Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Warm, Fuzzy Car Breakdown

My car stopped working today, and because of it, I ended up with a warm, fuzzy feeling. How often does that happen?

My car had been working fine, all day, all week, all month--zipping around Albuquerque neighborhoods to the tune of mucho miles each week.

Tonight, just after I thought, "What a nice evening with no overhanging commitments and I can do whatever I want," I turned the ignition in my car, felt the briefest of jolts, and then everything went dead.
No sickly err-err as the car tried to turn over. Or lights dimly turning on.
I couldn't even get the car to shift out of gear--it's an automatic, and it was stuck firmly in Park.

So I called my car insurance in confidence, because I always carry Road Service--and was told that my other car was covered--but not this one. I am generally not a pushy consumer--and am, in fact, a pushover consumer--but the light was going fast, and I was stuck in the remote corner of a large parking lot, and my car was supposed to have Road Service. Why would I cover the car I am not driving, and not cover the car that I am driving? Which is what I patiently told the rep, as well as bringing up the fact that I had been a forever customer, and that I had been carrying Road Service for years--or so I thought.
After hemming, and hawing, and talking to supervisors, I got my Road Service--effective immediately. How cool is that?

Initially the wait for the tow was 45 minutes, putting my arrival at an auto shop at past 9:00 pm, but when I explained to the dispatcher that most auto shops were closed, and that I really did not want my car sitting on the street overnight, she empathised, and got the tow immediately.

When the tow truck driver arrived, he figured out that the terminal connector on my battery had cracked, so that I wasn't getting power, wiggled it, turned my car on, shook my hand and wished me a good night. Just a very pleasant, smiling man doing his job, and making my day.

Then, at the cusp of 9:00 pm, I drove over to Pep Boys to drop off the car for the night, so they could fix it in the morning (already planning on what car I was going to drive tomorrow)--but they said, "Pull it in, we'll fix it right now."

So after removing the offending part, stripping the wires with a razor, making my car good as new again, they comped the job and told me to have a good night.

Which I did. Compliments of all the people I interacted with tonight. Simple, I know, but what I great, big, wonderful world we have.

So, if you're going to have your car breakdown, then this is how to do it.


KB Home Customer said...

it's always shocking but somehow a relief to find out that there are genuinely nice people in the world. I prefer to think that's the rule rather than the exception, and ignore any evidence to the contrary. B says I'm irrationally optimistic, but I'd rather cruise blithely through life than travel through it bitter and fearful.
PS: If you need a yard guy, let me know. I've got a guy coming to do some stuff; we'll see how he does.

Michelina Douglass said...

Kudos to the crew and staff, they were able to fix your car in just a snap of a finger! Tall about quality service! It is always good to have your trusted car insurance and mechanic to help you in this kind of situation. In regards to your terminal connector, it can get corroded sometimes. Clean it at least twice a year. Carefully clean the battery post and terminals of cables with a small wire brush or a terminal cleaning tool. This would extend the life of your battery terminal and prevent it from rusting.

-Michelina Douglass

Erwin Calverley said...

Oh, man! That feeling when you want to go somewhere and your car suddenly fails you! Good thing these guys saved your day! I agree with Michelina. That is excellent quality service! And I like what the PEP boys said: what can be done tonight need not to be done tomorrow! It's great to know that you are one happy customer with them! :)

Erwin Calverley

Tyra Shortino said...

Even though the work they did sounds small and easy, the hospitality and kindness they gave out are valuable assets (definitely next to their car repair skills). That can certainly be called good service. Anyway, how’s your car now? You must feel reassured knowing that you have a reliable shop to go to in case of problems.

@Tyra Shortino