Tuesday, July 01, 2008

conspiracy #3

so i'm sitting in the waiting room at the toyota dealership. no, i'm not buying a new car. i'm here for an oil change. i know, we are one of those crazy types who have all of our car maintenance done by the dealership. yes, i'm sure it is more expensive, but i have also learned to convince myself that they somehow take better care of my car than the guys down at george's garage. maybe its the nice and shiny factory parts. maybe its the free coffee in the waiting room. maybe its the way i get to walk through the showroom on my way to the coffee, and be reminded by all the nice new cars that the investment i made 24 months ago has very quickly depreciated. ahh yes, nothing like a little financial anxiety to go with your oil change and instant cappuccino.

but i'm not the only one. i mean, there are others who also opt for this ridiulous mode of torture, but they all appear to be over the age of 73. and they love free coffee.

despite my affinity for talking with old ladies about how expensive it is to have their cars worked on, and how difficult it is to get cat hair off the back seat, that is not the reason i come here for oil changes and other routine car maintenance jobs that i should have learned how to do myself. and, believe it or not, its not even the free joe, rich and creamy and oily as it is. i come here because of accountability.

that's right: accountability. somehow i believe that big brother or mr. toyota or some overpaid government person is watching out to make sure that big fancy dealerships like this one serve fresh coffee and don't rob and steal from their unsuspecting and (mostly very old) customers. when i've been to george's garage, not only was george lacking a good free caffeinated beverage, he also spoke too fast. he told me things like, "wellwecheckedoutthesoundyoutoldusaboutanditlookslikeyou'vegotacarbeuratorproblem, andthenwealsonoticedasmalloilleakundertheheadgasket, sowe'regoingtoneedtoripoutyourwholeengine, andwhileweareintherewemightaswellchangethetimingbeltandtheplugsand, radiatorschmadiatorabracadabrawearegoingtorobyoublindandmakeyoufeeltotallydependentonus,

this is why i come to the big shiny toyota dealer. accountability. here, the people employed by the company are trained not to use the big words in front of you. they speak calmly and confidently, as if everything is totally okay, even as they ask you to sign here, indicating that you agree to $1,200 worth of work that you didn't anticipate. they also direct you to the free coffee. if one employee accidently smirks at you, realizing how incredibly stupid you are, the other employees probably take care of things behind the scenes, threatening said employee with tire rotation duty for a month. "we only laugh at the customers when they are out of earshot," they probably say, which isn't really a problem since most of the customers are fully equipped with hearing aids that don't allow them to hear anything over the conveniently loud sound of electric drills.

and so, in short, i believe i am being ripped off. whether i go to george's garage of overt mockery and thievery or toyota's palace of discrete mockery and thievery. i am being robbed. at least, here at toyota i can steal back something in the form of free coffee.


DogBlogger said...

Makes me even happier that I found a mechanic who makes house calls. And office parking lot calls. And if there's a $3.50 solution to your $700 problem, he tells you.

We just might have the most honest mechanic in America.

Crafty P said...

hmmmm, i seem to know someone who works in a place that sells/services toyotas.

i wonder...

greg. said...

dogblogger - how far does said mechanic travel?

christina - if you happen to know "someone" who works in a toyota dealership, please encourage that person to continue to provide supreme quality coffee while overcharging for auto repairs and maintenance. thanks. but could we please have stirrers that are larger than a straight pin? i mean, really, how are you supposed to stir with that thing? i could stir my coffee better with a piece of pocket lint. c'mon toyota - your loyal american customers demand thicker stirrers!

Anonymous said...

So Greg,

Do you believe that all car dealerships "rip people off?" Or is it just this one? You mentioned something about George's Garage. That would mean an independent owner. That would have meant Pap. Did he rip people off? And then you said that larger companies also rip people off. Would this mean my father? To the best of my knowledge, our grandfather and my dad (your uncle) have been nothing but honest people to their customers. My dad does anything for anyone of his customers in a heartbeat. Just remember who reads your blog (my father).

Megan said...

We've used an independent mechanic for years now and Matt trusts him completely. He thinks it's important to find a good person (based on recommendations from others) and stick with them. Anytime we've had to go the dealership for something, it seems way overpriced and we end up just buying the part and doing it ourselves. And by WE and OURSELVES I mean Matt doing it without any help from me at all. But we also have older used cars so we have no real reason to go to the dealership anyway.

greg. said...

ahh, friends, please don't be offended. i am making no kind of general statements about car dealerships or independently owned garages. i was simply trying to write humorously about the fact that when i go to get my car worked on, i feel completely helpless (because i know so little about it and because it costs so much).

if i have offended anyone, i am truly sorry, but IN NO WAY was i trying to make any sweeping statements about any individuals. i guess its just, for me, going to get my car worked on - wherever i go - is a very painful experience. if i lived in certain places where certain relatives could help me out - you can bet i'd be there!!!

Anonymous said...

haha it is ok. i was just curious. i completely understand. cars are expensive. buy fords:) much nicer than any toyota you can ever get. haha. your vacay pics are super cute.

Crafty P said...

fords??? pblssst.... GO TOYOTA!
I'll pass that stirrer request onto the powers that be.

People are very passionate about cars and service!

Emoly said...

I think it is a conspiracy and the banks have joined in. Note: do not attempt to go to a bank at noon on the day before a holiday weekend. Big mistake. HUGE! However, they too are happy to have us as customers and offer complimentary coffee. What do you make of that???