Honda Manager Out-of-Control - Please advice

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Hi,
Two days ago i posted an incident about a request i made at a Honda dealership that didn't go that well.
Since my overall experience was really lausy I made sure that the
survey that Honda always makes reflects just that.
I just got a call from the Manager of the facility that should have never ocurred. The call made a bad situation... worst.
I was really inclined to forget about the incident and now i want to get to Honda Corporate and make sure that the incident doesn't go unnoticed.
Now i feel like if i ever make the mistake of servicing my car at the referred facility i'm going to have sugar on the gas tank, or that something mob like will happen to my car.
Any of you experienced something similar? What did you do? What are the proper channels to get to Honda Corporate?
Thank you,
F
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OK, I replied to someone somewhere on this a couple days ago. It used to be that Japan didn't want any bad juju from customers so would raise Hell if any dealer pulled some shady shit. Have you called Honda USA and asked if there is a customer relations dept?
There was a fellow who wrote a series of books back in the early 80's about how to get satisfaction from slimebag businesses. I tried it once and it worked like a charm. It was this author's contention that every major company has someone somewhere in the organization who's sole job it is to make the customer happy. Granted, he may be lost in the bureaucracy, but there's usually someone. The trick is to find him. One way is to feel out the main switchboard. Hint around you looking for a customer or relations rep. If you get one, plead your case. BUT!!! ...do it from a positive slant.
Here's my example. I asked a local tire chain, who's products I trusted, to put on 4 new tires, check my wheel bearings, and look into a disc brake squeal. Well, they put on the new tires. So, I call the corp office and got ahold of some big wig. I told him, "Hey, I love your products and want to continue using them, but could you recommend a dealer who has a good service reputation". Note the lack of blame. So, the guy asks me why I'm not satisfied with the dealer in my town. I play it up and say I don't really want to get anyone in trouble, I'm just looking for a more reliable dealer so I can continue to use your great product (which was true). He presses me for details and I reluctantly relent (wink, wink). He says, "Hang tough, I'll get back to you". Next day the manager of my local dealer is calling up with all kinds of sob sister excuses and begging me to bring my car in. I had about $300 worth of work done for free. True story!
Moral ...find the customer satisfaction vp. :)
nb
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Nb, Great suggestion!
The approach - "Hey, I love your products and want to continue using them, but could you recommend a dealer who has a good service reputation" - seems a nice one.
The issue is that there's only so many Honda dealers in one city and they have a lot more freedom to operate than other types of dealerships.
Any other tricks on the book for this one?
Thanks,
F
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Natch, this only good if you're willing to travel and/or have more than one in the area. But, you can modify the approach to suit your situation. Be creative.

No, and I don't have any of the books. I read one from the library. But, I know the fellow wrote more than one and librarians just love proving they can find this kind of obscure stuff. :)
nb
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Dunno if it was in that book, but sometimes if you write a letter telling the Co. how great their product (whatever it may be) is, they'll send you coupons or free samples of their stuff. They love unsolicited love letters.
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notbob wrote:

I've found the technique to work well too. Some examples:
I bought Quart speakers for my car because I'd come to appreciate their quality when I worked as an installer, and was impressed by their no-questions-asked exchange policy for blown drivers. So when the set I bought kept blowing tweeters and then replacement tweeters, to the point that the model was discontinued and the store had to give me used tweeters off the demo board, I wrote to the company. I basically told them the same thing: I worked in the industry, I liked their products because of my experience with them as an installer, and I was very disappointed with the continual problems with the particular model I had. They repied with an apology, and a new set of the next model up the line. Never asked for the old ones back either (which are still working today).
I took my wife's van to a local quick-lube joint to get an oil change done. She gets home from work about 5:40pm. The lube place closed at 6:00. I rushed to get there, arriving about five or ten minutes to six. The young service clown was already putting stuff away and informed me they couldn't service my vehicle because they were closing soon and suggested I come back tomorrow. I informed him I couldn't make it any earlier any other day either, and he explained that they were closing early for the next couple weeks because they had new owners and were understaffed, but they would be staying open later in a week or two and I could come back then. Well, I've been spoiled by other service facilities, including a favorite tire shop whose motto is "Five minutes to closing means still open." So I emailed their customer service to express my displeasure with being blown off because some minimum-wage kid didn't want to stay a few minutes after six, espcially after having been such a happy customer with their other outlets previously. Within a week I was contacted by the manager offering to do my oil change for free.
There's an old phrase about flies, honey, and vinegar that applies...
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snip

snip
So you dumped on some minimum wage employee, who might very well be working two or more jobs to make ends meet, because you didn't want to dump on your wife or her employer.
You couldn't wait a week or so and just follow the rules.
You promote more civility and employee stress, not less.
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I gotta admit, I took the employee's side on this one, too. He DID explain the reason for the early closing and DID offer a viable, though somewhat delayed, solution. What's the big deal about waiting a couple of weeks? The car can't tell the difference of a few hundred miles extra. Besides, I know what happens if you don't hold the line on closing time. You get more latecomers bugging you to do "just one more" and then you hafta get nasty about it. Nope, wait two weeks, find another place, or do it yourself. If the employee was doing as instructed and tried to accommodate, the customer has no bitch.
nb
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wrote:

working
your
'Zactly.
Rules generally are not made up, on whim, just to torture others.

Plus, just my opinion, but a shop that has to deal with customers milking them for every free minute is going to get plenty overstressed plenty fast. So customers who pull this garbage hurt other customers.
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At our shop I am the "closer" Now this means 10 to 15 minutes extra at no pay to pull the tires in, turn out the lights, lock up the shop, change and go home. Usually we have the last minute Oil rush job at 5:50 (we close at 6:00) Seldom do I leave at 6:30. Seldom do I wipe off my tools and put them away. The Corporation thinks that the last minute customer is valuable, but reality is they waste time. Tonight it was a rebalance check on the front tires of a Volvo. He complained of a vibration at 58 MPH after we did a rotate and front tire rebalance a week ago. So car in, on the rack. Right tore .25 oz out, left rim bent. Put it on the Right rear and pulled the car out. Told the customer. He thought I was lying to cover up a defective tire. Car back in Bent rim on the balancer to prove to him it was bent. Well He wishes the tire back on the front to maintain his rotation pattern. So swapped two tires. Now he wants us to "throw in a bulb" for the brake light (a service we do charge for) I did it anyway for:the CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT; the squeaky wheel etc. but it didn't fix the light anyway. So he drives out of the shop at about 6:30 Didn't have to pay a penny and the shop paid me about 20 minutes of time for what took an hour. But he was in before 6:00.... We love last minute customers, they keep our stock going up....
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Stephen W. Hansen
ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician
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Steve H wrote:

And chances are, they'll remember the good service you gave them and come back again, when they ARE paying for it. And will send other business your way.
With competition the way it is in business, sometimes you have to go the extra mile. When there are a half-dozen quick-lube places within a small town, the one that goes the distance is the one that steals the customers from the ones that don't.
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No, seldom they do. Last minute customers seem to be of the type that don't care to spend extra money. Our shop looses money on oil changes. Corporations want every penny from every consumer. Consumers are thinking it's ok to do things at all hours. That's why Grocery stores are open 24 hours now; 30 years ago only convenience stores were open past 8 pm. Our store wants to open until 9:00 pm... just in case there is SOMEONE who wants to spend money. IF the market supports it, then others will follow. Some large Cities have dealerships open two shifts now.. But in the mean time we get to be open obscene hours to take care of the late customers. This week I put in 56 hours at the shop for which I will get paid for 32 of them hours. So I really care less how these last minute customers feel when they arrive at 5 minutes to 6 and think that me working late is best for all. Ask my wife how often I get home at 6:30 Steve

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don't
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Steve, as a voter and consumer interested in optimal society functioning blah blah blah, I'd be interested to know a bit more:
How many years have you worked as a technician? How many more years do you think you will do so?
Do you feel you are risking your physical health? One thing I've noticed with my amateur efforts is that if I had to, say, change timing belts half of an 8-hour workday and do oil changes the other half, I would be a physical wreck. Back aches from bending over the engine (even with the car on an easily adjusted lift) and lifting things, feet aches (like a waitress being on her feet all day), etc. These aren't even major jobs, it seems to me. Yet here I am, an extraordinary female athlete with pretty good endurance compared to many men (but definitely not as much upper body strength), and I am exhausted after a, say, day long timing belt job. (Plus of course a good technician is expected to do maybe about as many as four timing belt a day. One day, never mind week after week, of this routine would kill me.)
Two shifts is not exactly going to help make more sane the hours of the average technician, since when a car arrives at 7:30 AM and is promised by 5 PM, if it's not done right at 5 PM, many a time a technician will be asked to stay over, because the job cannot be turned over to a new technician, right?
Do technicians tend to gravitate to becoming service managers over time because the labor of being a technician is so physically burdensome?
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Steve H wrote:
>>And chances are, they'll remember the good service you gave them >>and come back again, when they ARE paying for it. And will send >>other business your way. >>

Well, see... I would have. I've received good customer service from some companies, and I've appreciated that and been loyal to them - like the aforementioned Kal Tire store, to whom I've brought my business for a dozen years now, and sent everyone I know to them. And I have no time or sympathy for those who deliver crappy service.
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notbob wrote:

Umm, no. My problem was not with them closing earlier than "normal". My problem was with them closing TEN MINUTES BEFORE THE POSTED CLOSING TIME. The sign said clearly that they closed at 6. Buddy didn't want to start a job at ten-to because it might have kept him 3 or 4 minutes late.
By contrast, the first time I visited the aforementioned tire shop, before I even had my flat unloaded, the store owner was right there asking how he could help... at TEN MINUTES AFTER CLOSING. He proceeded to personally repair the tire, and didn't charge us for it. He earned lifetime customers that day, and I've since sent tens of thousands of dollars in business his way via family, friends, and employers... in fact, here's a good place for a plug: I'll recommend Kal Tire to anyone in Western Canada, and especially the Boundary & Kitchener store in Burnaby to anyone in the BC Lower Mainland area (tell them I sent you).

It's not. The twerp's attitude was the problem.
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working
your
Take some personal responsibility, for crying out loud. You were late. You refused to wait a couple of weeks when it would not have inconvenienced you. You wanted the shop to give up its time instead of your wife giving up hers. You harassed the shop for your own mistakes.
May your wife and you have clients who treat you as badly. That's the only way you're going to learn.
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Elle wrote:

Read the farking message. I WAS NOT LATE. They closed at 6. I was there at ten to six. If a 10-minute-lube shop can't start an oil change at 10 to 6 and be done by 6, they have bigger problems.
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Where you work are you at your job until the last moment of the day? Are you entitled to a clean up time? If you work at a desk with a computer, do you wait until the end of the day before shutting your computer down and putting your paperwork away?
If not, why would you think that someone else would work in that manner?
You sound like the type of person that would walk into a restaurant just before closing and expect to be served. In case you don't know what kind of person that is, it is a very selfish and ignorant person. Perhaps you have a picture of just that sort of person over your bathroom sink.
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Brian Smith wrote:

I'm at a job until it's finished, cleanup included, thanks.
Like I said, I've been spoiled by another auto service shop whose motto is "five minutes to closing means still open." Those shops get my money; those that are lazy don't.
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So why didn't you go there? Did they tire of your attitude?
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