There is a light that will never go out

[beware the google traps]

Do you remember that an uninsured driver recently hit my car with three aluminium ladders when they were swept off the roof of his van because he failed to get his vehicle (and the ladders that were on the roof-rack) to limbo beneath the height-restriction barriers at Oxford’s Thornhill Park & Ride?

[whew, that was a sentence and a half!]

As a result of that accident my insurance company arranged for my car to be repaired by Humphris of Oxford, which is pronounced ‘Humphries of Oxford’. Or ‘Humphrey’s of Oxford’.

Humphris of Oxford needed to work on my car for a few days, so they agreed to give me a courtesy car which was great.

Unfortunately things stopped being great when I tried to arrange to drop my car off.

Humphris of Oxford seem to have four different sets of opening times.

If you want the sales department they’re available:
Monday – Friday 08:00 – 18:30
Saturday – 09:00 – 17:30
Sunday – 10:30 – 16:30

If you want the service department they’re available:
Monday – Friday 08:00 – 17:30
Saturday – 08:00 – 12:30
Sunday – Closed

And even the parts department are available:
Monday – Friday 08:00 – 17:30
Saturday – 08:00 – 12:30
Sunday – Closed

But woe betide you if you need to do some business with the body shop because they’re only available:
Monday – Friday 08:00 – 17:30

And that’s it, because they’re not open at all at any time on either Saturday or Sunday.

This means that people who have a job (i.e. me) have to take time off work to drop off (and pick up) their vehicle.

And this means that people who are self-employed (i.e. me again!) have to take a hit on a half day of paid employment, because we don’t get paid for time not working.

So I bit the bullet, I took a hit on a half-day of income just to drop my car off.

A few days later I took another hit on another half-day of income, this time to pick up my car.

It looked brilliant. Clean, shiny, valeted; the new wing and new headlight cluster looked factory-perfect, not obvious as replacement parts at all.

Until you looked at the car from the front.

‘The new headlight cluster is different to the old one,’ I observed to the guy from the body shop who was showing me the repair.

There followed a more detailed inspection by the body shop guy, then I waited in reception for 10 minutes while he retreated to the body shop.

‘We’ve had to order a new cluster, it’ll be in next week and we’ll let you know when it’s here,’ he said on his return.

In other words, because the body shop were unable to spot the (obvious) difference between the existing and the replacement headlight clusters, Humphris of Oxford were saying I had to take another hit on another half-day of income.

I sighed and bit the bullet.

A few days later the garage called to say that the new headlight cluster had arrived.

Today, by prior arrangement, I went back to the garage for them to fit the part while I waited.

Except there wasn’t exactly much part-fitting while I waited.

A very embarrassed-looking body shop guy returned with my car keys after ten minutes to tell me that when he unboxed the new headlight cluster, the part was broken. He’d ordered a replacement for the replacement and that they would call me when it had arrived.

So Humphris of Oxford expect me to burn another half-day of income to attend the body shop.



But let’s just take another look at those opening hours a moment.

If I want any department other than the body shop I could have the work done on a Saturday morning.

To me this is a clear indication of where Humphris of Oxford put their customer service values.

And where they don’t.

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One Response to There is a light that will never go out

  1. S. Le says:

    That is such crap! Shite hours, shoddy ordering, all paid for by you! Sounds like you’d be money ahead to pay for repairs yourself at body shop of your choice! Horrible!