I got angry today.
No, I didn’t lose my temper. I didn’t curse. I was not unreasonable. But I got angry. Why? Let me tell you.
Last year I got my oil changed by the people at Hyundai of Columbia (1370 Nashville Hwy, Columbia, TN 38401). They did an EXCELLENT job. I was in and out in less that 15 minutes. They were professional, and though busy, took the time to do the job right. Since it was time to go get my oil changed again I decided to go back to where I was treated right. So I headed to Hyundai. 15 minutes is no big deal.
I get to the service department, drive in, and ask how much an oil change is. “It’s $29.95”. Sounded great. So I said “I’ve been here before, I should be in the system”. The Service Manager said “We switched our computers over, so you need to fill out this sheet”. I did. No problem. Took about 5 minutes. “Please step inside and have a refreshment. I’ll call you when we’re done”. So I do.
As there are no other cars in the oil change bay I figured I’d be out quickly. I checked in at 11:55 am. Around 12:30 pm the service manager comes in the waiting room. “We do a 25 point inspection on all vehicles, and you need new plugs and plug wires. We can get them from O’Reillys Auto for”… and he quotes a figure. I tell him no, I just need the oil change right now. “We’ll be done shortly”. So I wait. At 12:40 he comes back in. “You’re finished. Let’s step outside.”
I get the bill. It isn’t $29.95, but over $40.00. He said “Whoever changed your oil last time stripped out the oil plug, so we had to charge you for it.” I initially paid him cash, but when he went inside I thought “Wait a minute. Hyundai changed my oil last time.” When he came out I reminded him Hyundai changed my oil last time, so if the plug was stripped they stripped it. I still had the receipt. His reply was “Oh, o.k. I didn’t go over there and see what the technician did, but I’ll refund you the $7.55.” He goes back inside, gets my refund, then comes back out. I’ve been here almost an hour.
Taking my change I get in my van and head toward our Church. But as I’m driving I look at the Hyundai sticker they always post in the window on the driver’s side. They put 5w30 oil in my car. I get to the Church parking lot, pop the hood, and there it is on the valve cover in bright yellow letters. Can you see it? I can. My van runs on 5w20 weight oil. You might think “No big deal” but it is a big deal. Though the wrong weight oil will not immediately damage an engine, it reduces the life of the engine. The ONE thing I went to Hyundai for was an oil change, not for a 25 point inspection. So then I look at my bill. It states on it:
“The customer requests a 25 point inspection.”
No, I did not. So I head back toward Hyundai and the service manager lets me in again. I tell him “I did not ask for a 25 point inspection, nor did I want you to mess with my spark plugs and wires. I did ask you to change the oil, and you did that wrong.” I show him the oil cap. He then proceeds to tell me that all cars automatically get a 25 point inspection whether I request it or not, and then he looks at the technician and with a straight face asks…
“What grade of oil did you put in? It was 5w20 wasn’t it?
The young man said “Yes, that is just a typo. We REALLY put 5w20 in.” I asked “How do I know that. It’s on the receipt, and on the window sticker. Let me speak to a manager.” After a few minutes a manager named “John” came out and I explained the whole thing to him. He turned, looked at the service manager, and said “Change the oil”. Then he walks away.
I watched from the lobby as they changed the oil, hopefully putting the right weight in the engine. I came away from the whole incident angry still. Why? Because NO ONE ADMITTED FAULT. No one APOLOGIZED for my unnecessary wait time. Even John the Manager just said “Change the oil” then walked away, almost disinterested in the whole process. Does this post have a reason other than venting? Yes, it does.
Businesses stay in business when they take care of the customer. If Hyundai would do what they did the first time I went to them they wouldn’t need to manufacture jobs by doing unnecessary 25 point inspections. A business that does not do what it says it will do …. and they PROMISED in writing …
Oil changes done fast! Get in. Get out. Get back to your life.
An hour and 20 minutes is not fast. I could have done it myself in that amount of time. If a business does not satisfy its customers it goes out of business. There is a BoJangles restaurant in town barely staying in business because they make customers wait an inordinate amount of time. There is a Churches Chicken place that sells overcooked chicken. But not far away from both businesses there is a Hardees that is swamped with business. Why? The people are friendly, fast, and the food tasty. People go to businesses to be served. When the service is off – and everyone has off days – APOLOGIZE. An apology would have doused the flame of my anger. We all err. But do NOT try and hide the mistake, or try and manufacture an excuse. Just say I’M SORRY, admit the error, and move on. I had an oil change done at Walmart one time when they forgot to put the oil cap on the valve cover. They apologized and steam cleaned the oil off of my engine. It’s fine. We all err.
There is one other lesson in this post. When we fail in life – no matter who we are – we should apologize to the one we failed. This is adult behavior. As adolescents we blamed our brother, our sister, or the monster under the bed. Adults admit their mistakes. I have been called on mistakes many times and I have apologized many times, sometimes from the pulpit in front of the whole Church. I am not diminished by apologizing. After all, we are all sinners that Christ gave His life for. When we fail others, ourselves, or God, we should apologize for the wrong. This is called REPENT. To turn, to apologize, to do the right thing. If we don’t people will not trust us. I may never go back to Hyundai because – quite frankly – if you can’t tell the right weight of oil on a clearly labelled engine like mine, are you reliable? And if you don’t care enough about the customer to apologize, do you REALLY care about my engine?
I don’t know.
I just don’t know.