We needed a new car key to replace a lost key and get the fob reprogrammed. Cheryl in parts quoted us on the phone the price for a new key and reprogramming the fob frequency. She said the “total would be just under $200”. I hear “total” and think “total” out the door as is usually the case.
When the service department handed me the invoice after the service was done, I saw a $13.51 “Supplies” fee in addition to the tax line that had not been previously mentioned with the “Total” quote and asked what that was for. She said for the key. I argued that the key was $132 so what is the “Supplies” thing? Then she said it’s “a fee the owner has put on all the invoices.” I told them I’d never be back and that Mullinax took care of what they wouldn’t a year and a half ago under warranty. Back to that later.
I went over to the sales building/main office to see if I could find out more about this “supplies“ fee. Explanation from accounting: If they have to use certain tools, such as a computer, to perform the work, that fee gets tacked onto the invoice. I’m a realtor. It’s like me telling a seller, that in addition to the commission I am charging to sell their home, I am going to tack on a “Supplies” fee because I have to use my computer and the MLS...my tools...to do the work.
The service manager, Randy, had taken my car back to the garage to do the reprogramming of the keys. I sat on the bench opposite side of the garage doors waiting. I heard the familiar squeal of my brakes as the car was being brought back to the front. I was already collecting my things to get up when Randy parked my car. I heard it long before I saw it and there was a big gray pickup truck parked between me and where he parked my car. I could only have known because of the squealing brakes.
I went back into the service area to collect my keys and check out. Randy turned to tell me the keys were at the window. I asked him what he thought about my brakes squealing. He looked me in the eye and said, “I didn’t hear anything and I was listening for it.”
Now, the interesting part of the story is that I did not mention the brakes at all when I got there and gave them my key and went outside. So why, exactly, was he listening for squealing brakes? I told him there was no way he did not hear those brakes squealing because they squeal every time I make a turn with my foot on the brake.
Backstory: We took the car in 1.5 years ago before the warranty expired. We took it in for three things: Defective volume button on the steering wheel (changed songs/channels instead of volume), bad connection with the USB in the console and squealing brakes. They had the car for two hours and called us to come and get it. They claimed they could not duplicate any of the problems. As we left the parking lot, the brakes squealed at every turn and all the way out onto 192. The volume button also changed songs several times as we drove.
The next month the button had become much worse so we took the car to Mullinax. They asked to see the paperwork from when we had taken it to Kisselback. Mullinax replaced the button as a warranty issue. They had to order the button because it was on back order for several weeks…it was a known defect. Regarding the brakes squealing, the service manager at Mullinax suggested we use the parking brake every time we park the car. We don’t remember to do it every time but we’ve done it fairly often and the brakes still squeal. No one has done anything about the USB port loose connection either.
I informed the Service deptartment that I will not be back. We’ll go the additional distance to Mullinax from now on.