Robbing sods.

Today's 'Asshole Award' goes to the Ford garage who currently have hold of my car.

Sometime last week the wipers stopped spraying water when I pressed the button (and yes, I did think to check that there was water in there, as everyone I've told has asked) and after several days of having to stop every half hour to pour Volvic over the windscreen in an attempt to clear the soggy combination of grit and dead insects from the glass to allow me to see I thought it was probably time to get something done about it. No problem, I thought, the car is still under warranty, it's only 20 months old so I can get it sorted for free.

My first inkling that this may not be quite as simple as I first anticipated came when the man at the desk asked me if the car had been serviced and whether the service book was in it. No, it wasn't. "Well", he says, scratching his head in the manner of a plumber about to tell you that your life savings are going to be needed to pay to fix the lav, "we may need to see it". "Why", I ask? "Because", he says, "we may need…proof". "Oh whatever" I say because I'm in a hurry and am now late for work. And off I go.

2 hours later I get a call.

"We've found the problem. And a couple of other problems as well".

"Really? You found more problems? You do surprise me. Go on then."

"Well the first problem is that your wiper blades need replacing."

"No they don't, I replaced them 2 months ago."

"Oh….right…erm….well that must be a mistake on the form then. Ooops, erm…the other one is that your front tyres need replacing"

"How much will that cost"

"mumble mumble mumble plus VAT"


"£74 plus VAT"

"Well that's ok, for two tyres."

"Erm, that's per tyre."

"WHAT?? I only want tyres, not gold plated runners and a fleet of Arab stallions to pull it."

"Yeeessss, well you've got low profile tyres love, it's to do with your alloys."

"It's going to have to wait then isn't it. Because I am not currently in possession of £150 spare pounds. They're not illegal yet are they?"

"No, you've got another 1 or 2 housand miles left on them."

"Right, well we'll leave that then. What about the wipers?"

"Yeesssss….well you see love, it's like this…"

"Like what exactly?"

"The filter on the wipers from the tank is blocked and that's classed as an 'alteration' which isn't a warranty item. So it isn't covered by your warranty. And it's quite a fiddly job so it might take us a bit of time. And it'll cost you £61 plus VAT."

"Hang on a second. My Micra was 12 years old with 70000 miles on the clock when I got rid of it. My Peugeot had 50000 miles and was 6 years old. Neither of these vehicles ever presented me with a 'blocked wiper filter'. Ever. So you're saying that the parts on a 20 month old Fiesta are more knackered than a 12 year old Micra?"

"Erm. That one is, yes."

"My point is that it shouldn't be, because the car is not very old. Do you see where I'm coming from?"

"Yes. But it's still going to cost you £61 plus VAT."

For fuck's sakes. So I rang my local garage, the people I would have taken the car to had I known I was going to have to pay for it. They confirmed that yes, a blocked filter was possible but shouldn't have happened at this point in the car's life and yes, as I suspected, £61 plus VAT is a ludicrous sum of money to pay for what is a very simple job. What is it with main dealerships? Why must they always try and rip you off? I know bloody well that my wiper blades are fine for the simple reason that when I switch them on, the crap is removed from my windscreen. So don't try and sell me more. I don't need them. And don't assume that just because I am not endowed with a set of trouser potatoes that I am entirely devoid of any common sense or reason, assuming that will only lead to trouble and probably some variety of sarcasm explosion in your showroom. Not what you want when your salesmen are busy trying to flog new vehicles to people who don't realise that in 20 months time the damn thing will be back there having it's stupid wiper filter unblocked. Main dealerships are a haemarrhoid on the backside of society – fact.  

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8 Responses

  1. You might take some solace in the fact that, although the language is more colorful and the countryside more lush on your side of the pond, you seem to forever be chronicling almost identical frustrations to the ones I experience here in the desert 6000 miles away. The halloween experience was eerily similar. Our politicians are guilty of the exact same malfeasances and I recently had to go and pry my car away from a dealership under almost identical circumstances. Is it doppelganger or global condition? I used to picture life as being much different for you and I but I'm now beginning to suspect that things are the same for everyone all over. Next you'll be posting that the churches are getting ballot initiatives passed that descriminate against folks due to sexual orientation.

  2. I only go near a church on Rememberance Day and for hatchings, matchings and dispatchings so I'm not really au fait with their views but I do know that the Catholic mob aren't so keen on gay marriages. Possibly because they are unlikely to result in the spawning of another brood of little Catholics ready and willing to contribute to the furnishings of Mother Church. Sounds like things in the US are much the same as the UK, except that you have better weather and we don't have rattlesnakes in offices. At least you've now elected a person to be in charge who intends to make a difference, we're stuck with the same shower of shits till 2010, by which point the fuckers will have had barcodes tattooed on all our foreheads so that we can be scanned wherever we go. They seem to think that they can whatever they like if they stick the word 'terrorist' in the sentence, and now the poison dwarf, Hazel Blears, Minister in Charge of Whatever Bag of Clattering Madness the Government has Decided is Important This Morning has launched an attack on bloggers, claiming that they 'undermine' politicians and politics. Really? I thought it was politician's utter inability to tell the truth and keep their trotters out of the trough that was undermining them. My mistake.
    This world isn't meant for thinking people. It's meant for optimists who don't think about stuff and therefore don't get pissed off by it.

  3. Car dealerships are on my shit list of 'people I don't trust and who are only trying to fleece me' along with almost all tradespeople.

  4. I'm the same. I trust the little local garage because our family have been using them for 30 years but main dealerships – nope. Everyone who gets their car services there seems to come away with a bill for £500 as they 'find' all sorts wrong with the car. They have the most appalling reputation. Having said that, I once got ripped off by a local garage in Barrow in Furness to the tune of £790 for a head gasket repair that turned out to be a hatchet job. In the end I had to get the entire engine replaced with a reconditioned one. Which cost me £450 at my local garage. It was a lesson learned – if it's holding a spanner, it can't be trusted.

  5. Ouch at the £790!!! Sounds like you learned a life lesson the hard and financially crippling way.

  6. [esto es genial]

  7. LOL sorry to laugh at your frustrations but you do have a way with words!

  8. Cheers Flamingo!

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