Scary Ellen Blows Up at Hyundai Service

Posted September 17th, 2009

They forced out my Dark Side. Again.

I did not get up this rainy September morning on the wrong side of the bed. I did not glance in the bathroom mirror and wave hello to Scary Ellen.

Not at all.

I rose quietly so as not to disturb the rest of my Dear One. I scuffed my way downstairs, made a pot of the Ethiopian coffee I like so much and retrieved the newspapers that had been delivered on time. I was glad to see on the news that the New Haven police had a suspect in custody for the murder of Yale graduate student Annie Le. I mourned the passing of folksinger Mary Travers and comedian-actor Henry Gibson.

I was still struggling with the upper right corner of the New York Times crossword (which remains unfinished) when my tattooed boy called. Oh, right. He had an appointment at the Hyundai dealership’s service center because his engine light had lit up for the fourth (or was it the fifth?) time since he bought it brand-spanking-new on July 20. That would have been fifty-seven days ago.

The service folk have repeatedly suggested that splash-back at the gas pump is giving some computer chip indigestion and if we would only fill the tank more slowly and delicately, the problem would go away. Neither my tattooed boy nor I are buying that story any longer.

He was calling for a ride.

“What?” I exclaimed. “They won’t provide a courtesy car? They haven’t been able to figure out what’s wrong with the new car they sold you and they can’t be sure how long it will take to run a battery of tests that may or may not identify the problem, and they won’t loan you a car?”

I showered and dressed. I always feel more confident when I am clean and clothed. I drove quickly but responsibly to the dealership, which, according to Google Maps, is 18.4 miles away. My tattooed boy met me as I stepped from the Scion xD I bought from a sibling in that dealership’s family. I asked for a moment with the service rep.

Did I mention that I have bought or co-purchased five cars since 1989 from that business? That would be a new Toyota Camry wagon in 1989, a used Hyundai Accent in 2004, a new Scion xA in 2006, a new Scion xD in 2009 and a new Hyundai Accent, also in 2009.

As soon as our service rep was free I asked why on earth they were unwilling to provide a courtesy car for my son’s use while they find and fix the problem that was causing the engine light to illuminate about every 14 days.

The conversation continued more or less as follows.

“We do apologize, but that is Hyundai’s policy.”

“I don’t care about Hyundai. I care about this company. It doesn’t matter to this company that I have bought five cars from them, two of them in the last year?”

“I’ll find the Service Manager.”

“That’s a good idea.”

The Service Manager declined the pleasure of chatting with me personally, but he authorized the use of a loaner for one day.

Outside, as we bid farewell, my tattooed boy said, “By the way, the service rep, as he was taking my license and stuff for the rental, asked how old I was. I told him I am twenty-seven.” He looked at me. “Then I thought, ‘you better not be suggesting what I think you are,’” he continued.

Okay, not only does this group think I am both volatile and annoying but they have decided that I am also the castrating mother of a spineless, helpless son. I don’t actually care that they think this, but I care deeply that they implied as much to him.

In other words, their decision to hew mindlessly to “policy” set by an anonymous manufacturer rather than protect a business relationship with a repeat customer, means I get to waste an hour and a half of class preparation time, enjoy elevated blood pressure, see my son treated with disdain because he has good manners, and pollute the atmosphere with 36.8 miles of gasoline I shouldn’t have used.

When I returned home, my Dear One was unsurprised that I had persuaded the Hyundai service center of the wisdom of providing my son with a loaner. He knows that I am inclined to be assertive these days. He, like my tattooed boy, would never have made a public scene; they two of them are gallant and considerate gentlemen.

So why is it that Scary Ellen is accorded a reasonable consideration that Common Courtesy is invariably denied?

BLOG CATEGORIES: General, Shopping

One Response to “Scary Ellen Blows Up at Hyundai Service”

  • sarah commented on September 18th, 2009 at 2:57 pm:

    Because it’s a little known fact that women rule the world- no doubt the Hyundai employees were imagining having to explain the whole scenario to their mothers…. 🙂

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