I took the car back to have the new speaker installed. This time I decided I would not leave the car while it was being worked on, so I wandered around outside the shop (in the parking lot) until they pulled my car in. What I witnessed was horrifying.
First, the kid who was moving cars in and out of the bays seemed to be in a hurry. Tires squeeled and engines roared. He entered tight parking spaces at a good 20mph and came to abrupt stops. I just crossed my fingers.
My car went into a bay that was along the outside of the garage, so I could just hang out in the lot and watch. The "mechanic" opened the driver'* door, popped the few perimeter rivets and pulled off the various plastic moulding inserts (eg around the door handle). So far so good.
Then he seemed to be having trouble getting the panel off. He grabbed the door handle (the part on the inside panel that you hold to close the door) with both hands and began violently pushing and pulling at it, in a frenzy. The entire car was rocking back and forth as this guy used all his force to try and yank the door panel off!
I couldn't take it. I had to intervene. I walked over and said "hey, easy there." I proceeded to point out that first, there is probably another screw or metal clip that needed to be removed. I then grasped the door panel and lifted it up so as to disengage the lip inside the window cavity (I've done this many times before). The tech started talking about how he hates these new cars - they are all plastic and you just have to yank at it until it comes off. He said sometimes you break things, but that'* just how it works. I shook my head in dismay and wondered if he had even looked at the service manual to see what the correct procedure was. I wondered if I should ask to see his ASE certificate. So I asked him if the service manual showed how to get the panel off. He just shook his ahead and said "yeah but it doesn't say much" (I'll be ordering the GXP service manual for my own edification and for future reference). He then proceeded to grasp the inside door handle again and start his primal dance...
SNAP! The panel popped off the door. Great, now let me see what he has broken.
He disconnected the various wire harnesses (which made the "door open alarm" finally shut off - he had left the keys in the ignition the whole time. ding ding ding aaaargghhh!).
I casually looked over the panel and the inside of the door. Sure enough, there were two metal clips behind the door handle (where you would find screws on older cars - to give the door handle a solid connection to the metal door frame for strength when pulling the door closed). It was immediately obvious that those clips were designed to slide out of their plastic retainers (which mount to the metal door frame). All he had to do was lift the panel and it would have come off easily. I pointed that out to him (for future reference
) and he just walked off towards his bench with the door panel and new speaker in hand.
Of course, I slowly followed him to his bench. He plopped the panel face-down on top of all the other junk cluttering his bench. Great, I wondered what kind of grease, oil and scratches that would leave all over the inside of my nice clean door panel.
Speaker replacement and door panel reinstallation went without incident. And I'm happy to say that it has solved the blown speaker problem. It'* nice to listen to music with bass again!
To clear up any misconceptions, let me say that I was friendly and curteous to this guy and never tried to be intimidating or irritating. He seemed fine with my presense and we even joked a few times. We even talked about how nice his company was to be giving all their employees holiday turkeys and cookies. He was likewise curteous and pleasant to talk to.
I was a bit irritated that my car was done, he had my paperwork in hand and rather than wrap it up and deliver may paperwork tot he service dept., he placed it on the hood of another car and started working on another repair! No wonder it takes so long to get out of the service waiting room
. I hung out for a few minutes more and finally gave up. I then wished him a happy holiday, thanked him for the repair and walked over to the service dept to wait for my paperwork and keys and to go home.
Now, I don't know about the rest of you guys, but maybe you treat a beat-up old Ford that way. To me, you don't use those repair tactics on a 6 month old vehicle that cost nearly $40K - *especially* when the customer is standing there watching!
Given what I witnessed that night and the fact that I also had some weird speedometer problem (a week after they were under my dash supposedly tightnening the HUD module), I will NEVER bring my car back there again. When GM calls with the survey, I will be sure to relate this story. I only wish I had had the forethought to have used my camera phone to record a video of the guy frantically ripping the door panel off.
I will also NEVER leave my car unattended while it is being worked on. Wherever I go for service next time, I will plant myself in the passanger seat and refuse to get out during the service (unless I'm in the way of course). If they don't like it, I will move on and bring my business elsewhere.
- off topic -
I'm really disgusted at the state of things. What happened to people who take pride in their work? What happened to people who treat things with respect and take the time to do things right? Maybe I'm overreacting, but I think this is all a sign of a bad turn we have taken in the name of "more more more." I hope a generation comes along soon who recognises this and make a course correction, because surely the path we're on now does not bode well for the future.