The right front tire looked so alarmingly low that I wanted it attended to right away, even on a Sunday morning. So I took my car to one of the few shops near me that was open — a repair chain outlet 3 miles up the road.
No problem, the service adviser told me: If there's a leak, we'll fix it before we close at 5, and we'll call or text you when your car's ready. With those assurances, I decided not to hang out in the dingy waiting area.
When I hadn't heard anything by 4:30, I called the store. Uh, we got a little backed up, the adviser said, and there's still one car ahead of you. So your car won't be done by 5, but we'll definitely have it for you before we leave today. We'll call or text you when it's ready.
Guess what happened. No call. No text. No email. And the next time I phoned, no answer. Everyone had gone home.
I returned to the store Monday morning in a surly mood. The adviser (a different one) looked up my repair order and said: Oh, yeah, your car was ready yesterday. Didn't anybody call you? Seeing the expression on my face, he told me he wouldn't charge me for patching the leak — a nominal 20 bucks.
Rather than name the store's brand, I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and conclude that my bad experience was an aberration, not business as usual. The second adviser took the initiative to set things rights, albeit belatedly.
Still, if you're going to advertise how comprehensive and convenient your service is, you'd better deliver. Because if you don't, someone else will. The next time my car needs work, even in an emergency, I won't take it back to the place that fell short.