Service Excellence

It seems thesedays that everyone is constantly whinging about a bad customer service experience or dodgy product that didn't live up to its expectations. Hopefully those companies who aren't living up to acceptable standards lose out by way of bad reputation, but as for the good guys?

This page is dedicated to the decent places out there that we've had great pleasure dealing with. These are the organisations that go the full mile in delivering you a top customer service experience. These are organisations with excellent knowledge and a great overall approach to satisfying customer needs. All of the companies on this page are highly recommended. If you need something that they can offer, please give them a call and support them. These are the Good Guys who deserve your support for being excellent examples of how all companies should be. We'd much rather you do that than risk going elsewhere to have a bad experience.

At present, I could write a web page called Bad Guys which would be much larger than this one. But hopefully over time we will see more and more good guys surfacing from out of the woodwork and this page will become a huge reference of places that you can trust.

Powatone Exhaust - Fyshwick, ACT

Customer service excellence Superb product engineering

My positively charged customer service experiences with Powatone exhaust in Fyshwick weren't just a one-off lucky event.

They were the first place where both the owner/manager and the workshops guys came over to talk to me and genuinely listen to what I was saying about the symptoms of my car and what I wanted to pay them to fix for me.

They were the first place to tell me that my rear muffler was simply a hollow resonator not eliminating all the frequencies of vibrations that the car was suffering from.

Right from first walking in there, Ian, the owner was extremely polite and well-mannered. Something that I have found very hard to find in exhaust shops and a lot of car mechanical and engineering type places.

I'd actually originally rang up and made my booking at short notice, and rocked up to have a muffler replaced, only being advised that the car could benefit from some other subtle changes at the same time - but they would take longer to do. They advised me that the work would now take all afternoon to complete and if I was happy with that, then it could be done. They quoted me an upfront cost on the spot. I was feeling bad about the short notice I had given them, and they still managed to fit in a heap of extra work. This meant not needing to stuff around taking more days off work and getting in and out of Fyshwick some other time etc.

Over a couple of visits I had a fair bit of misceallaneous work done. Adjust and enlargen exhaust dump pipe tip, reposition my rear muffler, remove 2 useless resonators and install a 2 foot long truck muffler based on Powatone's advice, and construct and install a fully custom alloy intercooler pipe. Some really bad resonances were removed. This is the first time an exhaust place worked out that I only had 3 resonators and no true mufflers. All the welding and workmanship was top knotch. They custom made all these beefy supports with rubber cushions with their plasma cutter. They determined that the car needed an extra hanger support that was never there, and made that up. They made a reinforced brace from the main pipe to the cat convertor which would prevent cracks like one that they discovered as well!

First off we tried a Redback 2 foot long truck muffler, which I found to have insufficient ground clearance, although it did dramatically reduce the annoying resonances and vibrations going through the car. I went back and they then showed me another option which was a Lukey muffler 5" in diameter instead of 7". It was a perfect fit and dramatically improved the ground clearance. They saw this as really a small fine-tuning in their advice based on my heavily modified vehicle and therefore charged me nothing for the replacement muffler. I know so many places who would have made you pay full price for the second muffler because the first one didn't work out. With such modified cars, a lot of it is about trial-and-error and you just don't know what works until you put it on and go and drive it for a week. So I was extremely grateful for Powatone's attitude with things like this.

Now about the intercooler piping. I went in with mediocre expectations kind of hoping for a good job out of 2.5" mandrel bent alloy pipe, but really, I'd found it hard to find anyone who can work with mandrel bent alloy and knock together decent intercooler piping to date. The last exhaust place that made up some alloy intercooler pipework for me should have been shot. I think with zero welding experience I could have at least came up with a similar looking hack-job! It was terrible and I wanted it replaced by professionals.

Again, Powatone listened a lot to my input about how I wanted the pipework to be, i.e. no silicon joiners in the middle, all one piece, all alloy pre-made mandrel bends, neat welding, and butting up to my previously-purchased black silicon 90 degree bend where it joins up to the intercooler. I kept telling them what I wanted, kind of a bit cautious to make sure that they really didn't forget something and it didn't turn out quite as expected, simply because I have been burnt by so many other places and hack-jobs.

But far out. When I went in and popped the hood, I couldn't believe it. They had ACED the job. This was the best intercooler piping I'd ever seen and it was on my own car!! Man, 4 separate perfect mandrel bends all cut at exactly the right position and neatly welded together to make the pipework fit perfectly on my particular vehicle, i.e. around the shape of its engine bay and not colliding with any other objects. They even polished the pipe up completely which was an absolute bonus that I was expecting to have to do myself at home. Then they also made up an improved little mount thing that I was using to secure my positive battery terminal - and I hadn't even asked them about that! This is the kind of super quality and service that really leaves you impressed when they go that little bit extra and fix things that you didn't even have to point out to them.

The result is: I now love driving my car even a lot more, I am proud now to take photos of the engine bay, plus I know the first place I would go back whenever I have anything related to pipework or general metal work to be done next time. And for car enthusiasts there is always a next time.

Powatone's web site

Way to go Powatone!

Errol from Datrats - Melbourne, VIC

Customer service excellence Superb product engineering

Errol from Datrats is one extremely talented and dedicated Nissan/Datsun enthusiast. He can virtually create anything custom that you require as well as source some very hard to get items. Errol has a lot of connections and will amaze you with what he can track down or manage to get made up. Errol is truly one of those car heads who are in it for the love of it, and his high quality products certainly prove that.

Errol's customer service standards will blow you away. His turnaround times are fast, if there's a delay or problem he rings you in person to discuss and explain. He's always trying to get the products out to you as quick as he possibly can and he'll do anything to make you happy. He made me laugh a couple of times with just how serious and dedicated he was. More people in the automotive industry need to learn a lot from Errol.

We highly recommend you contact Errol if you're chasing some hard to find item or something special or custom made. If he can't get it, he may even be able to make you one!

Errol's impressive and growing range of micra performance parts are listed here:

Way to go Errol you legend!

N&B Driveshafts - Hawker, ACT

Customer service excellence

N&B driveshafts are a driveshaft and cv specialist. They sell reconditioned and new units, as well as provide all services associated with cv's and driveshafts. Nick is the owner/guy who runs the place. Nick has impressed me in the field of customer service more than just about any place I've been to for car-related services. The guy is a total legend, and probably one of the most helpful people I've had things fixed by. If you deal with Nick, he is very nice/friendly and always totally polite and respectful. Further to this, he knows his cv's and shafts back to front. He has so many odds and ends lying around that he can basically whip you up almost anything you might need. His turn around times were for me astonishingly quick - to the point that I'd dropped in 4 times during one week and he'd fix it there and then each time. I'd watch him fix my cv joints, then he would give them back all ready in no time. I could get this stuff done in my lunch break - now that is convenient. He was very kind and gave me two spare shaft vibration absorbers just to try out in my own time if I wanted them - no charge. He gave me a few spare cv joint metal belts all for no charge aswell. His prices are the best you will find anywhere. He did heaps of work for me one day including a new rubber boot and the price was next to nothing - extreme value. He loves his work and you can tell because he's happy helping you out and you get extreme value and a real trustworthy guy.

Nick has always been happy to offer me plenty of free advice and he does it with no hesitation. His advice proved to save me a lot of money. I was able to reverse my inner CV joints around to make the effective length of my driveshafts shorter which fixed a whole stack of vibration and movement problems on my car.

I would strongly recommend Nick from N&B to anyone with driveshaft/CV joint issues. I was so impressed that I dropped off 3 spare driveshafts I had lying around to Nick because they would come in handy for him as spare parts.

N&B Driveshafts
Murranji St Hawker, ACT
ph: (02) 6255 2303

Premium Brake Services - Newcastle, NSW

Customer service excellence

I didn't actually catch the name of the gentlemen who served me from Premium Brake Service, however following a couple of mistakes fundamentally my own fault, he was the most helpful and understanding person that you could have taken your car to - further more, he stuck to his original quote after we stuffed him around endlessly with unforseen problems that totally weren't his fault and were overlooked by myself. I dropped off my girlfriend's Mazda 626 to have the clutch changed, I supplied a clutch myself that I bought from Super Cheap Auto. Firstly, we'd only just bought the Mazda 626. I dropped it there without realising that we didn't have a key for the lock nuts on the alloy wheels. No worries, the guy called me on my mobile, notified me of the problem, and said he would like to take it down the road to have the nuts removed by some other mechanical/machinist place that he knows. I apologised for the inconvenience and he drove the car there, got the nuts removed after much frustration, then drove it back and proceeded with the clutch change.

Then he called a little later informing me that the clutch I had supplied him simply did not fit this model. It turned out the clutch had a housing which was too large for this car, it was faulty because the clutch was clearly for the correct model mazda. He said he recommended a Dakin clutch and he could get one overnight and complete the job first thing in the morning. I again apologised and told him to please order in a correct clutch and I will return this incorrect one to Super Cheap Auto later.

Sure enough, the clutch turned up on time, he had the car ready first thing in the morning. He called me once again informing me that the car was ready, and that the total bill was exactly the same as what he had quoted me before for labour, just plus the cost of the clutch which was very very reasonable for a decent Daikin brand item.

I immediately felt bad for the guy, as I know how frustrating it would have been and that it would have cost him time and therefore money. So I picked up a carton of beer on the way in. When I collected the car, he was extremely nice and explained the problems and then demonstrated to me exactly why the clutch did not fit the car! He showed me exactly which parts fouled and what to tell Super Cheap Auto when I took it back. I paid him and thanked him enormously. I then ducked out to the car and gave him his carton of beer and told him I really appreciate all the stuffing around and again I'm sorry. The best thing was that even after all the stuffing around, he had a huge smile when he saw me with the beer. He thought it was wonderful that I actually appreciated what he'd done.

The price was very reasonable for everything, the service was second to none, and the staff were always extremely polite and helpful. What a great customer service experience - I would recommend Premium Brake Services to anyone.

Premium Brake Services Pty Ltd
10 Hall St Newcastle NSW 2300
ph: (02) 4926 1511

Delux Auto Wreckers - Smithfield, NSW

Customer service excellence

I got my power steering conversion kit sourced from a Japanese March front cut, and an old set of N14 pulsar front discs from these guys. The staff were the nicest guys I've ever seen at any parts shop, very willing to make sure I had every last part and the price was very good.

Delux Auto Mechanical Repairs
93 Woodpark Rd Smithfield NSW 2164
ph: (02) 9721 2855

Hopkins Auto Electrics - Newcastle, NSW

Customer service excellence

This place is owned and run by Dave Finlay-Jones. Everytime I go there with a technical electrical issue he is the most helpful guy ever. He spends 10 minutes just talking to you and giving his advice even if he's not sure if you're going to spend any money with him. He always does a 110% job and seems to fix any problem in a very short period of time. He has a lot of experience on technical deep down issues like electronic ignition, engine computers, alarms, stereos etc. He removed the malfunctioning Brant Alarm system from my 200sx when it melted itself to death and reverted to the stock nissan alarm which works better and much simpler. Took him only 2 hours and he had the entire Brant system in a cardboard box and the Nissan one working again. The charge was only around $70 - I couldn't believe it.

Hopkins auto electrics & air conditioning
247 Lambton Rd New Lambton NSW 2305
ph: (02) 4952 1688

Cool core radiators - Fyshwick, ACT

Customer service excellence

When I was searching around for a new radiator for the blue micra, I phoned cool core up. Bill was extremely friendly and ordered in an alloy micra radiator from Melbourne for me up overnight without even wanting a deposit. I went in and picked it up thinking it probably was too thin but I advised "I will check it out, but it might be too thin for my turbo application". He expected the arrival to be about a 26mm core and it was only about 16mm so he was fine with that. As expected it was too thin, I took it back a few days later and he gave me all my cash back no questions asked and was extremely polite about it. Its like I was expecting the usual disgruntled shop-owner to argue with you for wanting a refund, but no Bill from Cool Core was totally genuine and understood perfectly things from the consumer's perspective.

Cool Core Radiators
22- 24 Maryborough St Fyshwick ACT 2609
ph: (02) 6228 1660