Knight of Mars, Beater of Ass. (dazeydevyne) wrote in bad_service,
Knight of Mars, Beater of Ass.

Kal Tire has used up all their chances.

So, I live in a small town.  There is only one place to get things auto-related done -well, two, if you count the towing company, but they're expensive and difficult to deal with- so really minor things, like getting summer tires off and winter tires on, I go to  Kal Tire.  I have a mechanic in the nearest major city that I use when I have big things done, but for quick stuff, I save the 2 hours round trip travel time and go to Kal Tire.

Or I should say I did, because today they done broke my last nerve.   This gets long, don't say I didn't warn you. I have to get the wordy out before I write my REAL complaint to their customer service dept. tomorrow.

Let's back up a second, so I can explain why my custom with Kal Tire was already on shaky ground.  On more than one occasion, they've notified me of "issues" that needed attention IMMEDIATELY- usually presented with an already-made-up work order like they expect me to leave it there to be fixed.  But since I have a trusted mechanic to deal with this stuff, I always take their suggestions and bring them to him- who rarely, if ever, agrees with their diagnosis.  So I got the impression that they're just trying to milk me for money, due to my being a clueless girl, or something. It's annoying, but as long as I always said no and got a second opinion,no biggie.

But THEN, when I traded my winter to summer tires earlier this year, they took it a step further.  I realize I was late getting them changed this year, but my brother got married in June.  To get to the wedding, I had to travel over the mountains, and snow was a real possibility (actually, some relatives DID drive through some flurries on their way- gotta love Canada!), so I didn't get the summers on until later that month.  This might have led the guys at Kal Tire to think I'm some kind of clueless fool that wouldn't notice important facts, because when I came back to pick up my car they mentioned that they  "tossed the old ones.  They were pretty much worthless."  Except that they were $900 tires.  That I had only bought in November of the year before, so they had half a year of driving on them.

So now they're not just trying to give me services I don't really need, but they actually tried to steal something from me.  You can be sure that I checked the coins in the ashtray after that one.

Today was their last chance.  I even said that to my Dad as I was leaving- "If those jerks try to screw me again, I am DONE!" I would have brought him, but my car was full of tires.  I called first to double check wait times, because I live 20 minutes out of town and wanted to know if I should bring a book.  The initial conversation went like this:

KalTire Guy (hereafter known as KTG): It's about an hour and a half wait, we only have a couple more.
Me (hereafter known as Me): OK, would it be better if I waited until morning when there's no wait, or can I make an appointment for later this afternoon? I'm about 20 minutes away, so if it's going to be a very long wait, I'd like to make arrangements to get picked up or whatever...
KTG: We don't make appointments.  It's all first come first served. So just come in, and we'll put you in line.

So I did. I got there about 12:20.  When I got in, there was a red truck in one bay, a black car in the other.  2 customers were at the counter, so I sat down.  The counter guys helped those people (both picking up, bonus- meant fewer ahead of me!) and then went back to their ... nothing.  Talking to each other, playing with phones/computers.  So I walked up to the counter, finally having to clear my throat to get them to acknowledge me.  The guy who "helped" me was the same guy I'd talked to on the phone (the same one, incidentally, who tried to keep my tires last time)

Me: I called in about having my tires switched over?
KTG: Oh, yeah.  Ok, I'll make up the work order.  There are still a couple more ahead of you, we should get to it in an hour or so. (Makes up my paperwork, prints a shop copy) So are you going to wait here, or go grab a coffee?
Me: I was going to get lunch, but I'll probably be back before you're done.  Here's my cell phone number just in case. The winters are in the car in bags, you can just put the summers in the same place when you're done (Meaning : DON'T EVEN THINK OF TAKING THEM!)

He wrote the number down, and I left.  Got lunch, read my book, dawdled a bit.  Took about an hour and a half, figuring that worst case scenario, my car would be just going in when I went back at 2:00.  It wasn't, and the red truck was still up on the hoist.  As I walked up, a white truck came in on a flat deck tow truck, the driver walked in just ahead of me.  I sat down and started reading my book, the tow truck driver talked to the office guy, they both walked out.  Then I saw the red truck come down, and I thought "OK, my turn"  But they brought in a white truck.  Not 100% sure it was the one on the flat deck, but I DID see the tow truck drive away soon after.  Then another woman came in and sat down.  We both stared at the wall and waited. And waited. This, for the record was about 2:00.

At 2:30, the worst possible thing happened- my former boss came in.  She owns a hay farm and thinks she is super awesome because she is rich and we are all peasants.    She dropped off her keys AND the name of her farm (not her last name) and sat down beside me.  15 minutes of painfully awkward conversation ensued.   About 20 minutes after she got there, I saw the white truck come down, and the other bay was empty as well.  HAD to be my turn now.  I returned to reading my book for about 15 minutes, and looked up when an older man came in wanting his tires changed, but balked when told he'd have to wait an hour or so.  I snorted, and when Old Boss Lady (OBL) looked questioningly at me, I explained
Me: That's what they told me, but I've been here.... 2 and a half now? And... oh look, my car's STILL not in there.
OBL: Huh.  Well, there's mine.  I guess they rush it when you're from a business. You should just spend more money here, then they'd treat you as well as they do me.  (no really, she said that.)

20 minutes later, she got her keys and left.  (this was about... 3:15? 3:20?)  Quick check on the service bays- OBL's came down, and.... a GREEN MINIVAN goes in? What the very much hell, Kal Tire.  The other bay was still empty, as it was the entire time OBL's vehicle was on the hoist.  Not sure why it takes 6 guys to work on 1 SUV, but there ya go.

I should probably add that, within reason, I understand why businesses would cater to corporate or big-time customers.  It makes sense to make them happy.  But when my "hour and a half wait" had already been almost doubled, I thought it a bit... excessive.

The other woman that was waiting and I got to chatting, found out she dropped her truck off about the same time I did.  She had bought 2nd hand snow tires from a neighbour, and was getting them put on.   She was pretty miffed about OBL sauntering in and getting done right away too, so we bitched, probably loudly enough for them to hear.  Didn't care at that point. (Oh, when she got her car back? Turns out the neighbour screwed her too- they WEREN'T winter tires.  But Kal Tire put them on anyway, and made HER wait 4 hours as well.  She had 1 + 1/2 year old twins at home... I'm sure she could have been doing other things, since the tires were useless.  They still charged her $130 to do it)

FINALLY, at 4:05, nearly FOUR HOURS since I first came in, it was my turn.  And THIS conversation happened:

Me: So, in the future, would it be quicker if i said I was from {name of the business that I live on the property of, occasionally work for, and am allowed to name drop if it helps me}?
KTG: What do you mean?
Me: Well, the lady from {hay farm} came in LONG after I got here, and she was done nearly an hour ago.
KTG: No, that can't be.  She must have been here before you got in and just came back.
Me: No, I saw her come in, heard her talk to the guy at the counter, hand him her keys.  That was about... 2:15 or so?
KTG: (speaking in an incredulous tone) that's impossible.  You must be mistaken.
Me: Well, she DID say her husband called in, maybe the work order got started then? (Still an asshole move, but making a rich customer happy.... sure.  Makes sense)
KTG: That's probably it. The work order says... (checks computer) oh. 14:32.  That's...
Me: 2:32.  I dropped mine off before 12:30.  She said that because she's a business client, she gets quicker service, and so I thought that...
KTG: Well, that's bullshit.  Not true at all.  I'm not sure what happened.... (looks at my paperwork) OH! Yeah, you left a cell number and a "call when done" note.  So other people get to go ahead of you.
Me: But I was back here by 2:00.  Half an hour BEFORE she got here.
(It should be noted that his desk was 5 feet from where I sat for 2+ hours.  He knew I was there. )
KTG: Huh. I don't know then. Here's your keys, that'll be $112.

So, the tl; dr of it all was this- it took 4 hours to get my tires changed today.  Called in beforehand, and was told it was an hour and a half wait.  Watched another customer come go within an hour.  Counter guy argued with me that other customer got preferential treatment, then when proven wrong, shut down and offered no explanation or apology.  Have to buy rims for my summer tires so I can change them myself and not have to put up with them anymore.

Edited to make sure i had all my times right, and clear up some wording stuff.  

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