I Found An Honest Mechanic In Orlando – No, Really

Tire Kingdom card with my scribbles

Tire Kingdom card with my scribbles

Yesterday I had the most surprising experience after work – and it was a good surprise.

I’d left my car to have the air conditioning repaired.  Air conditioning is pretty much a requirement in Orlando.  And the initial estimate for the repair was $1384.  And you know how those things go, don’t you.

They always seem to find something else wrong and the bill just keeps going higher and higher.  So when John, a work associate of mine, dropped me off at Tire Kingdom, I feared the worst.  I was especially alarmed because Brian, the mechanic, wouldn’t discuss the details of the repair over the phone.  He’d told me to just come on by; he wanted to talk to me about the repair.  Alarms, bells, whistle and claxons were going off inside my head about that thought.

As we stood by the car, Brian explained that he had checked the AC again, and the high and low pressure of the unit was indeed different – that the fast analysis the day before had been an incorrect reading.  For those of you mechanically challenged here’s what that means.

High and low pressure side the same – bad.  Big repair. Mucho dollars.

High and low pressure side different – good.

So wondering why he had gotten two different readings in two days on his equipment, Brian took the car to another shop and had them check it.  It also read high and low side different.  Good.

He said he did notice some connections that needed repair so he called the dealer.  But they wanted $385 for the entire pipe unit, that had the connections in it.  He thought that was too much money so he went and bought a small universal connection kit and replaced the two small connectors with it.  He charged it with freon and it was fixed -  the AC was working and blowing cold air.

You may gather at this point in the story that Brian was attaining hero status in my mind.  And you’d be right, but it gets better.

So I told him that was terrific, and how much did I owe him.  PLEASE SIT DOWN BEFORE I TELL YOU THE ANSWER.

Brian told me there would be no charge.  I insisted, but he wouldn’t let me pay.  He said I should drive it for a few days to see how good the AC works.  If I had any problems then bring it back in.

So in my enthusiasm for this great customer service, I told him I had dropped by Tire Kingdom about a year ago needing some small thing checked out.  And one of the mechanics had looked at it on the spot, and fixed it, and told me no charge.  I told Brian this is why I had brought my car to them this time.  What Brian didn’t know was that I’ve been having a number of auto repairs done recently at another mechanic’s shop and all the repairs have always been expensive — never a simple cheap one in the bunch.  That is to say, what you and I are more used to.

I shook Brian’s hand twice during the conversation I was so impressed.  And I drove off positively elated by the experience.  I didn’t know this kind of customer service existed anymore.

It reminded me of a time years ago in my past, in the sleepy little town of Maryville, Illinois, where I used to drop my car off at Norman and Andy’s.  It was an Andy Griffith Mayberry kind of place – and I mean that in the honest, good way.  One time I asked Norman to get me a wheel for my spare tire.  When I came back that evening he told me the dealer wanted $50 for it and he just couldn’t spend my money that way.

I thought those days were long gone in America.  But apparently they are not, at least in one mechanic’s shop in Orlando.

Guess who has all of my future business?  I don’t even need to tell you, do I – but I will anyway.  It’s Brian at Tire Kingdom in Orlando.

I don’t expect everything to be free in the future and neither should you.  These guys have to eat and deserve to charge for their service.  But I’ll feel good about paying them.

Because they are part of a rare breed that is being lost in America.  They are all about customer service.

And that is how we can Live, Learn and Prosper in this country again.

To your wealth and prosperity – John

P.S. And I don’t believe for a minute, like the mainstream media, that only bad news sells.  Aren’t you just a bit inspired by this story?  And don’t you wish you could find a mechanic like Brian?

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