Brandy and I had been inundated with minor car trouble recently and we decided to take the vehicles of shame into the shop the other day. I had been living with on-again off-again A/C for a few months (in Houston no less) and Brandy had a “Service Engine Soon” light show up in addition to a broken back seat that wouldn’t collapse. Brandy’s truck came first (mostly because mine came as an after thought) because we had to go to the dealership and drop it off, then pick up a rental car.
I guess getting a rental car for the day and not having to be the guy with no car is almost worth having to deal with the douche bags at car dealerships, though you do get the glory of dealing with the Enterprise Scam as well. The Enterprise Scam revolves around the idea that Enterprise is aware that insurance companies and warranty companies are only willing to pay for Geo Metros and the like. The Scam has to do with the fact that Enterprise only stocks its lot with Tahoes and monster trucks (does it have a hemi?). Believe me, you will never get your “free rental” for free.
Afterwards we dropped my truck off to get the A/C fixed and took off for the house. We both got the calls from our respective mechanics, mine early in the morning and hers late that afternoon only after she called to see if her car was still even around, telling us the cars are ready, but her mechanic tells her that not only is the car ready but they did non-warranty work without getting approval for it (on the seat) and now she owes $80. As they get into a small argument about this he decides that he think he can ‘get the price down’ to $60, but he’s ‘just not sure’. Now Brandy is hopping mad and we head up to the dealership to have a battle.
When we get to the dealership we talk to the service representative, let’s call him Stacy, and ask him why they would have fixed the seat knowing it was not warranty work. His claim was that the mechanic had found the problem very quickly and just decided to fix it before getting approval. Stacy then went on to say that at the time he had thought it WAS warranty work, but things had changed since he last worked there. He then went on to take off his cap, point to his head, and explain that he had been on leave the last four months due to brain cancer (picture the dramatic hat tip to show the scar coupled with the sad face ). Brandy hasn’t played the preggo card to get out of paying the bill yet but he’s going to play the brain cancer card to get us to pay up? Oh no, he did not just do that! At this point Brandy and I are finding it hard to keep from rolling our eyes and vomiting at his pitiful attempt to elicit our sympathy and pay him for the services he NOW claims that his mechanic spent 2 WHOLE HOURS ON. At this point Stacy was told that he never had approval for these services so we were not going to pay his ransom, and it was at this point that he told us he would ‘go talk to his manager’ and that he would ‘be right back’.
After his departure we went over the dramatic hat time and rolled our eyes a bit, obviously feeling very sorry him and his plight. Several minutes passed and he comes back and very intently types a few things into his terminal, but eventually informs us that ‘he is not sure he can get the price to change’ and for some reason the only person that knows how has left for the day (perhaps this is why he waited until after 5 to call and have me pick up the car- too late for me to verify coverage with the warranty customer service line or have the great cashier available to change billing). To this we delivered blanks stares, which he met by leaving mumbling some thing about getting some one else to do it. I was amazed that they had enough redundancy in the dealership to be able to have TWO PEOPLE able to back up each other’s jobs, but not the foresight to inform people of this marvel. Amazing efficiency! He returned for a second time, this time with the keys to the car, and had us sign our exit papers. Surprisingly enough he was able to waive the fee that mere moments ago was something that HAD to be settled, at least partially. As we exit his office into the dock he mumbles something about ‘owing’ his mechanic and ‘making it up to him’ in some other way. I hope it involves anal penetration because I was starting to feel I was the only one getting fucked. Regardless, I’m glad he was able to work something out because I would sure hate to get these fine salespeople in trouble.