Hopefully, this won’t become a Chronicles of ExPat as was the case with Pat the Patriot. But I made this official yesterday morning
It’s amazing how asking a business who their Registered Agent is can motivate them to make right a bad shituation.
I’d complained at Pat’s second and the third Spa Days through this outfit’s webpage – since there was no way to directly contact the GM.
Both times, I got sales people reaching out to me about coming in to drive cars. The second time, I actually fired a warning shot in response, telling the salesperson my struggle and he replied that he’d printed my email and put it in front of the GM.
So I complained through the Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection department, thinking that might goose the guy to get involved. Sadly, that only prompted him to push an avalanche of papers – checklists and reports – into the DoJ inbox maintaining Pat’s quality as well as their exhaustive presale due diligence.
Two back-to-back visits later, I get the GM’s email address from my service guy and drop the words lawsuit, overcharged, refund and lost income. Seriously, after a total of 5 weeks in the shop in 6 months, I was missing about $2500 in compensation from Lyft driving. I really thought that would get his attention. It was the largest chunk of what I laid out as about $7700 in what could become my lawsuit against his dealership.
At the end of the day, who knows what word it was that really prompted him to finally reach out. He claims he never noticed my mention of a lawsuit.
You can see where the quality performance really starts in this outfit if he’s not capable of reading for retention and picking out little details like that…
But, here we were, sitting at a table, finally talking. The GM, the new Service Manager and me.
He spends a lot of time running through his 25 year resume and attesting to the most important thing to him: happy customers.
I made a lengthy show of calling him either oblivious, stupid or a liar. But our conversation continued.
In his eagerness to demonstrate his commitment to customer satisfaction, he offered up three paths forward:
- Let them have another (6th) crack at making Pat whole
- Refund my extended warranty and repair charges and I can find another service provider to finish easing Pat into their early grave
- Trade Pat in on a new vehicle
The two floor plugs in the back were completely soaked, we resealed them, now the carpet just needs to dry!
I was so frustrated and felt completely underwater in this transaction.
That’s a tough word – you conjure up images of violence or breaking and entering, not something civilized like transacting a car purchase. But I think it’s a good word. Think back to the financial crisis when people were throwing around terms like “predatory lending”. This was how I felt, like I was the weak prey versus an equal in the transaction.
Again, I reiterated to him my dis-ease with furthering our professional relationship. A sense that both got worse and evolved into a “who cares, it’s never gonna happen” attitude simultaneously as I researched Pat’s trade in value.
I was about $3800 upside down on them. I didn’t really see this joker that can’t follow up on an inspection checklist pulling a rabbit out of his hat here.
Son of a bi…
He actually did it, dragging me along with him.
Of course, I sent the email on Friday afternoon and waited about 20 hours for a response, but when it came – well, it didn’t come with half measures.
And just look at the car.
It might have been my mention of regretting not going with the Tiguan when I’d been looking. Whatever it was – luck, listening skills (which seemed less likely given his track record with details) – the X3 he put in front of me was definitely speaking my language.
But it was something he owned at a good enough price to absorb my negative equity into the price of the car. He also took my prior repair and warranty purchase in as a down payment credit.
All of which means, the deal frigging worked.
Of course, I made the deal contingent up on Lyft signing off on the car for service. The GM was confident that I’d be getting more lucrative, upgraded rides through LyftLux.
Monday morning, I tootled down to the Lyft Hub for an inspection. They signed right off on it – telling me Portland wasn’t much of a Lux hive, but maybe expect them Friday and Saturday night.
But in looking at the Lux ride rates from the driver side, we keep 80% of the drop rate versus 20%. The per mile rate was ~3x more, too, so I am hoping that those special occasion Friday and Saturday night rides come through!
Regardless, I drove away from my signing meeting thinking, “Welp, this is only gonna cost me one hour of driving more a week than Pat”. As long as I’m able to be driving consistently, an extra hour a week seems pretty manageable…keep your fingers crossed!