Sunday, January 30, 2011

A word on auto maintenance

Since the beginning of our marriage, hubs and I have split pretty much everything 50/50: our bills, our chores, everything. So, when my car needs maintenance, I take it to the shop myself.

Well, two years ago, I had some brake work done at a local chain car repair shop. As part of what I paid for during that round of service, I got a lifetime warranty on ceramic brake pads.

Well, I'd noticed my brakes making some noise this week, so I took the car back to the same shop on Saturday morning. I mentioned that I'd brought the car in two years ago for brake work, and they pulled up my old invoice on the computer. They told me they'd make the repair, and also replace a couple of rotors, etc. They also noted that on my previous invoice, I'd declined some additional service on my last visit, and did I want to get that done now. (I declined.)

Well, when I went to pay my bill, it seemed higher than it should have been for the work they had done. I mentioned that I had the lifetime pad warranty, and the man at the counter told me that the warranty was based on a certain period of lifetime for the brake pad itself.

I believed what he told me, paid the bill, and left. But it gnawed at me. Later that day, I told my husband that I thought I'd been overcharged. We dug through our old invoices and found the actual invoice from two years ago. There on the front, in plain English, it noted that the brake pads had a lifetime warranty. On the reverse of the invoice, "lifetime warranty" was clearly defined as the lifetime of the VEHICLE. In other words, as long as I own that vehicle, they are supposed to be providing the brake pads, gratis.

Hubs was livid. He went marching back in there with the invoices and my credit card, and he got them to refund the nearly $200 they'd charged me for brake pads.

It was a rather disillusioning experience. I mean, they sat there and viewed the digital invoice of the past work they'd done for me. I asked them point-blank about the warranty. I wonder now if they even did all of the other work they charged me for. And if someone can smile at you and then rob you like that (right to your FACE), what does that say about people? About human nature? Did they think they should swindle me just because I am female? Or because I seemed friendly and gullible? Just very disheartening.

Anyway, I've already requested (and received) some good recommendations of other places I can have my car serviced. Needless to say, I won't be darkening the door of the original shop again.


Allison said...

I can totally relate to this. Thankfully, Hubby introduced me to his car guy and I can honestly say the man is as good as gold and very honest. It's so sad that he is the exception rather than the rule.

Nicole Bradshaw said...

I hear you.

I try very hard to see the best in people. But creeps like that make it difficult sometimes.

Ginger said...

Hey Nicole! Ugh that is SO LAME about the car place. I'm dying to know which one it was.

Thanks for the sweet comment on Clara's arrival on my blog! Hope you are doing well :-)

Mary Girdle said...

Yep i think this sort of thing happens all the time. Sometimes they think they can dupe us like that because we are women and less likely to put up a fight over something.Glad you got your money back - after all what they did was nothing short of theft.