Thursday, March 12, 2009

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance

Yesterday was a crap day all right. The verdict was finally handed down on my Little Red Car, and it was found guilty of overheating and buggering up the cylinder head gasket. Overheating = $$$$.

My mood wasn't improved when I talked to the head of servicing at the dealership where I bought it. The fault occurred on the last day of the statutory warranty that you get with all second hand cars. Since then it's been waiting for my mechanic down here to look at it. The dealership argues that I should have informed them on the day that something happened and that since I didn't, the warranty doesn't apply. I think that's pretty lame.

The funny thing (if you enjoy laughing at the spectacle of thousands of dollars of your own money swirling down the toilet) is that we purchased an extended warranty for the car at no inconsiderable cost, but it specifically excludes any liability for faults related to overheating. As I mentioned before, overheating = $$$$.

I had a narky conversation with the dealer who also tried to tell me that my warranty period started three days earlier than it really did, because the original delivery date was different. He took a very strange approach where he started out really hardline and flatly refused to accept any duty to repair the car and was quite rude to me, but then at the end of the conversation he agreed to talk to my mechanic and then to his own boss to see if they might agree to cover the repairs. What on earth is going on there??

I'd like to think that I talked him round, but to be honest I think it's probably his standard approach to piss people off then offer them a carrot. That way they aren't too disappointed when it's subsequently snatched away again. I will continue to badger him since I think I am in the right, both legally and morally.

Anyway, the fact that the car hasn't been driveable for 2 weeks now has been really frustrating. It's tricky trying to manage with one car when you live in the country and you and your Smaller Half need to travel 100 km in opposite directions.

I got myself worked up into a bit of a frenzy about it yesterday, but eventually I just burned out. Getting some perspective on it (which is easier said than done) was made possible by a conversation with a friend in which we discussed some awful things that are happening in his life, compared to which a broken-down car is insignificant. Sure it's a pain in the arse, but it's not a life-defining moment.

Will I telling my grandchildren all about the Broken Down Car? No. End of story.

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