The camel is now in traction

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I am normally a really, really polite person when it comes to speaking with people I don’t know, especially when said people are in the service industry. I worked, as a teenager, at McDonald’s for 4.5 years and I know what those people put up with in terms of the general public being assholes. Even if the other person is in the wrong it takes a situation of titanic proportions to make me actually lose my shit and go off on someone. Apparently having my van out of my possession for three months and being told, numerous times, that they can’t find anything wrong with it nor duplicate the problem, is enough to put me over the edge, because I made a right scene at the Dodge dealership service department this morning.
Apparently, according to these bozos, the van hates me and must know I’m driving it and decides to mess with me. Then, when I return it to Dodge, it miraculously fixes itself, making them unable to duplicate the problem. The guy’s first excuse was “Well, it’s out of gas.” Well, no it’s not. It’s way low and the gas light is on but I just drove the damned thing home and it made it so obviously it is not OUT of gas. Plus, WTF? So call me and tell me I need to take it and gas it up before you can work on it. Don’t leave it sitting there for nearly two full weeks until I come looking for it.
When I dropped it off this last time I told them that they would have to take it and drive it around, turning it on and off numerous times to get it to repeat the issue. Did they do that? No. They left it sitting in their back parking lot and went out and turned it on once or twice a day and figured that got them off the hook. The response I got when I asked about that was, “We don’t have time to take it out and drive it around.” Let me clarify that I am not asking them to take it on a day trip to Dallas. All they’d have to do is make a circle around town. Drive to the theater, say, turn it off. Turn it back on, drive to Walmart, turn it off. I guarantee it would die on them after the first two or three stops. And, excuse me, you “don’t have time??” You don’t have time to fix Dodges, even though you are the service department at a Dodge dealership? Driving the vehicle to cause the issue to repeat is part of fixing this particular vehicle! It is not going above and beyond the call of duty. It’s just what will need to be done in order to get some answers.
Now, there may be some people reading who might think it falls to me to get the problem to duplicate so that they can then look into it. Here’s the catch, though: when it sits long enough, it will then fire up and work properly for a while. So even if I duplicate the issue and then have the thing towed down there, by the time they get to looking at it it has probably sat long enough that it’s going to start for them and appear to function. And here’s the real kicker: I DID get the problem to reoccur right there, AT THE DEALERSHIP. Two weeks ago I took it down there after returning from our California trip (we had picked it up, at their request, the night before leaving. The van worked for approximately an hour’s worth of errand-running before going wrong again.) They sent a lackey with me; I was going to drive home with him in the van and then let him drive it back down there, in hopes the problem would occur again. I started it up and, before I even had a chance to drive away, it idled off and I got the “No Bus” message in the odometer. I went back inside and told them, “It’s doing it NOW if you will go check it out.” And yet….this morning they claim they still can’t get the problem to repeat. So what the hell happened when I left it there, malfunctioning at their curb?? I can tell you what happened. They let it sit there so long that day that it reset itself (or whatever it does) and they then drove it back to the back parking lot, parked it, turned it on and off once or twice a day for the first few days, and then never went near it again. Because they are too busy. To repair my Dodge. At a Dodge repair shop.
So, yes, I finally snapped. The conversation, such as it was, ended with me demanding my keys back, telling him corporate would hear about this, and declaring loudly, “I will NEVER buy another Dodge” as I slammed the door behind me. It wasn’t pretty. I’m not proud. But I have been nothing but polite to these people (and the ones before who couldn’t manage to fix it) every single time I’ve talked to them. I have NEVER given them attitude, even when I called to find out they’d had the thing a week and hadn’t even managed to look at it yet. (“Okay! I understand! Thanks!” — no sarcasm whatsoever.) I have been unfailingly respectful and patient (until today). So I hope that I can be excused; even forgiven, for finally reaching the end of my rope. Until this morning I had never acted in a way that should have caused them to be less-than-interested in fixing my vehicle. I simply cannot grasp why they were so unwilling to do the work necessary. It’s not as though I’m asking them to revive a ninety-year-old car that has four hundred thousand miles on it. It’s a six-year-old van. It is not obsolete. I can’t be the only one in the United States of America who’s had this problem. So FIX IT. That’s all.
Here’s where we stand now: I called the service department at the Dodge dealership in Norman and spoke extensively to someone there. I explained, in detail, the problem (both with the van and the local Dodge idiots). The man to whom I spoke (Brad) was sympathetic and they are going to take a look at it. Brad assures me he is ready to do whatever it takes to get the problem to repeat itself so they can then figure out what’s wrong. I have dealt with this particular service department before. Year before last they were the ones who repaired my van after the Great Gas Tank Incident of ’06. They seemed competent and did a good job, so I’m willing to give them another go. One of the things Brad mentioned during the course of the call is that there are not one, but TWO computers on my van. As far as I know, only one of them was replaced. Could it be as simple as it being the other computer that’s the problem? Surely not. But I can hope, anyway. After all, if you Google “Dodge no bus” you get back thousands of incidences of this message and the fix is always a new computer.
There’s the latest. Sometime this weekend we are off to Norman, me in the van and Robert/kids in the car. We will drop off the beast and wait to hear something. (I’m pretty good at that by now.) Let’s hope we finally have a bit of luck coming our way.

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About msmaryb

I'm a native Californian who lives in Oklahoma. I'm a full-time student, pursuing a Bachelors in Anthropology, following which I hope to attain a Masters in Archaeology. I have three kids, one husband, no pets, and a lot of friends - most of whom live inside my computer. I love to read, write, watch tv (shut up, we can't all be brain surgeons), shop, and travel. I'm trying to set foot in all 50 states before I die. I have 38, so far. I love the Beatles and Maroon 5, and if you think those two things are incongruous, well, they are. But that's me. When I love something, I love it 100%. I don't do anything halfway. I want to know everything there is to know, so I'm trying to cram as much into my brain as I can in the short amount of time I'm allotted in this dimension.

9 responses

  1. OMG, this is EXACTLY what happened to me with my old Toyota Camry at the Toyota dealership while I was dating Ben — right down to the loud vow to never buy another Toyota. Except, they didn’t give a shit. I ended up going out and buying a Ford and letting the Ford dealer take the Toyota from the dealership to do with it what they could.
    I hope you get some satisfaction at last!

  2. GRRRR!!!!! I’m pretty sure I would have snapped way before you. Except my angry always turns into crying which is SO effective.
    Good luck!

  3. Oh, holy hell, Mary…I’m CERTAIN i would not have lasted as long as you did. CERTAIN. Three months without a car? Most definitely a prescription for disaster in my mind…oy.

  4. YAY for you, Mary! It is about time that you got ugly on their lazy asses!! There is no excuse for the way they have treated you. You have been more than patient! I hope that this dealership has more gumption about them!
    BTW, are you doing Blog365??

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