Sir, it is an X year old car.

Nov 1, 2006 by

Last Saturday afternoon I visited my local car dealer parts department to buy a couple small parts for my wife’s car. The man behind the counter was on the telephone with a customer and was plainly irritated. While I only heard half the conversation, it was enough.  The caller was trying to track down parts to repair his older vehicle.

This manufacturer quietly made the decision a couple years ago to stop supporting their used car customers by not continuing to supply parts, except for their more popular models.

Their practice has been to let the inventory run out and not reorder for the less popular parts.   The caller was having difficulty understanding the concept, because the parts man would not explicitly state it. Instead, he said the parts were no longer available and suggested the caller visit the local junkyard.   At this point he said, “Sir, it is an X year old car.”  I guess this is the official sanitized explanation.  What he communicated was:

·         I’m the expert on parts and you know nothing-so don’t question me.
·         You are not a professional mechanic or you would not be calling me on Saturday afternoon.
·         You drive an old car because you are too cheap to buy one of our shiny new ones.
·         You are a loser for trying to repair it yourself because you are too cheap to pay a professional to do it.
·         Finally, you take up my time on the telephone to beg for parts for your worthless scrap, when I could be watching the ball game on my TV in the back room.

The concept of service left the building many months ago.   Did you also see it leave?

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