How to deal with terrible car service?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by DaveF, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    It was a frustrating morning. I was given the Honda cargo net for my Accord for Christmas. I thought I'd install it myself and save $50, until I read the instructions and found out that it's pretty difficult. I finally got to my dealer this morning to have it installed.

    Three hours and a billing dispute later, I discovered it was installed completely wrong!* Installation required drilling holes in the interior floor and side panels of the trunk. So, they've effectively damaged my car.

    I returned to the dealer and asked my salesman, who helped me with the billing discrepancy, if the manager was in. He told me to call Monday when the Service Manger would be in.

    I've now got a couple days to cool off and think through what I'm asking for, if more than "Fix this."

    Any suggestions on approaching the manager? Should I ask for more than just having the net installed correctly and fixing any damage from the previous installation?

    *Six attachment points are installed in the trunk giving two configurations for the cargo net to be attached by the car owner: flat on the floor or vertically dividing the trunk in half. At least four of the connectors were put in wrong, and are clearly a case of sloppy, careless, and rushed work. The flat on the floor configuration has the ends too close together so the net is not taught. For vertial, the high-mounts are mounted almost at the floor, provided a functional quasi-floor mounted use, with the net tilted at about 10-degrees.
     
  2. Linda Thompson

    Linda Thompson Supporting Actor

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    Dave...sorry to hear about this!

    I know you said in my Solara thread that your Accord is an '04. Being so new, I'm sure you want this problem corrected, and corrected to your COMPLETE satisfaction. I know I would.

    I found this on the 'net:

    http://www.handa-accessories.com/accord/03-4drnet.pdf

    If all of this is what was done to your car, with any part of the drilling in the wrong place(s) as you've indicated, looks like that's gonna take more than just a minor little fix-up job to get it back right.

    I've not seen the inside of an Accord trunk, but these instructions make it appear that the drilling is into actual structural parts rather than the removable (and thus more easily replacable) panels. Is that the case? If so...OUCH.

    At the VERY least, I'd demand a total re-do, including replacing any original areas which were erroneously damaged...a total return to the state it was in before THEY did the damage. All on THEIR dime, of course.

    I know this would only be a total "last resort" option, but, if they give you any major grief, you may have to consult your insurance company and perhaps have them intervene.

    Good luck, and please keep us posted on the outcome.
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Linda - that's it. And yes, it requires modifying body parts. Which is why I decided to take it to the trained professionals [​IMG]

    And Why Honda made their cargo net such an ordeal to install, I can't imagine. I need to read the instructions more careful to understand what parts of the car were affected. Particularly if it's only interior plastic liners of it involves drilling body metal.
     
  4. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer
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    From the looking at the instructions it appears that four holes are drilled through the left and right side plastic trunk liners. The holes continue through the metal trunk floor. The holes in the plastic liners are enlarged with a hole saw, while the holes in the trunk floor are not. The net anchors are self tapping screws that go through the plastic liner and into the metal floor of the trunk.

    The upper anchors are attached to bolts that are threaded through pre-existing holes in a pre-installed support bracket. The upper anchors only required holes to be drilled through the plastic trunk liners so the installed bolts would protrude through the liners.

    From your description, it appears that the positions for the lower mounting anchors were incorrectly measured. It also sounds like the upper anchors are mounted too low. Judging from the instructions the net should be almost vertical when attached to the upper anchors. The diagrams show the upper mounts being attached quite close to the top of inner fender brackets. Sounds like someone had a hangover when they installed your net.

    At the least, they should restore the metal trunk floor to its original state and then properly mount the net. The inner plastic liners should also be replaced. You should tell them you want a couple of free maintenance jobs done on your car (oil,filter,lube) for all of the trouble they have put you through. After all, it sounds like they really screwed the pooch.
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    The anchors were are grossly mis-placed*. You captured the errors in your description.

    Thanks for the suggestions. My lurking anxiety is if such gross errors are made on visible work, how much should I trust them to do the more important maintenance work properly?


    The two floor anchors closest to the trunk opening are probably in the right place. Two other two floor anchors, towards the front of the car, are two close to the first two. The net attached to those four is not stretched taut.

    The two on the sidewall are mounted too close to the trunk door, only a few inches above the floor, and aren't level with each other.

    The net is connect between the front anchors and the rear, "high" anchors. The mechanic clearly had no idea what he was doing and tried to pass it foist it onto me as a done job.
     
  6. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer
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    I looked at your pictures. Like you said, the two floor mounts closest to the front of the car are too close to the rear mounts. Also, judging from the pictures, the front mounts look like they are not on the same line as the rear ones. It looks like someone was using eyeball measurements instead of a tape measure.

    The vertical anchors are also misplaced. Whoever did the installation has mounted the anchor bolts through the holes where the plastic liner retaining clips should go. That is why they are misaligned. The "mechanic" may have created a problem when he mounted the vertical anchors through the retaining clip holes, because he most likely had to drill out the holes in order to get the bolts through. Unless the bolts are the same diameter as the the retaining clip fingers. The bolts should have been mounted much closer to the top of the trunk lid, nearer to the trunk hinges.

    I can't see this installation being done by an experienced mechanic because there are so many things wrong with it. I suspect that the service department assigned this job to an inexperienced apprentice.
     
  7. Linda Thompson

    Linda Thompson Supporting Actor

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    Dave... Those pictures are very disheartening.

    And, comparing your pics with the installation instructions, I think Edwin has all the botches pinned quite precisely.

    They've got to be made to make this right. That shoddy job is simply inexcusable, and that's not even taking into account the unwarranted damage to areas of your car which never even should have been touched.
     
  8. Jimi C

    Jimi C Screenwriter

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    Did any Accords come with these installed from the factory? If so, it would be fairly easy to prove your point by having them open the trunk of one of the cars that did. Im positive that they will try to argue with you and claim that the installation is okay. If they didnt beleive it was, I cant imagine why they would let it leave there garage.
    My mother once took her Chevy to the dealership for an oil change. Apperantly the disgruntled employee that was servicing her car decided to walk off the job, with her keys in hand. It took 2 days before she got her car, new key and new remote for her after market remote start.
    They didnt even offer to comp the oil change, and seemed annoyed by the fact that they had to "go through the trouble" of replacing her missing remote. After a battle my mother was only able to get back the cost of the oil change and a free exterior detail that they botched as well. Buffer halograms and swirls all over her one year old car. I hope that she will never buy from them again.

    If dealers are not capable of properly washing a car, I sure as hell would not trust them to do any sort of body work. I would give them one shot to fix the damages, and if you are not satisfied after that, I would ask them to let you take it to a different body shop at there expense. Also, be aware, that if they plan to properly fix this they will at least have to have the car overnight. I would want a very nice loaner car. Maybe even one with a cargo net in the back.
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    A good thought [​IMG]

    Until now, I've had a positive experiences with the dealer. The salesman was good to work with. And the service department, while slow, seemed to provide good service. This really shakes my confidence in this dealer.
     
  10. Dennis*G

    Dennis*G Supporting Actor

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    If the dealer does not help, your next step would be to get in touch with the Honda rep for your area. Hopefully they will help if the dealer does not step up. If the Honda rep does not help, then it's to Honda USA yoiu need to go to.

    good luck.

    You should be able to get the reps name from the dealer, if not, call Honda USA
     
  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I went to the dealer today and met with a asst. service manager. The result is that they will replace the interior trunk lining, install the cargo net, refund my original installation payment, and give me a free oil change. I'll also have a loaner when the work is done. It's not yet certain what will be done about the extra holes drilled in the interior metal of the trunk, but some protective work will be done.

    So, I am feeling better about the dealer. There was no reluctance to acknowledge it was done wrong and were quick to accept responsbility for the repair. The loaner is standard practice there, if you reserve in advance, so it was an easy request. The refund of original payment was not quickly accepted, but I pushed on it, feeling entitled given the two hours wasted so far on this. The free oil change was an unrequested offer, when the service manager later called me.
     
  12. Linda Thompson

    Linda Thompson Supporting Actor

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    Dave...glad to hear it! At least your major worries are over (i.e. the dealership giving you grief saying that the job wasn't botched, trying to deny responsibility, etc.)...sounds like the rest should fall into place with an intelligent and responsible service manager.

    I'd still hold out for having the erroneous damage either repaired (preferable) or compensated, though.
     
  13. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Supporting Actor

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    Now there's a breath of fresh air!
     

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