They Have Experts That Calculate When Your Car Will Break. And they are good at it.

“Now this is going to be blogged,” Sparkles announced as he sadly shook his head and hugged me good bye. “Honestly, I think we would have been better off not knowing.”

And right he was. This was surely blog worthy. A thousand cuss words ran through my mind at lightening speed, as though I had developed some new internal swearing disorder. I laughed through my tears, frustrated, but not surprised at the turn events. This is, after all, my life. Right?

Last week, my only vehicle (for which I have a hefty payment each month and three years left to pay) died. Suddenly, without warning for who knows what reason. Sparkles and Mr. Vixen had decided the night before to spend Wednesday figuring out why and fixing it. After nearly five hours of testing, working, googling and several phone conversations with an auto repair consultant Mr. Vixen trusts; the problem was revealed. It was bad news. The timing belt was done. A pricey and difficult repair. Mr. Vixen’s ‘worst-case’ scenario played out.

It was nearly 8pm by then. We were all disappointed and exhausted. A sudden thought entered my head. It seemed insane. You see, at the beginning of our life together Mr. Vixen and I had had several bad experiences with extended warranties. We had sworn them off. But , I suddenly thought, hadn’t we gotten sucked in again three years ago when we bought the van? At the time things were going well for us and the additional $2195 seemed manageable. I said it out loud. “Hey, Mr. Vixen, call me crazy but I just got the feeling that I kinda-sorta remember buying an extended service contract for the van. Did we?” Mr. Vixen looked at me like I had two heads. Then he smiled a little. “By George, I think we did, didn’t we?” As I grabbed the keys and started towards the van, Sparkles said “Mum, you better not have gotten us all excited for nothing.”

In the glove box was a little booklet. Even without my glasses, the lettering on the front was large enough that I could read it: Vehicle Service Contract. My heart pounding with joy, I ran back to the guys. “Here Sparkles, I don’t have my glasses on and can’t read the little stuff inside.” Sparkles asked what today’s date was. I told him it’s the sixth. A smile spread across his face. “You have four days left.”

Nothing like this ever happens to us. We were instantly ecstatic! This was fantastic. I grabbed the little card from his hand and stared. I could hardly believe it. Then I saw something that looked like it said Expiration Mileage. “Wait, guys,” I said. “There is a mileage limitation. It says 96,208.” Mr. Vixen and Kyle looked at each other. “Didn’t you say it only had 95k on it Sparkles?” Mr. Vixen asked. “Yea something like that, hold on I will check.” And he ran back to the car.

Meanwhile, Fishboy grabbed the card from me. “I can’t believe you cut it that close,” he was grinning. “You are never that lucky.” He glanced down at the card. “Vixen, this doesn’t say 96,208, it says 95,208.” Oh shit, I thought. Sparkles returned and triumphantly announced, “There are only 95,397 miles on it, so we are good.” Then he saw the look on our faces and Fishboy told him I had read the mileage expiration wrong. We had missed it by exactly 189 miles. Unbelievable. Just when I thought I had made one good decision in my life, the rug was ripped out from under me by 189 little miles.

I kind of agree with Sparkles though, I think we would have been better off not knowing. But I still have to laugh a little through the tears, because like I said: This is my life. I can hardly expect anything different at this point, can I?

EDITED: As per Marlee, we called the dealership we purchased the vehicle from (Poway Honda) to see if they would share a little goodwill during these difficult economic times (we are both unemployed, it’s really is very sad) and they claim there is nothing they can do about it. They suggested we call HondaCare who we bought the contract through, but it really is this company who administers it: Automobile Protection Corporation) and that person said she had no authority to do anything, but to try calling the dealership. That is what I have always called, passing the buck. I have always believed in the old adage: Give a customer good service and they will tell 5 friends, give a customer poor service and they will tell 25 friends. And so, I share with you my friends: goodwill is not alive and well and HondaCare/APCO/Poway Honda you can all suckit.

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12 Comments

  1. Oh honey! *HUGS* That absolutely sucks!!!

    Lesley’s last blog post..4 New Books On the Way! Yay!

  2. Mar

    Stop! Stop! Stop!

    Did you try to call the dealership? This happens ALL THE TIME at the one hubs works at and they “goodwill” this stuff quite often. Its worth a shot… 150 miles isn’t much in the grand scheme of things.

    CALL THEM!!! It won’t hurt to ask.. especially in this economy if they think you might be a repeat customer (or maybe one of your kids is looking for a car 😉

    Crossing my fingers for you!

  3. Oh, I am laughing for you – and crying for you – and laughing some more. Laugh or cry, right? You do such a beautiful job of writing up these super-frustrating incidents and making them FUNNY! Your attitude is – wow – doing a full on Wayne’s World “I’m not worthy” bow in your general direction…

    Tammy’s last blog post..The One Where There’s Cussing

  4. i am having car problems too. like, in the form of a dying honda pilot!! wow. and there is nothing that honda will do? i’ll mark the spot and they can kiss it!

  5. Oh my gosh! They should do something for you. This is not right.

  6. Oh hon, the first thing I thought was, “this poor woman, if it weren’t for bad luck, she’d have no luck at all!” I am so sorry! They should do something! Is there any way you can change the number on the warranty?? I’m kidding!!

    Anna’s last blog post..More New Stuff

  7. That sucks! We had a similar incident with a Chrysler product back in 1979. The engine was covered for 12,000 miles. The engine blew at 12,085. No one would help us. We had to foot the whole bill. For this reason we only buy GM and Ford to this day. Karma is a bitch. Sears is another company that has lost a lot of our business for a silly reason. It’s all about customer service!! Hope everything works out for you

    Judi’s last blog post..Air Conditioning

  8. I am totally shaking my head in disbelief at this. The frustration of it all. I would call and talk to a manager and another manager and get to the top. Maybe they can find an ounce of goodwill somewhere in their mealy money grubbing dealership. I can only hope. And I know about the timing belt since my old car had to have it replaced…my husband did it but they wanted a fortune at the repair shop. I am sad for you.

    Julia’s last blog post..Botany Part Deux

  9. Mar

    Uugh! I would call again and tell them the warranty company said to call them. Ask for the service manager.

  10. How ridiculous. I am sorry you went through that. They sure do cut themselves plenty of slack.

    SandyCarlson’s last blog post..Blog Your Blessings: From Baghdad with Love

  11. Unbelievable. So basically they didn’t want to help but they didn’t have the balls to admit it. More points off!

    Elisa’s last blog post..The Milestone Meltdown

  12. I feel your pain! I had my timing belt break on me. I was over 8 months pregnant, one week away from getting laid off on my job (which I knew about unfortunately), and had left work at lunch to run an errand. I was on the freeway when the belt went out and it was in the middle of summer so it was 100+ degrees. My cell then was a piece of crap and wouldn’t hold a charge so I couldn’t call for help and ended up being stuck there for almost 4 HOURS before someone pulled over to help me! I’m surprised I didn’t go into labor from the heat.

    I think these companies really need to stop being so black and white on things, especially when your warranty was *that* close! I agree, you should raise some hell!

    Andrea Neuman’s last blog post..Almost Dying Really Sucks on a Holiday Weekend!

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