Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The Car Story, Part I: Out with the old...

After three glorious years with our car the end of our lease contract loomed. In fact, it has been looming for the last six months but no amount of my nagging seemed to provide the time my husband needed at work to reorganise its replacement. Deadline approaching we made a decision to purchase our own - possibly financially worse, but better than being without a car for at least 3-6 months while a new one was located.

So, mid-September I rang the leasing company and arranged to have our beloved Fabia taken away.

"What day would you like?" she asked.

"Monday? In the morning?"

"Fine." She checked my home address (rather than husband's hospital) and all was sorted.

Monday morning came...and went... 

In the afternoon I gave her another ring.

"But it's booked in for tomorrow morning, collecting from the hospital," she said.

"But that's not what we arranged!"

At this point there was, of course, a bit of a stand-off, as I knew I hadn't agreed to that (my husband has clinics all morning so I'd never have arranged something that would interrupt them!) She was adamant this was how it was planned and with a big sigh said, "So, are you wanting to rearrange it?"

"Of course I am!" I blustered, and suggested that we tried again the following Monday morning.

"No problem," she said, again checking my home address.

Monday morning came...and went...

This time, when I rang, the girl on the phone had no record of the car being due to be picked up at all. This despite us having received an email from them during the week charging us £84 for rearranging the collection date. (I know! We were being charged for them not turning up on the date they had agreed to originally!)

The week came...and went...

Eventually we got an email specifying a date (last Thursday) when the car would be collected. Would we prefer AM or PM? After 1.30pm, I respond.

Imagine my consternation when I found a message on the answerphone on Wednesday afternoon asking me to call about the collection. It was another company again clarifying the time of collection.

"Between 9 and 6?" he said.

"Erm...no - I'd said after 1.30pm?"

Grumble, grumble. Ok. "And collection address: Stafford?"

"Definitely not!" and proceeded to tell him our own address. Stafford is not even the hospital address. Just don't ask.

So, late Wednesday afternoon I am rearranging a company's schedule to involve possibly an extra 2-3 hours of driving in order to pick up our car. I wasn't placing money on their third attempt to collect it.

Thursday afternoon came...and went...

Surprise, surprise. But - to be fair - when I rang up this time the lady was profusely apologetic, realising that what she had on her screen had not been transferred to their driver's screen and thus he'd gone to Stafford.

I hope he enjoyed his day out!

Furthermore, within 10 minutes the lady's manager rang me to arrange whatever time I wished for the car collection, explaining again the error that had occurred.

This morning... they came!


(That bit wasn't so good. It's half-term and I'd anticipated more of a lie-in!)

And so, with regret, I watched my car being taken away before 9am. It has done us so well over the last three years, being super-economical and totally reliable. Had we been renewing a lease contract we would have got the same type of car again, but instead we have a new car to last us until my son learns to drive - a scary prospect on many levels!

The Old Car story would have been over at this point...but whilst I was out and about this morning I received a call on my mobile.

"I'm calling to arrange the delivery of your car," he said, quoting the registration number...

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