February 24th, 2009

The Last Time I Use the Night Drop

So the check engine light came on in daisy_knotwise's van on the way out of Capricon. Although it had gone away again by later that evening, we decided to take it to a dealer to have it checked out. Since the dealer we bought the van from was sold to someone with a distinctly avaricious service department -- the last time we took it there, we got the "clean the fuel injectors" song and dance -- we decided to run it down to Larry Roesch Chrysler down in Elmhurst, since we'd had a good experience with their now-closed Ford dealership. Last night, I met Gretchen there, we filled out the forms, dropped the keys in the night drop slot, and left the van on the lot.

This morning, we got a call from Corey at the service department who informed us that essentially nothing that was wrong was covered by our extended warranty. Ok, I didn't expect a tune up to be covered and since we were getting new plugs and ignition wires, that was fine. I questioned the reprogramming of the computer and he allowed as to how that was covered. He also pointed out to me that the plastic piece that holds the controls for the power driver seat was broken off and he could replace it -- although it wasn't covered under the warranty. (I recall that it used to be. Apparently, they break too many of those. It certainly seems to be a consistent design flaw.) I declined on the grounds that it would simply break again. If I decide I need to fix it, I'll find a way to fix it that will actually work.

So I got a call this afternoon to come and pick up the van. I drove over, parked my car, and paid for the repair. They pulled the van around, parked it, and gave me the keys. I wandered off to look at the showroom for a moment, to see what there was to see (not much, to be honest), then hopped in the van to drive it home.

And discovered that the windshield was cracked longitudinally right down the middle.

Basically, they're telling me it was broken when they got it. If so, then it somehow died on their lot overnight. Given that the thorough Corey didn't manage to mention the broken windshield, I have my doubts as to the veracity of the paperwork that they showed me indicating the windshield came to them broken, since he certainly mentioned the broken plastic part with no prompting.

Loud conversation ensued, including the fellow in the service department who I brought this to the attention of shouting an insult at me as I drove away. I had said, "This is why the industry is in trouble."

"Yes," he shouted. "Because of customers like you."

Of course. Because it's far too demanding to ask to have your vehicle returned to you in no worse condition than when you dropped it off.

I'll talk to my insurance company in the morning.