1 2 3 4 ... 19
Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/9/12 6:42 p.m.

In reply to Bobzilla:

Damn, that's a good one!

I almost want to work at NAPA again a few hours a week again just to have fun stories.

wlkelley3
wlkelley3 Dork
4/10/12 11:40 a.m.

Worked several months at a chain autoparts store after I retired from the army. I can understand these stories. We had a lady come in asking for parts for her 6-cylinder V8. We did try explaining to her it was either one not both but she got mad and said her mechanic said it was a 6-cylinder V8 and if we didn't know what that was she was taking her business elsewhere. We held the door open for her and pointed down the road and told her AZ 1.5 miles that way on the right. Did build up some regulars that asked for me specific. One was a hispanic guy that came in with an old Impala and said he knew the engine had been changed but didn't know anything else so he and I went through everything installed and I looked them up and made a list for him to use to buy parts. Standard Chevy smallblock with a truck air cleaner and Camaro associated parts on it. A biker broke down in front of the store and came in looking for a bolt. I went out looked at what he needed and explained he needed at least a grade 8, the bolt broke because it wasn't strong enough and was a grade 5 or less. Talked Harley bikes with him a little and sold him a grade 8 bolt. Him and his buddies would come in and buy parts from me after that. Then there is the guys that came in needing batteries because of the big amp they installed. Lots of stories about them.

Xceler8x
Xceler8x UltraDork
4/10/12 12:15 p.m.

I was 16 and just getting into cars so I applied and got a job at the local Pep Boys. The GM thought it would be funny to ask me to find the rad cap to a 70 Super Beetle for his daughter. I couldn't figure out why those parts weren't listed in the book. In 5 years I'm going to go in and ask for a gas cap for a Nissan Leaf.

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/10/12 12:19 p.m.
Xceler8x wrote: I was 16 and just getting into cars so I applied and got a job at the local Pep Boys. The GM thought it would be funny to ask me to find the rad cap to a 70 Super Beetle for his daughter. I couldn't figure out why those parts weren't listed in the book. In 5 years I'm going to go in and ask for a gas cap for a Nissan Leaf.

You know, those just aren't funny anymore. The new Beetle came out in what, 97? There's way more water-cooled ones in the US now than air-cooled ones. They tried that with me (just Beetle though, no year) and I asked turbo or non and got deer-in-the-headlights looks.

benzbaronDaryn
benzbaronDaryn Dork
4/10/12 12:20 p.m.

I gave up on Vato zone/ pimp boys/ Owhyme after being sold the incorrect parts a few times. I went to o'reilly with the a coolant hose in hand and was still sold the incorrect part, I told the guy this hose isn't going to fit but he said "sure it will, just bend it here and there." I finally went to napa and believe it or not finally got the correct part.

I swore off vato zone after buying a set of sway bar links for my pickup, not only did they come individually didn't tell me when I ordered only 1, but the store didn't have records keeping so I had to find the receipt. The manager didn't believe me and couldn't figure out the computer system. I won't buy from the local parts store anymore, the dealer or napa or kohlweiss actually know what they are talking about and don't sell me the incorrect parts.

psteav
psteav HalfDork
4/10/12 12:21 p.m.

(Not mine, this was in the 10Best issue of some other car magazine about ten years ago).

Woman comes into a Ford dealer service department and tells the service writer she's there to pick up her boyfriend's truck. He asks her what it is, she says it's a blue Fiso.

"Fiso? I'm afraid I've never heard of that."

Woman is adamant it's a Fiso. Service writer is apologetic, but says he's never heard of it, and in any case there are no blue Fisos that have been serviced. They go back and forth until the woman blows up, yells that there are dozens of Fisos out on the lot, pulls the service writer out by the arm, and points at the fender of a new F150 sitting in the showroom.

"SEE! FISO!"

psteav
psteav Dork
4/10/12 12:22 p.m.
Marjorie Suddard wrote: I went into a parts store once asking for hi-temp paint. When the guy came back up the aisle with it, he asked what I needed it for, and when I told him I was painting an engine header, he actually pulled his arm back (the one holding the paint can I was reaching for) and told me regular paint would be fine, I didn't need this expensive stuff. I reached again while saying, "It's a rotary engine. Header temps are higher, so I certainly do need this," but the can remained out of reach--seriously--as he asked once again why I REALLY needed the hi-temp paint. So I told him "crafts" and he handed me the paint. Yeah, those parts stores are total chuckle factories. But sometimes the laughs go the other way Margie

That guy deserves a kick in the nads.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla PowerDork
4/10/12 12:26 p.m.

Here's one....

we had a gentleman who appearedto reside in a neighborhood where all the homes were not permanently fixed that wanted an Alternator for his 1984 LTD. No problem, look it up and away he goes. Comes back in 3 hours later madder than hell. OK, maybe the alt was for a different engine as it could have been changed. Try this one. Comes back in 2 hours later. Even madder.

By this point, I'm at a loss. There were really only two kinds of alts that would have fit thatcar and he's gotten both of them and said they were wrong. So I told him to pull it off and bring it in I bet I could match it up. I've seen my share of wierd swaps so it could be anything.

Next morning he comes in and sets his "alt" down on the counter.... check that... SLAMS it down on the counter and says in his most obnoxious triumphant voice "This is what an Alternator looks like in case you didn't know." I see my counter guy starting to chuckle and I knew the S was about to HTF so I walk down there and sitting on the counter was the nastiest, greasiest dirt covered AIR pump I've ever seen in my life. When I explained he had the wrong part, his pace turned bright red and he left. I worked there for another 6-8 months and I don't think he ever came back.

I have a saying I teach my new guys here: "Don't give them what they ask for, give them what they need." And boy is that true in retail parts....

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/10/12 12:27 p.m.

In reply to Bobzilla:

Holy crap man you have me busting into tears at work! Keep em coming!

theenico
theenico New Reader
4/10/12 12:30 p.m.
Keith wrote: My favorite is the Cadillac Converter.

That's what GM used for turning Cavaliers into Cimarrons.

psteav
psteav HalfDork
4/10/12 12:30 p.m.
Bobzilla wrote: Here's one.... we had a gentleman who appearedto reside in a neighborhood where all the homes were not permanently fixed that wanted an Alternator for his 1984 LTD. No problem, look it up and away he goes. Comes back in 3 hours later madder than hell. OK, maybe the alt was for a different engine as it could have been changed. Try this one. Comes back in 2 hours later. Even madder. By this point, I'm at a loss. There were really only two kinds of alts that would have fit thatcar and he's gotten both of them and said they were wrong. So I told him to pull it off and bring it in I bet I could match it up. I've seen my share of wierd swaps so it could be anything. Next morning he comes in and sets his "alt" down on the counter.... check that... SLAMS it down on the counter and says in his most obnoxious triumphant voice "This is what an Alternator looks like in case you didn't know." I see my counter guy starting to chuckle and I knew the S was about to HTF so I walk down there and sitting on the counter was the nastiest, greasiest dirt covered AIR pump I've ever seen in my life. When I explained he had the wrong part, his pace turned bright red and he left. I worked there for another 6-8 months and I don't think he ever came back. I have a saying I teach my new guys here: "Don't give them what they ask for, give them what they need." And boy is that true in retail parts....

Seems to me that the problem is usually with the people who THINK they know what they need, and aren't going to let you change their mind. OTOH, I imagine it's no fun to have people come in with a vague description of what's wrong and want you to diagnose it based on their verbal description.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla SuperDork
4/10/12 12:34 p.m.

another.....

So, the old tools AZ used to sell carried a lifetime warranty. Bring it in, and we swap it out if it's broken. We would use some of it in out store toolbox is it was salvageable the rest we collected until the box was full, took them out back spray painted them orange and threw them in the dumpster. THat way if someone dumpster dived we'd know they were ours.

One afternoon, I was out back spray painting a bunch of them to throw away, had just gotten done, cleaned up and went up front to relieve someione on hte counter for lunch. In walks a "gentleman" with a box..... from our dumpster. He plops them on the counter and starts taking out tools, painted orange. I wait until he gets them all unloaded and ask "What can I do for you?" HE looks at me an says "I want to exchange these for new ones. They are all broken." I literally start laughing in the guys face, I said "Look at your hands. You see that orange paint? I just sprayed them 10 minutes ago. PLease take your trash and leave."

HE had the most suprised look on his face, spent about 5 minutes of trying the "no, these I hav had, I painted them" trick before I told him to leave or I would call the police. When I mentioned police, his face turned white and he highttailed it out of there.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla SuperDork
4/10/12 12:36 p.m.
psteav wrote:
Bobzilla wrote: Here's one.... we had a gentleman who appearedto reside in a neighborhood where all the homes were not permanently fixed that wanted an Alternator for his 1984 LTD. No problem, look it up and away he goes. Comes back in 3 hours later madder than hell. OK, maybe the alt was for a different engine as it could have been changed. Try this one. Comes back in 2 hours later. Even madder. By this point, I'm at a loss. There were really only two kinds of alts that would have fit thatcar and he's gotten both of them and said they were wrong. So I told him to pull it off and bring it in I bet I could match it up. I've seen my share of wierd swaps so it could be anything. Next morning he comes in and sets his "alt" down on the counter.... check that... SLAMS it down on the counter and says in his most obnoxious triumphant voice "This is what an Alternator looks like in case you didn't know." I see my counter guy starting to chuckle and I knew the S was about to HTF so I walk down there and sitting on the counter was the nastiest, greasiest dirt covered AIR pump I've ever seen in my life. When I explained he had the wrong part, his pace turned bright red and he left. I worked there for another 6-8 months and I don't think he ever came back. I have a saying I teach my new guys here: "Don't give them what they ask for, give them what they need." And boy is that true in retail parts....
Seems to me that the problem is usually with the people who THINK they know what they need, and aren't going to let you change their mind. OTOH, I imagine it's no fun to have people come in with a vague description of what's wrong and want you to diagnose it based on their verbal description.

I've been in the dealerships for the last 10 years and I get almost daily calls wanting me to fix or diagnose over the phone with the most vague descriptions you can imagine.

Just yesterday, a lady asks for a price on a fuel pump for an Integra. I asked her if she's had it looked at/diagnosed or what as we all know the main relay's are a common failure point with them. She then tells me that "it cranks and stuff, but it's not getting any gas or sparkplugs. Maybe it's a spark plug? It just conked out. WHat do I need?"

That is an actual call I got just yesterday.... it's amazing sometimes.

I think the people that ask for the wrong E36 M3 are the ones that bitch the most about "vatozone" or whatever and how they give them the wrong parts the most. Now I'm not saying ALL the people that get wrong parts are them... but I can figure out what part you're asking for 99% of the time ith even the vaguest descrioptions.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
4/10/12 12:46 p.m.

I've had my share of dumb dealings with parts stores, dealers, junkyards, etc etc etc...

Bob is right, though. MOST of it is the customer's fault.

The parts store shouldn't be diagnosing your car or telling you to buy parts. You go there to buy parts and nothing else.

My pet peeve is going to there to find a certain spark plug i need, and they suggest something else because they don't have what i need in stock. And then won't shut the berkeley up about it.

But that's neither here nor there.

Here's an example of a customer who would be a parts guy's worst nightmare. Warning: not responsible for lost brain cells.

http://forums.probetalk.com/showthread.php?t=1701307358

ohms
ohms Reader
4/10/12 12:58 p.m.

hahahaha - if Abbot and Costello ever did a bit about cars...that woulda been it. Even how it ended with you asking "ok, so whats your question?" was too perfect, like a scripted 2 man comedy act. Good grief though, props for still trying to help that kid out, i woulda gave up a while back and just said "go try it" haha

In reply to 92CelicaHalfTrac:

EvanB
EvanB GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/10/12 12:58 p.m.
92CelicaHalfTrac wrote: Here's an example of a customer who would be a parts guy's worst nightmare. Warning: not responsible for lost brain cells. http://forums.probetalk.com/showthread.php?t=1701307358

Is it a coincidence that the word "acid" is in his username?

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac MegaDork
4/10/12 1:00 p.m.
EvanB wrote:
92CelicaHalfTrac wrote: Here's an example of a customer who would be a parts guy's worst nightmare. Warning: not responsible for lost brain cells. http://forums.probetalk.com/showthread.php?t=1701307358
Is it a coincidence that the word "acid" is in his username?

I was just asking Bob about this, too....

I don't know what causes it, but...

Escort = Protege for the most part.
Probe = MX6 for the most part.

WHY is there such a disparity in average IQs between say.... the Escort forums and the Protege forums? The Probe forums and the MX6 forums?

gamby
gamby PowerDork
4/10/12 1:01 p.m.
92CelicaHalfTrac wrote: I've had my share of dumb dealings with parts stores, dealers, junkyards, etc etc etc... Bob is right, though. MOST of it is the customer's fault.

I've always said that whoever said "the customer is always right" has never worked in retail. The general public at large is so, so dim.

Threads like this give me retail PTSD.

DoctorBlade
DoctorBlade Dork
4/10/12 1:09 p.m.

I did have to reassure a repair shop's customer once that the price he was paying wasn't that much of a markup. It was a starter for his new '92 Blazer. Truth was? It wasn't much of a markup.

Appleseed
Appleseed PowerDork
4/10/12 1:13 p.m.
Bobzilla wrote: Just yesterday, a lady asks for a price on a fuel pump for an Integra. I asked her if she's had it looked at/diagnosed or what as we all know the main relay's are a common failure point with them. She then tells me that "it cranks and stuff, but it's not getting any gas or sparkplugs. Maybe it's a spark plug? It just conked out. WHat do I need?"

At least she had some what of an idea how a gasoline engine works. That's better than a lot of dudes I've met.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla SuperDork
4/10/12 1:15 p.m.
Appleseed wrote:
Bobzilla wrote: Just yesterday, a lady asks for a price on a fuel pump for an Integra. I asked her if she's had it looked at/diagnosed or what as we all know the main relay's are a common failure point with them. She then tells me that "it cranks and stuff, but it's not getting any gas or sparkplugs. Maybe it's a spark plug? It just conked out. WHat do I need?"
At least she had some what of an idea how a gasoline engine works. That's better than a lot of dudes I've met.

No, she really didn't. THat was a long conversation and the more she talked the less she knew. I just hit the highlights.

gamby
gamby PowerDork
4/10/12 1:16 p.m.
Appleseed wrote:
Bobzilla wrote: Just yesterday, a lady asks for a price on a fuel pump for an Integra. I asked her if she's had it looked at/diagnosed or what as we all know the main relay's are a common failure point with them. She then tells me that "it cranks and stuff, but it's not getting any gas or sparkplugs. Maybe it's a spark plug? It just conked out. WHat do I need?"
At least she had some what of an idea how a gasoline engine works. That's better than a lot of dudes I've met.

Yeah, she was downright analytical.

EvanB
EvanB GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/10/12 1:34 p.m.
92CelicaHalfTrac wrote:
EvanB wrote:
92CelicaHalfTrac wrote: Here's an example of a customer who would be a parts guy's worst nightmare. Warning: not responsible for lost brain cells. http://forums.probetalk.com/showthread.php?t=1701307358
Is it a coincidence that the word "acid" is in his username?
I was just asking Bob about this, too.... I don't know what causes it, but... Escort = Protege for the most part. Probe = MX6 for the most part. WHY is there such a disparity in average IQs between say.... the Escort forums and the Protege forums? The Probe forums and the MX6 forums?

It's those quality 'murrican cars that attract the folks of that caliber.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla SuperDork
4/10/12 1:38 p.m.

HEY! I drive american cars.

EvanB
EvanB GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/10/12 1:40 p.m.

Me too...sometimes.

1 2 3 4 ... 19
Our Preferred Partners
PJVItGGkZh9YO5dDUirFCnV4C0RFzrxyRts5A5w2Dmz71STxOWUsKYAmAchOVTAu