Service: who is responsible for honesty?

One of my past posts that brings in some of the most traffic is my review of the Kwik Kar on Greenville here in Dallas, TX, from 2008. Feel free to read the post to get an idea of what I am talking about. The gist of the post, for me, is that I do not want to take my car to a service place where the technicians consistently tell me that I “need” service which I don’t need. To me, this means cannot trust the people working on the vehicle to be honest, that they are merely trying to make money off me, possibly because I am female and don’t know much about cars. I understand that I have the right to complain to a manager about being treated this way, but actually I do not believe that I should have to police the people doing a simple oil change on my car every time I take it there.

In the last week or so, a commenter purporting to be the owner of this establishment has been responding to my initial post. I appreciate the fact that he has been watching what is said about his shop online, a year late though it is. I understand that he believes he is offering the best service and that perhaps he would like to make improvements to how his establishment is viewed.

However, there is a point where we differ. His opinion is that, if a technician tries to sell me something that my car does not need (in this case and several times previously, the technician showed me “dirty” fluid from my car and said it “needed” to be changed immediately, when I found out from a quick call to my parents that the fluid had just been flushed out and changed – I am not sure where this technician got the “dirty” fluid, but it was not from my car), it is my responsibility to go to the manager and complain about this in order to force better service. The impression I got was that I should expect to have to do this every time in order for things to be made right.

My opinion is, I shouldn’t have to do that. I should be able to go to an oil change establishment and have my oil changed and not have to monitor every aspect of what the service technician is doing by holding the threat of the manager over them. In my opinion, it is a waste of my time to patronize an establishment where I know I can’t trust the staff and that I will need to go to the manager with every little thing just to make sure that I am not being cheated.

This was not the first time I had this same trouble with a technician (not the same one) at the same shop, so I know my experience was not unusual. My husband had the same experience, as well as several people who commented on the blog since then.

The purpose of my blogging about this, and the reason that I will leave the post up for people to continue to read, is that I think everyone deserves to have all the information when making a choice about where they take their vehicle. I believe in making information available so that people can know what they are going into. Much like the service that Angie’s List or Kudzu.com provide – I am giving you my personal experience and allowing you to use that information to make your own decision.

If you are a fairly mechanical person and you would like to go to Kwik Kar on Greenville and have a long conversation with the technicians and the manager every time you have your oil changed because you like to prove people wrong and you enjoy a little friendly confrontation along with your oil changes, great! I am sure there are quite a few people who have the time for this and possibly even enjoy it. I am not one of those people. I don’t go for an oil change to get into an argument or to test my own mechanical knowledge against someone who works for an automotive shop. I just want to be told the truth and feel that I can trust the technician.

We have since found great, trustworthy technicians for both our cars at Christian Brother Automotive and Foster’s German Motor Works (for our 30 year old veggie-oil converted Mercedes). I cannot say enough great things about those guys!

So what do you think?
Is blogging about my experience over-the-line and shouldn’t be allowed? Or are my opinions helpful to others?
Should I be OK taking our cars somewhere that I will need to go to the manager every visit to ensure honesty? Or am I better off going to a more trusted establishment where I don’t have to do this every time?

I think you know where I stand.
I want to leave this open for everyone to make their own decisions.

3 thoughts on “Service: who is responsible for honesty?”

  1. I think you should blog about it, not just to get it off your chest, but to help others by sharing real world knowledge and experience that can potentially help others without them having to encounter the situation first hand. GOOD customer service seems to be dwindling and owners/managers seem to think this is acceptable when it is not.

    Personal example, I was recently at Chase bank to make a deposit. Mind you I am on crutches and one leg in a cast. I stood in the lobby for what seemed like a very long time without seeing anyone around. I called out a few times, “Can someone help me?” Then I started counting time on my phone. Eleven minutes later a customer service agent/teller came to the front. I immediately complained about the long wait and how difficult it is for someone to balance on one leg with crutches for that long. His response was, get ready for this one, “I was just in Mexico for 10 days, eleven minutes goes by in a blink if you think about it.” (jaw hits floor)

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