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React or Respond – What’s the Difference?

How many times do we risk losing customers by a quick reaction rather than a more thought out response.

reӢact (r Рkt )

v. reӢactӢed, reӢactӢing, reӢacts
v. intr.

1. To act in response to or under the influence of a stimulus or prompting: reacted strongly to the sarcastic tone of the memorandum.
2. To act in opposition to a former condition or act: composers who reacted against romanticism.
3. To act reciprocally or in return.

reӢspond (r -sp nd )

v. reӢspondӢed, reӢspondӢing, reӢsponds

v. intr.


1. To make a reply; answer.

2. To act in return or in answer.

3. To react positively or favorably: The patient has responded rapidly to the treatment.

On a recent trip to get my truck worked on, I described the problem (it felt as if it were missing) to the service department and they suggested I needed a tune up. I had the tune up done and not only did my problem continue, but my truck now idled worse than before.

I called the service department and told them of the change to the negative and they suggested an electronics diagnostic. Since I really wanted my main issue fixed, I agreed to the 69.95 charge to ‘find’ the problem.

A full day later I received an estimate for just over $800 which included plug wires, a Distributor Cap and rotor (remember the tune up), an EVP valve and a minor leak to my oil pan. When I questioned the plug wires, distributor cap and rotor, they simply stated ‘a tune up is only changing the spark plugs’. Ok, granted most cars now have electronics and don’t need all the work for a tune up in the past, but (as I told them) shouldn’t a ‘tune up’ actually ‘tune’ the motor to run correctly? (apparently it does not)

I asked what was causing the issue I requested the diagnostic for in the first place (since I know it isn’t the oil leak) and they stated the EVP valve (also the most expensive part on the estimate). I had the valve replace and $488 later, my problem still exists. I called the service department again (notably upset) and asked why the problem was not fixed as stated. The answer from the service manager was ‘you didn’t fix everything on the estimate, so it’s not our fault’. Again the estimate was not just for the issue being fixed since the oil leak isn’t causing the truck to miss, but the plug wires, distributor cap and rotor could cause it. I scheduled the additional work and asked if the work could be done by 3pm as I needed to pick my son up from school. When I didn’t receive a call by 2pm, I called them. The response was ‘we found it and it wasn’t the cables at all, it was the coil wire’ (note that was not on the estimate). I went to get my truck and it runs great, but never did they say they were sorry for the mis-diagnostic, the additional $600 (EVP and ‘tune up’) I spent to get the issue fixed and for the refusal that it could in any way be their fault since I didn’t ‘do all the things on the estimate’.

All in all, the end result is I now feel as an intrusion on their day if I need to allow them to work on my truck. They Reacted to the issue rather than Responding and making me feel they cared about my issue.

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