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How A Man Faked His Identity And Escaped A RM5,000 Repair: As Told By A Malaysian Mechanic

Sep 08,2014
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A survey conducted by Carama and Paul Tan, Malaysia’s automotive blogger, revealed that 75% of Malaysians want a car workshop they can trust. During a long chat with 56-year-old Wong Kok Heng, a man who started out in the automobile repairing industry in 1980, we found that there also have been instances where customers have broken the trust between customer and car workshop.

Mr. Wong began his career as a technician and is, today, a manager at Araba Auto Car Care, a certified Carama workshop under the S8 Group. As a boy, Mr. Wong was encouraged by his parents to pick up hands-on skills as academic studies were not his forte. He has since gained experience in a variety of repairs ranging from engine overhauls, wiring and so on. He now specialises in high-end vehicle repairing, namely Mercedes-Benz and BMW vehicles.

When asked to recall an encounter with a difficult customer, this is the story he told.

“I once encountered difficulty when it came to collecting payment back when I was at the S8 Hartamas outlet. A customer who drove a BMW 5 Series came to our workshop one day and wanted to do a car service. He was apparently the driver of the car owner and had, on top of a car service, requested us to check the entire vehicle for other problems and to provide a price quotation for it. After having checked the car, we provided him an estimate of RM8,000 to which he said his boss was only willing to spend RM5,000. We agreed to the RM5,000 and upon completion of our job, was told to drive the car back to his house (it was a fancy house). Anyway, we did just that and even before we finished the job, had informed him that we only accept cash or credit cards - he agreed to payment in cash."

“He had then also provided us with a name card that stated he was a boss of a Shell petrol station, don’t know if real or not-lah. After we completed the job and passed him back his car, he drove back into his house with his car keys and when we intended on collecting the cash from him, he instead passed us a cheque. In general, we only accept cheques from customers we are familiar or have a relationship with. Anyway, after we received the cheque, we had no choice.”

“Outside the house, we spoke to the security guard and he told us that the house didn’t belong to the car owner and that he was renting it. Also in the end, the cheque bounced and could not be processed. A police report was not made because back then, there were no documents in black and white and in the end, when management asked about the bill, the staff paid off that bill from their own pockets. It is the responsibility of a branch manager to overlook payment and processes like these.”

Mr. Wong is well aware that problems such as the one he had just described were inevitable and expressed that part of being someone in his position is not about what the biggest challenges are, but the way in which one rises to the challenge.

Araba Auto Car Care is a certified Carama workshop with an underground service bay for your car service, tyre alignment and balancing. It is located on No. G-G-1, Blok G, Jalan PJU 1A/3, Tapian 2 Damansara, Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor 47301. Visit the Araba Auto Car Care workshop page to book an appointment today!

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