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The purpose of this post is to point out the different levels of service success in hopes that all can learn from these episodes… Visits to three Infiniti dealerships resulted in very different results for the same issue. I had plugged in an old charger into the cigarette lighter and blown the fuse for the center stack of the dashboard lighting (all the radio, cabin heating/cooling, and clock illumination failed to illuminate when I turned on the lights…
- I ran it by my local independent service technician when I was having some basic work done (about April 1, 2013)… He was unable to find a blown fuse… I believed the next step was to visit a dealership who would know where the two fuse boxes were hidden…
- I took it to Beshoff Infiniti in San Jose (not my regular dealer, but far closer, so I just dropped in one afternoon). After two hours, I had a freshly washed FX35, but the problem was unresolved. They suggested that I bring it in at a later date to do some electical diagnostics… Being a troubleshooter for computer systems and networking problems, the suggestion of unqualified ‘diagnostics’ is in the same category as giving them a signed, blank check…
- As I prepped for my impending move to the east coast, I put what seemed to be a small issue on the back burner. As I was making my coast to coast trip through New Mexico, I was stopped by one of New Mexico’s finest who suggested that I had no tail lights. Sure enough, the rear brake and turn signals lights we fine, but without them illuminated, my tail was completely dark. Not good. The Officer suggested that I use my emergency flashers until I got to my evening’s destination: Albuquerque. I did a quick search and located a motel near the local Garcia Infiniti and was the first Infiniti into the service department at 7:30am Thursday May 9. Tony greeted me and asked if I had an appointment. I told him that I had called and left a message the previous night, but did not have an appointment. I told him of the urgency of my cross country trip and suggested that I just wanted a quick check of the fuse that powers the tail lights. He told me that I could leave my FX, and stated that although the dealership normally had Saturday hours, that *this* Saturday the service department would be closed. That sounded like this ‘quick check’ was going to take the weekend… (and an unscheduled weekend in Albuquerque was not high on my list). I asked if a call from my Dealer (Bob Ricks at Frontier Infiniti) to his dealer would free up a little emergency triage. Tony looked at me like I had threatened him and suggested that a call between dealers would not change anything. Seeing that I was restricted to daylight driving because of my lack of tail lights, I left and headed to Dallas (my next stop).
- During the drive to Dallas I called Bob who suggested that the GM at Sewell Infiniti was a personal friend and that he would send an email to have Sewell expect me first thing the following morning. Indeed I was second in line at 8:00am on May 10th. When I asked the service advisor, Joseph, if he was aware of the email, he stated that he was not, but assured me that he would take care of my needs even without an appointment. Indeed, he listened and understood the urgency. He stated that they would do an $80 diagnostic and report back the findings. Shortly before 10:00am we spoke again and he had included the technician, Rusty who explained that they had indeed found and replaced the offending fuse, and had tested the fuse and found no immediate problem. He also stated that both the power for the center stack *and* for the tail lights *and running lights* were all powered by the same fuse… Damn, I had been driving around for weeks with no tail lights! By 10:30am I was already on the road headed east with my fuse problem behind me.
Having an automotive industry background, I really appreciate the focus, the precision, the sense of urgency and the impeccable customer service at Sewell Infiniti… Thank you Joseph and Rusty for getting me in and out successfully and in a hurry… and thank you Bob for suggesting I go to Sewell in Dallas and sending Rick an email announcing my arrival.
As for the experience at Beshoff and Garcia Infiniti, your service looks poor by comparison… being either unable or unwilling to service a customer with a burnt out fuse. You failed where others shined…
Please let me know what you think… J
This outline is from a proposal to the Rotary Club of San Jose Program Committee on topics for an Education Series of speakers for our Club. It is intended to suggest that the series start with a high level assessment of the education system in general and then have further presentations on other relevant educational issues.
1) Introduction to Revolution in Education
a) “Fix it up or trade it in” story
b) Always been a systems type of guy (GST, MIS, ChaosTheory…)
c) Been educating at University level and seen the product of our secondary schools
d) Read through the 479 pages of the California Department of Education Draft CTE Model Curriculum Standards… [zzzz]
e) The best, most effective education happens when the student asks the question
2) Education in Santa Clara County, California, USA is Institutionalized
a) Lots of infrastructure built and bought with specific class size and instructional objectives in mind
b) Lots of large organizations with their own agendas and objectives attempting to hammer out some type of compromise
i) Federal, State, County “offices of education” [administration]
(1) Metrics that don’t reflect success, just progress
ii) Teachers’ unions [teachers’ representatives]
iii) An educational “military industrial complex” text book publishers et al
iv) Lobbying groups of every size and description
c) Lots of small stakeholders squeezed out of the process
d) Structure/institutionalization of education results:
i) literally beats the spontaneity, creativity and innovation out of our children [‘sit still and be quiet’]
ii) rewards mediocrity [how does a teacher teach to a class of 25?]
iii) targets college for everybody [and then suggests that we need to have a more robust manufacturing economy]
iv) fails to teach in ways the student will retain the knowledge [forgetting curve]
v) passes students who spend the time but don’t learn the material
vi) attempts to teach as if every student learns the same way and at the same rate
vii) squeezes the fun out of school
viii) results in an educational option continuum with institutional education on one end and home school at the other
ix) costs the taxpayer about $10,000 per student per year
x) permanence which prevents any meaningful change in the process [punctuated equilibrium]
xi) lots of meaningful improvement suggestions that take almost an act of Congress to become reality
xii) lots of marginal improvements that have very little impact on the overall education of our children
3) An increasing expectation/mandate that parents should drop off their child at 5 and pick them up at 18 ready for Harvard or Stanford
4) Matriculating about half that are unprepared for college
5) …What would education look like if:
a) a neighborhood started with
b) a clean sheet of paper [as if the entire educational institution had disappeared over night]
c) and included *only* students, parents and a few local teachers as participants [isn’t this what all of education is about?]
d) and funded it with, say, only $5,000 per student per year…?
e) …what design and plan and objectives and metrics would they come up with?
f) …is there any possibility that we could morph our existing educational institution to even come close [yeah, right]?
6) Time for a revolution in education? Should we trade our existing education system for a new one?
…To quote a great work:
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
…who can tell me where this quote comes from???
7) I suggest that the Education Program Series start with revolution and then see if solving evolutionary issues will correct the educational institution
Formula1 represents the pinnacle of automotive performance… a balance between incredible automotive effectiveness (adhesion, acceleration, braking, aerodynamics…) and system life (long enough to take the checkered flag and live within the rules for multiple races). Why would Pirelli supply tires that quickly lose performance, degrade, shred, and go flat? I do understand that as a “sponsor” they want to have their name mentioned during the races. I would think, however, that most the mentions of the brand are in very negative contexts. Would I really go out and buy a tire whose primary advertising centered on short life and quality degradation? I think not…. Personally, Pirelli tires are at the absolute bottom of my list for replacement tires.
I also understand that Bernie wants more changes of lead and passing during these contests. Well the F1 field seems to be doing that quite well without Bernie’s meddling with Pirelli’s tires… So, Bernie and Pirelli, let’s make some tires that are truly worthy of both of your brands… then let the drivers and constructors battle it out on the circuit…