Saturday, August 23, 2008

Screw Replacements

An excerpt from the letter I sent today to Pontiac Customer Service:

"Ms. M____;

I am writing for clarification. Enclosed you will find copies of documents involving repair work regarding the recall of Pontiac Vibes due to loose bolts shattering the driver’s side window when raised or lowered. The recall notice card clearly states the repair was to be done at no charge to the owner. The Shelton Pontiac Service Department informed me that there was a warranty block on my Vibe and that I would have to pay for repairs. I was informed that there was a high probability of my window shattering again and future repairs could run between $400-$500. Feeling I had little choice, I had the repairs made.

My question is as follows: Should repairs have been done at no charge regardless of warranty (as there has been no mention of warranty problems prior to this repair); or, was I mislead into thinking Pontiac was trying to rectify a situation at zero cost to the consumer and instead taken for $103.24?"

I received the repair notice postcard on a Monday and immediately set up an appointment to have the dangerous, window shattering bolts repaired. Remember, Pontiac had reimbursed me in full for the window replacement work I had done at Henderson Glass. I assumed this was going to be the final chapter in the whole sordid affair.

However, after getting assurances that the repairs would, indeed, be free of charge for me as it was part of a recall, that I should bring the car in and the matter would be closed. I dropped the Vibe off at the dealership at 7:30 a.m., once again assured that the repairs would be at no cost to me and it would be done before lunch.

At 1:30 pm the service department called informing me that there was a warranty block on my Vibe and the repairs would be $92. I argued that the postcard and the representitive on the phone assured me that there was going to be zero cost to me.

"Yeah, but there's a warranty block on your car." The service rep seemed to be reading from a cue card.

I asked why this wasn't brought up before when I had made the appointment and given the first rep the VIN number.

"We discovered the warranty block--"

"I understand. I know the car was salvaged. Why didn't you know this prior to my making the appointment? If I had known this, I would have said, 'Screw it. I'll take my chances.' I drove it for four years before the glass shattered the first time."

"Yeah, well, you don't want to run the risk of it happening again. It could wind up costing you, I don't know. $400 to $500."

"Fine. Do it."

I was clearly not going to get any where with the service guys. They're given a line, I tried to cross it, and they rebuffed my advances. I keep documents on everything so I scanned copies and sent them off to Ms M____ along with the letter I mentioned earlier.

As of now, the only thing I've learned is that 'assured' seems to mean 'Ass U R, Ed.'

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