The Guardrail Saga Part 3: The End is Nigh

Saturday, December 17, 2011
(Be sure you are read up on Part 1 and Part 2.)

Day 6: Tuesday, December 13th. Got a call from my insurance agent saying that he went by after lunch and was able to inspect the damage. This is great news because I have to have my car back by Friday as I have a job on Saturday, and the quicker the insurance guy looks at it the quicker it will get done!

Day 7: Wednesday, December 14th. Drove the rental to work. Didn't hear anything about my car.

Day 8: Thursday, December 15th. Got a call just before noon that my car was ready! Yea! He said that it was on the way to the carwash and once it got back I could pick it up, anytime before they closed at 5:30 pm.

So I showed up at their doors just before 2:30, ready to pick up my car, but after a quick shuffle of papers and a confused look from the receptionist, The Manager from Monday came by and said that there was a problem. He took me in the back and showed me how a part that they ordered wouldn't fit right, that they had to order another part and that once it got delivered (any moment now) all they had to do was rivet it on and it would be ready to go. So apparently my mechanic called me a bit preemptively.

*Sigh* This makes the THIRD time that a wrong part has come up, but I don't blame them for this. With the computer systems that they use these days I can't think how this was one person messing up. See, when looking for a part they type the VIN of the vehicle into their computer and it is the computer that tells them what parts to order. The Mechanic would later say "I don't know what was going on, the parts we needed were completely different than what our program said we needed," and I believe them.

So I waited for the rest of the day for them to give me a call, but they never did. At 4:45 I called them but was told that my mechanic was busy and he would call me back. He called me back at 5:15 and said "The part just came in but it won't be ready to go today." Oh well, why do I care? They are paying for my rental so as long as I get it back before my job on Saturday I am happy.

Day 9: Friday, December 16th. Didn't hear from them all day. (What a surprise.) I finally call them at 2:30 pm and they say "It is ready to be picked up." Yea again!

With hesitant optimism I drive over and sure enough there is Jackie, all shined up and ready to go! And wouldn't you believe it, but after 9 days for an estimated "3.7 hours" worth of work, I drove Jackie off the lot! It felt great!

(click to see full size)

So, to sum it up, here is what they did wrong:
1) Promised me same day or next day service when they shouldn't have.
2) Kept ordering the wrong parts (how much of this was their fault is up for argument, but it was still one of the main problems).
3) Couldn't seem to call me in a reasonable amount of time (and once called me too early).

However, there are many things that they got right, most of which I haven't spoken of in these blog posts:
1) They were always kind and curious to me. Everyone from the receptionists to my mechanic to the manager always had a smile on their face and were in good spirits.
2) When I first dropped of Jackie I asked them if they did state inspections (December is my inspection month). The receptionist said no, but someone quickly said "But we can get that taken care of for you, I can have someone drive it down the road to get it inspected." Sure enough by the time I saw Jackie on Monday during my conversation with the manager Jackie had a new inspection sticker. I had to pay for the inspection (of course), but that is really great service when they offer to go out of their way to do something that won't make them any money.
3) I received my car back freshly washed. And I don't mean a $3 drive through! The inside was vacuumed and my tires were shined. Now THAT is service!
4) And don't forget that the manager made it right by paying for a rental for four days.

So as I look back, sure they did some things wrong that led me to a lot of anger, but at the same time they offered me great service and tried to make things right for me. Personally I probably wouldn't bring my vehicle back to them (and not only because I am planning on moving out of the area), but I can see why people recommend them. To put it another way: They wouldn't be in business more than 24 hours if this was their average customer experience.

So to you, Caliber Collision Repair of Denton: I am still upset at the ordeal I had to go through, but I forgive you, and I wish you the best of luck!