Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cracked windshield equals a crazed owner

April writing...

About 3 weeks ago I had a small crack begin forming on my windshield. I was not very happy about this...especially if it meant spending alot of money to fix it!!!

We called around, my insurance covered it...but after a $250 deductible. Nahhhh.

Another, small business quoted me $223.60.

Sweet. I could get it done quickly and save a little over $25!!

So I call to schedule a time to drop off my car. I knew I would be off on President's Day, so I decided to call to make sure that time was available. It was about 9:56 pm on Friday night, so I figure I will just go ahead and call, thinking I would leave a message after all most businesses are closed by now, especially with this one; as I already knew it was a home business that they run out of their garage.

Well much to my surprise the Owner picks up. I stated my name and that I was calling Name of Company to set up an appointment for Monday. She kind of sighed, then asked for my name and my car model. I told her we had already spoken about it, and she asked if I remembered what she had quoted me. I told her the amount and she then proceeds to say, "Ok, I guess that's it, I can't look it up because my computer is turned off cause we are closed, it is 10:00 pm after all." Stunned I sat there thinking to myself (for a brief moment) "Well then why did you answer your phone? It's not my fault you don't have a business line. I was planning on leaving a message anyways!" So I quickly snapped out and gave my typical "I'm really sorry." Then she said we could drop it off the night before or the morning of. I told her we would drop it off in the Morning.

So Sunday evening rolls around...and as I am leaving church after 10 pm, I get a notification of a new voicemail and a missed call. I check the number and don't recognize it, so I listen to the voicemail. It was the owner from the windshield repair company wondering why I hadn't dropped my car off yet. So here I am wondering if I should call her back...after all it was 10:40 pm, but she herself had called me at 10:15 pm. I felt bad that she might be waiting for me to drop off my car, even though I told her I would be dropping it off Monday morning, so I called her back.

Again, she answered with a sigh once I told her her it was. I apologized even though it wasn't my error for the mis-communication and stated that I would be dropping it off in the morning.

I hung up and shook my head. This was already starting to become a bit of a headache...and this owner wasn't the sweetest person on the block!

Well Monday morning rolled around and my mother-in-law followed me as I took my car in to have the windshield replaced. We drove up to the house, and there were no clearly defined house numbers, so I called to verify that I was at the right location. She says to me "Is there a black truck in the driveway?" I said "Yes." So she says, "That's it then, just leave your keys in the car and we will get it done for you today."

I will admit...I was a little put off that she didn't come out to meet me, or that no one did. I realize that when you leave your car for service at the dealership you do something similar, but at least then, I put my keys in a sealed enveloped in a lock box. Not just sitting in the driveway of someone's home, where I am not even completely satisfied that I am at the right location. I mean, general is the description of a "black truck" in the driveway?

Much to my better judgement, I left. My sweet Bessie Blue sat alone in the driveway of some unknown person's home waiting for a new windshield...with the keys sitting in the car. Looking bad, I should have gone with my gut and asked her to meet me outside to verify everything.

Well, you know what they say about hindsight right?!!?

So my MIL takes me home for the day...where I grow increasingly impatient, as it seemed like I made a dumb decision in giving up my car for my entire day off...especially for a job that takes, at most an hour to two hours to complete. Husby calls around 2 pm to ask if the car was done. I told him that I hadn't heard anything. I told him that I would call and find out.

I called the business again, feeling like an idiot for calling so much...but that's just how I am. She said it wasn't ready, and that it would be done at some point this evening. I honestly got so flustered that I hung up. Not ON her, but just hung up without getting some kind time estimation. So when I called Husby back, he wasn't happy.

To my credit, I hate dealing with stuff like this...but Husby was tied up in training all day and couldn't do it himself. He would have known to ask the right questions and he would have known to never leave the keys in the car in an unknown location. *sigh*

Well...come 6 pm and still no word on our car, we head to Husby's parents house for dinner. After dinner Husby is pretty fumed at hearing nothing about the car, so he called. It was about 7:15 pm and the Owner's daughter answered the phone. Husby said she sounded all of 14 years old. He asked if the car was ready and she said she would check. She came back and said, "Yes it's ready and the cost is $350-something." Husby's eyes got all big and said "$350...?!" I grunted..."NO! That's not what we were quoted!" He calmly told the girl "That is not the amount we were quoted." So she says, "Well that's what my parents said."

At this point, Husby is pretty annoyed...he is thinking...why aren't you putting me on the phone with your parents...why am I still talking to a 14 year old girl about my vehicle the the cost of he says, "Can I speak to one of them please?" So she gets the Owner on the phone.

She quickly apologizes about the confusion in cost and states that her daughter walked in on a conversation that her and her husband were having about the cost of repairs to her older daughters car, and that the $350-something was not for our vehicle, our cost is actually $223.60." Husby kind of laughed off the goof-up with the Owner and told her we would be on our way to pick it up.

He got off the phone and all he could do is shake his head. This situation was showing us that sometimes small businesses were not the way to go.

I drove with Husby in his patrol car to pick up my car. When we got there, there wasn't anyone waiting for us...well unless you count the creepy-smoker-guy who was standing by the garage who squinted at us as we got out of the patrol car asking, "Who is that?" When I replied that I was just "here to pick up my car," he then walked up to the main house to get the Owner.

Guess who greeted us first? Her 14 year old daughter in her PJ's. Then Mom/Owner comes out. I'm not trying to sound judgemental, but let's just say that my first impression was not a good on...not even counting all the stuff that has already happened. Then, the first thing she says is "I hate it when the Police show up to my house, it's never a good thing; then she proceeds to tell us a brief story of her Police and criminal woes from the past...which is so refreshing. sike. I mean really...who says that TO a police officer?! Especially one giving you his business!

So it's freezing outside and she comes out to our car to finalize payment and we continue to stand outside in the cold and the dark as I fill out my check. She takes my check, hands me the receipt and says, "Oh yeah...let me get your keys." So they both go back up the steps and she hands the keys to her daughter who skips them back down the steps to us...and she waves from the door.

Husby says, "Uh, is there anything we need to know? How long do we keep the tape on the window?" She says, "Oh should keep that on for about a day and be careful driving. You probably should just take it home and park it. And don't slam the door you may get an air pocket, blah blah blah..." then she runs down a brief little list of things to watch out for, etc.

Thanks...were you just going to let us drive away and NOT tell us any of that information?

Finally...we parted ways...Husby and I just shook our heads and drove home frustrated. (Husby got stuck on a traffic accident on his way home, cause he was in his patrol car...poor guy!)

We spent the rest of the evening talking about how lame of a situation this all had become. This business did things so backwards. They got snippy with me, when I thought I was calling a business line to leave a message. They let their teenage daughter answer the phone, who was certainly not ready to deliver the correct information to a customer. They kept my car for an entire day without giving us any time estimation for completion. I mean, why couldn't I have dropped my car off later in the afternoon if you weren't going to touch it till evening?!


Anywho...needless to was not a great experience...and I will certainly NOT be referring anyone to this business. car wasn't stolen and my tummy ache from all the worrying about leaving my car unattended in an unfamiliar location was all for not...but still.

No fun.


Meadowlark said...

Sounds like a nightmare.

I'm known for asking businesses that'll be in my home if they're licensed and bonded. And when they say "yes" (they always do) ask if I can see it. Then I often hear "well, we're applied but it's not here yet, expect it this week or so". Yeah. Right. Like you're getting inside MY house.


Regina said...

Goodness gracious! What an ordeal. I'm glad that everything came out alright in the wash,

Related Posts with Thumbnails