Now and then a customer will bring their car to me with a problem that is in that "grey area"...somewhere between my problem or their problem. If they come to me with respect and kindness, the problem gets fixed quickly and painlessly. If they are rude or disrespectful, I may still fix their problem but it will probably not be so quick or painless. Recently I had an acquaintance tell me they overheard a customer of mine badmouthing our shop to a few people over lunch at a restaurant. In this particular case the problem was absolutely not ours. A few days later the customer came to the shop and rudely demanded we repair his car for free. The way I saw it, we had nothing to gain by giving in to his demands. We had done nothing wrong, he had already spread false and negative rumors about us to who knows how many people. He was not going to start singing our praises if we did what he asked, and most likely would just keep talking smack. So I politely told him to pound sand. He went on to dispute the charges for his previous repairs through Amex over and over, and tarnished our spotless BBB record with a complaint. I still think it was all worth it to attempt to teach him that this is not how you get what you want.
Some would say I have an attitude problem, and that may be true. But I would be willing to bet most others would have the same feelings, they just may not act on them. After spending day after day reading this thread, I can't help but think that maybe Pete didn't' go about this in the right way to get what he wants.