August 16, 2012

Good service appreciated

My husband and I were very annoyed when the Check Engine light began staying on for long periods in our SUV, which we bought the end of last year and even after all these months has less than 25K miles on its odometer, with both occurrences happening during road trips. We purchased a warranty through the dealer, Carmax, and I brought it in for servicing. I was already unhappy when I drove over at the appointed time, for I had to wait six business days to get an appointment, and by then the light had gone out. From there it was all...well, uphill.

The young man who met me in the service area listened to my concern about the long lag time in being able to get an appointment, apologized for the delay, and assured me that if they were unable to diagnose a problem, they would not charge me the deductible.  I immediately relaxed.

After about 45 minutes (which I spent editing, of course, from the binder I'd brought with me), he reappeared and explained that the problem was one the manufacturer knew about via a bulletin to repair shops, and that the repairs would be fully covered by them as sort of an unofficial recall.  I would not even have to pay the deductible.  The service employee further explained that because it was a manufacturer issue, they would be the ones responsible for the repair, not Carmax.  I was pleasantly surprised when he said they would be happy to transport the car to the dealer they work with at no extra charge, as well as pick it up when it was ready (no small matter; the dealer they work with is in Milwaukee, a 30- to 45-minute drive from Kenosha), inform them of the diagnostic findings and follow up on the progress of the repairs on my behalf. When I consented, he said all I had to do was choose a loaner vehicle.  In ten minutes I was driving off the lot.

I have often been on the receiving end of absolutely appalling service, and the courteous, efficient manner in which my problem was treated was refreshing.  Whenever I receive bad service I always let a person of authority know about it (the manager of our local J.C. Penney never wants to see my face again), and I decided that this works both ways.  After I got home I placed a call to the general manager and commended his employee.  They are not collecting a dime from me because the responsibility lies with the manufacturer, yet they offered to transport my car and inform the dealer, rather than telling me, well, where to go.  I thought that was just wonderful.

You know what?  It felt good to give someone credit for a job well done.  I just wish I had cause to do this more often.

How about you? Have you ever complained about bad service, or praised good service? Which do you have cause to do more often?