Sunday, July 17, 2011

snake oil salespeople

Buyer beware . . . etcetera . . .

This blog may contain some words of wisdom, a dollop of griping and explain the alarming stain on my driveway.

Just so you know.

Don’t you just hate dishonest people? You know the ones - the ones that would sell you their grandmother for a fast buck, tell you a whole load of made-up-shit and grin the whole time while they hope you will eat it up.

I hate those kind of people with a burning passion.

This past week had me caught in a web of snake oil salespeople, but it ends well, so bear with me.

Our van needed an oil change and we brought it to the place we bought it because they gave us a coupon to have it done for free the first time.

Hey, free is good . . . right?

Um, that all depends. You see we took the van in, waited an entire hour even after having an appointment. C’mon guys, I was thinking, a frik’n hour? I could do this job in my driveway in ten minutes if I had the tools!

Anyhow, it was done, I brought said van home, and thought all was good to go.

Until the evening of the trip when I moved the van to install the third row of seats.

What did I find on my driveway? An oil patch. WTF!

Being mechanically inclined (I do have a degree in Mechanical Engineering after all) I slithered under the van to have a look. Sure enough oil was dripping, slowly, from the oil pan plug. The van was scheduled to make a long trip beginning at dawn the next day.

I may have mumbled a few choice words under my breath so as not to alarm my family unduly.

I’m not sure I fooled them though. Seems the Dealership either didn’t tighten the plug, or stripped the threads on it. Either way, this was not a good situation.

I angrily took up the no charge bill and gave it a read. Bad move as this only stoked the fires of rage within. The written up part of the bill said our intake gaskets and intake plenum gaskets needed to be replaced as they were leaking - and the throttle body needed cleaning. WTF!

I decided then and there that this Dealership’s service department sucked, was dishonest, and I wouldn’t be bringing it back to them even for a mountain of free service coupons.

The good news - we took it to our local highly-recommended in-town mechanic and he fit us in as soon as he opened in the morning. He took my wife under the van on the hoist, showed her the loose oil plug which he then proceeded to tighten. Problem solved.

The mechanic also read the report on the no charge bill and popped the hood to inspect the engine for the indicated problems. After about ten minutes of doing mechanic type things, he pulled his head out from under the hood and said nothing at all looks amiss to him and the gaskets are definitely not leaking.

Sum total of this local mechanic’s time and efforts - he said don’t worry about it. No charge.

Chalk one up for the good guys. Seems the snake oil salespeople at the Dealership were looking to suck us in to a costly, and unnecessary, repair. All they did was ensure that we would never again use them for anything related to vehicle service.

End of tale. See, only a wee bit of griping, and a much better outlook for vehicle service in the future with our local, honest mechanic.

Until next Sunday . . .

1 comment:

  1. Well, that is disappointing. I've been quite happy with that dealership so far. I have some good stories I'll share with you the next time I see you folks. Maybe just one bad mechanic?