There’s a Conspiracy Afoot!

16 04 2008

I was talking to a friend of mine earlier this week. She had a car accident some time back. (The accident itself could make for an interesting blog post–but I’ll just say that her parked car was caught amidst a lesbian cat fight that involved drunk driving and a toilet plunger and leave it to you to fill in the rest.) Now, this friend has a nice car–a brand new Acura. She took it to the Acura dealership for repairs, and the lesbian’s insurance company provided a rental. This is where the conspiracy theory comes in. The rental they gave her was a PT Cruiser. Now, I’ll admit that when the PT Cruiser came out I thought it was a cool car. But when you’re used to a luxurious ride and they give you a stripped down Chrysler that has spent it’s life as a rental ashtray  car, you have to wonder what’s up.

And I’ve decided it is a conspiracy forged between insurance companies, car rental places, and auto manufacturers. Take your car in for collision repair, warranty work, or the like and they will give you some piece of crap that is so below what you are used to that you don’t care if your own car comes back three different colors or with worse problems than you took it in for.

I can back this with my own experience. Two cars live in my garage…a big ole SUV that could carry the whole Brady Bunch (if Alice caught a ride with Sam the butcher) and a sportier coupe that really only seats two comfortably (actually, I seem to replace that coupe every few months–but that, too, is a tale for another time).

My last coupe had a whole laundry list of warranty related work that needed to be done over the time I owned it. One of the visits to the shop required that the car stay for five days (because parts were ordered the wrong color, then came in broken, a one day repair turned into a week). The dealership “kindly” gave me a rental. And this was it:

That’s right, the replacement for my sporty little coupe was a giant grocery-getting mom-mobile.

But, when I took the SUV in (again, a one day repair turned into an all-week adventure when they couldn’t figure out why the all wheel drive was malfunctioniong), what do you think they gave me? (shown actual size below):

A roller skate on wheels replaced the SUV. It didn’t even have a CD player, and if you got it up to highway speeds (a task that took about 16 minutes), it shimmied like it was going down the line on Soul Train.

In both of these instances, they replaced the car I took in with something as far removed as possible. All in a twisted scheme to make me so grateful to have my real car back that I never dared take them in for repairs again.

And I think it worked. A few months later, when the little wooden door on the “not an ashtray” fell off, I just traded the car in.






9 responses

16 04 2008
Little Miss

Oh, don’t get me started on car dealers and car repair! Argh. I traded in an older model Mercedes for a Mitsubishi Eclipse and first they did a bait and switch on me. The car I was “approved” for was not the car I drove with the black leather seats and all. Um… I didn’t realize what had happened until I read about the scam months later happening to other people at other dealers. I had to take the same car in to have something fixed and I got the world’s smallest Subaru (someone’s own car, not even a rental) that had over 100,000 miles on it and manual roll-up windows. Seriously. I do not joke about this stuff. 😉 I hate car dealers. The SUV I have now I’m keeping till it falls apart in my driveway.

16 04 2008
The Vinyl Villager

Ugh…I had the Honda twin to that Subaru once! It had literally 220,000 miles on it. I put it in reverse to leave a parking spot and it shifted so hard I thought I had hit something!

16 04 2008

That little roller skate made the pt cruiser look good didn’t it?

16 04 2008
The Vinyl Villager

now, see, I knew as soon as I wrote that someone who owned a PT, a roller skate, or a minivan would stop by and I’d feel like an asshole.

17 04 2008
Murray Trillionaire

It could be worse. I actually have a minivan. So when I needed a temporary replacement car, I was asked if I would like to have a car that’s a little fun. “Would you like to pretend for a couple of days that you’re not a geek?”

17 04 2008

oh don’t worry about feelings…it’s a love/hate relationship with the pt cruiser, probably similar to the minivan. Everyone has the right to their own likes and dislikes 🙂

19 04 2008
Moonbeam McQueen

This is such a great idea– car repair places that give loaners which are the opposite of what you currently drive! I hope that when my piece of dookie car breaks down I’ll be able to get a Mercedes convertible, but with my luck, it’ll probably be an eighteen wheeler instead.

21 04 2008

Oh! You used my favorite word! Mom-Mobile! That’s what I call my van. I used to call it the short bus but people got all huffy! So now it is the Mom-Mobile able to do go to the post office, wipe boogers, and pick the children up all in one sweep! I’ve often thought of putting a cape on the front and painting and “M” on the front. Tee-Hee!

21 04 2008

You just aren’t approaching it properly…heh. First of all, you REFUSE the offered vehicle. You can do that. Use the largest words in your vocabulary to make it perfectly clear you will NOT drive a roller skate for a week (or in one case for me 6 weeks) when you brought a full-sized luxury car in for covered repairs. Don’t raise your voice, it is self-defeating (even though it makes you feel better). Also, don’t swear, as much as you may really, really want to. People tend to disregard what are considered “ravings” once the air turns blue 🙂 Trust me on this, I have had LOTS of experience in this area (if there’s a lemon on the lot, I’ll buy it…whole ‘nother story *grin*) I think in the past year, I have actually driven a rental car more often than one of our vehicles…and our car payments alone total over $1000 a month. Truly.
Actually, they brought me a roller skate once. Once. I feel kinda sorry for the poor rental guy who brought it – I had already been at the dealer’s for two hours, after working 8 hours, with the car I had bought 1 WEEK earlier, to find it needed new front bearings, a new stereo, and a whole new steering wheel to repair the lit stereo control that had burned me. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper…Then Tommy-almost-still-a-teenager, showed up with an over-grown roller skate. I was pissed to start with, then this..? I basically told him I wasn’t driving that (a bit more wordily & colorfully) and sent him back to National to get me a “real” car. I musta scared him a bit, because when he came back, he had 3 other guys with him, one of them a manager…but I got a real car, heh.
Anyways, now that I’ve worn out my welcome 🙂 I’ll say Hi! and go on.

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