Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Auto Zone 24th Street & Baseline

I had Caleb take my car and leave his here for today.
Although I am not feeling well, the car needed some servicing on the coolant - basically it wasn't in good shape and I don't want to have some sort of situation where it overheats or worse, freezes and cracks the block if the temps go down.
To that end, I went to Auto Zone, a store I have been going to since it opened in these parts over 20 years ago.

I have never really had any problems at Auto Zone before.  Today, however, was different.  

I went in, found what I was looking for and went up to the register, which is where the problem began.  It started with a $2.97 bottle of rust flush.  You basically pour that bottle into the radiator, let the engine run for 10 or 15 minutes and then drain it all out.  You then fill it up with water and run that through a few more minutes and drain that out and then finally you put in your anti-freeze mixture with water and a rust proofing agent.

The manager came up to the front to check out my goods and scanned that bottle.  Apparently nothing came up.  He tried again and then tried to go into the system to find the price.  He eventually went over to another register and continued on with his search.  This went on for quite a while.  How hard was it for him to just give me the price that was already listed on the shelf instead of making me wait 10 minutes?

That was the first irritation, though not enough to get me "going" or anything.  He then came up - finally - and informed me the price is $3.49. I said no, it's not $3.49, it's $2.97, like what's listed on the shelf.  He charged me $3.49 anyway, completely ignoring my statement - another big no-no in my world.  I then said fine, I'll pay the $3.49 and I will be calling corporate.   He gives me a look.  Corporate? he states.  Yes, I said corporate, I am going to call them...............and that's when he cut me off, talking right over the top of me, a thing I did NOT do to him.

Any regular, long-time readers know where this is going.  Once I have been dissed by "customer service" of any company, all bets are off.  I don't even talk to that person anymore, I go right up over their head and yes, I always get compensation.  Today? No different.  I stopped speaking and he told me, quite disingenuously after I paid for all of it, to "have a nice day".  I looked him in the eye and said, "Yeah, right".  He started laughing at me.

Cardinal sin.  Never, ever laugh at your customers in a mocking way, if that customer is someone like me?  You are going to pay.  And pay he will.  I called corporate to complain who gave me a regional office number.  Great, I call that number and no answer.  Called several times, no answer, just a voice messaging system.  No thanks, been down that road, it doesn't usually lead anywhere.

I called corporate back.  This time I asked to speak to a manager.  No managers here.  Always love that one.  Manager, please and thank you.  After the lady realized I wasn't going away, she left the phone, found some sort of supervisor who started the same kind of junk with me on the phone that the guy at the store had.  No sense in going into all of that - I finally was connected to the district manager over the store I was complaining about.

The situation is going to be referred to some sort of security team in their company who will actually review the video/s that are existent to verify my statements.  I was all over that, yes, please do!  You will see me standing there for an eternity and you will see him laughing at me if the video angle is good when I am leaving the store.

My compensation?  Well, I didn't make all those phone calls until after I came back and I did most of the flushing on the car's cooling system and found - the radiator has a leak.  Not a huge leak, but steam is coming out of it meaning it's not building up pressure.  If it were summertime here right now, you wouldn't even be able to drive that car.  But since it's winter, different story.  Fortunately, the leak is up high on the radiator meaning most of the coolant is still staying in there, albeit it still is going to come out.  I have no idea how long Caleb has been driving that thing around like that.

It needs a new radiator and I am going to get 20% off the purchase price of a new one PLUS a gift card.  I don't know how much that will be for, but I am guessing the price of the brand new radiator will be knocked down to around $100 instead of $160.  I was going to have the old radiator repaired, but I doubt I am going to get it repaired for less than $100, so might as well just throw a brand new one in it!

So there it is.  I spent 2 hours on this deal and I'm guessing my compensation will be the equivalent of around $30 per hour.  Of course, it is also time to go lay down, lol, as I am still sick and not feeling very well.

I'm offa here.


Interesting day. Up early - 4:00, jolted out of deep sleep by the ridiculous phone alarm - annoying as all get out but that's the inten...