You dumb shit!

My car battery died so I took the car into the local NTB for a new battery. Simple process right? Yank the old one and replace with equivalent. No problem.

So I’m helping my kids do their homework in the waiting room while the car is being worked on. It’s taking a little longer than I’d anticipated so I stretch my legs by walking into the service bay to find:

The mechanic working on my car is ripping a piece of plastic from my engine bay and in frustration starts shoving it with all his might between the battery itself and the headlight housing. Then in a fit of rage rips it back out and slams it to the ground and kicks the thing. :eek:

And I just fucking lose it! :mad:

“Stop! What the fuck do you think you’re doing?!” I’m in full stride just twenty paces from him and coming up fast. The guy backs away and it dawns on him just how much shit he is in right now. Fortunately he is clever enough to not say a contrary fucking word to me. He lowers his head and mumbles an appology. By the time I get to him I can see he’s made a fucking mess of the battery housing and he’s sweaty from the effort of trying to fit the thing back inside.

“Don’t fucking touch my car again!”, I repeat. He blinks at me. “I see you near the car again and I’m going to shove that socket wrench up your ass. Is that clear?!” The fucker nods and puts down the wrench.

By this time, my yelling has got the attention of the manager and another mechanic. I explain what I just saw and they quietly and efficiently put everything back together. The battery housing is broken and they voluntarily suggest that I get it replaced by my dealer and bring them the invoice for a full refund. They then give me 20% discount on the battery I just purchased and get me out as quickly and friendly like as possible.

Jesus Fucking Christ! I’ve seen incompetence in mechanic shops before but nothing this blatant. At least the manager was smart enough not to have me demand a full replacement of the broken parts and took pre-emptive corrective action.

Still… Fucking Hell!!! :mad:

My kind of guy. Good on ya. It’s great to see some men aren’t afraid to raise hell when something like this happens. Much more satisfying than just making a phone call afterwards. Hell, with the adrenaline rush I would have demanded they not only give 50% off, but they also pay for the rental while they spend the time taking it in to get fixed. But then, I can be a real hard-ass about stuff like this.

Cheers. I’ll have a beer for ya. :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t trust these clowns within a hundred yard radius of my car. I’ll do the repairs myself and have them pay the bill. They’ll never see my car again.

I’m not usually that aggressive but it was such blatantly aggressive incompetence that I just lost it. Plus, I knew I could back up my threat if it came to that. And I looked like I could to him and that’s what counted. :cool:

The last time I had a battery changed (I usually do it myself, and this is one reason why) the idiot put the bolt in upside down (which was an almost impossible task, whereas putting it in correctly, like he did the one on the other side, took seconds to accomplish), didn’t question why it was sticking up, and slammed the hood down. Onto the bolt. That ripped right through my hood.

Needless to say, I didn’t pay for that battery and installation, or the rental car I needed while mine was at the body shop, or the body shop repairs.

You da man.

That happened to me, too. Except my brother was the one who put the battery in wrong, so I couldn’t get mad at him, and I wasn’t paying him anything, so I didn’t even get a discount. :stuck_out_tongue: It turned out that I didn’t need a new battery, anyway, so the old battery is still in there, almost a year later.

Heh. I’m fixin’ to do me a little yellin’ at my dealer’s service manager tomorrow, too, if’n I don’ hear what I wants ta here. Fuckers seem to have lost my engine. Car’s in the shop for an engine replacement (completely covered by the warranty thank gawd) and there’s supposed to be a new one being delivered from Chicago. I say “supposed to” because nobody seems to be able to locate the goddamn thing. It was ordered last Thursday and hasn’t shown up yet. Now, I know it doesn’t take that long to get from Chicago to Toledo, because I’ve already been there and back in the rental car once while this thing’s “supposedly in transit.” Clowns are gonna be payin’ my rental fees, too, before this is done.

Maybe they sent it via New Orleans?

Not a 1.8T is it? :cool:

It’s a battery. Two cables to disconnect, possibly clean, and reconnect to the new battery. How can this be difficult for so many people? Much less people who are supposed to know something about cars?

Most batteries are clamped into the auto by means of some sort of wedge type device that can be hard to access and or loosen especially if any parts are corroded or rusted. Putting the thing back in place while trying not to drop a 50 pound battery on your fingers can sometimes be difficult. I’ve never had problems, but I could see how a weenie-runt of a ‘mechanic’ might.

One would think so… and yet…

I noticed the original battery was sitting on the floor of the garage to the side. The dumbass dropped it and cracked it. Battery acid had leaked all over the floor.

The guy was certainly no skinny runt. Plenty of meat on him to lift the battery carefully and set it in place neatly. He was just lazy, incompetent and stupid as they come.

This reminds me of the Sears Auto Service shitstorm that surfaced a decade or so ago, when customers watched as employees stabbed their tires with screwdrivers so they could sell them new ones.

We are going through a particularly frustrating period with mechanics lately. They will fuck you if given half a chance. Although I’m sure there are exceptions, I haven’t had the luxury of seeing any lately.

Good show, QS.

BTW, what’s an NTB?

Click & Clack the (the Cartalk guys) have a database of mechanics with accompanying customer reviews on their site. Might be worth looking at if you can’t find a decent one.

National Tire & Battery, formerly known as National Tire Warehouse (NTW).

And formerly owned by Sears.

Thanks for that link. We’ll definitely take a look at it. We have questions that may be answered in there somewhere.

Great job, QuickSilver. It’s always somehow refreshing when assholes like that get their comeuppance.

I have a tangentially similar story. although the issue wasn’t so much the incompetence of an individual mechanic as the dishonesty of the shop.

Back when i was about 20, i had a 1971 Volvo 142S two-door sedan. Not exactly a sports car, but reliable as hell, and i loved it. Anyway, one evening i was pulling out of the driveway and when i pushed in the clutch to shift from reverse to first gear, there was a loud “bang” as my left foot went all the way to the floor. The clutch cable has snapped. I was just lucky it happened right outside my place, rather than at a stoplight in the middle of peak hour traffic.

So i went and bought myself another clutch cable. It was really cheap. And i also unattached the broken cable from the clutch, then got under the car and pulled out the remnants of the cable from that end. All that needed doing then was pulling out the cable at the other end and installing the new cable, but i didn’t feel confident enough to do that myself, so i took it to a local garage. When i dropped it off, the guy told me to leave the new clutch cable on the driver’s seat and come back the next day at noon.

Next day comes, and i show up promptly at noon. On my way to the shop office, i happen to see my car, so i walk over to it. Sure enough, the clutch cable is still on the seat. No-one has touched the job. When i got to the office, i acted as if i didn’t know what was going on, and just told them i was here to pick up my car. The guy behind the desk told me that they were still working on the car, and that it shouldn’t be too much longer if i wanted to wait.

So i looked at my watch to check the time, and sat down to wait. Presumably, in the meantime, they had called out to the workshop to get someone working on the car. Exactly 45 minutes later, they told me that the car was ready. I went up to the desk to pay, and was given an invoice that said:

I didn’t go ballistic, which took some self-control. I calmly called the guy over and explained to him that i had arrived exactly 45 minutes previously, at which time no-one had even looked at my car. Now, 45 minutes later, the job was finished and they were charging me two hours of labor. I told him that if he wanted me to go to the Consumer Affairs people with my story, that was one way we could go. Or he could charge me for 45 minutes of labor at $40 per hour.

He chose option B, and i never went back.

Brilliant. :slight_smile: