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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Get Broke

The car is in the shop. Again.

15,000 miles and it's in the shop for the third time. The steering linkage broke in the Target parking lot. At least it didn't happen on the Interstate at 70 mph.

Blessings counted: 1

But this is the third time in six months. Come on, now. At least, we discussed, it's still under warranty, but, you know, we should get something for our troubles, right? A little payback for pain, suffering and general hassle. It's starting to feel like a lemon. There's no chance we can get a new car out of this, but maybe we can haggle for an extended warranty to restore our confidence in Nissan.

I show up with speech rehearsed when the service technician says, "Yeah, we're not paying for this."

"I'm sorry. What?"

Larry the service technician goes on to explain that that part can't break unless there's been an accident, in which case the warranty is null and void. We haven't been in an accident and there's no indication of an accident. If you have eyes, you can see that. Larry has eyes.

"Here's what happened," I explain. "We backed up, it broke. That's all I know."

"Something could've bounced under the car," Larry says. "So, no warranty."

Now, here's what I think. Larry is generally a good-spirited guy. After all, we've been to him twice already. He smiled, helped us out, even hooked us up with a loaner the last time. Larry, however, doesn't return phone calls in a timely fashion. Say, for instance, he tells you he'll call later today. You might hear back from him tomorrow. In that respect, he was consistent.

My wife was none too happy with Larry's phone habits and had called the service manager. The service manager couldn't have cared less what she had to say about Larry and his spotty track record.

I tell that story to finish this story. Larry wasn't not happy to see me this time. I don't mean someone-drank-the-last-cup-of-coffee unhappy. It was the sort of I-show-you-whose-phone-habits-blow sort of unhappy. Paranoid? That's possible. But Larry didn't go to bat for us. And now they want $1000 for the repair. Well, guess what? I'm towing it somewhere else, so who got the last laugh now?


Clay (Sequel to Halfskin coming in March!)

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