Auto repair dealers are held to a higher standard than doctors. And it effects customer service.

Make an appointment with your doctor for 10am. Show up, wait until 10:30 to be seen by a nurse. 10 minutes with her, wait another 10 minutes for the doctor. He tells you your knee pain is nothing serious, take some Tylenol. Two weeks later, no improvement. Make another appointment, go through same delays, doctor says let's run test, finds torn ligament, refers you to orthopedist.

How different from our automotive world!

In our world, the customer will complain if we are one minute past their appointment and their car is not in the bay. On the second visit, they would demand to be seen without an appointment, demand a refund for the first visit, and also insist the second visit be free!

Next, they would tell the doctor that they have a bump on their head that wasn't there before, so it must have been caused by the knee examination.

I wish I had a dime for every time a client withheld pertinent information about the symptoms of their vehicle--any problems with your brakes? No. Get in the car, pedal to the floor brake and abs lights on.

The disregard for the repair facility is startling. I have people double park in front of my center walk in, sneer and say "oil change". Would you do that in a restaurant? "Steak!"

Or they show up at 3:00pm on a Saturday with a serious engine performance issue needing to leave town on vacation Sunday morning first thing.

How long have you had this problem? Oh, a couple of months.

Then they are mad at you because you can't perform a miracle.

There really should be a manual for car repair customers--here are my four suggestions, feel free to add on.

1. Leave your car--be forthright and polite in describing your problem or need--have patience--don't expect miracles--understand that it is an "estimate" and is subject to change if other issues are discovered--

2. Don't show up right before closing expecting service--don't assume that just because a facility serviced your vehicle today, they are responsible for any and all issues you may develop until your next visit.

3. Don't bring your own parts--don't diagnose your own car--don't tell me after I diagnose your car that you have decided to take it to "your mechanic" or worse yet, your brother who knows about cars.

4. Don't presume I am dishonest or incompetent because you previously dealt with a dishonest or incompetent shop.

I could go on, buy you get the point. I am blessed because in 27 years at my location, I have developed relationships and gently "trained" many clients in the art of being a good customer.

In return, they get every benefit of the doubt I can provide when servicing their automobiles.



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