Been a successful letter writing campaign around here this week. A couple of letters were written; one to me and one by me.
When I got home from work on Wednesday afternoon, I found a handwritten letter from the grandson that lives with us. Kaeden is 8 1/2 years old. The letter is so sweet! It brought tears to my eyes. Some were tears of laughter, but others were tears of love. Here’s a copy of that letter:
Isn’t it just the cutest letter? Apparently his class is learning how to write letters. I’ll treasure it forever! It will have it’s rightful place among his other treasures in his “treasure box”.
Grandmas and Moms all have one of those for each kid, right? Mine’s a flat, under the bed type, Rubbermaid storage box with a lid. Gotta’ have the lid to keep the dust bunnies out! I’m thinking it’s about time to get another box. This one is close to overflowing with the first 8 1/2 years of his life! Home school, preschool, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd & 3rd grade! That’s a lot of stuff for one little guy! There’s his little bird’s nest made of mud, complete with little blue eggs; his first hand drawn 3-D picture of a farm, drawn in 3rd grade Art class; his first self portrait also done recently in 3rd grade Art class; a really cute gingerbread man made of construction paper and stuffed with cotton balls, done at age 4 1/2, at pre-school. Anyway, you get the picture. Not exactly sure what I’ll ever do with all this stuff, but can’t bring myself to just toss it either.
The other letter, one written by yours truly, yesterday morning, is of great importance because I feel like I beat back the lions! Long story short, in early November I had to take my 1994 Dodge Grand Caravan into the dealer’s shop for some starting issues. We’d already spent about a $100 in parts and our own labor in attempting to ‘fix’ the problem. For some reason, the van simply wouldn’t start if the outside temps were below about 45°. Well, that’s just not acceptable around here, especially going into late Fall & early Winter.
After beating our heads against a brick wall, we succumbed to letting the local Dodge dealership work on it. I was extremely explicit in my instructions to them. I specifically told them to put it on the diagnostic machine to find out why it wasn’t starting in colder temps. I also told them they needed to do that during the early morning hours before temps warmed up. This was on Nov. 2nd. Left the van overnight, so they could test it first thing in the morning. Did they do that? Of course not. Their ever intelligent staff waited till about 10 a.m. to start it. By then it was about 50° outside. Of course it started! It started hard, as it has done for many months this past summer, but it started.
I promised a short story, so suffice it to say, I spent that entire week without a vehicle, telling the shop manager to be sure to test it when it was cold outside, borrowing and begging rides not only to get me to work, Curves, the grocery store & home, but to get Kaeden to school everyday. Seems the dealer didn’t have a loaner for me.
I paid for the initial work they did, $215.97, that by the end of the week, should have been refunded or credited to the final work they did. God only knows how many times I told them to test it in cold temps. Not that the engine had to be cool, but that the outside temps had to be colder than 45°. I discovered this little fact over several days of dealing with it prior to calling the dealer. The one fact that stood out, was that it wouldn’t start with the colder outside temps around 7:45 – 10:00 or so. When they finally did as I ‘d asked the first time I took the van to them, they actually got test results that told them what was wrong. And it wasn’t the fuel pressure regulator, it was the crank sensor! Would someone please tell me whay outside temps would matter for a crank sensor?
By this time, it was Friday afternoon. I left it one more night, so they could test it again on Saturday morning. Sure enough, it started just fine. Of course, before I could leave the shop, they wanted mo’ money! Another $176! So, now the van is fixed and starting without any problems, but I’m out almost $400 because they didn’t do what I asked the first time. I promised to keep this short, so not a lot of detail here, but I suspect you get the picture just fine.
Side note here; as with most Americans, we’re not flush with funds by any means. And with Christmas just around the corner, the last thing we needed was more repair bills. Disabled husband with medical bills, 8 year old grandson living with us and I only work 30 hours/wk. Our budget is stretched to the max with no room for repairs of anything.
After fuming about this for almost 3 weeks, I finally sat down and wrote a letter to the owner of the dealership yesterday. Sometimes it takes me a while to get my thoughts going. It turned out to be 2 full pages, and rather scathing of their shop staff’s performance. I hand delievered it to the Service & Body Director, Gary Garman, asking him to just read it when he had some time. I told him I just wanted to vent and let someone know that they had a pretty pissed off customer. He was upfront apologetic immediately, and I accepted his apology, then asked that he just read the letter, it would explain everything. At that point, I left and went to work.
Less than 2 hours later, hubby called from home. This is how that call went:
Hubby: “So, I assume you went out to Clemons’ before you went to work?”
Me: “Yep, sure did, why?”
Hubby: “Because I just had a visitor. The Service & Body Director, Gary Garman, hand delivered a full refund check for the initial charges that we’ve been so upset about, along with a huge verbal apology and a hand written letter of apology.”
Me: “Oh MY GOD! You’re kidding me! The full $215.97?!”
Hubby: “Yep, all of it.”
Me: “So, sometimes the squeaky wheel really does get greased. Cool beans! Now at least we’ll have a little money for Christmas.”
So, here I am today…thinking two things: One, I need to write a BIG thank you to the Pat Clemons Dodge, Chrysler, Chevy, Buick dealership. And two, my faith in humanity has been somewhat restored. Am I thankful? You bet! Thank you Gary Garman for taking the time to care and thank you Pat Clemons Dodge, Chrysler, Chevy, Buick dealership for making this situation right!
Now I’m off to do just a little Christmas shopping that I didn’t think I’d get to do this year.
OH, and if anyone needs me to take up a letter writing campaign to beat back your lions, just let me know!
Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!