18 June 2006

The internet can't do everything

Yesterday I did some car maintenance. I've got a Jag XJ6 and the front disks needed some work. Normally I don't work on the car because technology has moved on so much in the last few years, but brakes are an area where I feel relatively competent.

I started a quick internet search for front disks but the first couple of places I called weren't open and suggested that I call back, but the message wasn't specific as to when. That's when I decided to go and see the local car spares shop in the village. He didn't have the pads in stock but promised to get them in an hour and give me a call when they were in. The call duly arrived and I went down to the shop and this is where the customer service moved from good to exemplary.

Apparently there are 2 possible pad designs for my car depending on whether the caliper is single or twin piston - he had ordered both, and let me take them away so that I could fit the right set and bring the other box back to him. He didn't even bother to draw up an invoice since it was easier for him to put it through the till just once when he knew which set I had used. When I got home and started to take the brakes apart, I quickly found that I needed the single piston pads and the set he had supplied were the correct replacements.

He's won himself an advocate.

... and the internet? Not a good report, I'm afraid - the sites I had used all recommended the twin piston pads, so if I had ordered from them then I would have lost time finding out that they didn't fit my car.

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