This cloud was the only one to the east. The sky was completely clear except for a few normal clouds over the western mountains.
Recently I got an offer to buy a used car for not much money. It is a 1998 and not worth a whole lot with 165000 miles but it seemed in relatively good shape. Before signing the deal, the car went to Pep Boys for a pre-sale checkup. I have been happy with Pep Boys for the last ten years. I used them in California on occasion and almost exclusively since I moved to Utah. The check-up came back with some items but nothing that sounded too major. The estimate gave the total at $541.97, which isn’t wonderful but is not bad. It included a couple of radiator hoses, wheel alignment, an inner tie-rod end and a CV boot. The tie-rod didn’t sound good but it said $110.40 so it didn’t sound too bad.Bought the car a couple of weeks ago and it has been sitting. Today was a day I was off and so we took the car back to the same Pep Boy that had done the quote (21st South and 7th East, Salt Lake City) and said we wanted to get the $541.97 worth of work done. That was roughly 9:30am this morning. On the way over I learned a few more items from the driver: the gas pedal was hard to push, the end of shifter button didn’t lock in on a gear, the speedometer was not working well and the cylinder for the key would spin all the way around if you didn’t get the key inserted just right, so I asked Pep Boys to look at those items. When we got to the “end of shift button” my friend who had driven said he would fix that so we took that off the list. The first indication something was amiss was when the morning attendant got to CV Boot he mumbled something and I asked what was wrong. He said “it says CV Boot; we don’t do just CV Boots, if it’s torn we have to replace the whole axle”. Oops. He said he would call me with a price. Ok. I noticed that the phone number they had down was that from the initial quote and told them that was not the number to call and gave them mine. My friend had taken the car in for the pre-purchase assessment and so the job was getting done in his name. I’m in their computer but I typically use the Pep Boys down about 60th South on State Street. They have given me good service over the last four years. After we left Pep Boys, I took my car over to the muffler shop I use because I was having probs with the catalytic converter. We spun by the DMV to sort out some title transfer and emissions testing issues (zero line when we went in…bet you are jealous, eh?) Then we stopped off to have breakfast. The muffler shop called me while I was still eating breakfast to give me an update. It’s roughly 12:30 when we finish breakfast. A couple of hours later (around 2pm), the muffler shop called and they were done so we got ready to go fetch my vehicle. Just as we were about to set out, Pep Boys called the wrong number and left a message. I got back to them about fifteen minutes later and told them they had called the wrong number. They had called to say that the hard pedal was something I was better off getting fixed at the dealer. Parts alone would run about $500 but they could order them. They said they had lubricated a cable which was the culprit because it was all rusted. I said we could drive it and see if that worked or if we still needed to get it replaced. This was all over the phone, while driving over to get my car out of the muffler shop. It took the guy on the phone a while to delete the gas pedal cable back out of the estimate. He then said that the new axle would be a couple hundred. I asked if the new price included the hoses. Oops. Nope. Forgot them. He tells me that they always recommend that all the coolant get drained and replaced when they do the hoses. Oops. They had forgotten to mention that in the initial quote. I sit in silence as he struggles to modify the quote still further. He is obviously struggling. Finally, when we are about to arrive, he says the total will be $844 and some odd cents. It’s going up. Funny how they leave these items off the initial quote: axle required, coolant replacement recommended. Inflation is not our friend. That’s roughly 63% inflation over what…five hours? Around 5:15pm when I am eating dinner, they finally call back. Seems they screwed up and ordered the wrong axle. For some reason they ordered the assembly for the standard model and not the Turbo so they have had to reorder the correct part. Unfortunately, the new axle brings the total to $930(?). I am not too clear on that price because at that point I was considering telling this guy where I thought he should place the Turbo axle. The only thing I did say was that I was afraid he was going to call me back still later and the price was going to go up again. He said he would get the manager on the phone. After a minute or so the manager came on and seemed relatively clueless. “What’s going on?” So I described what had transpired, starting with the initial quote being $541. He asked me several times what I wanted to do but I was fuming and nearly apoplectic and didn’t respond for a while. I did say that if his quote had been accurate in the first place, I may have decided not to buy this car. I asked if the axle was installed and he said yes, so I said “well, I guess I’ll pay it”. So he said they would give me 10% off, would that fix it? I said “it helps”. I asked if they were done. And he said nearly. I asked about the gear shift and he reminded me my friend had said he would take care of it. I asked if they had fixed the speedometer. He said he didn’t know but would check on it. He said he would call when it was ready. I went back and finished my dinner. It’s just before 5:30pm and the inflation is at roughly 75% although the 10% off that would bring it back to about 65% or so. I do not know about you but when someone tells me something is just about done, I figure 10 minutes to 30 minutes or so. At 6:45pm, I called, thinking they closed at 7:00pm. It rang about a half dozen times. Some girl finally answered the phone and said something consisting of way too many words and way too fast. I said “I have no idea what you just said, is this Pep Boys”. She said yes. I am calling to see if my Volvo is ready since I was afraid you may close at 7pm. She said that they didn’t close until 9pm and didn’t know if it was ready but she had heard they had a Volvo. “I’ll go check”. So I wait while she hunts someone down. After a wait, the phone went dead. They’d hung up. But they called back immediately and called me by the name on the initial quote. Yes, it was ready. I go get my extra driver and we head back to the infamous shop. I am going to go through the original work list to see if they actually did the work. We arrive. Staff have changed out. It is now after 7pm, maybe 7:30pm. When the fellow tells me $930 something, I ask for the original work order. He has no clue where it is…maybe out in the shop. He finally finds it. I ask about the lock cylinder spinning around. He needs help and so grabs Brian, “Hey don’t leave me!” Interestingly enough there appears to be no record of it. After much hunting they see where the Mechanics side says “lock cylinder”. So he must have looked at it. Since there is no bill for it, then it must be a dealer only part. So I’ll have to go to the dealer and get it fixed. (You know, I sort of thought Pep Boys were in competition with the dealers but there is sure a lot of stuff they don’t want to do that they send us off to the dealer for…I wonder if they get a referral commission?) Item two on the work list: Speedometer. Did you fix that? No one knows again. No notes that they can find. So Brian calls the mechanic (presumably at home) and asks. A fairly long conversation ensues…way longer than “yes” or “no, because…”. Finally they get off the phone. Nope. Didn’t do it. I told him about the Manager on the phone earlier saying he didn’t know about it but would check. Apparently he forgot. Or maybe the 10% off also was to cover their not doing the requested work. At this point, I just want to get as far away from this incompetence as possible. I don’t feel like sorting it out that it should be under my name, earning me more Pep Boys points, or maybe applying some of my earned points toward this damn bill. I don’t know why they didn’t inquire about the name on the quote, since I had been so obviously not that person all along, from the moment I stepped into their shop. Then I ask if they know about the 10%. Yes. Thank god they got one thing right. Brian was very apologetic and was willing to do something about getting the speedometer fixed but they had no mechanics apparently. He focused on that one issue since he had missed all the earlier mess (or maybe he had been briefed). But I really wanted out and as far away as I could get. It was almost as if the incompetence might be contagious but it was more disgust than fear of contagion. I paid and fled although I carefully went through the list of itemized issues to make sure everything else got done. I will also avoid all Pep Boys like the plague in the future.
Ok folks today is the day when the will official start and it’s really easy to enter for your chance to win one of 8 copies EP by Electromagnetic Impulses.
How To Enter The Atom Sounds Electronica Contest
You will need to follow these guidelines for your chance to get hold of an Electromagnetic Impulses EP.
- Tweet out - I’ve just entered the @AtomSounds Electronica EP giveaway
- Write a blog post about the contest, linking back to the above blog post and Electromagnetic Impulses (
- Post here to tell us your link to your competition post.
When is the Closing Date?
Those eyes send me
other places, their
me, vast and unexplored.
I see stars in there,
the hearts of the stars,
promises of what
I desire most.
of your lips
draws me in,
but the haiku on Zen
positions of bamboo.
I want to trace
my finger around your
lips, slowly feeling
each curve, every angle and down as my hands
slowly catch fire
the more they
touch. This flame
arms to my heart.
I want to be gentle but
there is a wildness
melting my will,
leaving only my
animal mind to feed.
|“Auf welches Instrument sind wir gespannt?”
–Ranier Maria Rilke There was your voice and a note
that sang inside and filled me.
When I smiled, I heard it booming
in the echo of your eyes.
There was music that night. Later, when we were lost in arms,
we thrummed the clever harmonies
that deft hands had crafted
into the instrument that we shared. We played and sang beautifully
like two strings on some invisible guitar.