Saturday, September 27, 2008

Row Row Row Your Truck Gently Through the Gulf...

Well, we heard from the dealership what was wrong with our truck.

Apparently the brake rotor rusted and locked. Bad mojo. To make matters worse, the front to rotors were rusted as well and were in danger of having the same happen. They needed to be resurfaced.

Ok - we agreed to have it done.

I was thinking about what on earth could have caused that to happen. We've only had the truck for about 3 months and out of nowhere the brakes rust up on us? What gives?

The Gulf of Mexico - that's what!

Hurricane Ike missed us by a long shot, but we still saw a storm surge in the Gulf which resulted in some flooding on the northern edges of town. In fact, we went driving around to see what the beaches looked like and ended up driving through some of the flooding that occurred. I was so proud of our 4WD truck that wasn't gonna get stuck in the water! (no cars were stuck in the water...)

Well anyway, after that we went home, parked the truck and left it there for about a week. (I drive a company vehicle for work and Crystal was working hard at home on her jewelry that week). As it turns out...salt water and metal don't mix too good! I'm pretty sure that the fact that we drove through the salt water and didn't rinse the truck off before parkin' it was the cause of the problems.

So 3 rotors needed to be resurfaced. Oh - and we needed to have the little sensor for our airbags or something replaced because the airbag light had been coming on and staying on for about the last 2 weeks. Worst of all, none of this is covered by the warranty we purchased with our truck. All in all - it was gonna cost around $500.

Now let's recap what we learned so far - "unlucky" license plates: bad. Salty brakes: bad. Local dealership: loses trucks and doesn't call back: BAD!

I fear I'm going to sound like Paul Harvey...

And now for the rest of the story...

It was Monday when we found out about the actual cause of the wheel being so stubborn. They said that the truck would be ready to go Tuesday afternoon. Not so bad I guess considering all that's happened so far.

We got on with our busy lives and realized on Thursday that they still hadn't called. WHAT FREAKIN' GIVES?

Thursday they tell us it'll for sure be ready on Friday by 2:00. I have my doubts, but plan to actually show up at 2 and have a little one-on-one with the service manager about the severe lack of "service" we'd seen thus far.

Friday at 1:00 I get a call. "Mr. Braindungeon Dude, [not really what he said, in case you didn't pick up on that all by yourself], I have good news. You're truck is almost ready."

This doesn't sound like good news...otherwise, why the call? I chime in, "But...?"

"Well the thing is..." and he goes on to explain that the front left router was so badly corroded that they had to "cut too deep" to be able to resurface it. It's now too thin and must be replaced. I kinda saw this coming a mile away...I have had it happen before on another car.

He goes on to say that they can replace just the one router, but they recommend if replacing one front router, go ahead and replace both. He reassures me that they won't be charging me any extra for labor but tells me that to replace one router will be an extra $100 and to replace both will (amazingly) be $200. A question suddenly comes to mind. I remember talking to this guy when this all began about the fact that we need an extra key. This magical key costs $50 just to purchase, but $100 to program. (Why even bother telling the price without programming...I mean seriously...???)

I want to know if that was included in the original work order, because now the dollar signs are just flashing past me like crazy and with the lack of customer service they've provided, I can't stomach the thought of paying over $850 bucks for all this. Not only did he forget to work the number into the original work order, but now there's yet another due date for our truck...MONDAY.

I calmly...coolly...but sternly say "before we talk any more about money...let's talk about facts." and I start pointing out every single instance where their customer service has been less than worthy of the moniker.

The conversation went on for a while and I ended up setting an appointment to actually meet with the service manager. Before I am able to get out there, I'm sharing this story with someone I work with who happens to know the General Sales Manager there. He calls him up and let's him know what's going on. This guy calls me back and does his best to assuage me and offer to rectify the situation by paying for a rental car for the weekend. I decline and tell him I don't need it. I bring up the key issue and he offers to throw in the key. He asks if that would make the situation right.

I begin to think about this and say to him, "I would love to get that key and not have to pay for it, but I'm not sure that I can justifiably say that would make me a happy customer. I'm not trying to put you out of money, I'm trying to resolve a customer service situation. At this point, I'm not sure I will ever return to your service shop."

We decide that I'm going to think it over and call him back. Ultimately, I decide that since I had a need with my truck that they did not fulfill, then fulfilling this other need I have with my truck at their expense is a fair trade. I mean, come on...$150 bucks for a key??? lol

I still wasn't sure that I was comfortable with that. I was, after all, still not sure I was going to go back there and I didn't want to come across like the key was "the key" to solving the situation. I decide to go and discuss it with him face-to-face before giving a final answer.

When I show up, he greets me pretty warmly. He's not a "typical" sales guy. He's friendly, Has an honest look to him and genuinely, and sincerely is apologetic for all that's happened. He tells me that he's gonna throw in the key anyway at his cost (before I get to tell him I'm going to accept it) and says that he is personally going to follow this task to completion. It can't happen until Monday because the parts that need to be replaced need to be ordered.

We have a friendly conversation about customer service and he asks me to consider giving them another chance in the future. I tell him that I most certainly will consider it, because I feel he has done everything he can to rectify a situation that he only came into at the last minute.

So there you have it. Hopefully you'll hear from me on Monday that we have our truck back. I haven't sworn off the dealership (at least not yet!). And I learned a valuable lesson in chemical reactions between salt and metal.

Perhaps it will all go uphill from here...

PS - I added a feed counter to my blog - I HAVE 11 SUBSCRIBERS VIA FEED! Check it out in the upper right hand corner. I can now officially stop using the "(s?)" when I refer to my readers!

PPS - James really can he says...


The Rock Chick said...

Yikes about the truck. I know Texas and Illinois have very different insurance laws and the way they handle things, but if the damage to the auto was caused by the hurricane and water damage, I would think it would be covered under your comprehensive coverage....if you have that and the damage exceeds your deductible. It might be worth a call to your insurance agent to find out.

Either way, I hope the truck comes home soon!!!!

Dustin said...

That's an interesting thought. I guess between the fact that I wouldn't be able to prove that's what actually caused the problem and the fact that MOST of the cost would still be deductible, I don't know that I'd see it as worth the digging. The fact is, it wasn't a storm or even flooding that caused the damage, as much as my decision to deliberately drive down flooded roads that aren't even anywhere near my house! lol

Anyway - like my wife just said to me...we should chalk it up to our own stupidity and never do it again. LOL

Crystal said...

It's so suck.

The plates suck. The dealership sucks. The service people at the dealership suck.

You have more subscribers than me, so you suck too!

If it's up to me, neither you OR the dealership will ever see my baby SUV again.

Ok, so I kid. A little. Maybe. Or do I?

The Rock Chick said...

I don't think I'm subscribed by email to Crystal's blog. I normally don't unless people have a post that asks for it! LOL

I'm just so drawn to her that I just go there without being reminded. But for you Crystal I will!!!

Dustin said...

Oh, no! Is the subscriber war on?


What's sad is I too am very drawn to my wife (If I wasn't, I wouldn't have married her), but I couldn't remember to visit her blog! I had to subscribe in Google Reader.

Don't worry, Rock Chick, I'm subscribed to yours, too...have been for months now!