Touch 1 If This is a Warranty-Related Claim

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The next time you take your car to the dealership for service, you may not have to speak with a service advisor.

Instead, you’ll tap – and swipe.

Several car manufacturers – most recently VW – have begun trying out virtual service advisors at their dealerships. These are touchscreen kiosks – like the ones at most airports that you can use to check yourself in and get your boarding pass.

And avoid a long line to transact the same business with an actual gate agent.

VW is experimenting with the idea at two of its dealerships, where customers can not only check in – and leave the keys to their car – but also get their keys (and their car) after the service has been performed.

Jon Meredith of Volkswagen North America says the virtual kiosks are “not here to replace (human) service advisors.” Rather, the idea is to increase throughput at busy dealerships by giving customers the option to use the virtual kiosk if they’re in a hurry.

But one wonders whether the temptation will arise to increase the dealership’s profit margin in a hurry – by reducing the dealership’s payroll.

This has already happened at many supermarkets as well as big box retail and hardware stores such as Lowes and Home Depot. Human checkers have become an endangered species. What was once an option – the self-check lane – has become almost your only choice, as the the only other choice is to wait much longer to get to the one or two human checkers who are still manning a register.

At some stores, there’s no longer even that option. All the checkout lanes are self-check lanes, supervised by a vestigial human employee who soon won’t be.

It makes sense, from the standpoint of the big box store – and probably a car store, too.

Meredith said the first-generation kiosks installed at a Volkswagen dealership in Pasadena, California can “write up” between 10 and 15 customers per day.

Imagine the savings. Instead of having to pay six people to interact with people, get rid of the six people and have the people – the people paying you money – interact with a touchscreen.

Don’t blame greedy capitalists for this.

Blame expensive government.

It costs a fortune to set up and operate a store – whether it’s a big box retailer or a car store. Taxes, compliance costs, licenses (i.e. government permission) to do business, etc.

Plus what it costs to keep people around as employees.

Especially what it costs to “cover” them.

Probably one the biggest single reason for rise of Kiosk Fever is that businesses don’t have to buy Obamacare for a touchscreen. And given how little a touchscreen costs vs. what it costs to cover say six humans, the decision to replace as many of those humans as possible with a touchscreen becomes an understandable one.

Perhaps even a necessary one – if the business wishes to remain in business. This has become difficult in no small measure because of rising health care costs, especially for lower-tier employees like checkers.

How about key jockeys.

If a kiosk that doesn’t have to be “covered” can accept a customer’s keys – and return them when the car is ready to be picked up – why pay (and pay to “cover”) a lot boy to do the same?

Why pay a service advisor?

A kiosk can handle practically everything a human service advisor can – in the manner of phone tree systems that prompt you to push 1 for yes and 2 for no. They also serve the purpose of firewalling the quarrelsome customer from the business, with which the customer has to do business. If he wants his problem handled. If there’s no human option, what choice has he got?

Not many put up with phone trees for the fun of it. They deal with it – because it’s the only way to  deal with it.

That may soon be the deal at your local dealership, too.

Push 1 if this is a warranty-related claim. Push 2 to schedule an oil change.

And they ask me why I drink.

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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48 COMMENTS

  1. Well the Virginia House has just passed the Assault Weapons ban. Goes to the Senate now….
    The funny part of this not so funny event is the Bill is for your saaaaaaaaaaaaaafety!

    ““This legislation, just like other bills passed by the House this year, is intended to make Virginians safer every day,” House Democrats said in a statement after the vote. –Fox News

    Coming to everyone’s state soon… and will likely pass. The last thread of the Constitution is dead.

    For our Safety 🙁

  2. This is a perfect example of shadow work. We’ve been unpaid laborers for corporations for years, and it just keeps getting worse. We pump our own gas, check out and bag our own groceries, act as our own telephone operators, edit the things we read (you’ve noticed how there are no longer any copy editors, right?), collect and remit taxes, and far more things I don’t want to consider at the moment. All jobs lost, and jobs we are doing for free.

    Does anyone here remember milk men? Anyone here have a paper route once upon a time? Used to be a (gas) pump jockey (“fill ‘er up and check the oil sir?”)? There are ten lanes at my local grocery and one checkout girl and another watching the self-checkouts. Six counters at my bank with one teller.

    I dunno guys… I think we are going the way of the dinosaurs

    • Had a paper route when I was 13. Rode a brand new Columbia Paperboy Bicycle. Heavy Duty,,, could carry 5 dual bags. Used the money to pay my Mother back for the bicycle and to buy my first motorcycle. Of course today I would be informed that my White privilege allowed that but I actually did do some of the work. Delivered the morning and the evening paper. In the summer I mowed yards, Worked at a grocery store bagging, and helped rebuild lawnmower engines at a friends fathers mower shop. Back then not everyone could afford a new mower every couple of years. Few credit cards.

      Today,,, no paperboys. No young boys mowing yards. Now adults are trying to support their families as corpgov has shipped the jobs over there,,, wherever ‘there’ has the lowest wage! And corpgov has even figured out how to accomplish the jobs they can’t offshore. ,,, import cheap labor! Most lawnmower shops no longer exist. If you need a mower,,, just go out and charge it!

      It’s a pretty horrid thought to most modern American parents to think of their darlings actually working….and if they did they’d probably have to pull a permit and pay income taxes. More fun playing war games on your Smart Phone preparing for the only job left that pays decent,,, the military. Of course it may not end so well…

      Yep,,, so much better these days.

      • Hi Ken,

        I have the same memories! Mowed several neighbor’s yards; shoveled driveways in winter. Odd jobs until 16, then summers detailing cars at a car dealership. All my friends did similar – which is how we got our first cars and you know the rest. Like you, I can’t remember the last time I saw a kid mowing someone else’s lawn (or even his own). People use lawn services now.

      • And the sprogs of those who receive redistributed wealth to be professional baby-makers while getting free food, shelter, medical care, etc. are somehow “underprivileged”, because they are not receiving enough of the fruit of YOUR labor – I mean, surely, you don’t expect their parent to provide for them!

        Liberal’s definition of “White privilege”: Actually doing something to provide for yourself and your fambly.

        And of course….dey be no jobs for the yute, cuz all de biznusses left town cuz dey so racist dat dey dont wanna pay a lil extra tax for all dem fine programs dat de poly-titians we voted for done implemented to help a brutha out.

        • Morning, Nunz!

          In all the years I’ve lived here I haven’t once had a kid knock on my door to ask whether he could cut my yard. When I was a kid, I did it – and so did many of my friends. I’m not sure what’s changed but suspect a concatenation of factors, including – of course – the rise of the Safety Cult. Can’t let kids go around neighborhoods knocking on people’s doors! They might get molested! And there’s also the rise of inwardism – my neologism. Kids today seem to not like being outside trying to find things to do – including things that might earn them some money (off the books, cash money). Instead, they stay inside and text and play games on dey sail fawns.

          And they ask me why I drink!

          • Not in my neighborhood. I wish they’d go inside! I can’t hear myself think over basket balls bouncing and kids hollering. I got gun smoke to watch.

            • Anon, that’s one thing kids seem to excel at…making noise! Somewhere along the line, boys have learned to shriek like little girls, too. Guess they were all “born into the wrong bodies”…..

              I think I’ll go watch my guns smoke too.

          • Hey Ya Eric!

            Amen, my friend! And not just that…but kids (Well- even “adults” these days) don’t seem to know what to do unless someone is telling them what to do. They’ve been trained to just look to some higher-up to provide a task; the tools to accomplish that task; rules to follow; set rewards to reap; someone to appeal to if they have a problem…..etc. Humanity has essentially been ruined, in our lifetime.

            Now it’s a stretch if these kids can hand hamburgers out the little window while wearing a paper hat; and they have to have pictures of the menu items on the cash register keypad, ’cause expecting the ‘tards to deal with actual numbers would be too abstract…. 🙁

            Imagine a kid going to mow a lawn today? Pulls on starter rope..mower doesn’t start…kid goes home and calls a therapist.

            And ya know what’s sad? I was looking at little push mowers last year (I use one to get in a few little places that I can’t get with my 60″ zero-turn)….you can’t even freakinjg find just a plain old push mower anymore! Not even in WALMART!!!!! [I’m sounding like Sam Kinison at this point]- every freaking one is self-propelled, with a bnagger, and probably a coffee-maker and GPS…..

            I ended up buying a used one for $15 that “didn’t run”, ’cause the c.60 year-old man selling it didn’t know to turn on the fuel cut-off, and the blade didn’t spin ’cause it needed a $2 part (But the damn thing is self-propelled and thus heavy as all get-out. I just want an engine for my old, dead, simple very light hi-wheel Husky! )

            But back to the kids. By today’s standards, what we did sounds almost mythological. I mean, when I was 18, I already had a real occupation- I managed to get a boat for the measly $500 I had scraped together…and had to get a town and a state license, to be a clam digger….. Had to figure out everything for myself, from how to operate the boat…keep it running…work a long rake. That was before I even had a car…I used to commute, via train and then walk to the boat….carrying a bunch of crap with me. (And man, do I miss those days! Some of the best days of my life, and now? The bay I used to work is surrounded by McMansions and condos, and every yutz with a pulse has a jet-ski or a cigarette boat….and you’re more likely to get hassled by a pig while on yer boat than in your car!)

    • Hi Bill,

      In re Shadow Work… yes, indeed. You mention copy editors. Also editors and graphic designers and “make-up” people, in my business. When I began working as a reporter, the reporters did the legwork, got (and wrote) the story. Today, they do that plus edit the story and format it and “post” it. In effect, at least three jobs previously handled by three full-time people – all now handled by one person for less pay than the one job used to pay.

      I’m no Einstein, but I saw some of this coming (’90s) and out of self-preservation took steps to get out before it was too late – by figuring out a way to live where I could exist for much less money.

      Yes, there are still opportunities and some people do very well. But it’s also true that they’re working much longer hours and – generally – have much less money left after they pay their cost to live in the areas where these “good jobs” remain.

      Where I used to live – DC ‘burbs – a very modest single family home costs at least $400k and you will pay at least $5k annually in property taxes to live in it. Even a six figure salary only buys a very precarious existence up there – unless you do as some are doing and “group home” it or live in a van.

      • On the up side, there are far more voices heard today than ever before. The days of the rock star reporter might be gone, but instead we have access to more viewpoints than we ever did under the slick magazine model. Sure, it brought us “woke culture,” but it also means I can spend my morning reading Eric Peters’ reviews instead of the paid-off shill review of Motortrend (did they ever give a bad review? Oh yes, the Yugo, and that’s probably because the Slavs didn’t pony up in the ad sales department).

  3. A good service advisor can do quite a bit of “selling.” They may persuade customers to pop for many “optional” repairs, in addition to those that are absolutely essential. That usually involves answering questions, and pumping the advantage of doing everything “while the head is off”…etc. That increases dealer profits a lot.

    “Someday,” AI will advance enough that the kiosk can do the selling. But Not Yet. If The Screen asks me if I want to do extra stuff, I’ll check the box that says “hell no.”

  4. The comments here have inspired a rant. Maybe it’s just at the lower level workplaces and/or most of the places I’ve been. Nearly every place I’ve ever worked, it always seemed like the place was running on fumes and on the verge of collapse. Just one more problem would wreck the whole operation. Sometimes I wondered what would happen if I just quit, or didn’t show up for a day. The place would backlog or just have to close in some circumstances.

    I never suspected before entering the real world that so many places operate in such a condition. Doesn’t seem very efficient or beneficial. I would have thought that having a buffer, having contingencies, having backups, were sound business practices. But it seems like everywhere, things are already operating at 100%, full capacity, and any unforeseen circumstance or variable thrown in devastates the system. It amazes me that with this level of systematic stress things are as good as they are.

    Perhaps cutting the workforce to cut costs is considered efficiency. But there is definitely a loss of quality (in many things) as a result.

    When you leave your job you have a sense of relief and weightlessness that it’s no longer your problem. You may wonder how they’ll do it, but your ex coworkers bear this burden majorly, just like when you go on vacation.

    Sometimes I think the touchscreens will be an improvement but I also get that these people probably receive little to no training and are thrown in there anyway. Some are probably lazy and deserve to be replaced by touchscreens, but others are probably doing the best they can for the situation they’re in.

    I often feel bad for businesses for how hard it is out there, and other times I feel they have major blame in the problems.

    • That’s a very apt observation, Brandon. Between what you describe; the fact that a very large percent of workers are also wasting tons of time and or are incompetent/have to comply with company policies which tie their hands, AND the fact that so many companies are practicing unprofitable/unsustainable business models, and often have dysfunctional management, it’s amazing that “the big crash” hasn’t happened already.

      But with everything being on the precipice like it is, it’s just gonna take one tiny slip of one domino to send the hole thing down the tubes- WHOOSH! It’s just gonna just blow in a day!

      Look at Boeing! Despite all of the massive crony-capitalism…..it’s basically done- just like that- in the blink of an eye. And get this: Now The Donald has taken a fancy to E-loon Musk[rat]- so just as the EV thing is finally starting to fall out of favor, E-loon is now going to be getting even more tax dollars for “space” projects!!! Hey, the dude can’t turn a profit, and can’t even make cars that don’t crash themselves or burst into flames…what better person to throw billions at to make rocket ships to go “back to the Moon”? (Guess they had to lower sights from Mars….now it’s the Moon by 2024. Hmmmm….4 more years to do what we supposedly did 50 years ago-LOL-)

      This is why the political theater is so obsessed with personalities, moral issues (Or should I say “immoral issues”?) and offering freebies and prosperity schemes…..to take attention away from the fact that no matter who ya vote for, they do the same thing, and give our money to the very same players. Call it “environmentalism” or “space exploration”- it’s the same agencies; same pseudo-scientists; same crony-capitalists….it’s only the words that differ.

      • so-called space exploration is the biggest load of crap. Heres whats in space: death for anyone leaving low earth orbit. Just death. Even low earth orbit is deadly to the body. Just takes longer. We’ll never leave this blue green rock.

          • There is, we simply have not developed sufficiently advanced technology for it yet. Bear in mind that similar dire warnings have been made in the past for nearly every advance in travel technology – it was once thought that traveling on a train at more than 30 mph would kill a human being by suffocation, and of course there’s the old saw that if God had meant us to fly we would have been given wings.

            The question is whether the way out of here will be developed before civilization collapses into barbarism or we are hit with some type of extinction event. (The former would delay developments by centuries if not millenia, the latter would make everything a moot point if we have not yet gotten off this mudball.)

            • Hey Jason,

              Ah, but you’re making the assumption that what “they” tell us about the nature of the creation is correct/honest. “They” being the same people who propagate such things as man-made “climate change”, and whose main products through whom they redistribute wealth are space and war- which, lately, are being combined into one endeavor increasingly.

              • Nunz, our current understanding of the nature of the cosmos can be traced step-by-step back to the likes of Copernicus and Galileo. (Remember what the Papists, the “they” of the time, did to Galileo?)

                The fundamentals date back to way before the statist dirtbags who have been in charge for the last several decades.

                So yes, I believe we will eventually get out there if we last long enough. I’m cynical enough to believe though that we’ll be reduced to serfdom and/or hit by a whopping big asteroid before that happens, so in that sense it is a moot point.

                • Great point about Copernicus and Galileo, buddy! But just because the Calf-licks were opposed to them, doesn’t make them right.

                  In-fact, the idea that modern as(s)tromy and cosmology is based on the musings of some dudes from hundreds of years ago who did not even have so much as hot-air balloons, but just speculated, and whose experiments were childish and primitive, even in comparison to what any of us can do today with a simple camera, amateur rocket or balloon, laser, etc. is kinda of sad and laughable; as is the fact that evidence to the contrary- such as Airy’s Failure- is just ignored and swept under the rug and never even mentioned when the subject is taughtprogrammed into us as kids.

                  Just something to think about.

                  And personally, I am automatically skeptical of anything that is accepted and agreed upon by all major governments; the UN, nutso academia, the Nazis, now even the Calf-licks…..etc. etc.

                  Funny how this seems to be the one unifying issue- and even India is now in on the game.

                  Hey, “they” believe the earth is “billions” of years old- and yet no asteroid has whacked us out of existence- but instead they say we should worry about cow farts and puppy breath that makes the trees grow- that THAT is somehow gonna kill us (But of course the emissions of all the mega-ton rockets they’ve been blasting through the atmosphere don’t count….). Personally, I’d be more concerned about all of the junk they’re putting up there- especially now with E-loon in the game, ’cause his crap can’t even survive a few years on terra-firma! 😀

                  • Nunz, of course the lies come thick and fast from the Establishment (as we used to call it) It’s hard at times to know what to believe and what not to believe, and there are so many lies it is natural to suspect just about everything. As Nietzsche observed, “Everything the State says is a lie, and everything it has it has stolen.”

                    In the instant case regarding whether we’ll achieve any kind of meaningful space travel in the future, that is something that doesn’t have any practical significance for people alive today, it is purely of academic interest. Fun to talk about and debate perhaps, but doesn’t affect any of us who are presently stuck on the global plantation.

                    Even if true, no one alive today is likely to ever be taking Jetsons-style vacations on the moon. For all practical purposes we are stuck on this rock and will continue to be for a long, long time.

                    If false, it’s just the icing on the cake compared to all the other lies.

                    • Exactly, Jason!

                      And whether true or false, the fact remains that the premise will be used to extort obscene amounts of money from we-the-sheeple, and to further expand government and their tyrannies, and their military nonsense, and to elevate and endear the collectivist state ion the eyes of all who “believe” and marvel at their exploits.

                      It’s actually funny that this subject should come up now, because it was just a couple of days ago that someone sent me a copy of a Reddit post, in which the subject was “How To Start A Conversation With A Stranger”, and one of the replies (the one of interest) was: “Talk about NASA. Everyone loves NASA!”.

                      That Moon shit, and all of the subsequent nonsense- real or fake- really did capture the hearts of much of mankind, and elevate the state to god status in those minds- and the state will keep playing the Wizard and never allow any to see the man behind the curtain, because it really is the ultimate Orwellian act, causing so many to love Big Brother and to tolerate his unprecedented extortion- and hey, if you oppose that tyranny and extortion, be it just because you oppose tyranny and extortion, and or if you don’t “believe” and try to pull back the curtain and expose the little man pulling the strings, then you (we) are the enemy! Bernstein! 😀

                  • The experts don’t believe in cosmic catastrophe but the data says others. Much like “climate change”.

                    It’s pretty clear from the evidence that high human civilization(s?) have been knocked down in the past. The last smack down coming from a comet leaving string of impacts at least from Turkey through to the west coast of Canada. The big impacts over north america melting the then ice sheets resulting in canyons carved in hours, mass extinction, etc. Roughly 12,000 years ago.

                    Thing is ancient man of this go around knew to fear the comet debris that comes every fall but today our “owners” wish to hide that and instead scare us with things that give them power.

                    The two real threats to our present civilization little to nothing is done about them. One is hardening against a massive solar flare and the other preventing cosmic impacts. Of course these two very real threats don’t serve anyone’s power interest. They would just be a service to humanity. Hence the lack of interest.

    • I’ve worked adjacent to call centers. One reason why they’re such crap is the high burnout rate (most US based call centers have 45% turnover every year). Training is expensive and hard. Then once they get a taste of how it really works they either go the medication route or quit. I’ve listened to lots of calls. The vast majority are simple billing or other questions that could be answered by an automated system. Those are what all the automation is trying to take care of. The easy stuff that works as expected.

      The downside is that stuff used to be taken care of by people with sub-average IQ. Once you don’t need them anymore then what? You can’t train them to do more advanced tasks. You can’t trust them to be able to perform them. You might be able to train a guy with 85 IQ to do oil changes, but what happens when a machine (that you can write off as a capital expense) will do perfect oil changes, every time? Or electric drivetrains take over and changing oil becomes a lost art?

  5. “…as the the only other choice is to wait much longer to get to the one or two human checkers who are still manning a register.”

    And the reason those lines are much longer is because a lot of us despise having to do the work ourselves. Most of us are not exactly “seasoned” baggers (myself included).

  6. And a lot more kiosks coming to the state of Virginia soon. Because of the bone headed move by the democrats in the General Assembly to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023. Congratulations to the remaining employees left at various businesses (if they don’t go out of business) after it takes effect.

  7. Having been lied-to and screwed by service managers and advisors, I’d rather deal with the factory.

    Both Kia and Hyundai have built their brands with that 100K warranty blather.

    Sounds good, but try arguing that the repair falls under that contractual clause.

    The dealerships’ representatives have an incentive to lie as the dealers realize higher profits on repairs paid by the owners, rather than a warranty claims.

    And, as we dupes are required to sign a mechanics lien before repair begins, we are legally required to pay the bill, nor matter the amount.

    • I’ve run that gamut within GM. Went through 3 dealerships before the original one I bought my truck at happily approved it with no quarrel. 100k mile Rust Through Warranty. First one intentionally sabotaged the warranty claim submission and only showed the minor damage areas and it was of course denied. Idiot mouth breather told me to call GM and keep trying. Okay you moron. GM customer service Level 2 said once a claim is denied they legally cannot make an action on it again. After a red in the face arguing with Level 2 over this misunderstanding the lady said just go reapply at another dealership and it will start over. A GMC dealership told me they would not honor a warranty claim on a Chevrolet vehicle, wtf? Third time was the charm and finally got a brand new roof and new windows. Original problem was roof was rusted through near the windows at only 4 years old. Luckily got it in at 93k miles before the warranty expired.

    • IMO warranties are a joke. When you actually bring your car in for a repair, they either “can’t duplicate the problem” or they never actually fix the problem, even when it’s obvious and the mechanic agrees with you. So it’s just a scam, IMO. That’s been my experience in the 1990’s and early 2000’s with 4 different cars. I think everyone would be better off never buying a warranty, and just bringing their vehicle to a real actual mechanic instead… at least you’ll actually get the problem fixed, it’s alot less time & aggravation to go to an honest mechanic than the lying dealerships.

      • That’s one of the many reasons I’ve never been interested in buying a new vehicle- the very idear of having to take it to the stealership…drop it off…pick it up…..rinse and repeat four times for every little problem- I’d go insane! I’d rather just have something that cost a lot less, and when it breaks, just fix the damned thing myself, and at the most, I’m out a few hours time, and thing is fixed the first time, without fasteners missing or clips broken or fraud committed.

  8. I suppose thats what the universal basic income is all about. So all the retards dont starve when machines take away their minimum $25 an hour an hour job (it aint stopping with 15) with guaranteed paid time off / sick leave and health insurance. If Sanders wins we’ll also be paying for ‘free’ tuition so everyone can learn all of the 52 genders.

  9. This annoys me. I want ot deal with a human, I already have an iphone and an iPad if I just want 0 interaction with my transaction.

    When I go to Price Chopper, there’s an option to either wait for the 2 out of ten registers that exist with actual people manning them.

    Or the other option.

    Scan and bag my own stuff for the same price.

    Where exactly is my discount for doing the work you used to pay your employees to do?

    You’re making more money by making me do the work, so where is my discount?

    Same at the bank.

    I can either use the giant touchscreen or a human teller.

    In this case, the inept teller usually puts my deposit in the wrong account (checking v savings) so I appreciate the way the machine doesn’t mess that up.

    I don’t like the automation nonsense. What’s next, a virtual woman instead of one made of flesh that smells good like a woman? I know, I know, that’s already in the pipeline.

    But it ain’t for me.

    • For car service, I want to deal with a human, especially if it’s a subtle problem. Say your car is making a noise, but only under certain conditions, the kiosk won’t allow you to explain these subtleties, let alone understand them.

      WRT the grocery store or the bank, it depends on whether I use the machine vs. the human. If it’s just a quick, routine transaction at the bank, I’ll use the ATM; if it’s a bit complicated, I’ll go inside and talk to a human teller, e.g. get a cashier’s check. If I’m just getting a couple of items or a few of the same thing, I’ll use the kiosk and bag the items myself. If it’s a whole cart full of stuff, I’ll deal with a human cashier. It’s all about what’s quickest and easiest for me at the time.

      I think a dealer’s service advisor is a valuable employee. For many issues beyond routine stuff (e.g. scheduled service, say a 30,000 mile check), a kiosk is okay. For actually dealing with a problem, a kiosk won’t suffice; you’ll need a knowledgeable human to help figure things out.

      Parts runners, valets, etc. don’t have to be given benefits. What companies did to get around the mandated benefits requirement is this: have ’em work part time. When Obamacare was passed, companies en masse put people on part time schedules. Dealers could do the same with low value employees. However, I’d consider service advisors high value employees.

      • I live in a small town. I know two of the mechanics at my dealer. They know me and they know my truck. At my local bank, both tellers know me by name when I walk in. They can straighten out any problems i have ever had in a matter of minutes.
        The difference between a small town and a large one.

    • Price Chopper? They still have that non-PC unsaaaafe logo, an axe whacking a plug off of a silver dollar? Da Choppa, Chicago Market, Matt’s, Utica Club and Genny Cream. Ahhhh, Central NY. Fantastic place, except for the taxes…sledding heaven.

  10. I work at a dealership as a technician and I can maybe see this being a thing somehow. Then again a dealership isn’t exactly like McDonald’s either. Customers often have 15 questions when dropping their cars off (even more when picking up!) and an idiot box isn’t going to help them.

    Loaner cars are often involved necessitating human involvement to track down said vehicle and pull it up for them. There are a few other steps in the process typically that won’t be automated either. I could see one of these popping up for the people who drop their cars off after hours though. You know, instead of filling out a paper envelope and shoving it through a slot with the keys in it.

    One of the things that dealers are now doing that grinds my fucking gears is farming out all the good work (fluids, filters, brakes) to low paid kids. They don’t diagnose, they don’t do warranty repairs, they just suck up all the well paying jobs all day (flat rate). They’re mostly fucking idiots judging by how many lug studs they strip out weekly (dozens) and by doing easy shit all day they’re learning how to do nothing.

    When I was an apprentice I did all the shit jobs and the older guys did the easy shit. Now it’s the opposite. We do all the warranty garbage and diagnostics and recalls. If we’re real lucky we might get a brake job or a major service here and there. Then management just tells us to hustle more if we say the money isn’t what it used to be. They shit on your head and you’re supposed to say thanks for the hat. I’ve about had it with the dealership game.

  11. I know folks that think this is cool stuff,,, of course they haven’t been laid off yet and for some reason think them selves as necessary. They think that the machines will make things less costly but don’t understand how much these machines cost to develop and maintain. Has anyone ever see prices drop after these digital devices are installed? If anything they rise. And your doing the work for these corporations without compensation. Sounds like the definition of slavery to me. Also, like your ‘smart’ phones that time out in a couple of years they’ll be requiring constant updates and replacement. Right now corpgov hands out tax incentives like candy for this technology as they know digital is the best control and intelligence gathering mechanism ever created. Homelessness and suicides are increasing exponentially but this is just one more win for the Malthusians. We are truly entering the twilight zone and it won’t end nicely.

  12. One aspect of technology, and part of the reason it’s overrunning us, is that thanks to our fiat money system it’s largely financed by debt. If the advance in technology was paid for by real money accumulated in a sane manner, it wouldn’t be advancing nearly as fast. How many do you suppose are paying $1000+ cash for the Iphone 11. Just one of the many atrocities committed against us by our beloved US Sociopaths In Charge.

  13. I know a cashier at our local Walmart who informed me that she was instructed to slow down her work at the cash register in order to frustrate the store’s customers so that they would elect to use the Scan and Go isles. The rise in self service may be in response to the increase in the minimum wage, although I understand that the Walmart employees in my area make more than the minimum wage.
    Spent some time in the Detroit area recently where there are gas stations with no employees. Just pumps and a land line you can use in an emergency.
    I have no idea how far this is going to go.

  14. Great. Once we get rid of all the jobs for humans, where is the money going to come from for the consumers to spend?

    Soon we will have to invent “consumer robots” because humans won’t be getting a paycheck.

  15. There are already completely automated convenience stores, and I bet most fast food restaurants will be completely automated within a decade. In my neck of the woods, its already very hard to find entry level work, I really don’t know what the few teenagers that want jobs do now-a-days.

  16. Hmm,
    Many service advisors I’ve dealt with have zero understanding of the product and are just there to take down your information and your keys. I’ve seen this at Nissan and GM. The service manager on the other hand actually knows what your problem is and is up to date on TSBs.

    What would be nice is getting in direct contact with the regional service advisors that approve or deny warranty claims. They are ghosts really, average joe does not get to talk to them, probably for good reason. They rotate around to each dealership during the week and review warranty claims with the home office and unless you are a word Jedi their identity and contact info are not revealed. There are some incompetent dealers with incompetent service departments out there so in some cases if these kiosk submissions go straight to someones inbox maybe that is for the better.

  17. Always makes me think of “The Simpsons”:

    Hello, and welcome to the Springfield Police Department “Rescue Phone”! If you know the name of the felony being committed, press one. To choose from a list of felonies, press two. If you are being murdered, or are calling from a rotary phone, please stay on the line.
    [Bart presses buttons on phone]
    You have selected “regicide!” If you know the name of the King or Queen being murdered, press one.

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