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Thread: Is this discrimination?

  1. #1
    Senior Member -Andrea-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    West Palm Beach

    Is this discrimination?

    OK, so I call a Dodge dealership in WPB yesterday so that I could schedule an oil change, tire rotation, and there was a recall on all 2002 models w/dual A/C. I explained over the phone that it was a modified van and that I drove w/hand cotrols and a sophisticated computer-controlled panel. They assured me there would be no problems: Just be there at 9 AM. So, I get there right at 9 and drop it off. The guy comes in and calls my name, "I'm sorry, Andrea, but we can't do anything b/c you don't have a seat in the drivers place," Okayyy. I told him I was pretty sure the passenger seat could be switched to the other side. While he went and checked, I called my dad to find out. My dad told me it could be switched, but to wait and see if they picked up on it. The guy (who was the Service MANAGER at this place) says to me, "Oh, it's bolted and isn't able to be moved." I still had my dad on the phone and he overheard that so he told me to tell him that if HE couldn't figure it out, he had no business even TOUCHING my car to begin with. I told him that I EXPLAINED all of this yesterday and it should be THEIR problem to deal w/, not MINE. They're the ones who TOLD me to bring my car there to be serviced, anyway. Plus, they wanted $53.00 for an OIL CHANGE!
    I eventually went somewhere else and it was nothing. No big deal, no fuss over what to do w/it (and, it was under $20!) I came home and my mother was LIVID. Talking about how it is discrimination and I should call my attorney (not for $$, but b/c she feels so strongly that they were wrong). Most of all, she felt it was cruel to me.
    What do you guys think? I am furious, but I don't know about 'discrimination'.
    How do you guys usually get the oil changed? I ended up driving it myself over a lift, then getting out and going back inside while the work was done.

    Cuando el amor te llame, siguelo, aunque sus caminos sean abruptos y escarpados ~Kahlil Gibrán

  2. #2
    Senior Member Stiggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002


    I just go to buggy lube down the road and they charge me 20 bucks..what they did is darn wrong..It makes me so mad when others treat us so different.
    Im so sorry you had to go through this kind of abuse because I know how it feels!Find a dealer or find a place like buggy lube,you dont have to leave you van while they change you oil.good thing to do is call around an sak if you can stay in your van while your oil is being changed! Take Care an Happy Trails..

  3. #3
    I think they were being jerks. I'm not sure if it was discrimination but they clearly didn't want to be bothered. When I have my oil changed, wheels rotated etc., I'm in the van the entire time, even when it's hoisted up 6 feet off the ground. I don't trust them to drive it without a drivers seat.

  4. #4
    I have one good way to act towards this type of company. Since there usually are others that can and will do the job for you, go there and skip the others. And for gods sake, don't forget to tell all the friends and others in networks around you which companies offers a bad service. It probably does not make them more polite, but they hopefully loose a couple of customers.

    If you don't need them and they doesn't seem to care much about you, they are probably not worth dealing with. So why use precious energy just to hear that they are sorry. Save the energy to the big problems you hopefully never get.

    An other thing is to be good friends with the local tv station, and have them do all the funny stuff. There is nothing as good as seing some idiot from a stupid company explaining that it must have been a mistake and that it never will happen again.

  5. #5
    I had sort of the same experience yesterday with Castle dental. when I set up the appointment, I told them I was in a wheelchair and they said no problem. I had been there previously about six months ago and was going in for six months checkup. The dentist I have before was no longer there and the new dentist want me to transfer into the chair. I told her that was not possible, but my chair would probably accommodate (tilt, recline, elevation) whatever she needed. She told me I would have to change dentist and make another appointment on another day because she could not work on me in the chair. That I needed to be able to transfer into their chair because she was too short to work while I was in my chair. This all happened after she made me wait an hour for her to finish another patient because of my " special needs ". This problem doesn't sound like much as I write it here, but I have never felt more " paralyzed " than what they made me feel yesterday. The lady just acted like I was some sort of freak and she had made her mind up that she was not going to work with me. Needless to say, I left pretty piSsed off and don't have any plans for returning to Castle dental.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    4 corners, NM, USA
    likewise, i just drive in myself and stay in the van for most things,,,its kinda funny when i had to take it to the IMS factory here, tho,,,the guy drives w/ the hand controls while sitting on the door w/ the window open...the place i hate dealing with is sear's....they tried to slide a wheel alignment in on my roomy's car when we went straight from getting the entire front suspension parts replaced to sear's for new tires...i intervened after the little jerk said that not getting the alignment would void the warranty...i advised him i had worked around cars since i was 15 and he was lying his butt off...he said "well, maybe things have changed since then"...he quickly discovered that the friendly little man in the w/c had sharp teeth,,,tore him a new butthole,,,and reminded him of the class action suit sear's lost a few years ago,,,he put the tires on and avoids me like the plague when i go anywhere near automotive,,,lol,,,hang in andrea...and dont be shy about having a hissy fit cuz u r young, female, and dis,,,3 strikes that they see as an easy mark,,,jeff

  7. #7
    Why don't you go to the media, instead of your attorney? Seems like a bigger 'stink' could be raised, and you'd raise awareness of accessibility issues to the community at the same time!

    Tough times don't last - tough people do.

  8. #8
    While the original dealer (that you scheduled your appointment with) could have used more imagination(possibly put a crate in the location of the drivers seat so it could be driven) they have the right to refuse service. I don't think they discriminated against you. Maybe you need to discuss this with the manufatures rep. They love stories like this, cause it reflects bad on them. They (the reps) don't like it.Generally they will make accomodations if need be. I generally drive my own car right up on the rack and stay in it while they work on it. They pass sodas or water up through the window. Once, they handed up some fried chicken(they had just made a chicken run). Find a mechanic or dealership that is willing to work with you and take your business there. Do you have a right to be mad at how the dealership handled it? Sure. If this is your biggest problem in life. I would say you have it(life) by the tail. Don't sweat the small things.

  9. #9
    Senior Member -Andrea-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    West Palm Beach


    I guess from now on, I'll be taking my business elsewhere. I'm moving myself back to Miami tomorrow to begin classes and Miami is generally more accomadating.
    As far as dentists go, I went by myself for the first time last Friday. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. My brother usually came w/me before. The dentist was so cool and didn't make any big deal out of the transfer. She even dug through my purse to get my cell phone several times b/c it was ringing off the hook that morning. But, I know what you mean: Some situations are just so uncomfortable and it hits you and makes you realize 'yes, *I* am paralyzed.' Not a good feeling.
    Jeff, I never trust Sears. I hear horror stories about them selling used batteries, etc. My sister's boyfriend was going to buy tires from them today until we convinced him to go elsewhere.
    I know I should call the General Manager of ARRIGO DODGE (<-Never go there!), but I just figure they obviously don't care. And as far as contacting the media...I would die if I ever saw myself on TV.
    Thanks for the advice.

    Cuando el amor te llame, siguelo, aunque sus caminos sean abruptos y escarpados ~Kahlil Gibrán

  10. #10

    Call Dodge (the manufacturer of the vehicle), I am sure it is an 800 number. 800 555-1212. The operator will give you the number.(I looked it up for you 800-334-9200, you will need to "step through" the electronic menu, hours are 8-5) Then when you get the operator for Dodge, tell them you want the area (service) representative for Dodge in your area, that you have a situation that needs to be worked out. Explain what happened. I am sure they will be willing to make things right. Good luck.

    Re: the $53 fee to change the oil. That is highway robbery. When you drove up and the service manager had a gun and a mask, that should have been the tip off.

    [This message was edited by chasb on Aug 23, 2002 at 10:28 PM.]

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