Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Auto Review, Alaska

Well I've been meaning to do this review for a couple days now so I'd better before it slips my mind.

Recently I had an automotive issue that had been unresolved since October. At first I went to Johnson's Tire Center in Anchorage to get it fixed. I returned the same day with an even bigger issue caused by a faulty repair and they promptly "fixed" it. Fast forward to December where the same problem re-occurs only worse than before. I took it to a place in Fairbanks and was told someone screwed it up pretty badly. I didn't have the money to fix it yet so I just let it go, while keeping an eye on it.

Well last week the problem became much worse to the point where it had to be fixed immediately. So I bit the bullet and took it somewhere else in Fairbanks only to hear the exact same diagnosis. Someone screwed it up royally and perhaps even did something unethical to cover up their mistake.

Needless to say I was pissed. After leaving it at the shop, I immediately called the Johnson's location in Anchorage (I won't say which of the two I went to though). I was calm at first, until the manager began to get defensive and back-pedal. Needless to say I didn't like the denial. It was pretty tense for a bit, but I don't remember cussing at the guy which was a good thing.

Long story short, after a bit of denial and some forcefulness on my part, the manager did the right thing. I was actually surprised, but he called the shop in Fairbanks and discussed the problem with the staff. After that he agreed to pay the bill. The problem wasn't apparently as bad as first thought, but nonetheless it was a result of a faulty repair job.

This brings me to two conclusions, one philosophical and one is just an opinion. Firstly, more people need to stand up on principles. I knew that the shop in Anchorage was responsible and knew the problem was solely their fault. The problem was mis-diagnosed and kind of made me look a bit foolish because what I was saying wasn't fully correct, but nonetheless it was their fault. I refused to back down, despite the insanity of the accusations and the vehement denial of the manager. Had he denied it and I accepted that, then I would have been basically getting screwed over. I'm glad I wouldn't take no for an answer, as I was able to get the problem fixed for free(as it should have been) and I was able to give my next statement.

Johnson's Tire Service in Anchorage is actually a decent place. Even though they screwed up, they made it right. They stood behind their work and when it wasn't right(after I convinced them of it), they made amends for it. That is a quality all too many businesses are lacking these days. Gone are the days when the customer is always right. Gone are the days when the businesses actually act like they need you, instead of you needing them. So for the repairs, well I can't say I'm pleased with the overall situation. But for old-fashioned customer service, I'll give them some credit where credit it due. Overall my recommendation to anyone looking to go to Johnson's is to go ahead and go. As with any auto repairs, do your due diligence to make sure things are right, but I wouldn't recommend against them. I personally wouldn't because of past experience, but only because of that. As I said before they're a decent place to go.


Parker Boudreau said...

A good mechanic is rare, and when you find one, you hold onto them for dear life. One sure fire way to know is when they tell you that you don't need to fix something, or that it can last a little longer. Sometimes a mechanic will also replace something that they damaged, tell you about it, but not charge you for it.


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