Friday, February 4, 2011

You need a new battery... and a lollipop.

I thought about it, and I think I agree with Elizabeth on Wednesday's blog (that was posted on Thursday). Maybe "You are expensive, but worth it" is one of the best compliments someone can give you. Especially someone that has lived through the Great Depression. They recognize that money is not always going to be there, but she chooses to spend her here. Thank you Elizabeth for opening my eyes.

About the Wednesday/Thursday thing - It turns out that the whole staff at the AGD was told to stay home because of the blizzard they had in Chicago. You know it is bad when snow stops people in CHICAGO from going to work. And I know it seems easy to just post a blog, but it is more than just me that makes this thing happen. I have my whole entourage (I am huge in Europe).

I started watching It's Complicated with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin last night. When I got it in the mail, I was like, "Why did I get this?" But it has turned out to be pretty funny. I will let you know.

As you well know, I hate being ripped off. And one of the most notorious professions for ripping off is the auto mechanic field. I used to go to a local garage that I really trusted. This was like solid gold. You would take it in for an oil change and you would get an oil change. The car was hesitating and it would turn out you need a fuel filter. Easy.

There was no, "Well, I think you are having trouble with your sphitzer valve and it is the relay to the carbon fuel relay switch which could lead to more issues with your shocks, which really need to be replaced."


But this place changed ownership and the first couple of times I brought my car there, I started getting the, "Well, yes, you need an fuel filter but you also need this this and this." I started to lose my trust in them.

We found another shop right up the road from our house that we have started using. We use it for oil changes, tires, alignment. Luckily that is all we've needed. A couple of years ago, my truck started starting slow. I took it in and got a new battery - a good battery that came with a full two year replacement warranty.

A couple of years later, my truck was starting slow again. I let it go for a couple of months. I am a busy guy and I didn't want to go in and have it checked out (AND I still don't have a place that I trust).

But then one day, during the Christmas break, my truck didn't start. I jump it and we run over to the shop. They check they're computer and I bought the battery 29 months ago. It has a two year full replacement warranty and it is prorated after that.

My blood is starting to boil but I am maintaining. Mostly because batteries are supposed to last longer than 29 months and I bought the more expensive battery because I didn't want to deal with this s!@#%t every 29 f#@$%^ing months. So he starts to break it down for me...

The cost of the battery is $109. With your prorated warranty, you will get $26 off. But the battery disposal fee is $7 and this and that and this and that and...
It would probably do you some good to replace the terminals because they are in pretty bad shape and probably causing the problem.

What am I gonna do? My car isn't starting. I got my kids in the car. If I tell them to forget it, is my car going to not start? I mean, we have this whole day planned to go and shop for Mom. Do I go to the discount auto parts store and buy a new battery that is going to cost me $75? All this worrying and getting pissed off for $25.

I know it isn't rational, but it is not the money. It is the non-personal service. I just don't like it. I want the service that I give. Someone comes in and has a filling done by me. I know their name. I know about them. I know that in two years if they came in with the filling broken or chipped or something they are getting a new filling for free. I tell everyone that I will redo any filling of mine that is 5 years old or less. Now if they came in and it was 5 years, 3 months, come on... they are getting it for free. They are also getting, "I appreciate you being such a good patient and I am sorry this didn't last." And I am not even worrying about it. In fact I think it is good for business to do this. But with this shop, it is by the book, and that kind of bugs me.

I think it was Christmas time and we were totally overspending for the kids and everything else. We were going on this vacation and we didn't have any money saved up. The office was slow and not seeing any recovery in the works and everything was piling up on me. And then my truck doesn't start.

I just wanted to go in there and them to say, "Mr. Gammichia, I see that you and your wife Hilda are long-time valued customers here. I see that the battery didn't last like it should have. We will take care of that for you, no problem. I will get Billy Bob here to take care of this as soon as possible. Can I get you a drink, while you wait? Is it okay if I get a couple of lollipops for the kids?"

Yeah, maybe that is a pipe dream. All this over a $100 and a battery. I think I need an anti-anxiety or something. I mean, it is a 10 year old truck with 172,000 miles on it and I am complaining over $100?

All that aside, it would have been nice for them to offer me a drink. And a lollipop.

Have a great weekend.

P.S. I had to send a patient to the oral surgeon knowing that the bone lesion he had was a recurrence of his leukemia. That was a tough one.

Makes the battery story sound even stupider.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

this post made my whole week! thanks for caring about my comment! and I totally hear you about the mechanic. we spent $2400 on our 10 yo sedan, then two weeks later it failed inspection. then it wasn't their fault because they can't forsee the next thing that's going to go wrong.
Ohhh, really? because I can generally see when things are breaking down in someone's mouth, but hey, what do I know?


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