I’ve been having a devil of a time getting the AC fixed in my car.

I had intended to go to the dealership on Saturday, but apparently they are appointment-only. If I was going to have to set an appointment, I figured I should do so in the town where I work (Almeida) rather than the one I live (Santomas). So I filled out the form for the dealership in Almeida. The page said that they would get back to me within twelve hours. Thirty-six hours later they hadn’t, so I called the number on the page where I had filled out the form.

The guy I talked to was in the sales and not the service department and was kind of agitated that I was wasting his time. I told him that this was the number on the page and he said that he did get the request and passed it on to the service department, gave me there number, and didn’t even bother to say goodbye before hanging up. I called the service desk and told them of my plight… and they forwarded me right back to the angry salesman.

So I decided that I would stop by after work and make an appointment in person. When I got there they had closed shop for the day, two hours before their posted close. They said that they didn’t have anything to do so they closed early. They wouldn’t take an appointment because they’d shut down the computer for the day.

I want to give these people money in exchange for goods and services. You would think that they would generally be supportive of that idea, seeing as how they are the service department and that’s what they are there for.

Addendum: I stopped by the place this morning. Despite the fact that they admitted they had nothing to do, they couldn’t take care of the car except by appointment, which can’t be made less than 24 hours before the repair. So I made an appointment for tomorrow morning. They wouldn’t go against company policy by taking care of it this morning, but when I refused to make the appointment through sales they agreed to go ahead and circumvent that particular part of the procedure.

Category: Market

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8 Responses to I Am Not Being Served

  1. Peter says:

    If you’re paying for the work yourself rather than going under the warranty you might be better off looking for an independent repair shop rather than using the dealership. Chances are they’ll charge less and do at least as good a job.
    Come to think of it, even if you are under warranty you might be able to use an independent shop, especially for specialized work like air conditioning.

  2. Webmaster says:

    As I understand it, Peter, the work that is needed to fix the car cannot be done except by a dealership, because the car company in question keeps the parts proprietary and are very good at crafting semi-legal barriers to anyone working on that portion of the vehicle.

    It’s almost as if they expected the parts to get stolen, and built the cars accordingly to maximize repair revenues.

  3. trumwill says:

    As I understand it, Peter, the work that is needed to fix the car cannot be done except by a dealership,

    Pretty much. It’s possible that there are some repair places that have the connectors and whatnot to fix it, but thus far I have yet to find a place and it’s not worth the time and effort to keep going from one place to another, have them open up the console, and tell me that I should take it to the dealership. Last time I tried they kept giving me numbers to junkyards and told me that if I could find the parts they’d be glad to put it all together for me.

    It’s almost as if they expected the parts to get stolen, and built the cars accordingly to maximize repair revenues.

    In fairness to Ford, the only reason it was stolen is because my CD player was after-market. If I’d gotten the proprietary CD player, it wouldn’t be worth anything to steal. But you have to get it with the car and I bought the car used.

  4. Webmaster says:

    Sorry, Will, but the statistics don’t bear that out; just as many “stock” CD players/radios are stolen as are the after-market variety, mostly because they’ll fetch the same at a pawnshop anyways.

    Face it. Nobody steals a CD player to use in their own car. They steal it to sell it to a pawnshop for money, probably to support some other habit.

  5. trumwill says:

    That may be the case generally with stock players (don’t know anything about any of the others), but I find it difficult to believe that the one that specifically goes in Escorts would be worth much of anything on the market. It’s not just that they’re limited to Fords, they’re limited to Ford Escorts (at least I’ve never seen this particular shape in anything else and I’ve kept an eye out). There’s no way if I run a pawnshop that I am going to pay as much for or be as willing to buy a player that will only fit into a single line of cheap car (and even then, only certain year models) with no interoperability as I would for something aftermarket that can go into most any car or truck. The chances of someone owning that particular car going from pawnshop to pawnshop insisting on finding a complete player seems pretty slight. Chances are they’d just as soon buy a dash kit and aftermarket player.

    But I could be wrong. I guess I’d have to go to a pawnshop and see what their model-specific selection is to find out.

  6. trumwill says:

    I should clarify one thing, though: I have no trouble at all believing that they designed these screwy things to make upgrading difficult and force you to go back to the dealership if you wanted to do so or give them leverage to get you to buy the fixins when you get the car in the first place. That’s a given. It’s the theftability aspect of it that I’m a bit more skeptical of.

  7. Hit Coffee » Insuring The Automobile says:

    […] itself, I don’t know why they would, but I still find myself concerned. I talked to The Worthless Dealership about replacing the locks on the car. They quoted me at about $300, which was pr […]

  8. Hit Coffee » I Am Not Being Served II says:

    […] hey seem to be the worst about it. It reminds me a bit of my frustration dealing with the Ford dealership a little while back. I wanted to pay them for a service, but they wouldn’t perform […]

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