Friday, March 26, 2010

Raving Mad

I recently took my vehicle to the dealership (where I purchased the vehicle) for some service. Some background on this dealership: I've purchased a total of two vehicles from this particular establishment and have always felt that the entire staff treated me fairly and with respect.

So I sit down with the Service Associate to discuss what I need done on this particular morning:

Oil change.
Inspection sticker.
Thank you.
That's all.

I was then swept over to the reception area to have a seat and wait. Wait. WAIT......I usually don't mind waiting so much since they offer really good magazines to occupy my time. Not to mention I firmly believe in taking one's time and doing things correctly. So wait I must....

After about 30 minutes, Mr. Service Associate calls me over to his little cubicle area, and slides a piece of paper across the table with items needed and dollar amounts listed.

Mmkay. Let's do this dance.

So Mr. Service Associate says, "Ms. Anastasia, we've come across some issues er, uh, that we've uncovered, and they need to be addressed. Brakes, blah, blah, blah; Fluids growing polyps, blippity bloo; Belts cracking, yadda, yadda, yadda."

And then the bomb, "With taxes and fees, you need about $1300 worth of work."

Yup, that's right, One - Three - Zero - Zero.

And then. AND THEN - "Your vehicle is UNSAFE TO DRIVE, and we CANNOT pass this vehicle for inspection until you fix the brakes. Since you need such EXTENSIVE work, we can offer a rental car, and WAIVE the fee."

I could feel the tears start to crawl up my tear ducts on their journey to my eyes. Unsafe? Thirteen hundred dollars? No inspection sticker? As I imagined myself careening to my death on a four lane highway because my brakes decided to sh*t the bed, a light bulb went off that forced the tears back to their origin.

Ahem. "Would you mind explaining this to my fiance?"

God love Brian. If Brian can't fix something, he'll figure out how to. If he can't figure it out, he most likely knows someone who can.

So Brian and Mr. Service Associate engage in a brief (and I mean brief) conversation on my cell phone, and then the phone gets passed back to me:

Brian: "So you're telling me they won't give you a sticker unless you fix the brakes?"
Me: Correct.
Brian: *Pause* "Ok. Get the belts done, get the oil change, and get the hell out of there."
Me: "Ok. But, they said my car is unsafe to drive."
Brian: "I promise you your car is fine. I PROMISE. Just get that stuff done, and call me when you leave."

So I tell Mr. Service Associate what I want done. He then shoots me a look that suggested he was thinking Suit yourself. Don't come crying to me when your dead on the side of the road.

After an additional period of waiting...and waiting...Mr. Service ASSociate calls my name to retrieve my paperwork and my keys.

"Uh, Ms. Anastasia your inspection was completed today: the technician had completed the inspection prior to NOTICING your brakes, so that was indeed done today. We have attached a list of the recommended services that you should have done with your vehicle."

This is when I knew they were trying to take me for a ride.

The following day Brian offered to take my car with him to work so that he and his coworker (who happens to be a trained mechanic) could change out my brakes. Upon removal of the front tire, Brian's coworker exclaims: "Whoa. The brakes are fine. They were REALLY trying to screw you over."

Not only is nothing wrong with my car or its brakes, the service ASS tried to scare me into thinking my safety was at risk. He lied about not being able to pass the car for inspection, and left me with a worried unsure feeling about whether or not my car was operational.

Brian plans to contact the service manager and read him the riot act. Now, I usually do NOT allow Brian to handle matters of customer service since a) Brian tends to be loud in general so when he is mad he is LOUD...bordering on obnoxious b) when he is loud he tends to be scarily intimidating (which, if you know him he really isn't) and c) he tends to get his hands and arms in on the action (which are big and long) which adds to the scariness. Throw in some expletives and it's going to be quite the show. Normally I wouldn't wish a "Brian Rant" on anyone, but since they are such big liars, and succeeded in scaring the crap out of me, I give him absolute permission to be "that guy" that flips out and makes a scene.

Brian is going to ruin someones day today, and I am completely fine with that.

Normally, I'm all for quiet, grown up negotiations that do not involve yelling or name calling. Although I am angry about them trying to swindle that money out of me, it is a recession, and everyone is trying to feed their families so I can, on some level, understand. That doesn't mean I agree with it or like it or want it happening to me or anyone else, but I understand trying to make more money.

What I am SO NOT OK with is that they tried to scare me. They knew that since I was a woman who may or may not have children riding in that car that the word "unsafe" would drive me to slap down my credit card without batting a single mascarasized eye. And THAT is not cool. They've left me no choice but to unleash the wrath that is crazy confrontational Brian.

And of course I will write a scathing letter because writing scathing letters is fun.


  1. Wow. That makes me so upset. I try to usually operate under the belief that people are good and don't try to screw you. But man - to be so blatantly caught in a big fat lie... Wow. That's just awful. Do people just not have a conscience?

  2. OMG, same thing happened to me!!! 2 weeks ago I went to my TRUSTED mechanic because he told me back in Dec that my brakes needed work and I should bring it in sometime in March (like he's doing me a favor and it's still good for a few mths). So before going in, I checked with another male friend who happens to be in the auto industry and he said I had 90% brakes in the front and 70% in the back. I do not need them changed at all. UGH!!! Why do they do that? So annoying!!! $600 bucks I saved...