Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Car Story, Part II: ...and In with the New

After the month that it has taken to get our old car collected and taken away it would be fair to think that we might be more lucky with the process to purchase a new car.


Well, a little bit right. It wasn't quite such a frustrating waste of my time. But only just!

About the same time as I was first arranging the collection of our old car, we paid the deposit on the new car. We were told that it was in transit and it was possible - though not probable - that it would be ready by the end of September. I would be phoned on Wednesday to confirm its arrival date.

Wednesday came...and went...

(This blog post is already sounding very familiar!)

During the succeeding two weeks I rang the garage repeatedly to check on its progress. Their policy (or so it appears) is to not respond to any phone calls made in the morning until at least 3.30pm, more usually 5.30pm. This I note as a frustration rather than a crisis.

Finally - finally! - the car got as far as Grimsby.

"It may be ready for you on Friday," I was told, "but definitely the following week."

Friday came...and went...

"It's on the loader tomorrow," I was told, "and here on Wednesday, so you can collect it on Friday."

This was reasonable, as I know they had to do a couple of things for it to be ready for us (not least of which was to fit a towbar!)

So I arrange to go in last Friday at midday to collect the car.

Now, how long do you expect it to take to collect a brand new car from a showroom?

At 2.15pm I was free to drive away.

That's right: 135 minutes of waiting. A few bits of form-filling, a lot of form-signing but mostly, mainly, a lot of waiting. And an awful cup of tea.

I think the 'hand-slams-into-forehead' moment was when, after over 90 minutes, I was given the car keys, only to have one set taken away so he could drive round the corner and fill it with fuel. Couldn't someone else have done that whilst I was ticking all the other administrative boxes?

Now don't get me wrong: the new car is fabulous! It is clean (I note the lack of dog hairs and wonder if our dog will ever get a walk again!) It is quiet, despite being another diesel engine. It is bigger, comfortable and delightfully shiny. I love her.

But it was as I drove home that I thought, I wasn't shown the towbar. Is it there?

My suspicions were not allayed when I stopped and looked underneath the rear bumper. I could see no evidence of any fitting. Another call to the garage.

"Just let me have a look," he said. A pause as he rifled through paperwork. "That's because it wasn't fitted," he said, and spent the next half hour arranging for a man to come out to fit it.

And the manager wondered why I hadn't ticked the box saying: Yes, I am completely satisfied.

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