Sunday, July 8, 2007

A Tale Of Two Garages

I have today 2 stories about 2 very different automotive experiences.

Joe's Garage:

If you remember from a couple weeks ago, my Hyundai died and was in the shop, namely Joe's Garage. I had never had any work done there before but kind of just happened in to the place.

When I got the car towed, the manager Dean said it should be less than $1000 but could be as low as $700. I then didn't hear from them until the car was done. The grand total was $805 but check out all the things they did to my car:
  • Head Gasket
  • New Water Pump
  • New Thermostat
  • New Timing Belt
  • New Tune-Up Parts (Spark Plugs, Ignition Cables, Distributor Cap, Rotor)
  • Oil Change
With 125K miles on the car, many of these items were overdue and the labor cost was cheaper since they were already replacing the head gasket and had things taken apart. Then when I said it would take me a few days to come up with the money, Dean offered me a discounted price of $750 if I could pay cash!

This is great service at a fair price. I certainly plan to have more work done there in the future.


Meanwhile, my wife's Taurus was in need of an oil change. A brand-new WalMart is a just 5 minute walk from my home, so I visited WalMart for an oil change. I usually go somewhere else but thought WalMart might be cheaper. Also, so it was convenient.

I ordered the value-plus service which includes topping off of all fluids. I was surprised when I was quoted 1 1/2 hours but I got the phone number and walked home. This was around 2:30 PM.

Around 4 PM I began calling to check on the status of my car. I was transferred to the Tire & Lube Express department where the phone rang and rang and rang.

I ended up calling back 3 times before anyone finally answered. I was told that my car was indeed done. I walked over to pick it up.

I got in line around 4:40 and there were 2 customers ahead of me, but no employees at the service counter. The phone was ringing again and not being answered.

It was over 10 minutes before any employees arrived. It took him 15 minutes to deal with the 2 customers ahead of me. Meanwhile another employee came over and asked how things were going. He said "Pretty good" and I laughed out loud.

When it was finally my turn he said he was sorry and I said "You should be." He replied "That wasn't very nice." I didn't say another word, paid for my oil change, and went out to my car. I checked the fluids and the wiper fluid was NOT added to my car.

In summary, my complaints are:
  1. Had to call 3 times to get the status of my car.
  2. Had to wait 25 minutes to pick up my car.
  3. Promised service was not done.

This took way longer than the place I usually go and the price was about the same. I will NEVER have WalMart service my car again. I will tell everyone I know about this, including my blog readers.

This service was ridiculously pathetic. But of course I should have remembered Zorlod's experience.

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