Wednesday, January 11, 2012

If you want to try your hand at guilt, I'd practice on someone who didn't invent it

I come from a long line of guilt.  We are talking guilt of historical proportions.  Being half Jewish and half Catholic... well, long story short, guilt is genetic.  I can sense someone merely contemplating using a guilt trip, and then make them feel guilty for even thinking about trying to make me feel guilty... it's kinda like how cars sense when you have extra money in your pocket, and then instantly break down. 

Speaking of cars, remember that car I just got?  Well, the night my husband brought it home, after 5 and 1/2 hours total with that dealership (and we didn't test drive or anything, we knew what we wanted, already had one, and they had to get ours from somewhere else, so we couldn't even test it until it got there)... that was 5 and 1/2 hours after walking in and saying "We want a new Rogue.  Here, take our old Rogue."... Anyway, that night my husband explained to me that it was like dealing with the three stooges when it came time for paperwork.  No one seemed to know what they were doing, and it took HOURS!  It was awful.  I already wasn't thrilled with the place, as the manager was nasty to every single employee at least once while we were there, and my eyes were tired from giving him so much stink-eye.  I had a babysitter, though, and my husband was on vacation, so, since our salesman and they finance guy were friendly and helpful, we just ignored the asshat manager.  Perhaps we shouldn't have let that slide. 

2 weeks later, we get phone calls (today).  One is from the guy who screwed up the paperwork, having my husband sign the title in one wrong spot.  So he now wants us to go to the DMV/MVA and ask for a duplicate title, and BTW "We are holding Steve's paycheck until you do that."  The other one is from Steve, frantically trying to get ahold of us, so we can fix this (and he can get his money, I presume).

WTF?! Excuse me?!  So, the guy who did not make the mistake at all is not taking home his pay that he earned because YOU screwed something up?  And, you are telling me it's all in my hands?  That I must go, stand in the never ending line, contract who knows what communicable diseases, and do this with 2 small children with me, or this guy can't feed his family?!  OR my husband, who works around 70 hours a week, has to take off work to fix your mistake?  Hell no.  Hell.... no....  Nice try. 

1st of all, I don't do the DMV for other people.  I hate doing it for myself.  This was their mistake.  2nd of all, nice try with the guilt.  However, I do sense that he is an amateur when it comes to guilt.  He had no idea what kind of professional he was dealing with.  To make it even better, I always do my homework.  I called the company involved with the title, and called my sister who deals with car titles (it's her job!), and got all the information I needed to know for sure it's their problem, and they can fix it without us. 

Now I have to get up early, make myself presentable, drop my son off at pre-school, and then go teach the gentlemen at Nissan how it's done.  I believe my spontaneous lecture will take place in the showroom.  I have found, in the past, that dealers do not like people walking into their showrooms and loudly announcing their problems with the place in front of the other customers.  This approach has produced rather pleasing results (well for me, anyway), every time.

Steve can rest assured that he won't be missing his paycheck due to our lack of DMV attendance.  If he doesn't get a paycheck it's because he works for a bunch of rude asshats who wanted someone to take the fall.  Someone whom, we clearly know, is not at fault.  I will not have people calling here, trying to make me feel like I did something wrong and I'm keeping a family from eating this week (and during a tough economy).  I will also not allow people to try to bully me into fixing their mistake at whatever cost to my family between missed time at work, babysitter fees (or the resulting insanity of being at the DMV with 2 kids under 5 years old), and sick time from contracting the grip at the dirtiest place on Earth.

If you make a mistake, just own up to it.  Don't be calling your customers, harassing them, guilting them into fixing your mistake for you.  Just fix it.  Guess where we won't be buying a car from in the future?  Oh, and, I'm sure Nissan corporate is going to love this story when I call them, too.  I need to change a few answers on the first survey they called us with.  Things have changed... oh things have changed.

Also, I am not sure how this blog has turned into "consumer affairs" this week, but what the hell is going on with businesses?  Is it "Do whatever you can to piss off your customers week?"  It's like one massive memo went out "Okay, guys, whatever you do... make sure you screw up something big... then do whatever you can to cause this biggest inconvenience possible for your customers... you know... the people who give you money... so they never want to give you money again.  Got it?  Great!"

In an effort to gain some sort of balance here... here is a quick list of places with superb (honestly) customer service:

* Pottery Barn
* Crabtree & Evelyn
* Things Remembered (at our local mall, anyway)
* The Children's Place

That's just off the top of my head.  Because of their exceptional concern over their customers' satisfaction (and, therefore, repeat business) I will always be their patron.  Take a hint, Nissan... and WHIRLPOOL GOLD.  :P

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