If there’s one thing in the world that nearly all people are subjected to from time to time during their precious, little lives…it’s taking their cars or trucks into the shop for service or repairs. And, yet, it seems as though very few people have any clue as to the proper procedure to follow or the sensitive nature that this routine task necessarily entails. Taking your car in for service should be just as painless as dropping off your dry cleaning or pulling a movie rental from Redbox. But, for whatever reason, all logic and rationale seems to instantly dissipate from people’s minds as they pull into the parking lot to get their oil changed. Whether it’s being a bumbling fool or a complete asshole, people somehow tend to royally screw up the whole process of taking their vehicles in for service. Therefore, here are a few essential rules you can follow to make both your experience and the service shop’s experience more enjoyable and mutually beneficial.
Rule Number 1 — If you’re looking to get in and out quick, fast, and in a hurry, either call ahead to the shop and schedule an appointment or make sure to arrive 5 minutes before the shop doors even have time to go up in the morning. And, no…don’t you dare call to schedule an appointment for the same exact day. As Kiefer Sutherland said in Phonebooth, “that’s just stupid.” However, if time is of no consequence to you, then by all means just feel free to present your vehicle for service, leave it with the shop for a few hours, and have a friend or loved one pick you up.
Rule Number 2 — Never, ever, ever, under any set of circumstances, begin a conversation with the phrase, “I’m a good customer.” Don’t ever say that phrase at all! Think about it for a moment. If you are, in fact, a good customer, then the service advisor that you are speaking with will already know this tidbit of information because he or she will either recognize your name, face, or voice. If you have to state that you are a good customer and try to convince the service advisor of this fact, then it’s a triple-threat guaranteed certainty that you are not a good customer. Instead, you are most likely what the industry refers to as an asshole customer.
Rule Number 3 — Do not arbitrarily ask for a discount. You’re not haggling in the streets of Mumbai for Christ’s sake. And, you’re not scrolling the personals on craigslist or trolling the corner of Harry Hines Boulevard bargaining for a 37 year old street walker who has seven children. You’re at (or at least should be at) a reputable and professional place of business that offers an honest service for an honest price. So, if you have a valid coupon, then by all means present your coupon and receive the discount that you’re entitled to. However, if you do not have a coupon or some other form of promotional material, nothing will ensure that you receive absolutely no discount whatsoever than whimsically begging for one without any merit whatsoever.
Rule Number 4 — Have a game plan before you call the shop or go in and approach the service counter. Nothing is more annoying for a service advisor than a customer requesting an oil change and then, after the work order has already been created and it is printing, adding, “Oh, yeah, I also need to get a tire rotation, balance, and a wheel alignment.” If you haven’t figured it out by now, the key to receiving outstanding service is to be quick, concise, and exact.
Rule Number 5 — Now, your mother should have engrained this rule in you when you were a toddler but, nonetheless, 87% of the human population still hasn’t grasped this simple concept…You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Confused? Let me put it another way. Be nice and polite! Being an insufferable prick at work may have won you a few promotions or raises. You may manage to hold your marriage together by being a ruthless and insensitive asshole. But, you’re not at work, and the only person liable to get f*cked at the service shop is you! And, don’t fail to realize that within the first 5 minutes of calling or walking into a service shop, you’ve most likely already provided your name, address, telephone number, and the year, make, and model of the vehicle you drive, including it’s license plate. “So what,” you may ask. Well, this is 2013. That type of information can be extremely dangerous if somebody decides that they don’t particularly like you. In fact, that type of information can be absolutely debilitating if you’re an obnoxious asshole. So, a simple please and thank you after you’ve silenced your cell phone will go a long way when it comes to getting your vehicle serviced in an economical and time-friendly manner.
Now, I’m sure some of you are reading this and thinking, “Well…duh!” But, you wouldn’t believe how many people can totally pooch-screw this simple task. And it’s unfortunate because, in reality, all you have to do to ensure your visit to the automotive service shop goes smoothly is to use a little bit of common sense and not be a complete dick. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that you can apply these rules to other areas of life as well and receive the same benefits. So, the next time you take your car or truck in for service remember, you got this brah!