Life in Dubai

AutoPro or Auto-Con?

With quite a few articles in my mind to post on, but every so often, something happens that demands to be heard and posted immediately; especially while the disgust and anger is still coursing through the veins.

Before I begin, I would like to say that this is in no way a complete judgement over all the AutoPro branches and to be fair, up until this point, my experience with this particular branch had been pretty much completely positive. For privacy sake, I will not name the branch.. However, if you really want to know, contact me via the personal email and I will tell you.

So, lets get into it…

It is Saturday, the last day of the weekend and its past 10pm at night. I promised a friend that I would help pick up her family from the airport. Expecting 3 passengers, I knew that I would need the IronHide.

I stopped off at the ENOC pump to top up on fuel and I switched the truck off. After the fueling was done, I tried to switch the truck on and everything is completely dead.

It couldn’t be the battery. I had just changed it less than a month ago.

Anyways, I ran across to the AutoPro and expected them to be helpful. They helped alright (he said sarcastically).

So, they told me that they can’t give me a jump at the pump, I need to get the vehicle to their shop. The downside to the RAM is that everything is electronic and putting everything into neutral for manually pushing isn’t straight forward. However I was informed by the ENOC branch supervisor that the guys at AutoPro knew how to do this as they had to assist another FCA vehicle a week before.

Without waiting for them, I went on online found the info in minutes and had the truck in neutral. The AutoPro guys helped me push it to the shop. I thought progress.

I was also getting late to help my friend, so I called in reinforcements – my dad and brother. We exchanged cars and while I went to help my friend, they would take care of the truck. In my haste as I was already getting late, I forgot to tell them how to put the truck into neutral.

Anyways, AutoPro told my father that we needed a new battery. The one we had was dead. Knowing cars, my dad said all we needed was a jump and the truck could make it home. Seeing our battery was still under warranty, we could easily get a replacement.

This did not bode too well with the AutoPro guys; who seemed more determined to sell us a battery, rather than just give us a jump. All we needed was a jump.

At first they said that they could give me a jump, but because my battery was so low, it would cause the battery to “blow-up” (their words).. Also with a jump, my truck would not even make it back home because the battery was so dead.

Then they claimed their jump device was not working and the only way forward was to buy a battery.

My dad said that he would call a recovery and asked for the truck to be pushed to a nearby space. They weren’t keen to help with that and pretended not to know how to put the truck into neutral – without which, trying to push the vehicle would seriously damage the drivetrain. I take responsibility for this part.

My dad said he would get another car to help jump if they weren’t ready to help, but at that point, they said that attempting to jump a car at an ENOC by ourselves would bring in the authorities as it was against the law.

With various other excuses and answers, it became clear to my dad that it was their way or no way. Livid as he was with the way these people were behaving and also claiming that it was closing time, my dad was forced to do what they wanted and bought a battery; which we know would be quite less in the market.

When my dad finally conceded, the guy brought a new battery, used it to jump start my truck. The truck was running perfectly, proving that all we needed was a jump and that we easily could have made it home on the battery we already had. Then while the truck was running, he changed out the battery.
Watching this, my dad was boiling… “You told me that the truck would not even run properly. Here it is running smoothly without an issue.”
According to my dad, the smirk on the guy’s face, clearly showed he had just achieved his goal. All my dad had to do was suck it up.

“If only I had told my father how to put the truck into neutral”, he thought to himself as he wrote, glaring at himself in the mirror.

Anyways, I completed my task within a mere 30 minutes and upon arriving home, I got to know what had happened. To say I was cross, is a complete understatement. What kind of service center doesn’t have a working jumper system? What kind of service center, upon seeing that the battery is indicating green, doesn’t know that only a jump is required to charge the battery enough to make a 5 minute journey home?
What kind of service center doesn’t know how to put a FCA product into neutral; especially seeing that they have the workshop manual and information? I know this because just a month ago, I did my oil change there…

I’ll tell you.. A service center that was more interested in exploiting my situation for profit. Con artists interested in duping their unsuspecting customers.
Customer service here in Dubai sucks in general, no matter where you go; but this was a whole new level. The cashier had the audacity to tell my brother, “we always help our customers”; to which his reply was, “tell that to our receipt you’re printing out.”
Help would have been to clearly check that the battery was less than a month old, all that was needed was a jump and my truck would have made it home; knowing that all I needed was to claim warranty that was valid. That would be called help.

Its safe to say that I wouldn’t count on AutoPro for any kind of assistance in an emergency ever again. I’m even taking my oil changes, car washes, etc., elsewhere; to a place where I can trust. I know of a good mechanic for that.

And if ever I find myself in the same situation, I’m just gonna have the truck towed home. It is cheaper.

Categories: Life in Dubai

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