Monday, May 11, 2009

Mine For a Day

I had to take Pearl back to the dealership today to have the promised paint touch-ups done. It didn’t get off to a good start.

First, when we got home with the car last week, I noticed a tiny windshield chip. Initially, I thought that it was bird doo or dirt, so it was easy to overlook. Though it’s an easy enough fix, I think the dealership should take care of it. Fat chance. They’re doing me a “favor” and having it repaired at “their cost.” Gee. Thanks.

You’d think for something so small you’d be willing to go the extra mile with a new customer, one you could potentially see in the future. Think again.
It’s small, but it still pissed me off. Makes me wonder what it will be like if something warranteed happens.

Then, this morning, I arrived at the dealership within 5 minutes of the service center opening. My salesman had given me instructions on where to go and said a loaner car would be waiting. The service tech looked at me like I’d walked off a space ship.

“I don’t have a record of anything like that or of a loaner car,” he said. “I’ve got nothing here.” Then, and here’s the kicker, he says: “ Maybe you called XXXXx.” That ‘s a dealership down the street. I quickly pointed to the company’s advertising license plate/holder, still on the front of the car that I purchased from that very location NINE DAYS AGO. Yeah. Stupid woman doesn’t remember where she bought her car!

He went off to get a manager. I was on the road in a loaner car five minutes later – which brings me to the topic of this post.
It’s not a bad-looking car (even if Consumer Reports does have it on its Worst of the Worst list). But once you’re inside the 2008 Pontiac G6, it becomes clear pretty fast that this ain’t Pearl!

I audibly groaned when I had to manually slide the seat forward and then had to try to manually adjust the seatback (from a position practically lying in the back seat). Where’s my Memory Seat?! (I am entirely too spoiled. And after just nine days!)

Fortunately, the stereo seemed comparable to Pearl’s so I popped in the CD I’d been listening to on the way to the dealership to soothe me for the drive downtown. I pulled into a big parking lot across from the dealership to turn around, rather than fight traffic to get into the appropriate lane. I felt like I was steering a Sherman tank. (Steering Pearl is pretty effortless.) When I needed to get a little “giddyap” to get around traffic, this car did it, but begrudgingly, making a lot of noise in the process.

I’ve only been in the world of 21st Century driving nine days and I’m already irreparably spoiled. I’ve come a long way since the last time I really loved a car. (My first – a ’74 VW Super Beetle. A 4-banger with absolutely NO power of any kind. Not even power steering. It’s probably the only car where you’d have to scrape the INSIDE of the windows in winter. It was already a teenager when I got it, but I loved that car, nevertheless.)

I never did get the G6 seat into a comfortable position, so it’s lucky that I only had a 15-minute or so drive. I was telling one of my colleagues about my adventures, and much like the techs at the service center who watched me struggle to adjust the seat, she couldn’t help but chuckle. “When you get older, I think it becomes more important that you’re comfortable when you’re driving,” she said.

Then I thought of how the mother would react to the various cars I owned during Ladybird’s tenure. She was less than a decade older than I am now and she would constantly criticize the lack of power, the brakes, the seats … in the three cars I owned between 1993 and 2001. They all seemed OK to me – then. D*mn. It all makes so much sense now. Clearly, I’m now old and very spoiled indeed.

Here’s hoping that my car, my beautiful Pearl, is in better shape than when I left it this morning and that I can get this dog of a loaner safely returned to them. It may be newer and have just a few less miles (only around 10,000 fewer) than Pearl, but they can have it.


Karen Anne said...

They're claiming the windshield damage happened after you bought the car?

Im getting deja vu about taking my Mom's car in to be repainted, and it miraculously acquired a crack in the windshield after I left it there. (A bb gun, I'm willing to bet, while it was in their parking lot.)

NV said...

KarenAnne -- They're just saying that since I "accepted delivery" they aren't responsible. Made me mad, but it needed to get fixed. They did make good on the paint touch-ups I was promised and I have 2-3 oil changes and a tire rotation coming to me so I don't feel at all cheated by my $25 cost. (It's fixed, so it won't get worse over time now.)

It's just the principle that really riled me.

Anonymous said...