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Parts store stupid customers #4475017
07/30/17 09:26 PM
07/30/17 09:26 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 14,333
Canada
addyguy Offline OP
addyguy  Offline OP
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 14,333
Canada
This is a reply thread to 'Auto parts store idiots' thread. I work as a parts-counter person at a Canadian Tire store, and have for five years now.

To start with, you are somewhat right; there are a lot of people hired by stores like ours that shouldn't be there. Low-bidder thinking does get you people who are just there as a body, and don't know or care. But there are people, such as myself (if I may brag a bit) who do care about the job, know a thing or two, and do learn as we go.

One big problem is that there is a divide - 'retail' parts places, like ours, are married to a system that is 'year, make, model' to look up parts...you don't go by knowing parts, cross references or stuff like that. It is a system that is designed for speed, to people in and out as quick as possible. Smaller 'garage' parts places go by old-school guys who KNOW parts from working with them. They take their time looking up cross-references or diagrams to find parts...they are in no hurry. Some retail systems have no functionality to look up by parts numbers..just year, make, model.

As my title suggests, there is also a problem with customers who have no clue! You would no believe how many times a day I have someone come in and ask for parts, and they have no idea what year their car is, or what engine it has! Sometimes it does not matter, but a lot of times, it does! The real kicker is these people often get mad at me because 'all parts are the same, just go get it'. I try to help people, and say 'when you bought it, what engine did you get'? I usually get an incredulous laugh, and 'I bought the blue one!'

Another one we get is people who want to fix something on their car because they are too cheap to have a shop do it, but they don't know how to do it, and just expect we will tell them exactly how to do it. Yes, a lot of ex-mechanics can do it, but as said above, most of us in a retail setting aren't techs. If you are coming to buy parts at a parts desk, and are doing it yourself, you should know what you are doing. But no, these customers come in and want you to walk them through exactly how to do some complex repair, and get mad when you don't know all the steps, specs, and tools they need!

The other one that really fries me is the number of lazy jerks who send their wife in to pick up parts, when they know even less about cars. Sure, some women do know a lot and are fine, but honestly most don't. To top it off, they think if you can't help them, if they 'threaten' you, it will work - 'If my husband has to come in because you gave me the wrong part, he will be very upset'

So there is a flip side to this!



2010 Kia Soul 2U - 2.0L I-4, auto; 132k miles.
M1 EP 10W-30; OEM Kia filter.
Re: Parts store stupid customers [Re: addyguy] #4475026
07/30/17 09:34 PM
07/30/17 09:34 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,372
CA
user52165 Offline
user52165  Offline
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,372
CA
OK, now do you feel better?

Re: Parts store stupid customers [Re: addyguy] #4475029
07/30/17 09:37 PM
07/30/17 09:37 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 447
North Carolina
Urshurak776 Offline
Urshurak776  Offline
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 447
North Carolina
Working with the public (especially these days)........nope.


2012 Hyundai Santa Fe, 130,000 miles, Havoline Pro DS Full Syn 5W-20, Auto7 Filter.
2014 Kia Rio, 80,000 miles, Havoline Pro DS Syn 5W-30, WIX Filter
Re: Parts store stupid customers [Re: addyguy] #4475040
07/30/17 09:49 PM
07/30/17 09:49 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,083
New Jersey
JHZR2 Offline
JHZR2  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,083
New Jersey
Sounds like those customers would make great employees for most part store chains smile

Good people are hard to find, somewhere near 50% of the population is below average... its just that they consume, reproduce and vote.

Re: Parts store stupid customers [Re: addyguy] #4475050
07/30/17 09:58 PM
07/30/17 09:58 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,226
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,226
Waco, TX
Been there ... done that

"I need a fuel pump for a Buick Grand Marquis"


(lady buys 4 qts oil)
Ma'am would you like an oil filter?
"what's that? I just dump in 4 quarts of new oil every 3000 miles"

(Man sets a RUSTED SOLID Quadrajet on the counter)
"I bought this carb 2 months ago, now it's flooding out"
(I drain water out of it.... yeah, right - looks like he found it in someone's backyard)


I could go on forever.


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Parts store stupid customers [Re: JHZR2] #4475051
07/30/17 09:58 PM
07/30/17 09:58 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 271
NM, USA
pkunk Offline
pkunk  Offline
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 271
NM, USA
Originally Posted By: JHZR2

somewhere near 50% of the population is below average...
LOL LOL LOL


2008 Mini Cooper Clubman (toad)
2000 Mercedes ML320
1994 Dodge 2500 Cummins
1999 Ford F53 V10 Coachman Motorhome 34ft
Re: Parts store stupid customers [Re: addyguy] #4475061
07/30/17 10:07 PM
07/30/17 10:07 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 923
SF BAY AREA, CA
dogememe Offline
dogememe  Offline
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 923
SF BAY AREA, CA
i work at a major auto parts chain in the us, thing is, i'm not a professional mechanic. sure, i fix my own stuff once in a while, but i'm not an ase certified master mechanic who is here to fix your car for free. i am not here to diagnose your issues. i am simply here to sell you the correct PART for your YEAR MAKE MODEL with ENGINE SIZE and yes, I can look up fluid specs and stuff. i'd say at least half of the people who work at this company have never even changed their own oil...

Last edited by dogememe; 07/30/17 10:08 PM.

2007 Crown Vic P71 4.6 ~126K Miles, Royal Purple HPS 5W-30, Royal Purple Filter, Daily Driver.
2010 Escape FWD 2.5 ~84K Miles, Castrol Edge EP 5W-30, Wix Filter, Rented on Turo.
Re: Parts store stupid customers [Re: addyguy] #4475067
07/30/17 10:11 PM
07/30/17 10:11 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 11,314
Santa Barbara, CA
bdcardinal Offline
bdcardinal  Offline
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 11,314
Santa Barbara, CA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eT4oWFUsfBw

At the dealer we usually want the VIN, last 8 works most of the time. I have no problem telling people if we sell a lot of a certain part, I do that here a lot, but don't ask me if a specific part will fix your problem. Also when people come in and say they have a code P1XXX what is causing it, don't be surprised when I refer them to service or ask if they followed the flow chart. Pulling a code is just a step in doing proper diagnosis.


2014 Ford Mustang GT Track Pack
1995 Ford Mustang GT

Ford/Mazda Parts Counter
NRA Benefactor Member
Opinions expressed are my own.
Re: Parts store stupid customers [Re: addyguy] #4475070
07/30/17 10:13 PM
07/30/17 10:13 PM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 5,015
Virginia
bbhero Offline
bbhero  Offline
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 5,015
Virginia
Good post addyguy. I appreciate the good people who work in any form of retail. Like I mentioned in my previous the O Reilly's people are really very good. Tomorrow I am going by there with a hand written letter to their district manager giving the staff there a lot of credit for being so great.


Nissan Altima 3.5 Coupe
Quaker State High Mileage 5w30 Purolator Boss 14610
"Treat your family like your friends and treat your friends like your family."
Re: Parts store stupid customers [Re: addyguy] #4475078
07/30/17 10:16 PM
07/30/17 10:16 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,339
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Chris142 Online content
Chris142  Online Content
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,339
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
When I worked at Kragen auto parts I went around with a knucklehead that swore that a smog pump was an alternator and wanted me to test it for voltage output.


02 Wrangler durablend 10w40
87 F250 traveler 15w40
04 Tahoe super-s 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor 15w40
Re: Parts store stupid customers [Re: addyguy] #4475085
07/30/17 10:17 PM
07/30/17 10:17 PM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 682
il usa
merconvvv Offline
merconvvv  Offline
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 682
il usa
Most auto shop workers are great.

Very down to earth, friendly and helpful.

Last edited by merconvvv; 07/30/17 10:18 PM.

1988 Mazda RX7 na PP 10w30 Noack 4.7
1994 Chrysler Concorde 3.3
1999 Ford Expedition 4.6 QSUD 10W30 NOACK 5.0
Re: Parts store stupid customers [Re: dogememe] #4475121
07/30/17 11:05 PM
07/30/17 11:05 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,390
Western S.C. since 1996
CR94 Online content
CR94  Online Content
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,390
Western S.C. since 1996
Originally Posted By: dogememe
... i am simply here to sell you the correct PART for your YEAR MAKE MODEL with ENGINE SIZE ...
I'm sure there are bad examples on both sides of the counter.

That said, it irritates me when a knucklehead who only knows what he sees on a computer screen asks the engine size---on a year and model that never had but one engine size. Why waste everybody's time with irrelevant questions? That's as much the fault of sloppy computer programming as of the clerk. In one case, an Advance store asked that nonsense question, but neglected to ask whether it's for the sedan, hatchback, or wagon, and I forgot to volunteer that information. They ordered the rarest (wagon) version, which wasn't what I needed.


2011 Toyota Prius now at 92K
1981 Mazda GLC (323) retired at 606K
1972 Subaru DL retired at 190K
1954 Chevrolet retired at 121K
Re: Parts store stupid customers [Re: addyguy] #4475125
07/30/17 11:16 PM
07/30/17 11:16 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 18,614
Dallas,Tx USA
aquariuscsm Offline
aquariuscsm  Offline
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 18,614
Dallas,Tx USA
Originally Posted By: addyguy
To top it off, they think if you can't help them, if they 'threaten' you, it will work - 'If my husband has to come in because you gave me the wrong part, he will be very upset'


That's when you laugh in there face and tell them to go bring his pansy self in there,because you know he's a total puss if this grown man is sending his wife to go run his errands.


1996 Nissan 300ZX 5-speed,Arctic Pearl(#175 of 300)
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 10W30
2012 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L 2.4,auto,San Marino Red
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 5W20

Re: Parts store stupid customers [Re: addyguy] #4475159
07/31/17 12:50 AM
07/31/17 12:50 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 17,121
Michigan
daves87rs Offline
daves87rs  Offline
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 17,121
Michigan
Yep, and have a friend who is a manager at an auto parts stores who has many great stories to tell...

Working in retail (and trying to escape it again), today's consumer makes it hard to be a professional person....the lack of respect is scary! I pride myself in being good at what I do-but in the past few weeks I have had my life threaten for something that was not in stock.

Lots of angry people....


Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.

Henry Ford
Re: Parts store stupid customers [Re: addyguy] #4475171
07/31/17 02:19 AM
07/31/17 02:19 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 4,741
New Zealand
Silk Online content
Silk  Online Content
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 4,741
New Zealand
Here in NZ we used to tell them make, model, year, chassis no and engine no - eg, N14, SR18. These days we have a national data base, and just give the rego number. We have a Repco store just up the road, I don't bother to ring these day, I just open Repco Navigator, enter the rego number and look up parts I need, it tells me what parts, if they are in stock, and which nearest branch has them...and my price and RRP.


1987 BMW R65 - Penrite V Twin 20/50
2005 Nissan Expert - Gulf Western 10W-40
1996 Volvo T5 - Penrite HPR15 - 15W-60. Ryco syntec filter.
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