Like I said in my last post on this sub, I work at a call center for an auto manufacturer. Occasionally customers call in asking for radio codes; whenever the battery on one of our vehicles is disconnected, the user is required to enter a code in order to use the radio. It’s an anti-theft feature designed to prevent someone from stealing the device for their own use.
In order to recover the radio code, the customer must provide the radio serial number. Usually, we can generate the serial number electronically by walking the customer through a simple process. However, this process does not work on certain model years, and when that happens, the only way to recover the serial number is to have a mechanic pull the radio out of the dashboard to read the sticker on the back.
A mechanic just called in to recover a radio code for one of his customers. He handed her the phone, and she and I determined that the electronic retrieval process would not work on her model year. I told her she would have to call back after removing the unit from the dash.
10 minutes later, her mechanic calls back yelling at me, asking me why I would tell his customer to remove the radio. He said he had called in before to retrieve the code for that same vehicle, and the previous agent had been able to give it to him without a serial number. He said that perhaps I just didn’t have enough experience at my job to know what I was doing, and told me to transfer him to someone who knew what they were talking about.
I reiterated what I had told the customer. The radio code could not be retrieved without the serial number, and the only way to obtain the serial number would be to locate the sticker on the backside of the unit. I added that there was no record in our system of anyone calling in for that specific vehicle’s radio code. He started going on about what a hectic day he had been having and continued to insult my intelligence by telling me that there were other ways to recover the code and that I was wasting his time. First I asked him to verify the vehicle ID number to make sure we were both talking about the same car. The number he gave me wasn’t any vehicle ID I had ever seen for any of our models. Then he tells me he had the wrong paperwork and gives me the correct number — it’s the same one the customer gave me and, again, there was no record of anyone calling in for that vehicle’s radio code.
I humored him and tried walking him through the electronic retrieval process. Obviously, it didn’t work. He still insisted that I didn’t know what I was doing and said he would take the car to a dealership, where they would likely be able to help him without having the radio removed. Then he hung up on me.
When he goes to the dealership, they’re going to charge him a service fee — radio code retrieval is free over the phone — and the dealer representative is going to call us for instructions on how to retrieve it.
Edit: Turns out there was record of a prior request for a radio code, but the previous agent didn’t document what the code was or even how she had been able to to recover it.