As your resident Crotchety Old Man, bitching and complaining is what I do. Exacting my revenge with a withering review is immensely satisfying and more than a little fun. Offering praise is rare. Fairness dictates equal treatment for businesses that go above and beyond the call of duty.
My history with cars can be divided into two distinct periods: before and after finding out maintenance involves more than adding gasoline and replacing worn tires. My inability to tell a thingamajig from a watchamacallit cost me a fortune. “Whatever you say, man,” tends to double the cost of any repair.
Rather than buying someone else’s problem, every ten years since 1995 I’ve bought a new vehicle and, at first, used the dealer for scheduled maintenance. After the Chrysler dealer charged me $45 for a lug nut they lost, I decided to look for a mechanic.
After a few misses, I found University Tire, then known as Bass-Mims Goodyear. The quality of the work is topnotch, but world-class customer service is what really sets them apart. They are upfront and honest about what they intend to do, let me know right away if that changes for any reason, and have often decided once they got a closer look that a repair wasn’t necessary.
Sticking with University Tire when I bought my Volkswagen two years ago was a no-brainer. Friends and coworkers with VWs said avoid the dealership at all cost. My experience buying the car re-enforced that message. So I wasn’t thrilled when my guys at University Tire said I needed to see the dealer about an oil leak that would be covered by the warranty.
University Tire is about two miles from my house. The VW dealership is miles and miles away on the far side of town. The repair would take too long to wait. Getting home from the dealer and back posed another set of challenges.
Encouraged by an email message about the dealership having a new owner, I called to make an appointment. Amanda answered my questions and was very helpful. She greeted me at the dealership and, within minutes, they had my car up on a rack.
Amanda returned about thirty minutes later. The bad news: repairing the leak was at least an eight-hour job. The good news: everything was covered under the warranty. She had one of the guys drive me home in a courtesy vehicle.
At 1:30 the next afternoon, I hadn’t heard anything so I called. Amanda said the mechanic expected to finish in two hours or less. I called back at four and a flustered Amanda apologized and said she’d call when the work was done.
At going on five o’clock, I’m… frustrated. The trip from the dealership in rush hour traffic to pick me up would take thirty minutes. Add thirty more for the trip back, and ANOTHER thirty for me to drive home.
So much for any Friday night plans.
Amanda called for my address a few minutes later. She was having someone bring the car to me with a chaser to take the driver back to the dealership. Thank you so much!
Okay. I ain’t gonna lie. The thought of bringing the car to my house had occurred to me, and had she not offered, I was going to ask. But she did offer, and that I didn’t have to ask impressed me. Instead of grumbling about the delay, I’m tickled pink with the service. Well done.
Despite the outstanding service, University Tire is still my first stop. We’ve been through a lot together, it’s a hell of a lot closer, and I trust them. Should the need arise, however, I won’t stress out about going to the dealer.