Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Goodbye forever, Midtown Saturn Saab!

There's a certain peace that comes over me when I realize I can just walk away from a stressful situation. Pull the cord on the emergency chute. This is the type of calm that settled over me tonight during a careening ride through rush hour Toronto traffic in a beat-up Beck taxi--a ride paid for by my car dealership; no doubt because I got General Motors Canada involved in a little "disagreement" about the latest service incident with my car. Tonight, I decided, is the last time I deal with Midtown Saturn Saab. I can pay this ridiculous bill, walk out the door, and never come back...

I blogged about these car troubles on the 16th and the 19th. The trouble on the 19th (howling noise from engine; fluid leaking out) turned out to be a loose power steering hose, right under the top radiator hose. The very radiator that the dealer did a flush & fill on last week. No, I know. Completely unrelated.

I was informed of this over the phone this morning. In addition, I was told that since the problem was unrelated to the previous service, the dealer would no longer be covering the cost of the tow (as promised on Saturday morning). "I really fought for you," the service rep said, "but the manager won't budge." Then he launched into yet another pitch about how I should disregard the manual's recommended oil change intervals (16000 km regular use; 8000 km severe service) and get the oil changed today (5956 km after the last change). Do these people work on commission?

I said I'd call back. But my next call was to GM Canada. They heard the story, and requested a faxed copy of the Nov. 16 repair order. This afternoon, GM called me back. After speaking with the dealer, it seemed there was a "miscommunication" about who would be paying for the towing charges. Midtown would pay for the tow as promised, and GM would try and get Midtown to come down a bit on the current repair price.

So I cabbed up to the dealer, paid the $102.81 bill, and left. I won't be back.

I wish I didn't care about cars. I wish I didn't care what kind of car I drive, or that I felt the need to own one at all. Earlier tonight in the stinking taxi, I looked out the window and watched the traffic beside me on Mount Pleasant Road. Two gorgeous E-class Mercedes-Benz, followed by a Pontiac Montana. All three drivers were getting from A to B. The Benzes had gleaming, crystal-like headlamps and pretty gauges casting attractive glows on the drivers' faces. The Pontiac needed a wash. My mind drifted to the recently-announced massive layoffs at General Motors. Too many cars being produced and then sold at cut-rate "employee" discounts. Cars are a disposable commodity, I thought. They're like microwave ovens, or cordless telephones, or widgets.

Anyone want to buy a widget? It's all up-to-date on its service!

12 comments:

Crucible said...

Way to giv em hell. They must be used to the sheep that consistently hand over the plastic without question.

madamerouge said...

Well, I kind of feel like a pussy/sheep, since I didn't have the huevos to fight them directly. I was just exhausted with the whole experience, and wanted it to end. My dad suggested that I ask to be shown exactly what happened in the engine compartment. But they know I'm not a car expert and could've shown me anything to support their version of what happened.

So, I adopted my usual passive/agressive stance and decided to take my consumer dollars elsewhere. It feels good.

Jason said...

I can't believe they were going to make you pay for the tow and cab.

Carrie said...

bunch a jackasses! sorry mloyd that you had to deal with all that crap!

madamerouge said...

Jason, the cab was complimentary and offered by the dealer. They were never going to make me pay for it. However, I would've preferred to take the subway and the shitty Eglinton bus there and have the $22 that the cab cost Midtown deducted from my bill.

your judgemental aunt said...

I think all "points" workers should have an E-class Mercedes-Benz.
Go get yourself a little something on me to help get your through this tough time. Money's no object since I've learned the trick of just telling you later that i'm no longer willing to cover the cost.

Anonymous said...

I think you should just have a basic car if you think you absolutely need one and then rent a nice fancy one once in a while to make yourself feel happy.

JOOLES said...

wanna egg the dealership? that's more aggressive then passive but feels REALLY good. ;)

Natasha said...

egging the dealership sounds like a good idea... kinda like what i am going to do to that douche-bag on the billboard at sunnidale corners.

Jason said...

Boyd, a bull in Spain is called a Toro.

Carrie said...

um...what happened to posting about things other than saabs that i don't own.?

James Koole said...

Midtown Saturn does indeed suck and I'll be walking out of there for the very last time in a couple of hours.

Nothing but trouble with that place - they "fix" something, I expect a problem with something else next week.