I had to wait until yesterday to get my windscreen replaced. Not great given I had first called it in to Autoglass two Saturdays before. They had turned up at my place of work on Thursday the previous week with the wrong glass (so much for call centre staff training) and found that the glass required was a bit specially and Ford had to order it from Germany.
Promised call-backs and updates never happened. Why is it that most service companies seem incapable of staying in touch. I recall when running help-desks in the past that the hardest thing to get staff (especially technical staff) to do was provide regular updates when these updates had only bad news but it is always the case that the punter likes to know s/he has not been forgotten and that matters are still progressing even if that is not as fast as required.
I had made it clear that I was only on site down south until last Thursday, would be at home near Telford on the Friday and would be travelling to Scotland on the Saturday for a holiday. This had been noted on the system Autoglass used but no one ever took account of this.
Eventually, I managed to get through to the Heathrow branch that was meant to be dealing with my problem (they had not returned my calls) and get them to take action. They could not provide a mobile service but they had got hold of the replacement windscreen and an alternative local branch (Hounslow) could do the fitting that afternoon if I could get there.
Given that this was a) my last day before a holiday and b) there was a meeting and a coaching session that I was especially keen to attend, having to drive to a local branch and hang-around for a couple of hours whilst they did the fitting and allowed the glue to dry was not high on my list of great options. They could not fit me in at Telford the following day and I did not fancy driving to Scotland with a big crack in the screen even if it was not in my line of sight and the glass was supposed to be safe because of the lamination.
I had already prepared as much as possible for my going on holiday and also headed off a ton of stuff that hopefully would now never cause a problem. Fortunately, there is a great team in place who I am sure will cover any problems that come up. Thus, with the permission of my boss, I ducked out of the meeting I wanted to attend and headed off to Autoglass.
It took a little while to find even with the help of the satnav but I got there for 4PM and at 6PM I was able to drive off. In fact, I sat in the car for the last 30 mins with the aircon on – their offices were very hot. Much to my disappointment, I could not get a mobile broadband signal from their offices so was unable to get online for the last couple of hours. I hate not doing my hours – I work long hours and well ahead on my time (I book extra time but not as much as I do) but still have this old-fashioned concept of working the key hours on site.
Well, at least my screen was nice and clean for the drive home and beyond.
It might have taken them a while to get the screen, but the fitters did a good job.
Ironically, one of the reasons I chose a Ford Mondeo as a company car was so that I would have a car that was common, easy to repair, covered by lots of dealers throughout the country. I did not allow for some of the many options I had taken (which still left the car cheaper than a BMW) being rare and requiring special order parts.