stick it through at this point?
“I know we said it was going to be $$ but it’s actually $$$, your vehicle’s ready though.”
Wow! Thanks for that, I guess. You couldn’t call, text, or email me if it was going to be higher than what you originally quoted me? You called to tell me it was done! Don’t settle for treatment like this, they should have told you before doing any additional repairs at a higher cost that you didn’t authorize.
“You need to replace this part, it’s old and worn (when you know it was recently replaced).”
Did they even look at the car, before they called you? What made them figure your strut needed to be replaced. It’s brand new and still has the sticker on it! The shop has a professional duty to give you something besides just saying “replace this part.” For instance, if they saw it was new but still broken, why didn’t they ask where I had that repair done. Maybe I have a warranty on that part, somewhere else!
Worst yet, what if it’s been two days or a week and you haven’t heard ANYTHING from the shop? Do they even care that you’re without your car, even a little bit? I think we’d all agree that an update stating there is no-update, is better than not being called at all.
In summary, repairing vehicles is a difficult process, for both you and the repair facility. From sourcing the proper parts, finding the exact issue, building trust with a stranger, knowing the exact cost from the beginning, getting your car back on time and not to mention how you’re going to get around if you don’t have a car for a few days.
When you feel like something is up, don’t keep it to yourself. Let the person on the other end know exactly how you feel. If they respect you and value your opinion, they’ll listen and correct the situation. Because it’s always the professional’s job to be in business for you, not themselves. Possibly they didn’t intend to send you a false message and instead just need some slight clarity in your situation.
If you ever feel like your in doubt, call the professionals at J.J’s Auto Center, we are always here to offer advice and our help with whatever situation you find yourself in. 301-374-8995