Let’s speak about Caveat Emptor, which, as we substantially know, is Latin for an early indication Roman four-door sedan. (The name Chevy Impala was already taken.) Which brings me to a sold difficulty of purchases in that we should practice caution: automobile repairs.
For a record, we have consultant technical believe in a few subjects: ballet, phlebotomy, English grammar. (Need a subjunctive moving explained? I’m your woman!) But when it comes to cars, we am a finish idiot. we wouldn’t know an oxygen sensor from Oxyclean. So a suspicion of removing my automobile bound creates me a small queasy.
But we had to do usually that recently when a car’s energy steering went out and hubby was too bustling to take it in himself. The engine had started creation horrible, saw-like squeals, and a steering circle incited stiffer than a gloomy 2-year-old facing steamed spinach. we finished an appointment with a use dialect of one of a behemoth automobile dealerships in a Triangle. (I won’t name names).
They do run a well-spoken ship: The use repute was a large immature male (such a pleasant, clear and effective chairman we can usually presupposition he was operative during this sold pursuit tentative acceptance to medical school). The watchful room was a sunlit atrium full with pastries, apples and a radiant hot-beverage appurtenance – that we consider was grown for use on a Space Shuttle – that offering no fewer than 9 varieties of present coffee, tea or prohibited chocolate. we helped myself and sat down, though before l could finish my initial crater of Colombia-Almond-Vanilla-Hazelnut-Macadamia-Nut-Biscotti Roast, my smart-looking use repute was behind with an theory in hand.
“OK, Mrs. Durand,” he cooed benignly, “it is indeed the energy steering – we need a new hose.” He handed me a created report, that listed accurately 3 equipment – hose, O-ring and liquid – for a grand sum of $586. “It will take about 3 hours,” he said. “Would we like to wait and have it finished now?”
“Um,” we hedged. (Wasn’t an O-ring something that had to do with contraception? Is that unequivocally a automobile part?) “I have to collect adult my son during school,” we fibbed, “so we theory I’ll call we to reschedule.”
I fled home. In desperation, we took to a Internet. we searched for “power steering hose deputy Raleigh” and found a site called Yourmechanic.com. we typed a make and indication of my automobile and my ZIP code, and within a nanosecond we had a quote from a automechanic who would come to my house and perform a repair, tools and labor included, for a sum of $243.
But it gets better: The pleasantly technician showed adult dual days after as scheduled and within 5 mins had my automobile adult on blocks in a driveway. (Sadly, they don’t receptacle around hydraulic lifts). He shortly reported, “You might indeed not need a new hose, Ma’am. Let’s usually try replacing a liquid first.” In 20 mins he was finished: The engine purred like a kitten, and we could spin a circle with one finger. Total cost: $77 and change.
I have spent too many years not examination my income as delicately as we could. we subconsciously figured that, being center class, we had sufficient resources not to … well, haggle. But as my father says, there’s a excellent line between due industry and paranoia. My mother, who hails from a some-more paranoid bend of a family – and maybe since of that fundamental distrust is a most improved income manager – was truly unapproachable when we regaled her with my story of mercantile automotive heroism. Sometimes a small paranoia is a good thing: There will always be people peaceful to take your money.
I bay no ill will toward that large dealership. They have some-more overhead, after all: hydraulic lifts, space convey coffee … and someone has to compensate for Beautiful Service Rep’s opening year between college and med school!
But it’s usually not going to be me this time. Buyer, beware.
Leslie Durand, a former naval officer and stream associate of a late Marine Corps officer, is a stay-at-home mom in Holly Springs.
Article source: http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article41230050.html