Angelic Paranoia

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The wing mirror cover saga
Sunday 9th December 2012 9:40 pm

I purposely didn't post for a week and after last weekend I spent it feeling that I was missing something.

Having resolved the saga with my car's wing mirror cover, I thought I'd post yet another example of bad customer service here.

The passenger side wing mirror cover dropped off my car, due to too many times hitting it against the garage wall when I didn't fold the wing mirrors back. Given that number of cars I've seen with missing wing mirror covers I thought they'd be as easy to get as hub caps. But no. Or not for my car, at least.

So I gave up and rang the dealership. This was back in September. They had to order one in and were insistent that I had to come in within fourteen days of the wing mirror cover coming in, but they promised they'd ring when it arrived.

After three weeks I realised it had been three weeks, but never quite got round to ringing them back. Then in October, they rang me about the recall that was out on my car. So I thought this would be an opportunity not to have to go to the dealership twice - it is just over half an hour's drive away. At the end of the phone call they asked if there was anything else they could do while I was there, so I mentioned the wing mirror cover and promised to sort it out.

Because I could only go in on a Saturday it was a few weeks before I could get an appointment. I intended to ring a week before I went in to make sure they'd definitely got a wing mirror cover, except then I had laryngitis, so I thought I'd hope they'd done as they said.

When I went in there they had a note about the wing mirror cover. After about two hours of sitting around they'd finished, and they included a visual inspection. One of the things they flagged up on the inspection was the lack of wing mirror cover... To which my reaction was something along the lines of "But you've just put one on there" and they had no idea what I was talking about.

I managed to establish that they didn't have one, but they could order it and I could come in and pick it up. I didn't particularly want to go back again, and the receptionist tried to suggest I could 'pop in'. Yeah, a 30 minute drive is not poppping in. I suggested they could post it to me and she wasn't keen, but a bloke in the back said they could do that. So I left them to it.

This time they rang me to extract money and post it. It arrived not long later and I happily went to put it on my car... and discovered it was the driver's side wing mirror cover. When I rang them up they were like, "Oh, that'll be £40." To which I told them that I was not paying for a wing mirror cover that wasn't the one I'd asked for three times.

Eventually he agreed that if I came in with the wing mirror cover and proof that I asked for a passenger side one, they'd exchange it. I made him check they had one, which they did. But I could only come in on a Saturday. He tried to tell me they were open until 5.45pm on weekdays, but given that I finish work at 5.30pm and it's a 40 minute drive away not in the rush hour, that wasn't going to work. So I told them I when I was going to come in.

I finally went to pick it up yesterday. And when I went in they said they didn't have one... I insisted I'd been told different and told them when I spoke to someone. They went off for ages and came out with one! Which they then stuck on for me, which by that point I was thinking "I should hope so too."

I'd charge them for my phone calls, petrol and general waste of time, but I don't have the energy and it won't do any good.

My parents have the same make of car as me and say their local dealership is better, so it's not all of them, just my local one. So when I next need a new car in the distant future, I won't be getting it from my local dealership, if I end up choosing one of the same make.

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More fun with the car
Saturday 17th November 2012 6:25 pm

Although this is with the dealership this time. I had to take it in because it was being recalled - the driver's side mirror switch could become sticky, and if you clean it it could melt. Apparently this has happened to someone in Europe, but none of the cars they'd checked at my local dealership have that fault. Of course I say local, but they're actually 35 minutes drive away, so despite their insistence that this is free, it actually cost me quite a bit in petrol. And the whole of my morning sitting around while they did it.

A while ago, my cover of my wing mirror fell off. You'd think they'd be easy to find on places like ebay, but they're not. So I resorted to ringing the dealership, who said they'd order one in and were very insistent that I had to come and collect it within 14 days of it being in and they'd ring me when it was in. That was about three months ago.

So when they rang me to book in this recall, I mentioned the wing mirror cover. I intended to ring them last weekend to check they were definitely getting it, but I didn't have a voice to ring with. But when I got there I noticed they had a note of it, so I was confident that when I got my car back it would have a wing mirror cover on it.

After they did the recall they also did a general spot check and pointed out to me that the wing mirror was missing a cover...

They promised they'd get it and I could just 'pop in' to pick it up. A 35 minute drive is not a 'popping in' distance. The receptionist wasn't too keen on the idea of posting it to me, but fortunately there was a man in the back who said it was fine. So now I am waiting to see if if it's third time lucky and they actually order it this time.

Amusingly (if you're not me) when I went to go home I found the man who had parked my car had put the hand brake on so hard I had to use two hands to take it off. It was on a very slight slope, but I can guarantee it didn't need to be on that hard.

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An expensive lesson
Friday 16th November 2012 8:24 pm

On Monday evening when I came back from the shops I turned on the inside light in my car so I could see to take the CD out. I thought to myself, "I must remember to turn the light off". Then, when I was shutting the garage door I thought I could see a light in there, but decided I was imagining it. On Thursday evening I went to get the car out and there are no prizes for guessing what happened next.

The long(er) story of what happened next was that I called the RAC this morning and they sent someone, who got the car started and the battery charging. And checked the oil - it's apparently a standard thing they do that they offer to check it. Except that after a while of charging the battery and him staring at it with a torch he announced that the battery was looking weak.

He said that their life is typically five to seven years, but not driving much lessens that and draining it twice doesn't do it much good. My car is five and a half years old. He said that it would be ok for a bit, but might go later. And then said the RAC could sell me one.

Now, this all could be a load of rubbish in order to sell me a battery. But so far the RAC have seemed trustworthy, I'd much rather not have my battery randomly die one day, but ultimately I thought handing over £80 I wasn't expecting to spend might teach me not to do it a third time. So my car now has a shiny new battery in it.

I've now called the RAC out five times. Twice to my old car where it was actually broken and three times to my new car where I'd broken it. At least I've justified paying them!

Also, they currently have a deal where if I invite someone to join them they give me and them £25 M&S vouchers. So in the unlikely even that you want to change your breakdown cover to RAC, let me know.

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The saga of my tax disc holder
Wednesday 9th February 2011 9:49 pm

My car came with a tax disc and a round thing stuck to the dashboard, which it sat in. Which I only took any notice of once, when I had to change the tax disc. It did look like it was starting to come off the windscreen, and I thought I should probably do something about it, but that was as far as it got.

At Christmas, my car was last in the drive, so I ended up driving Dad up the road (and I needed to put petrol in it anyway). He remarked on the tax disc holder and I ended up buying a magnetic one in Asda. We then spent ages in the car park attempting to get it to stay on the windscreen with the tax disc in. The back stayed on perfectly happily if there was no tax disc inside it, but that's not really very helpful.

So I took it back, got my money back and Dad stuck the old one back on the windscreen. Where it stuck much better. So I made a mental note to buy a new one at some point, but while it was well stuck on, I'd leave it there.

It was fine until a couple of weeks ago when I heard a strange noise from the left side of the car. When I reached Tescos car park, which had lights, I discovered this was because the tax disc holder had fallen onto the dashboard. It was ten minutes after Halfords closed (of course). Tesco couldn't provide me with a tax disc holder, but Sainsburys could. And the original tax disc holder stayed on reasonably well until the next day anyway.

The next day, I took the old one off and put the new one on. Everything was fine until the day after, when I got to my car in the morning to find the tax disc holder on the floor. I took that one back to Sainsburys and got my money back and bought one from Halfords. Which has been fine. And cheaper than the other two...

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