Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Apologies and Remorse Serve a Purpose

Before our road trip to LA for the holidays my husband decided to get the oil change the minivan needed. He didn't have time to do it himself, so he took it to the dealer the day before our trip. While he was there, they reminded him about a recall repair that needed to be done and said they could do that too if he was willing to wait an extra hour. He agreed.

Several hours later they were finally done. He maneuvered the van through their lot and came to the driveway of the lot where he needed to stop and wait for a break in traffic before pulling out onto the main road. Simple enough. All drivers stop before pulling into traffic several times each excursion. It should have been simple this time too, except that his brakes didn't work.

After a moment of panic, he managed to pump the breaks enough to stop and then turned right around and went back into the service area of the dealership. And instead of apologizing profusely about how they put his life and the lives of others in danger, they simply said they'd take a look at it as soon as possible.

To make a long story short, he was told that the repairman neglected to "bleed the brakes." I don't really know what that means, but my husband assures me that it is an inexcusable error that resulted in dramatically reduced brake performance.

He never did receive an apology. He just lost additional hours of precious time. Upon hearing the story I was appalled. Their error risked his life and the lives of any vehicle that might have been in his path. We were just lucky that he had to stop to wait for a break in traffic. If he had been able to just pull out, the first time he needed to brake might have been at a busy intersection.

I can't believe they didn't apologize. And then call out a manager and get him or her to apologize. And then ask what they could do to make it up to us. I know we live in a litigious society and to apologize is to insinuate guilt and put yourself and your organization at risk. I'm guessing that is why he didn't receive an apology. However, as a wife who recognizes that her husband's life was endangered, my heart craves an apology. I'm not looking to sue anyone, I just want to see some sincere remorse for such a huge mistake.

Clearly, we'll never return to that dealership. Somehow that doesn't feel like enough though. The incident still lingers in my mind a month later. It pops into my head every time we brake.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Web Analytics