Honesty is the Best Policy

Michael Mobile Technician Utah Posted   Latest  
2015 Chrysler Town & Country Limited 3.6L (ERB) 6-spd (62TE)

Last week my Sister and Brother in Law came to visit. Brien, my brother in law mentioned that he had gone to the dealer to see if they could help him pair his new Samsung 9 plus with the U-connect system in his 2015 Town and Country van. After spending about 15 minutes with the van the service advisor came into the lobby and told Brien that the radio installed in his vehicle must have been out of a salvage vehicle. They said that when the VIN does not match, it won't work right. The replacement would cost $1400.

When relating this story to me I told them that I could confirm this with the factory tool. I connected to the van and entered the Radio module. Both current and history VIN were matching. So much for the wrecking yard theory. Brien had tried to use a USB that he downloaded from the U-Connect site without any luck. We downloaded a new file by using the VIN. Then followed the update instructions exactly as printed online. It took a few attempts but eventually took. The system seemed very particular. So we were able to get the system up and running. Note that the front USB will not work. The one in the glove box is to be used for updates. Another tip is that the file only has to be unzipped. Brien had unpacked it after unzipping it. This is why the update did not work. The process takes about 10 minutes. No progress bar. Just annoying beeps until completed.

Then came the hard part. Pairing the phone. This is where following the instructions exactly was so critical. We attempted multiple times only to end with failure. Finally we turned off the vehicle and started new. Each step exactly how prescribed. The part I think we did wrong was having the Bluetooth active on the phone during the process. The instructions say to turn on the Bluetooth late in the process. When this was done, the pairing was successful. From update to pairing took about 45 minutes. This was knowing nothing about U-Connect.

So here is where the honesty part comes in. If the process is tough because it is so finicky, most customers will either walk away or pay what it takes. My Brother in law has a commute that is 14 hours 4 times a month. He needs his phone hands free. He likes to listen to the playlist while driving long hours. He would have paid any reasonable rate to get this done. He was considering buying the new radio. I can't know the intention of the advisor or the tech who looked at the vehicle. The appearance is that they gave a lackluster attempt to pair the phone then condemned the radio. They could have confirmed the VIN story quite easily. To declare that the radio did not match the vehicle before even checking was dishonest.

In situations like this, it would be recommended to tell the customer that the initial attempts did not work. "We would like you to leave your vehicle with us for a day and we will do some research and call you as soon as we have a resolution." They could even give an estimate of an hour and see if it were worth it to the customer.

I was happy to help my Sister and Brother in law. I did not charge them for the help. They were elated that it was fixed. It is nice to be the hero sometimes.

We used the instructions on this website. We went in by VIN. I do not know if you can get far without it.


Chris Diagnostician

Michael, Thanks for the write up. It is always depressing to hear stories like that, at least you were able to give it a happy resolution. It makes you wonder if it's greed, ignorance, or what. I've been present (I occasionally get calls from a few local dealerships when they are too overwhelmed with big $ jobs to look at a vehicle) when a dealer tech does an awesome write up, explains it

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Scott Manager

Thanks for sharing that story Michael. I would like to know how they arrived at that decision and learn more about the communication breakdown. If this were me, I would be scheduling a meeting with the service manager to discuss the findings and ask how they were able to arrive at their given conclusion.

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Michael Mobile Technician

Hi Scott, Brien had planned on making a visit back to the dealership to explain that the problem was solved without the new parts. As for me going over to the dealership, this may be something I look to doing in the future. (As part of my business or maybe a reality show) I really don't have the clout in the community to go throwing my weight around yet. I have found that the mobile business

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Albin Diagnostician

Nice writeup and fix for the problem. I remember a customer bringing in their Subaru with a complaint that when the transmission was manually put into the 2ng gear position, the transmission started out in 2nd gear. The vehicle had been taken to the dealer, who said the transmission needed to be rebuilt to fix this problem. A few minutes with service information, and I found out this is the

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Leo Technician
New York

Yes, "reduction of wheel spin in winter or otherwise slippery conditions" type language in the theory/operation. There is really no excuse for these lapses in product knowledge by service personnel. But you've inadvertently brought up a rapidly growing problem, at least for me lately: the customers don't know their own vehicles. As you said, it was written in the owner's manual. Cars are

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Martin Instructor
British Columbia

Hi Mike. I don't know that it is dishonesty, as much as ineptness and a lack of training or interest. There can be many issues with customer devices with pairing on some vehicles. Being a tech turned trainer, my days can also be very long similar to yours and run into the late hours at night researching issues. Like you, I pursue stuff that doesn't work, purely out of interest. Payment may be

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