bad service

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 2BladeRunners, Nov 9, 2003.

  1. 2BladeRunners

    2BladeRunners LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    I'm a new business owner, been mowing for others for 20 yrs. I took one of my chansaws to a Stihl Authorized service center to have the carb rebuilt. This was not my regular service center, rather one that was close at the time. They called a week later and I paid for the repairs at the front desk. When I pulled around back to the dock they couldn't find my say. They took my cell number and said they would call me that day. Four days later I called inquiring about my saw and was told one of their service techs had died (the same day I went to pick up the unit) in an auto accident. They had been closed for 2 days due to funeral etc. He said he would call me the next day. 2 days later I stop in as I was not called. They still can't find the saw and now I need to talk to the owner who is not there. I stop back in the next day and talk to the owner. He's not apologetic at all, in fact complains to me about the fact he may have to go through his insurance to cover the loss. Told me it would take 30 days to get paid by insurance and he would call me later. I stopped in a week later and now the owner is on vacation for 2 weeks. The counter guy said they have a couple used saws they'll clean one up and give it to me as a replacement. This is sounding like a bunch of crap to me. I don't want to take advantage of them but I feel they owe me a new like or current model saw. Anyone experience anything like this before?
  2. locutus

    locutus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,266

    First, call Stihl and get them involved. I'm sure they dont want any negative publicity surrounding their "authorized" service.

    Second, sue them for anything the laws in your state will allow. In most cases like this, simply filing suit is enough to get their attention.

    Third, get nasty. your choice how on this one.

    It's obvious from what you say that this service center just flat out does not give a crap that they lost your saw. Exhaust every option before resorting to my third suggestion.
  3. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    More than likely someone else is using your saw right now.

    I was given a trimmer back one time and didn't even realize it wasn't mine. Used it for a couple weeks before the dealer finally figured out what he had done. Mine was still sitting in the shop and I was using a competitors trimmer.

    I would raise a little cane about this though........30 days? Uh Uh.........I wouldn't accept anything other than your saw, doing so might show that your accepting their compromise.
  4. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    New saw. NOW.
    It's not your problem how it removed itself from the shop.
  5. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

    Don't worry about not taking advantage of these guys. They are the ones that threw decency out the door. Is your time that they have wasted not as valuable as money? The least they owe you is a new equivalent saw and a sincere apology. If they don't do that, they don't care about you or other customers, and need to find another business to infest. I say get nasty first. Don't just threaten them, it is past that point. Make sure you have documented every encounter with these theifs, take legal action NOW, and don't settle until YOU are pleased.
    BTW, Screw Stihl. Don't waste your time calling them, it is their primary responsibility to make sure their service centers represent them well. If they neglect that, they deserve some bad publicity and a red flag may be what they need to get it in gear.
    These dudes have no respect for you. Have no mercy until justice is served!
  6. 2BladeRunners

    2BladeRunners LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    Thanks to everyone who has replied...I appreciate the validation that it's time to get serious about this. I do have documentation regarding the dates of contact, not to mention the work order showing I paid for the parts & labor on a product this guy can't produce.

    I will contact Stihl and let them know how their service agent has treated one of their customers. My garage looks like a Stihl add with line trimmers, edgers, saws and blowers. Maybe I'll just take a picture to include with my letter! It's a competitive market out their, and I really like their products, but if they just blow it off then at least I have other manufacturers to choose from.

    One step further, this guy also represents Toro and John Deer. As an owner of their products (mowers and pressure washer respectively) I'll send them a similar letter letting them know what kind of ethics on of their service dealers is exhibiting. And while I appreciate it wasn't their product surrounding this issue, it easily could have been. I don't think I'll get much of a reaction but I'll also let them know I'm planning on upgrading my mowers in 2004 so if they even want me to look at their products I'd better see at least an inquiry to this dealer from them.
    I will file a complaint with Michigan's Attorney General's office and the Grand Rapids Better Business Bureau.

    And finally, I'll pass the info to an attorney - which I've really wanted to avoid but you guys's have helped open my eyes. Homer, I believe you are's been my belief all along that the saw was inadvertently delivered to someone else. And until they realize the mistake, I'm not going to get anywhere.
  7. Indiana

    Indiana LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    I think I would ask my attorney if what they have done is steal your saw.

    I would swear out a warrant for somebody's arrest and press charges on the owner of the shop. I would say you don't need an attorney, they do.

    I would now explain that not only do I want my money back for the repair, but I want a new replacement saw.

    If this ever happens to me at my dealer, they have some real trouble. They will see a completely different side of me. Not pretty.
  8. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    If it was a good saw then I wouldn't expect to see it anytime soon, the new proud owner is probably real happy with his toy.
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Too bad you didn't know someone with a rental place. THey could be writing you reciepts for everyday for the rental of the saw. This is your living, and you would be entitled to this. Afterall, they have NOT offered you a loaner, - just a "trade" - that you did not agree to, which is fully understandable. I would go back there, tell them that you have spoken to your brother-in-law, who is an attorney, and this is what he told you. Tell them the rental has already tallied up to tabout the amount of a new saw. Call the boss and ask him - does he want to keep going?
  10. KerryB

    KerryB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 661

    This would probably end up in small claims court. You can do this without a lawyer.
    You can recover the cost of the saw, minus depreciation probably determined by the judge. But give him the price of what a new replacement saw will cost. You can recover the cost of filing about $35.00. You can recover the amount of lost income from the day you paid the bill to present.
    I would also call Stihl to complain. Like you said you are a walking advertisement for their products.
    I believe that Stihl should be approched as a potential sponsor of LS. Having Exmark on here has helped me as well as many others get problems resolved.

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