Wednesday, 11 February 2015

A good business: I complained and they responded. (Sam's Auto, Sarasota, FL) (and strange behaviour)

I have been doing business with Sam's Auto here in Sarasota for a number of years.  Their "shop" is about 1 1/2 miles from my home, and they do great work.  They have a well deserved good reputation.

Last Friday I took my vehicle in to get a new passenger side headlight bulb  because the low beam was not working.

Sam's replaced the bulb, and also checked my other lights (in the process of which they discovered that the rear number plate/tag light were also duds).  They replace them.

I paid the bill, and when I got home I went into a minor state of shock because the labour charge was $94.95  (less a discount of 10% because I am an AAA member).

Even so, the resultant charge of $85.46 seemed high for such simple and uncomplicated work.

I was back at Sam's today for a scheduled oil change, so I questioned the labour charge from last Friday.

They explained that they time jobs by on tenth per hour; and said that the replacement of the headlight bulb took three tenths of an hour, as did the checking of all my lights, and the replacement of the number plate/tag lights:  a total of nine tenths of an hour.

Three tenths of an hour = eighteen  minutes. 

It was hard for me to believe that each of these simple tasks took eighteen minutes.

I protested this, and reminded them that we had "lost" at least ten minutes as we awaited the delivery of a bulb from the local Autoparts store.

I had a gentle and friendly tussle with the front desk clerk/assistant.  After a few minutes he asked "what can we do to make you happy?"    I suggested a $25 reduction in last Friday's bill.  He countered with "we'll make it $30".

 Sam's reduced the bill for today's oil change (which includes topping up of fluids; changing oil and oil filter; checking the air pressure in tyres/tires) by $30.

Smiles all around.

 Honour was even.

I like Sam's Auto.


Incidentally  as I waited for the oil change to be done I sat in the six-chair waiting area.

A woman who was seated to my right started to chat with another woman who was on my left, (at right angles). They talked across me.
The other two customers conversed about rats.

The woman to my left was at Sam's because rats had chewed  some electrical cables in her car).  I was not party to this conversation since

I was reading the "New Yorker"  which I had taken with me to kill time

But even as was ignoring the conversation and  reading my "New Yorker", the woman who was seated to my right,  all out of the blue,  patted my stomach and asked: "do you have a problem with rats?"

I found this to be a bit bizarre, a bit odd, and a bit funny/humorous.

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