Thursday, April 15, 2010

Shame and abasement at Toyota Basingstoke

I picked up my car this afternoon from the Toyota dealer in Basingstoke. Since you ask, this was a three year service + MOT + two new tyres and new light-cover fitted: cost in excess of £500.

So far, so uninteresting. But what surprised me was the obsequious if not shamed attitude of the staff there. The level of deference, the readiness to cater to any whim I might have, well, it was almost ... Japanese.

I can only assume the (British) staff there - and presumably everywhere in the UK - have received the mother and father of a brainwashing session: I can imagine the sensei saying:

"We have let down our customers, we have compromised our ideals and our unique selling proposition - quality."

Or perhaps that's a little too much like western-marketing-speak.

"Now we must humbly grovel before our customers and let them feel our shame, lest they desert us for Nissan or Honda, or even worse that unspeakable Korean company ..."

So I guess that would be Hyundai then.

Pleasant as it is to be grovelled to at some level it's demeaning, brings out the inate tendency to patronise or even bully them. Snap out of it guys - sure you messed up. Prove you can get your quality back and inject a bit of excitement into your range!

And don't give me a courtesy car which was almost out of petrol and where the seat belt clip kept sliding beneath the car seat making it a major issue to belt-up every time I got into it.