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Old 04-12-2018, 03:42 PM   #51
weq92f
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

Once again, scripted customer interaction. No training, just follow the script.

Then the establishment out-sources as much of the transaction to the customer as possible: customer is now responsible for swiping the card, punching in all the necessary identification/discount codes and often bagging the merchandise. Plus any data you give up is sold to the highest bidder for profit.

Brick and mortar outlets for consumer goods will, unfortunately, soon be a thing of the past.

-klb
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Old 04-12-2018, 04:19 PM   #52
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

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Once again, scripted customer interaction. No training, just follow the script.

Then the establishment out-sources as much of the transaction to the customer as possible: customer is now responsible for swiping the card, punching in all the necessary identification/discount codes and often bagging the merchandise. Plus any data you give up is sold to the highest bidder for profit.

Brick and mortar outlets for consumer goods will, unfortunately, soon be a thing of the past.

-klb
So true. The scripted interaction pisses me off the most. Walk up to the counter and they ignore even saying “hello” going straight for “phone number” or “rewards card”. Even the drive thru they go straight for “want to try a XXXX today?”.

Whenever I’m somewhere they do the script (especially if they don’t say hello first) I interrupt them with a friendly “Hello and something about the weather” totally ignoring and refusing to acknowledge whatever they were supposed to ask me. I love when a manager is there so I can tell them how much their interaction sucks. I know it won’t change policy but the employees at places I regularly visit don’t give me the script and treat me more like a person.

The scary part about rewards programs isn’t that they have your address and phone number to sell. They’re tracking your purchases so they know how often you purchase an item, how brand loyal you are, comparing your purchases to advertising and so much more. There was a story about Target being able to determine a girl was pregnant by her purchases and browsing habits. She hadn’t told her father yet but Target sent her something in the mail, the father saw it and that’s how he found out. I have a rewards card for a local supermarket but all the info used to sign up is fake. Call me a tin foil hat conspiracy theorist if you want but I’m not sharing all that info if I can help it.
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Old 04-12-2018, 04:23 PM   #53
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

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Manager said there was no option to skip the phone number they had to enter one. “So the employee is instructed to rudely badger the customer until they give in?” Manager didn’t know what to say and barely half heartedly apologized for my experience. I haven’t stepped foot in another pep boys since. I’ll go to the wholesale places and wait until they’re off the phone.
Essentially, the answer to your questions is, yes, they are instructed to badger the customer. It's hard to put the full blame on the cashier for this one as she was following orders under the pain of disciplinary action for not getting the info. Certainly, she should have called the manager, but these kids get brow-beaten about that kind of corporate BS and not told how to deal with folks who don't want to play their games. Customer service begins well above the pay grade of the minimum wage clerks. There are stores I won't go to anymore, either, for this kind of reason.
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Old 04-12-2018, 10:52 PM   #54
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

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Essentially, the answer to your questions is, yes, they are instructed to badger the customer. It's hard to put the full blame on the cashier for this one as she was following orders under the pain of disciplinary action for not getting the info. Certainly, she should have called the manager, but these kids get brow-beaten about that kind of corporate BS and not told how to deal with folks who don't want to play their games. Customer service begins well above the pay grade of the minimum wage clerks. There are stores I won't go to anymore, either, for this kind of reason.
Actually I was at an Advanced Auto in a similar situation with an employee badgering me for my phone number. Ended up returning the part and the manager was the one helping me. Told him about my experience when I was purchasing the part and he said employees were supposed to enter another phone number (the employee is allowed to enter their own and claim the rewards) when a customer doesn’t want to partake.

But then the manager actually criticized me for not asking for a manager at the time of the incident. Not a polite “in the future if you have an issue feel free to ask for a manager to correct the issue”, more of a “well why the heck didn’t you ask for a manager you moron?”. I forget the exact words the manager used (it was years ago) but they weren’t curteous and he basically blamed me for the situation. He also implied I was a moron for not participating in the program as I could return items without a receipt. I politely reminded him I had my receipt, also that I don’t have time to call for a manager to train his employees and that he could use some help in the customer relation dept as well. Haven’t been back there since either, in fact I drive past it on my way to the wholesale parts house.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:22 AM   #55
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

I agree with comments related to the basis of customer service is with the Manager and Corporate expectations. They are some really poor managers and unrealistic company policy.

I don't mind, following the script related to phone number (in fact I want to be sure I get my points) and engine size. That's the system requirements in order to look up parts and apply parts warranty.

I am lucky to have local store that not only knows me, but are auto guys. That two good things. I really try to buy locally (internet shopping is easy but I HATE the shipping cost) because without local sales, there will be no local businesses and I like getting things right now when I need them.

Having said all that, personal phones are unacceptable in a place of business. I'm old and don't mind telling them to put up their phone, I'm the customer. Any good manager would not allow the use of personal phones while employee is on duty. That's the bottom line.
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:14 AM   #56
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

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I'm the customer. Any good manager would not allow the use of personal phones while employee is on duty. That's the bottom line.
I agree. If that employee has the time to play on the phone, they have the time to pick up a dust rag, broom, window cleaner, etc. I'm shocked at the condition of some business I frequent. Filthy doors, parking lots a mess, etc. I know of a fleet of 12 vehicles, 11 of them are some of the nastiest looking rigs (both inside & out) on the road. One of them is always darn near spotless inside & out. Why? That driver has no smart phone. Takes pride in his job, his rig, uses down time wisely. End of rant.
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:55 AM   #57
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

I'm with y'all on the cell phone dependency. For the others... Remember there's two sides of every coin. Just a few examples....

It might be "just an old 350" but they're not all the same. Water pumps (both the length and bolt style), front lip seals on the oil pan, and valve cover gaskets can all vary. And that's just external stuff.

If possible, bring the old part with you. Sometimes I give people to much credit. Had a fella yesterday ask for a coolant temp sensor for his s10, so I give him what she calls for. He's back 20 minutes saying it's not right. So I go up a year, down a year and find a different ect listing and swap out with him. He's back in 20 again, again saying not the right one, but this time he has the old part. I can tell by looking and having had s10s, it's his temp switch for the gauge. So in that case third time was the charm, but it was kind of on him too. When someone comes in and seems like they know what they need, they get what they ask for.

Then there's the other end of that spectrum. You don't know how many times I wish i could bluntly say "if you don't know where it is or what it does, what gives you the idea that changing it will solve your problem?"
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:39 AM   #58
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

I’m only 22 so I’m one of “that generation” though I claim my own independent generation and or being born at the wrong time haha. I’m a bit different though, this forum is the closest I’ve ever gotten to social media, I only have a cellphone because my mom wants to know if I make it safely or not in my college commute (crazy drivers these days). I am rarely ever on my cell phone, I see many more older generations glued to their cell phones. So maybe I can somewhat be a beacon of hope for you guys
But I totally get where you’re coming from. In my small town we only have 3 large chain auto part stores. Sadly I’ve never had the chance to experience anything else. But it’s not only kids that are dumb behind the counter. Everyone at our stores is middle aged or older and they don’t know Jack crap. I once went with my dad to get a blower motor resistor for my mom’s 93 k1500 and the guys behind the counter (most knowleadgeable guy there) said, and I quote “What the heck is that???”
So it’s funny that my situation is opposite from yours with a younger person in front of the counter and an older person behind the counter I avoid these stores as much as possible, the sole reason I will go to one is if the part has a lifetime warranty.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:47 AM   #59
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

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I went to the Local Auto Parts store yesterday for a new fan belt and power steering belt.

I walked in the door and was greeted with, "Hey Gary, how ya doin'. Still workin' on that old 72 GMC?"

My response, "Hi Chris. Yep, and as a matter of fact I need a fan belt and a power steering pump for it."

As he's lookin' up the part numbers (without me telling him any more info because he knows my truck) I told him I also needed a couple of 90 degree Zerk fittings. He said, "Go on in the back and look in the parts receiving area. We just got some more of those in. Grab what you need." So I do.

Come back out front and he has the belts laying on the counter. I toss 3 Zerks on the counter and he rings me up. As I poured a cup of coffee (free at the counter).

We BS'd for 10 more minutes until another customer came in and I bid my farewell to let him help the next cat.

I always enjoy going to the parts store here in this hick little town. It's not an AutoZone, O'Reiley's, Napa, or any other major chain. It's a local store that's been in business since the 1950's. Sure their prices are a tad higher than the Big Guys... but for the above described experience, I will continue to go back every time I need parts. I feel extremely lucky to have that available to me in this day and age.

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I get a similar treatment. Except I walk in, greetbthe guys and look up the parts myself. Sometimes I just walk back and grab them myself. Of course I let them do the register thing.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:59 AM   #60
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

[QUOTE=1968 baby blue C10;8237903] this forum is the closest I’ve ever gotten to social media, I only have a cellphone because my mom wants to know if I make it safely or not in my college commute (crazy drivers these days). I am rarely ever on my cell phone, So maybe I can somewhat be a beacon of hope for you guys.[QUOTE]

Thank goodness, a youngster with out a phone! There's still hope for the world. So what I'm reading here is, you are in college, you turn a wrench with Dad to keep Moms ride on the road. Well done. Sounds like you got a pretty good head on them shoulders. Keep up the good work!
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:54 AM   #61
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

Well let's face it, the hot ticket to an exciting future for today's youth does not lay behind an Autozone counter. Unless and until they start hiring smart people at good salaries to provide better service than what you can get from no one online, they'll flounder. And I really don't see that happening.

I think you'll see auto parts stores displaced by online to the point they're barely around and basically become oil and air freshener stores.
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Old 04-14-2018, 12:27 PM   #62
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

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Thank goodness, a youngster with out a phone! There's still hope for the world. So what I'm reading here is, you are in college, you turn a wrench with Dad to keep Moms ride on the road. Well done. Sounds like you got a pretty good head on them shoulders. Keep up the good work!
Haha thanks, I honestly don’t even know how to communicate with my fellow college students, it’s like they don’t even know how to talk.

And yeah I have always helped Dad in the garage since I was a kid. Mom knows how to work on vehicles from her dad, but she was injured in a motorcycle accident with my dad a couple years ago and can’t torque on stuff with her right arm anymore. Her dad was a unbelievable drive way hot rod-er, swapping engines and transmission in the ditch. He did really technical things for performance that no one ever taught him how to do, and could tell what was wrong with an engine just by listening to it. I wish he hadn’t passed away before I was born. I know from her first hand experiences that he had C10’s up on two wheels around turns more than once, and was airborne quite often haha, and he never had a single accident in his life. From what she’s told me he was one of the best drivers ever. I wish I could’ve learned from him.
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:54 PM   #63
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

I've been lucky to have a good NAPA store in town for as long as I've been here. Maybe 13-14 years ago a young inexperienced manager took over and it took a bit to get him straightened out. Thought he must be family because the other two counter men were damn good. But I figure they didn't want a headache job. So Louie came around and ended up being a good manager. I never had to pay up front for ordering anything in and when they started a no check policy, posted on the door in, they still let me write checks. When a new guy would hesitate, Louie, Rich, or Tom would say "He's good". Well, last time in there were two guys fumbling on the computer, never looked up, and only Rich was there and it was like he really wanted to say something he couldn't. Got a bad feeling the good times are over...unless I can get the new manager straightened out on how to treat old dependable customers. If they are new age I'm screwed and I'm not sure Rich will be hanging in. Heck, before this satellite store even opened, the main one I would deal with and had since mid-70s. I knew the family that owned the stores, the son and daughter about my age. But they sold it off years ago. We'll see....
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:10 PM   #64
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

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I've been lucky to have a good NAPA store in town for s long as I've been here. Maybe 13-14 years ago a young inexperienced manager took over and it took a bit to get him straightened out. Thought he must be family because the other two counter men were damn good. But I figure they didn't want a headache job. So Louie can around and ended up being a good manager. I never had to pay up front for ordering anything in and when they started a no check policy, posted on the door in, they still let me write checks. When a new guy would hestitate, Louie, Rich, or Tom would say "He's good". Well, last time in there were two guys fumbling on the computer, never looked up, and only Rich was there and it was like he really wanted to say something he couldn't. Got a bad feeling the good times are over...unless I can get the new manager straightened out on how to treat old dependable customers. If they are new age I'm screwed and I'm not sure Rich will be hanging in. Heck, before this satellite store even opened, the main one I would deal with and had since mid-70s. I knew the family that owned the stores, the son and daughter about my age. But they sold it off years ago. We'll see....
The sale price usually has some value in it for the "good will" of the regular customers who are expected to keep shopping there. Then the new help sets an alienation process with all the regulars, and the buyers wonder where all the customers went.

I worked as a manager of both a crew of mechanics and some engineers. Lots of discussions about behaviors, because they are usually competent. It only takes one "cactus" to ruin the whole flower bed.
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:26 PM   #65
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

Great post. I agree.

I think that was the jist of my post. The number of people selling the parts who know the 'where's and why's' is dwindling. At least in my area.

If it does not pop up on the screen it does not exist.

If there are ten people at our local Autozone I would be there are at least 8, maybe even 9, that would know to go up a year if the date code in in the latter part of the year.

Let's not even talk about short pumps and long pumps.

When I interact with a counter person who has car experience and parts experience (not just fetch what the screen suggests) it is a pleasant surprise.

But I agree. There are some who have no idea what they need, what they are looking for and what needs to be done.....that would get old too.

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I'm with y'all on the cell phone dependency. For the others... Remember there's two sides of every coin. Just a few examples....

It might be "just an old 350" but they're not all the same. Water pumps (both the length and bolt style), front lip seals on the oil pan, and valve cover gaskets can all vary. And that's just external stuff.

If possible, bring the old part with you. Sometimes I give people to much credit. Had a fella yesterday ask for a coolant temp sensor for his s10, so I give him what she calls for. He's back 20 minutes saying it's not right. So I go up a year, down a year and find a different ect listing and swap out with him. He's back in 20 again, again saying not the right one, but this time he has the old part. I can tell by looking and having had s10s, it's his temp switch for the gauge. So in that case third time was the charm, but it was kind of on him too. When someone comes in and seems like they know what they need, they get what they ask for.

Then there's the other end of that spectrum. You don't know how many times I wish i could bluntly say "if you don't know where it is or what it does, what gives you the idea that changing it will solve your problem?"
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:43 AM   #66
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

I used to go to two stores, just down the street from each other. Both had that one old guy who always knew exactly what ya needed. If the guy wasn't there the other usually was down the street.

Now I just cross my fingers for a smarter employee my turn in line. For my current project I can't give them a year make and model and engine size and on and on.... I have learned to try and find the part number online before I get there. Did that a few days ago, told them their part number, in and out in 5 min.
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Old 04-17-2018, 05:43 AM   #67
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

I have a shop and we spend A LOT of money at O'Reilly and other parts vendors. It's like anything else, some of them care and some don't. Our manager and commercial counter guy at O'Reilly are young but they sharp, into cars and always learning. They're not afraid to say when they don't know something and appreciate it when we pass on knowledge.

Now, if I am doing something for myself on a Saturday, I go in the back door armed with part numbers and avoid the front counter all together...just bring my parts up to get checked out. Saturdays are the worst time to go to the parts store, because the good guys have the day off.

But you can't write them all off just because they're young or times are different and business models have changed.
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:52 AM   #68
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

We have an Advance Auto in town and Advance now owns the Car Quest that has been in the heart of town on Main St since it was the only one. That makes those places the giant compared to NAPA, so NAPA is my preference simply based on my dislike for the whole go big or stay home BS I hate, that is effing up our country. I go small and get the F out of my way is my reply when I hear that crap. That crap hinders our constitutional right to freedom of enterprise that our forefathers could never have imagined would occur or they would have put something in there about it. But that's another topic. The ole boy shop got gobbled up by the big dog and now is poop to me.

But all that said, I use all three when and where needed. I have a feeling my preference to NAPA (I know, also a big dog, but an old dog too...as well as locally owned) will be fading away. But none are as bad as what I'm hearing here. I have felt for a while that the guys at Advance are pretty good. They are on the ball and with me understanding how they need their information given due to all inventory is found on the computer I find it less than frustrating. And when they have had no success staring at the screen, they go back and route around to put their hands on something. I think it has good management & hiring practices. NAPA hired this one guy a year or so ago, about my age, who I swear did not want to lift his butt off that stool or take his eyes off that computer. Acted like I was wearing him outasking for a part. When I needed an HEI coil he was coming up with nada. Ridiculous. I am sure Echlin, Standard, or any number of other ignition companies offer this widespread over many years used on as late as '95 with plenty of these still in daily use part. He says, "I can order you an Accel (Hate that junk) or MSD". I said, "So can I and for much less" and walked out amazed in a very bad way.

It's not the store. It's not the age. It's the person behind the counter. The days of good parts counter people are not over. But people are changing and the ignorant bs is found all over. The dependence upon online info and availability is killing normal common sense, resourcefulness, and adaptation skills. Don't let it happen to you!

When I first started an account at the Chevy dealer in '82 the highly experienced old guy who had worked there forever acted like I was yanking his teeth out if I asked for a part that would not be in stock. This was all parts books back then. He'd flip a few pages and give up. I'd have to give suggestions of where else to look or even end up swinging them around so I could find it for him. The other young guy, who still works there but not the counter, would look till he found the part as if it was an important thing to him. I was in there every week ordering anything I could for my 71/72 trucks. We enjoyed looking to see what was still available and that's how I ended up with every individual part to build a console and a supply of NOS to die for. I could buy service parts, like brakes, there for less than the independent place I had a discount at. And this is when Golden State was selling 67-72 parts at 1/3 above retail at the dealer and I was getting -30%! Example: Deluxe side marker listed for $12, my price $8, GSPP $16. I paid 1/2 what GSPP charged. So I ordered a lot!

I have had new guys give me the 'tude as soon as they heard the year and not even try looking. I had to force one to look by sticking my head back into the parts room and hollering "Is Steve (manager) or Wayne (parts guy I told you about) back there. When he scolded me for stepping behind the counter I told him "If you don't start looking that part up right now I'm coming OVER that counter and kickin' your a...aaah you get the idea. That's when he got Steve himself! Steve came out wide eyed expecting a crazy situation until he sees it's me and asks what the problem was. When I told him "Nothing, other than your parts guy doesn't want to look up parts". That's when Steve slid behind the computer, asked what I wanted, told the guy "watch me", found what I was there for, looked at the guy real stern and said "That's how you do it". Never saw that guy again
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Old 04-17-2018, 03:03 PM   #69
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

We
(an independent NAPA store) got a new point of sale program 2 years ago, I'm still using the old program 'cause I look like a real dumba$$ asking all those stupid questions that it wants to know before you can get to real part #'s. I keep telling my coworkers I'm gonna have to retire.
I started working auto parts when we still handwriting invoices.And ya some times I got no clue what some of the newer car parts are , millions of sensors and switches and
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Old 04-17-2018, 03:26 PM   #70
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

I get what a lot of you guys are saying.. but I still take issue [in general] with the younger folks attitudes and demeanor these days..

I don't go to a parts house for service advice, I gladly pay shop rates in excess of $100/hr for trained mechanics for that..

I do expect courtesy and attention while I'm there spending my money and that alone is falling shorter and shorter by the day..

I also expect a parts house employee to know the difference between an oil filter and a headlight but not at all concerned with their technical knowledge..

I am sympathetic with technical difficulties, computer software glitches, new employee training, etc.

I take instructions from my doctor, warnings from my pharmacists, but the kid in Rite-Aid only needs to know what aisle it's on and how much it costs and that's it..

my experiences with social dealings and customer service with young adults these days generally makes me cringe..

I wouldn't have survived to adulthood living in my parents house behaving the way a lot of these youngsters do..
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:41 AM   #71
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

I've been getting the poor attitude and demeanor from countermen of all ages for all the years I've bought parts, which has been since about 1970. And back then there were no "kids" my age or anywhere near doing the job. I had a '56 VW I started working on when I was 15. I learned the VW dealers were my last resort. Raymo's Auto Service out in the country was a world class VW shop in the '60s my dad dealt with. Jim Raymo and Louie were just as good to me as they were to their richest customer. They never put a wrench to my VWs but they'd give me any guidance I needed. They would suggest parts or the best way to go about what my goals were. I still find that out there, but it's rare for sure. They found me NOS all over the country and this was eons before the internet. If you find a good parts store or a store with a good counterman, be a loyal customer. That's what I have always been with any type of business I deal with and I find that to be a rare thing with "customers" these days. It seems most all the things I grew up with as convention is all getting twisted around into helter skelter. Even twist ties these days on bags. You never know if they'll properly twisted clockwise or if you'll be tightening it trying to loosen it. Righty tighty, lefty loosey people!!
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Old 04-18-2018, 09:23 PM   #72
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

What's sad is if you don't already know what you need BEFORE walking into any parts store maybe you need to reassess you mechanical abilities ...
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Old 04-18-2018, 09:57 PM   #73
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

I usually use the Advance even though I pass, NAPA (Jobber store, you are always behind the pros or have to wait while they deal with them), a CARQUEST (they have a machine shop and anybody who knows anything gets moved into it), An O'Rielly's (more on that one) and then the Advance. I went after a radiator for my 68 one Sat a.m. Advance said a week. I stopped at the O'Rielly's and went in. I had bought a few things there but the guy I usually used wasn't in, the manager was. When I asked for joe, he said he's off today but I can find anything he can. OOoookkkkkkk, I need a radiator. He found one in the warehouse and told me it would be Monday unless I wanted to pick it up myself before noon. I told him I would get it. Then I asked for an ignition module for my 68, 250 6 cyl. He was training a kid and told him to look it up thinking he was going to stump the kid. A minute later the kid say, It doesn't show on the computer. So the manager goes to the back of the counter with the kids looking in the books and looks and looks and finally I tell him I have to go get my radiator to forget it since 68 used points. I have been in there since, because I needed anti freeze and it was on sale. Joe hasn't been there though, he was probably too knowledgeable to fit the corporate plan.
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Old 04-19-2018, 12:22 PM   #74
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

I had an old boss tell me once that most people coming into the store are mad before you even get to deal with them. Their car is broke down, they usually don't know what they need and your gonna charge too much .
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Old 04-21-2018, 05:01 PM   #75
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Re: Trip to the auto parts store just isn't the same

Walk in O'Reilly's spot 17 year old female with gray T-shirt (figure she is trainee) standing near manager who knows me. He is talking to another so she breaks off and asks if she can help. I request tube of 3M windshield adhesive. She turns to manager and says help. He looks over and sees me - I ask if she is trainee (this is all with jovial attitude) he says yes. I look at her and tell her I want a carb kit for 54 Kaiser. She laughs and stammers. Manager goes back to other customer. I quiz her on her knowledge - it's very rudimentary. I ask if this is summer job or does she love cars. She says she loves cars and in particular Mustangs. I ask her who is Carroll Shelby. Uhhhhhhhhh. I point to my patina 68 and start to point out that I know every single part of the truck (parts from 7 different cars and trucks) she interrupts and says my truck is beautiful. So, she has some appreciation for older iron. That is a good sign. I tell her if she wants to learn and speak intelligently about cars and be good at being counterman then go home and consume every YT video and article on Mustangs and their inner workings since she loves them. I get my adhesive from the manager and tell her I will be back and there will be a quiz.
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