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The Mad Poller What Polls at Midnight
September 13th, 2006 
aaah!
What caused my car not to start on Monday was that the key for the aftermarket security system in my steering column was missing and therefore cutting off power to the engine.

I didn't know I had a security system. And if the key's been missing, I suspect it would have been disrupting the engine for a while now. Jamelle said I probably didn't know it was there, since I didn't mention it before, and that I probably don't have the key anyway, but they can wire the system out of the circuit for a mere $200.

Just the day before, they were "diagnosing" a problem in my fuse box, which happens to be in the steering column. I'd say they knocked they key out and it got lost when they vacuumed my car, but that would mean they vacuumed my car. Whatever, I just wanted my car back, so I paid the $200 and picked it up.

I get in my car, a car I've driven for nine years now, and realize the gas pedal is lower to the floor and sort of flopping on the hinge; kind of like it was after the accident when I had to floor it to even get it to move at all. I told the guy on duty that it was too low, he pressed on it, it gave gas to the engine, so he said it was fine, it's "just how they set it". He offered to take it back to the body shop and start a new job order for it and I nearly cried.

Driving home, if I really really pushed it, I could get up to about 30 in a few seconds. Apart from annoying and incompetent, this isn't safe. I haven't gotten a response to my email or the voicemails I've left for the managers, and damned if I'm going back there before I talk to one of them, but again, I'm fucked. I either have to go back there and try to get them to fix what they fucked up without them either charging me for their negligence or breaking my car in some new way, or just sucking it up, taking it somewhere else and paying for it.

I am so tired of being fucked over by these people.
aaah!
I just got a call back from one of the managers. She said she got my email, and said the communication issues between the two departments needs to be improved, and therefore was willing to refund the first $98 diagnostic fee for the flasher work that I refused.

I then explained to her what has happened since I wrote my email. I told her how I can't prove that the key for the security system was there or not, and have no basis on which to accuse them of losing it, but that the coincidence of a piece going missing from my steering column right after I had my steering column dismantled is hard to ignore. I said I felt as though I paid $98 to have something broken, $98 for them to figure out what that was, and another $92 for them to fix it. She agreed that it's suspect, and promised to refund $190 (I'd like all $388, but we're getting somewhere).

She said that people are often surprised at how long body work takes, and I didn't argue that. I told her about how the gas pedal has been misplaced, and since they had the car a whole month, the job should have been done completely. Given the charges I've had to take on for getting the flasher broken, I didn't want to take the car back to the body shop only to have to pay them to figure out what they should have done and then pay them again to fix what they should have finshed in the first place. She said she'll talk to the body shop manager and I'll be getting a call from him today to discuss what needs to get done.

So it seems like I'm getting somewhere. I'll post again after I hear from the body shop guy. Thanks to all of you for your encouragement, especially in regard to sending the email. My grandmother always told me if you want results you have to write letters. Time and time again, she's right.
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