Some jobs are best turned down!

I’ve always considered myself to be quite lucky, in that I’m blessed by how nice most of my customers are. Most tend to be decent honest people who have a genuine appreciation of what I do. Having said that I do make a concious effort to avoid dealing with with some of the less desirable characters in life!

Last week however, I got a harsh reminder about the type of customer that I’m better off avoiding when I got asked by Autowatch NZ to help sort an install out that a local car dealer had installed.

The vehicle was a 2012 Ford Ranger that the dealer had installed an Autowatch 555CLAM into. Their customer returned it to them complaining that the alarm would arm every time the hazard switch was pressed. The dealership then attempted to re-wire it and in the process managed to stop the alarm from working at all!

This is where I first looked at it. I found an install that looked like a crows nest and every wire was still at full length with the labels still attached! The alarm itself would not even go into program mode. I informed the service manager that there was very little I could do with it apart from remove or replace it. I also pointed out that it would have been wiser to have installed a CAN-BUS alarm.

The service manager then grumbled about who would pay for it to be put right and then decided that they would book me in for Friday morning to install an Autowatch 695CAN.

The next I heard from the dealer was on 4pm on Thursday when they called to tell me that they would be attempting the install themselves! I hoped that this would be the last I heard from them and sent out an invoice for my time.

Another Shocking install!

Friday lunchtime another call comes in. “We’ve installed the new alarm and it does not work. Can you look at it for us now?” I inform them that I’ve had to juggle other jobs around from where they messed me around and thet the earliest I could get to them would be Monday afternoon!

After the weekend I called into take a look. I turn the ignition on and the dash lights fail to turn on. I make the assumption that the battery must be flat so ask to use their jump pack (I have limited tools as I’m working out of the Beat whilst the new wagon is having some work done on it).

This is their jump pack:

Car Dealer Jump Leads

Now it turns out that I was wrong and that the battery was actually fine! When I finally discover that the car starts, yet the display does not work I inform the service manager who suggests that there was no problem with the car before I looked at it!

This resulted in me walking out of the dealership informing them to find someone else to look at the car. I also requested that they never contact me again!

One week on and I’ve still not be paid. Pricks!

Conclusion: My only mistake was to break my “No supply, No install” rule which I’ll be sticking to in the future.

The plus side of dealing with such tossers is it does make me appreciate most of my normal customers who are nice and pay on time. Thank you everyone 🙂

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Julian

About Julian

Owner and Installer at Obsessive Vehicle Security Limited.
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5 Responses to Some jobs are best turned down!

  1. wang says:

    Take the pricks to disputes tribunal or debt collector on harleys:D

  2. Rick says:

    I assume the reason you broke your own rule to do this job was because you have a good relationship with Autowatch (and perhaps wanted to keep it that way). Also it just goes to show how a rubbish install can potentially impair the image of an otherwise excellent brand. Unless the dealer was man enough to tell the customer that they screwed up the install and it wasn’t a faulty alarm.

  3. Julian Julian says:

    You’ve nailed it. The only reason I even looked at the job was to help Autowatch NZ, I’m kicking myself for even trying to help!

    The danger with allowing muppets to install your alarms is that sooner or later it will come back to bite you. The result is inevitably damage to the brand reputation.

    I’ve had the same conversation with Cobra and they have big problems finding anyone competent to install their systems. My warranty return rate is well under 1% with them so we know the product is good, however it’s normally the first thing that gets blamed by others who can’t man up to making a mistake!

    The dealer could not even admit to me that there was an installation fault so I doubt that the customer would ever find out the truth!

    Have a look at the photo and see where they put the siren 🙁

  4. Rick says:

    This raises an interesting point. How does a brand like Autowatch or Cobra protect their image being tarnished by cowboy installers? I thought they only sold via trusted installers or something. In which case how does a situation like this arise? Is there a weak link in the trust chain somewhere?

  5. Julian Julian says:

    Sales would be to companies and whilst you can control who has an account with you, some outfits have a high installer turn over so that side of things is probably beyond their control.

    Personally I’ve found the only way to guarantee quality is to install everything myself so I’ve ruled out the idea of taking on staff!

    I guess it’s probably a hard juggling act between selling in volume and keeping the standards high. I don’t actually think it’s possible to have both.

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