Sunday, September 23, 2007

Customer Service

I took our Taurus in for service the other day to Roy O’Brien Ford. What a nice experience! The service bay was sparkling clean and Tina listened respectfully to my concerns. There was good coffee in the service lobby and it wasn’t long before I had a rundown of my problems and their probable solutions and Tina got a sprightly driver to take me home. The repairs were made and I picked up the car later in the afternoon. I don’t have much experience with car dealerships and how the treatment I received stacked up against what happens at other dealerships, but I was left with the certainty that when the time comes for another car, this is where I will return.

Customer service is a much-discussed topic amongst my friends. John Copeland has an apocryphal composite figure called “surly Sharon”. We have all met our share of “surly Sharons.” You know, the representatives who argue with you for ten minutes, tell you there is nothing they can do and then end the phone conversation by saying, “Is there anything else we can help you with?” I actually got pretty good results from Thermador this year, mostly by being polite but insistent after the greeting, “Why are you calling me? Your warranty is expired”. I had to fax in my original purchase agreement and the invoice for the first repair of this part, but I fortunately could put my hands on them. I suppose it is my responsibility to keep these bits of paper, but I am here to tell you that any company who keeps their own records and doesn’t force me to prove that I own the appliance in question will get my repeat business. One repairman I hired this year (from a firm that has been very satisfactory in the past) told me he could fix the hose on the GE refrigerator, but that he “doesn’t do digital.” And the factory authorized repairman who came next insinuated we were witless and charged me $70 to tell me I don’t have a problem with my settings. I do. Don’t get me started on the building inspector from the city of Grosse Pointe Park. The electrician was a gem, but now we have to deal with the replacement window people. One window sill is coming adrift.

All this is to explain why I was so happy to read a column in last week’s Free Press entitled Good service means I’ll be back. I am pleased to report that Claire Nelson of Bureau of Urban Living who is so highly praised by Georgea Kovanis is someone I know. She has the added double distinction of marrying into a wonderful family we have known for a long time and having the loveliest wedding dress I have ever seen.

Now let’s just hope I can get through this week without having to call Comcast. Or Macintosh. Or the immigration people. I’ll get to them in a future post


Judith said...

Hello Beryl ~ just popping in to say 'thank you' for your comment on my blog. I haven't had a new reader (that I know about) for some time. I've been a bit lax about writing lately.

You seem to have found a pearl among swine - (to misuse an old phrase somewhat) - with Roy O'Brian Ford.

Good for you with your Latin tag for a blog name. I like to slip one in from time to time, but I had to look this one up. I learned my Latin in the 1940s.

Ann said...

Yes. I bought a used Honda (not from this dealership), and have encountered the finest dealership for service that I have ever encountered. I actually looked there when I bought my car, but the salesman's condescending attitude turned me off 100%. But I will go there when I buy my next used car -- both from satisfaction with my current Honda, and from satisfaction with the service I've received from them! Yay for loyalty!