What We Have Here…Is Failure to Communicate

Huh. So, remember the two grand cash card my Harley salesman gave me to buy accessories? Well, they were supposed to pay for all the extra mods I bought with the bike. So, I now understand how they could afford to comp me all that stuff. They didn’t. I learned that when the parts manager called today to ask where the two grand was to pay for my mods.

Unpleasant discussion followed.

You see, the salesman didn’t explain clearly what the cash card was for. Had I understood it was supposed to be to pay for the parts and labor, I never would’ve spent it all on riding gear, obviously. It would’ve been nice to have gotten a clear explanation of why he was giving me that cash card.

And unpleasant discussion with the salesman ensued. He said, “Well, I usually just give the cash card straight to the parts manager, but I knew you needed to buy a helmet and stuff, so I went ahead and gave it to you so you could use it to buy riding gear.”

Yeah? Well, it would’ve been nice if you had explained that to me on Friday, wouldn’t it?

So, I had to take some time off work this afternoon, pick up all the gear I could return, and go back to to the dealership to pay for my parts. Unfortunately, I had already cut the extra length off the chaps, so they’re mine for good ($295). I also wore the boots this weekend, so they couldn’t be returned either ($150). My chick’s sparkly belt, clothing, and dog scarves stayed here ($200).

The helmet and gloves, of course, I have to keep, but I loaded up the rest of it in the truck and returned it, getting $1,044 back.

So, then it was off to pay for the parts, now with $1075 of my own money. Whereupon the parts guy informs me that, since I hadn’t paid for the parts, they didn’t schedule my mods to be installed, so now I can’t pick up the bike until 6 July, this, despite being told repeatedly by the sales staff that I could pick up the bike on the 2nd.

At that point, I went from slightly disgruntled bald gentleman to shaven-headed, menacing asshole. “How about you keep the f*ckin’ bike, and I take my business somewhere else? I’ll walk out of here right now, and never come back.”

Ah. Well, that was a different story then. It turns out that I can, in fact, have my bike by the 2nd. In fact, I can pick it up on the 28th, if I want. Once the sale itself was at stake, the parts guy stated scurrying around to find every part I wanted. He even called other dealerships to see if he could get a back-ordered windshield from them, which they let him have.

Oh, and several of the parts on my list were the wrong ones. So, that was all screwed up, too. We had to go over the parts list line by line to get that straight, and he pulled every part from stock he could find, to be sure it was set aside for my bike.

Why isn’t anything ever easy any more? I mean, I finally got it all sorted out (although I ended up with a three hundred dollar pair of riding chaps I didn’t need) but Jebus!

Customer service is dead. You almost have to threaten people with physical harm just to get them to do the bare minimum they should already be doing just to keep their jobs. Act all nice and accommodating, and they just screw you.

Riding this motorcycle better be be some damn fun.

Author: Dale Franks

Dale Franks is the former host of The Business Day, ”a daily, four-hour business and financial news program on KMNY Radio in Los Angeles. From 2002-2004, he was a contributor on military and international affairs for TechCentralStation.com. Currently, he a publisher and editor of the monthly political journal The New Libertarian, as well as an editor of the popular web log, Q and O. Dale served as a military police officer in the United States Air Force from 1984 to 1993, in variety of assignments both in the United States and Europe, where he also was assigned to the staff of the Headquarters of Allied Forces Central Europe. In addition to broadcasting, writing, and speaking on various topics, Dale has also been a long-time technical training instructor on a variety of computer software and technology subjects. Dale has also long been involved with information technology as an accomplished web designer, programmer, and technologist, serving as the corporate knowledge specialist for Microsoft Outlook at SAIC, the nation's largest employee-owned corporation. Additionally, he is the author of a number of software user guides used for classroom training by one of Southern California’'s premier computer training and consulting firms. His book, SLACKERNOMICS: Basic Economics for People Who Find Economics Boring, is available from Barnes & Noble.