Kerry Stover
Knox,  PA
CALL (814) 499-1379
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 Six Foot Off the Floor!

  The day had been a little slow for our Auto Care Center. And as can happen; A woman came through our door, I thougtht I recognized.The "slow" was about to change quickly. It was apparent I was to be reminded who she was.

  There was no question she was really upset! She (I'll call her Fire) was not yelling yet, but she was visibly shaking. Fire quickly, almost stomped, her way to the front counter, with invoice in hand. We've all seen that look before, even coming from a small statured women of Five Foot two. All hell is about to break loose. Surprisingly, Fire kept control of her tone as I collected her invoice. I needed to understand what the issue, excuse me, issues were. 

  I'll give you some data before we proceed. The VW is twelve years old and her deceased father had owned the car.To say it was in poor condition is being nice.We estimated the repairs at Twenty Five Hundred Dollars. Ouch! But her emotional attachment kept saying to fix the car. We did what we could to curb expenses and not sacrifice our standards at the same time. Oh, did I mentioned the repairs had occurred five months ago and we had not seen her since.

  Back to Fire. I listened as Fire told me what I was going to do, everything we did wrong, how long it lasted, and of course I AM NOT PAYING FOR ANY REPAIRS! 

  I listened the best I could; good customers in the background not able to miss a word. My face most likely red at what Fire was accusing our shop of. I think I remember having a few grunts come out, didn't matter, she was letting me have it and that was that. After the flames came down to where I could see Fire, as calmly as I could muster I told Fire, "I am not saying a word till I can have a look at your car. I would like to see what is going on. Is it available for us to look now?"

   I think she was surprised I at my answer. "Yes and my Boyfriend will be with me". "OK" and she was on her way.In a few minutes. Fire arrives with enforcer boyfriend. He is an easy Six Foot Six - Two Seventy Five. Great, this is going downhill fast.

  To keep the story short, we lifted the car. The exhaust had twisted on the custom made pipe from another shop and we repaired it with a couple of tach welds. There were other issues easily explained she had "forgotten". We also took the time to find a powersteering leak that had developed. 

  Forty five minutes later we had the repairs completed, explaining and showing the Enforcer as we went. He explained everything to Fire (thank you) Thank goodness he had some mechanical knowledge.

  We parked the car outside and I was ready for round three. Fire said nicely" I thought you were just going to look at the car, I didn't think you were going to repair it."

   I explained to her, she could have come in about six feet off the floor, screaming and yelling, she had not. Fire now asked what she owed. I told her "not a thing, it's what we do here, take care of our customers". Fire surprised me, she apologized and shook my hand. This all happened in a two hour time frame.


 1.  Lesson learned: After all the anger and accusations, we could have easily told Fire to take a hike. In the process, taught the customers sitting in the back ground, how we handle problems.Keeping your trap shut and listening, when the very core of your pride does not want to, was best practice. 

2. Giving away some time and material (money) to "put out the Fire" can be the best option.Can you imagine the Public relations we just earned.

3. Will she be back, Personally I hope not (not a real VW lover sorry).

4. Oh yes, almost forgot about the Enforcer. He ended up saving me allot of explaining and time.

                                                       Till Next Time:

                                                    All In A Days Work



 (814) 319-6197 or Text

 6845 Rt. 208
Knox, PA, 16232
United States
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