OK, So It Isn’t Happy Harleyday

I am getting really, really irked at San Diego Harley. My bike wasn’t ready today. it was supposed to be. I was told it was ready on Friday. But when I got there today, it wasn’t.

We got to the dealership at 9:00am exactly. I walked into the sales desk and picked up my registration. Then I went to the service desk to get my bike, only to be told that it wasn’t finished. But, they assured me, it would be done by 11.

Moreover, when I looked at the work order, the one module to turn the turn signals into running He He’d even written down the labor estimate for it. He told me he was sending a driver down to the downtown store to pick it up, since they were the only store that had one.

But it never made it onto the work order. Why would it? Why?

Once again, I started making everyone uncomfortable. At one point, I had the parts guy, the other chrome consultant, and the service guy all together, while I said, “Gentlemen, this is the third trip down to this dealership. It’s the third time I have asked for this part to be placed on my work order. Why am I having this same conversation three times? What seems to be the problem that causes this work order never to be completed?”

No one had any answers, of course. Nor do they seem very conmfortable when a customer gets angry at their non-performance.

And now, all the stores are out of stock on this part, so it’ll be a while before I can get it on my bike.

Running down this problem–again–took an hour.

Now, my plan was to pick up the bike at nine, then spend twenty minutes or so on the walkthrough, then a half-hour getting used to it in stops, starts, and turns. i figured I’d be out of there by 10:30 at the latest, then I could make it to the MSF course range by 1:00. So, at 10;30, I asked how close we were to getting the bike.

Service boy goes back and asks the tech how it’s going, then comes back and says, “He says he should have it ready by noon.

By noon.

“But don’t worry, it’ll be ready in time to get you where you need to go.”

“Really? I need it right now. Is it ready right now?”


Then it won’t be ready in time to get me where I need to go, will it?”

Silence, shuffling of some suddenly important paperwork.

So, I give my registration back to the sales manager, and tell him I’ll try and pick up the bike tomorrow.

On our way out, the service guy said, “I’ll give you a call as soon as your bike is ready.”

Did he call, you ask? Of course not. Why would he? Why?

No, I called the dealership at about 4:30 and asked if it was ready. “Oh, yeah,” the guy said, like it was the silliest question in the world, “That bike’s ready.”


I guess I’m learning why Harley dealers have such a bad rep with Harley owners.

Anybody got any ideas about how I can get my three hours back that the Harley stealership took from me this morning?

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.

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