Own up

After the dealer quoted me 1,400Dhs to buy and fit a new battery on Mrs Saul’s car, I called the garage we usually use*. They quoted 360Dhs to do the job. Excellent, I thought.

They fitted it today and charged me 1,100Dhs. Still cheaper than the dealer, but rather more than expected. Of course, noone would own up to having given me the original quote. All I was told way ‘360 is too little’. I’ll pay what it costs, but don’t expect to be given an incorrect quote.

One of the things that annoys me in Dubai, when it comes to this kind of customer service, is the total refusal from anyone to take any responsibility. This sort of thing tends to annoy me far more than the actual problem that’s occurred. Own up, apologise and say that you’ll try to improve in future – that’s all it takes. If you don’t know what it’ll cost, say you don’t know and call back when you have the right price. If you make a mistake, or there’s bad news to be given to a customer, be straightforward about it upfront and avoid even more hassle later on.

We’re currently having various things done to our apartment before the warranty runs out. The guy managing the process is doing a great job. He’s quite happy to say that there are no water heaters in stock, that this part is wrong, that the ceiling has to be pulled apart, etc, etc. This doesn’t make me angry at all, as he always explains what’s going on at each stage, why he has to do what he does, when to expect things to be finished and so on. By providing me with this information he has a customer who would prefer not to have his guest ceiling pulled to pieces but who understands why it has to be done and when it will be repaired again. Far better than simply continually lying, telling me what I want to hear and then consistently failing to deliver.

I’m sure things will change – I give it 30 years.

* Mrs Saul’s car was serviced at the dealer as the radio is on the blink and needed to be diagnosed. Apparently we need a new ‘Voice/Speech ECU’, at 3,500Dhs. Ouch. I am looking for a re-conditioned unit. In the meantime, the radio is working again. Let’s hope this intermittent fault decides not to intermit again for a while…

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One Response to “Own up”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    for car batteries in the future, try the distributors of car batteris, e.g. Bosch, Hankook, AC Delco as they will fit and supply without margin. All vehicle dealers buy from the battery dealers and just add margin and 5 hours labour for a 30 minute job.

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