Thursday, August 4, 2011

Is it Peggy or a scam?

Discover Card hit a wonderful ad campaign with Peggy. It seems that companies who have to depend on patrons for customrs hire minimum wage people who cannot read.

I sent an email to Nissan, complaining about my service engine soon light and the advice I received from my dealer to "ignore" it. The Altima is a little over 2 years old, had a 3 year bumper to bumper warranty, and has less than 5,000 miles on it.

No one at Nissan USA replied to my email and after 3 days, I called. I got Tiffaney (note the spelling) on the phone. She was pleasant enough, asked for the VIN, found my email, gave me a case file number, and then added, "When was the diagnostic done?"

Since the point of my email was that the service manager recommended doing nothing and told me the Diagnostic would cost $94.00. To her question, I answered "never."

"Last week?" she asked. "No, Tiffaney, never." I almost called her Peggy.

And then, as if she couldn't read even one word, we slowly went through my email word for word and when frustration on my part reared its ugly head, I said I wanted to talk to a supervisor. "They will just say what I'm telling you," she said. After a couple of minutes, on hold, a supervisor listened patiently and told me what I wanted to hear - almost. A diagnostic that reveals a problem with a warranted part is free. Otherwise, fax them the info and they'll send me a check.

Then I emailed Ardmore Nissan with the service complaint and I received a reply email from another Peggy that he was delighted I'm interested in buying a new Nissan and he will contact me shortly.

I sent a reply email - all CAPS - shouting NO, NO, NO. Here's another person who cannot read. Finally I took my courage by the hand and brought my car to the agency.

"The light is still on?" I nodded. I asked Dave if he would tighten the gas cap. He inspected it, nodded that it had been put on OK and tight enough. He then suggested that I drive over 50 mph for a while. Did it. Light is still on. So, two days later (first available appointment) I took the car back to the agency, and waited for the results of the diagnostic.

And after 2 hours, the scam revealed itself with confirmation that there was never anything wrong with the gas tank cap and that it passed the pressure test correctly. But somehow, someway, the computer read there was a "vapor lock" or something like that. And, those things "usually" correct themselves, except when the customer can be scammed, like I was.

We paid the bill; faxed the required material to Nissan customer service; and I am not holding my breath while I wait for the promised reimbursement check.

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