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Monday, July 26, 2021

Nightmares from the Service Department

We all know this life brings us trials and temptations. And sometimes our trials become opportunities for temptations. Like when bad customer service might drive you to drink! Or think dastardly thoughts.

I’m not there yet. But I might have been getting close with events of recent days.

I’ll start with my auto accident in May. While waiting patiently at a stoplight near my work, I was suddenly jolted by a smack to my rear bumper. The family behind me had their SUV really whacked by the person behind them.

All the emergency vehicles showed up within two minutes. It was quite a colorful display. Fortunately, no one needed medical attention. My car hardly showed but a few scratches—something that required $4200 of repair work. Deductible $500. Ridiculous.

Thankfully, all three drivers were insured. That generally means good news. My insurer, State Farm, is always great with service. But after two months, they had received no response from the company of the crash-causer. We’ll call them company “A.”

So now, it’s arbitration time. This is the legal fix for the uncooperative types. And for the two parties awaiting reimbursement of deductibles and their insurance companies who paid for repairs, this is a totally unnecessary delay. Glad company “A” is not my insurance company!

The next to try my patience came when a minor repair of our relatively new refrigerator was needed. We cried “help” from the LG service rep. We got crickets. Like we didn’t exist.

More recently a warning message and light on my car dashboard urged me to get attention to my AEB—whatever that is. Off to the dealership. A recall item was also needing to be fixed.

Simple repairs? Nope. I dropped off the car on a Thursday. The car needed a part, which would arrive in three days. No loaners available. My warranty coverage included a rental. If I could FIND one. I couldn’t. Not within 25 miles!

Monday, the needed part accidentally was sent to the wrong location. I was told to be patient and it should arrive Wednesday. So two more days without a car. Wednesday I get the call that the part is in and my car will be done by evening.

Late Wednesday afternoon, we head to the dealership. Most service personnel have gone home. But at least the car is ready and waiting and all washed clean. I jump in, turn on the ignition and…whoa…there’s that nasty AEB message staring back at me!

C’mon man…wouldn’t the tech who drove the car out of the garage have plainly seen that?? I drove off to meet my wife for dinner and called the dealership. The service rep told me no worries—probably a reset button issue. “Come back and we’ll take of that. No appointment needed.”

Friday morning I returned with my car. After a short time to check in I headed to the customer service waiting room. Almost four HOURS later, I’m told they are not sure what’s wrong. Another part needs to be ordered. That should take care of the problem. Maybe. This time, they let me drive my car home.

Misery, it is said, loves company. Several others in the waiting room had to face pricey repairs. At least mine will be covered by my 100,000 mile warranty—with only 180 miles remaining. A blessing provided by a loving son.

Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the LORD is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!” (HCSB) When the frustrating challenges of life come upon us, we do well to remember this verse.

But I still have some work to do on that “love your enemies” teaching. Especially the service repairmen who won’t call you back. That’s when the nightmares begin.

That’s Forward Thinking. Click on the link to the right to connect via Facebook.

You can find a number of YouTube episodes and podcasts of Mark’s program, Moving People Forward at

For more information on the Elfstrand Group, please visit

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