There’s No Patching This One Up

, , , , , , | Working | September 10, 2020

On a major roadway, I drive over something in the middle of the lane that looks like a piece of ribbon at first, but I feel a bump when I go over it. A couple of kilometers later, other drivers start yelling out their windows that I’m leaking gas, so I pull into the next gas station.

I call my roadside assistance company and they tow me to one of their recommended mechanics. They’re closed when we arrive, so my sister drives me home and I phone first thing the next morning.

Me: “Hi there. Something punctured my gas tank so my truck was leaking gas everywhere last night. My truck is on your lot; I was wondering if you could take a look and tell me how much you think it will cost to fix.”

They agree but I don’t hear anything, so I phone again the next day.

Me: “Hi. I called yesterday about the red truck?”

Representative: “Oh, yeah! That one! Yeah, it’s the fuel tank. It’s punctured.”

Me: “Yeah, I know. How much will it cost to fix?”

Representative: “Well, I’ll have to look into it and get back to you.”

I wait for a few hours and call again that afternoon.

Me: “Hi. I’m looking for a quote on my truck.”

Representative: “Well, I told you. You need a new fuel tank.”

Me: “Okay, but do you know how much it will cost?”

Representative: “Let me take a look here and see how much that part would cost… plus labour… You’re looking at about $600 for a new tank with a one-year warranty.”

I take a few hours to talk to people close to me who know more about this stuff than I do and call them to tell them to go ahead with the new tank. Two or three days later, they leave a message on my phone late in the afternoon.

Message: “We’re calling to tell you that the tank we ordered arrived but it is the wrong tank for your truck and we can’t find one that fits, so our next step is to use a special material to patch the hole in your fuel tank.”

It’s too late to phone them when I hear this message, so I plan to phone them the next day after talking to the same people as before. This is a rough week, because I lose my phone that evening. After two days of searching with no luck and being advised by my boss and dad that the patch job will be too temporary to be worth it, I ask my mom to phone the mechanic to tell them to forget about it. To our horror, they inform her they’ve patched it up and are waiting for me to come get it.

Mom: “Well, how much are you going to charge?”

Representative: “We agreed on $600.”

Mom: “The $600 was for a new tank. Why did you go ahead with the work? We never consented.”

Representative: “It doesn’t matter; we’ve done the work so now you need to pay.”

Mom: “But you didn’t have a work order! She agreed to a new tank.”

Representative: “How about we do $500?”

Mom: “That’s too much money for a patch job! We never would have agreed to that and you didn’t have a work order!”

Representative: “Listen, the truck costs us money every day it’s up on the hoist. We can rip the patch off and you come get the truck, but it’s still gonna cost you a few hundred dollars.”

Mom: “Why didn’t you just put it back on the lot? We’re not paying $500 for a patch.”

Eventually, we managed to negotiate that they would fix a vandalized keyhole which I had been working around for months, and I would pay them $500 total. When I signed the paperwork, we learned that the patch job only had a six-month warranty instead of the original twelve months. 

Seven months later, the patch started falling off and I tried to submit a complaint about the mechanic to my roadside assistance company, as I was reminded of the terrible service and as frustrated as ever. They reached out to the mechanic, who claimed that they had never even heard of me or my little red truck.

We decided to pick our battles and just sold the truck for parts and bought a different one.

1 Thumbs
282