Tired

The last time I took Brekke (my car) into the dealership for an oil change, the attendant came to me saying that I needed new tires. He mentioned that there was a sale on tires but that the coupon would run out in two days.  When I asked if the coupon could be extended (since I didn’t have time that night), he said yes it could and said I should call him the next day to set up the appointment.  After I got home I did some research of my own on average tire wear and tear.  Then the next day I did the penny test.  Abraham Lincoln showed me the tires were just fine.  I never called the dealership back.

So when the “change oil” indicator lit up on Tuesday, I was interested to see what would happen. When I took Brekke in, would they see a note from January about tires and remind me?  Would they use the tire rotation as a reason to suggest again that I needed new tires?

But nothing. They did the oil change and the annual inspection, including the tire rotation.  Not one single word about the tires.  Sigh.  Unfortunately I know that many service folks in big car dealerships get rewarded for upselling products and service.  Now I’m stuck knowing that my service guy in January was just trying to make a sale, thinking that an older single woman would easily be persuaded that she needed new tires, even if she didn’t.

I am used to being overlooked and not taken seriously when technology is concerned in the wide world, despite the fact that I am considered a guru at my job. Young sales people look at my graying hair and my admittedly frumpy weekend clothing and often make the assumption that I don’t have any knowledge or buying power and I get fairly poor service. It pisses me off but it’s never been quite as blatant as this.

So what do I do now? Should I call the dealership and complain?

50 thoughts on “Tired”

  1. I wouldn’t bother to complain. If the dealership incentivizes upselling, that’s an implicit invitation to dishonesty. As Coy advises, I’d move on to a mechanic you can trust. Fixt Rite at 56th and Lyndale gets good reviews. Maybe stop in and talk to them.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m between a rock and a hard place on this issue since I upsell a lot in my job and since my bonus is paid on volume, technically I have an incentive to upsell. However I don’t ever say to a client that they need something or that they have to have something or that their program will go wrong if they don’t have something. What I upsell are enhancements. Do you want a photographer? Do you want more colored lights at your outdoor function? Do you want to add a room gift for the first night? So I see it as a fine line except that telling me I need new tires when I don’t need new tires seems like it’s stepped right over that line. I’m also pretty good at reading my clients so if I have clients who clearly don’t like to add items, I don’t ask them.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. In the case of your car dealer’s service, upselling is just a euphemism for lying to you about the condition of your car. Unless the dealership is encouraging that with its reward program or its employee evaluations, what incentive would this person have had to lie to you? In other words, it’s not one bad apple, it’s the culture of the dealership and, I suspect, most dealerships. Trust is fragile and once an organization has broken your trust, how can you ever trust them again? It’s a revealing glimpse at how they regard you as a customer—as prey.

        When you upsell for your job, the amenities you offer can be evaluated by the customer and accepted or refused. No deception is necessary.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Nice headline, vs, and good post. You handled the situation very well. Warning: rant ahead.

          Automobile dealerships, and even chains that service cars with things like oil change, are notorious for finding “problems that need fixing” even when there are none.They are especially likely to prey on women. That was one reason I tolerated Jerry, my old SAAB mechanic for so long. Brutish as he was to deal with, he was so damn busy and honest that he would often suggest fixes to a problem over the phone, that you could try yourself before taking the car in to him, and they often worked.

          That said, I agree with Bill that there’s a difference between suggesting enhancements to the basic plan in your work, vs, and what happened at your dealership. This is an insidious problem, and, I’m afraid, quite rampant in American business. When a bank like Wells Fargo incentivized their bankers to open additional accounts for their customers without even telling them, corporate greed has run amok. This runs to the core of integrity, and its in precious short supply today. Just watch a congressional hearing if you don’t believe me.

          Rant over.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. I have another “Should I complain?” Our next door neighbors, whom we like just fine, have multiple cars to “juggle”, and have gotten used to parking in front of our house. Now that Adult Son has moved out, the space in front of their house sits empty, and they still often use our space. This is not a problem 99% of the time (they’re gone all weekdays from 8 – 6). When we know we’ll have company I talk to them ahead of time. I feel like I’m just being selfish, but it would be nice to have a spontaneous visitor be able to park in front of our house on weekends or evenings, without making arrangements with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. easy. tell them you like the parking space in front of your house opem, on occasion ok but 70%of the time is not. let them decide how to respond. maybe its nothing maybe its ok as long as its a me me me relationship and you can discover what your dealing with

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I guess I’d approach that differently. I think we tend to think of the parking space in front of our homes as ours, but it’s really not. It’s a public street, and anyone can park there. Instead I’d ask them if there’s a reason why they prefer to park in front of your house rather than their own. Let their response guide you as to whether it’s worth pursuing asking them to park elsewhere.

      Is there room only for one car in front of your house? If you have spontaneous visitors, is there any reason they can’t park in front of your neighbor’s house? I would most definitely avoid escalating this to a feud with neighbors I otherwise got along with just fine. Just my take on it.

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  3. And to answer the question:
    I think the best communication is directly to the person involved, esp. since in this instance it doesn’t seem to be everyone, but just the one guy. If the guy who apparently lied to you is still there, optimum (but not easy) would be to tell him in person that he was wrong about your tires, and should be more careful in his future diagnoses. Or could a letter be routed to him or his supervisor? that says you believe you were given false information, and maybe the company should look at what they tell their workers about the upselling system?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. id tell the boss
      integrity is a big deal and beyond the 150 per hour they charge if they are bs ing you about the analysis leaves you wishing you had a good mechanic

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am usualky hit up for a new airfilter when I take the van in for an oil change, but at least they bring the dirty one to show me when they ask me if I want a new one.

    OT-our gardening plans are on hold for today since we are having heavy, blowing snow. We may get up to 4 inches. We hoped to plant spinach and peas.

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        1. I should probably have the air filter in my 2008 PT Cruiser checked soon it has 27,300 miles on it.

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        2. The connection between my eyes, brain, and fingers is tenuous at best, but occasional the mental leaps I make actually land on the right spot.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. That was a joke, tim. I’m sure it has been changed at least once, but not while I’ve owned it.

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      1. I know that on one occasion it really was our interior air filter, since it was full of sunflower seeds from the mouse that took up residence in the van when husband left a bag of bird feeder sunflower seeds in the back of the van.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And now after all of this discussion this morning, I’m thinking I need to go out and look at the tires on my car. To see if they really rotated them. One of my wheel rims is different than the others so I can tell at a moment’s glance. I’ll let you all know.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Of course they have to take the wheel covers off to rotate so I can’t say that they didn’t rotate except for the fact that the one wheel cover that’s different is broken!#!. I just called and left a message with the manager at service. Cuz now I’m really cheesed off.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. And their reaction to the broken hubcap will tell you a lot; they might claim it’s not their fault and perhaps you scraped it against a curb or something.
          Or they might accept full responsibility. (Assuming replacements are available?)

          Make sure you talk with manager or owner of course. Then you’ll know whether to find a new mechanic or not.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Once I had a hubcap go missing when I had my car in to the shop. I asked about it and was told that I must’ve lost it before I brought the car in. I didn’t make a big deal about it, because I couldn’t really swear that the hubcap was there when I brought the car in. Weeks or months later, after I brought my car to the same shop for something else, the hubcap spontaneously reappeared.

          Liked by 2 people

  5. My father worked as a mechanic in Sioux Falls for a year or two after the war. He was instructed to tell everyone who came in their vehicles needed new air filters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They probably tried, but the horseshoes were there on the horse for anybody to see and evaluate. They didn’t have a waiting room where they would presumably take off a shoe and bring it out to show you.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Somehow I don’t think of theater as a form of deception. I suppose you could argue that most theater is, but it’s a deception that the audience enters into willingly and knowingly.

          Had a conversation last night with an 80 year old acquaintance of mine. She is scheduled for what she refers to as a “complete hysterectomy” on June 13th. When I asked her why, she said “I think they suspect cancer, although no one had said that word to me.” I again asked her why she hadn’t pushed for an explanation. A hysterectomy is no picnic; even if you no longer need that organ for reproductive reasons.

          I’m aghast that a medical doctor would suggest this surgery without a sound explanation for why it’s recommended, and gobsmacked that she would not demand such an explanation before agreeing to the procedure.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. You obviously don’t know Carole, tim. For one thing she lives is Des Moines, so advocating for her would take more of an effort than I’m willing to put forth on her behalf. She’s a retired French professor and an ardent Trump supporter, you can’t tell her anything. She also believes in very conspiracy theory around. At the age of eighty, I’m prepared to let her advocate for herself. I’ve raised the issue with her of why she’s not demanding an explanation for why she’s having this operation, and she doesn’t have an answer. I’ve done what I could to raise a red flag, but she doesn’t want to see it. So be it.

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        3. Regarding oil changes as theater, when you go to a Jiffy Lube sort of place and leave your car to sit in the waiting room, you expect that, at some point one of the employees will come out with a dirty air filter and do his little kabuki. Even if you were changing your oil every 5,000 miles, this shouldn’t happen more often than every fourth or fifth oil change. In a service garage where you have a relationship with the mechanic, it happens rarely. When it does, it feels less ritualized.

          And yes, when I make a comment I hope to elicit a response. That’s what a conversation is.

          Liked by 4 people

  6. I have mostly avoided car dealership maintenance in my decades of driving. When I bought the Beetle, I chose the dealership in part based on feedback from VW owners and where they had gotten good service. (And then as soon as things quit being free or cheap warranty services I went back to my Fixt Rite guys). Current car has little to fix or service: rotate the tires, check the brakes. Maybe the cabin filter – but there isn’t any oil, oil filters, transmission, etc. to be told need repair. If the batteries go south, then I’m sunk – but they don’t have mechanical parts really, so just need to be kind in how I charge them.

    Not sure I’d mention anything on the unnecessary upsell, but definitely would say something if a rim was damaged in your last rotation. Ouch.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. As an FYI, new radial tractor tires are about $2000 each for the large rear tires.

    I have one tractor where the tread ‘bars’ are beginning to separate.
    I am not looking forward to new tires.

    On the other hand, they last many years if just in dirt. Running them on hard surface roads wears them out faster. I’m lucky I Only have one rental field down the road a bit. And a few trips to the elevator in the fall.
    The tires I have to replace are probably original – 17 years old. Not complaining about life, just whining about cost. 😉

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I would think think that even if the tread doesn’t wear down, at some point the tires just deteriorate from exposure to the weather. Seventeen years seems like a pretty good run for a tire. Any sort of tire.

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