Wednesday, June 08, 2005

It's a sauna on wheels no more... Posted by Hello

I hate auto repair. Mostly because I feel like a complete dumbass when it comes to anything to do with how a car runs. I know how to put in gas, check the oil and fill the wiper fluid. That’s it. And it’s not because I couldn’t learn about it. I just choose not to. This is why when my air conditioning went on the fritz I was in panic mode. Shit. I didn’t buy an extended warranty. What if I needed a whole new AC? I don’t want to spend $1500 on air conditioning. This was in March.

This week while driving around I realized. OK, I can spend $1500 on air conditioning. Driving around in a car all day with a black top and black leather seats when it’s 85 degrees outside with 100% humidity is like sitting in the waiting room of hell. I would walk in to see my clients and they would all ask, “What the hell happened to you?” Which I would only respond with a gaze that could kill and “I don’t want to talk about it.”

I know, you’re all probably thinking, “Jen, you have a convertible. Put the top down.” It’s not that simple. It’s just as hot driving around in my car with the top down and the sun beating down on my face, than having the top up and all the windows open. Especially when I’m wearing work clothes and want to stay somewhat presentable.

So yesterday I marched my sweaty self into the VW dealership where I bought my car, and who I also do business with. The conversation with the service writer went something like this.

M(me): I need someone to look at my car. My AC is broken.
Service Writer (SW): What’s wrong with it?
M: I don’t know…it’s broken. It just blows hot air.
SW: Hmmmm…sounds like we’ll have to do a diagnostic check to figure out the problem, which is $99.00.
M: $99.00? To figure out what’s wrong? I’ll tell you what’s wrong, it’s broken, it doesn’t work.
SW: Well, we have to perform a diagnostic to see what’s wrong with it.
M: (blank stare)…what’s wrong with it? It’s broken, and it doesn’t work, and I’m bringing it to YOU to fix it. Why do I have to pay for YOU to figure out how to fix it? Isn’t that why you’re here?
SW: (Blank Stare)
M: OK fine, when can you get me in?
SW: Lets see (types on computer)…Monday at 1.
M: Monday at one huh…I could die of heat exhaustion by that time.
SW: What?
M: Never mind. What’s the best -case seneraio? What would the cost be of that?
SW: For you or us? (Chuckle)
M: (glare)
SW:Well, the best case is that you just need a refill of freeon and a recharge and that would be around $275 dollars.
M: Plus the $99.00 “diagnostic” I have to pay you to figure it out.
SW: Maybe we could waive that fee for you.
M: Oh, for me. Right.

So I made the stupid appointment just because I was sick of arguing with this guy and immediately called my friend Adam whose greeting when I call him is “Where’s my sugar, bitch!” Anyway, he said to tell the dealership to take a flying leap and gave me the number of his mechanic of whom he personally called to tell them to take care of me. NOT ONLY was there no “diagnostic fee,” but all that had to be done was a “recharge” and the whole thing only cost me $175.00. I know! What a deal! And now, not only am I riding around in the lap of luxury with my new AC…but I also saved myself like $200! I have yet to call and cancel my appointment at the dealer, I’m waiting until tomorrow so I can brag to the service writer about how smart I am and how much money I saved myself. And not only that, but I’ve found myself a new mechanic and have since relieved myself of my fear of anything to do with automotive repair. What a day!


Steph said...

Is a Cabrio worth $275? Just kidding - I love mine!!
When I drive like a maniac to make a light or something and my girls freak out at my driving, I just calmly ask, "Do you feel the power of Cabrio?" And you're so right about the top down. Bald guys that don't work can drive around with the top down at any time and not worry about a thing. Girls with hair and jobs have to save it for a time when looks just don't matter!

Nic said...

Spend some of the money you saved on your friend Adam - seriously. A good mechanic (that you can trust) is almost as important as a good hair stylist!

darianj said...

Dealership repair guys are full of Shit! This guy knew the car needed a freon recharge. He should've just said that and gave you a flat price for it. That "around" $275 is bullshit. They do a million freon jobs this time of year so he should know exactly what it takes and what it costs.

And that whole "Maybe we could waive that fee for you" is more bullshit! They ALWAYS waive the fee when you get the work done and he should've told you that when he first mentioned the diagnostic fee.

Charlie Mc said...

Good move, taking your business elsewhere! :) Take the money you saved and drink it away this weekend!!! :)

Jenni said...

darianj: I know! And not only that but the guy at the dealership said it it would take at least an hour to "diagnose." In actuality, the guy at the shop where I took it told me within 15 minutes...frauds!

The Humanity Critic said...

Yeah, those deaalership guys are con artists. Cool post, awesome blog.

i.marzipan said...

Burnsville VW, am I right? The same place the tried to insist to me that the key is not a "critical" part of my car and refused to fix it under my supposed bumper-to-bumper warranty, less than a week after I purchased the car? Leaving me with a nonfunctioning key that, rather than start the car, would roll up my windows and lock me in the car with the alarm on? Love those guys!!