Friday, November 1, 2013

Waiting for Stella

“Customers are human and humans can view situations in unexpected ways.”
Marilyn Suttle

So I am currently sitting in the "Customer Lounge" of my local friendly Nissan Dealership. I am now aware of how much I've been missing out over the last 42 years.

This is the first time I have EVER taken a car to a dealership for service. Ever. In my whole life.

But Stella is kinda new. Like, less than 7500 miles new. And I want to treat her RIGHT. She DESERVES a little pampering now because, even though she isn't aware of it now, her metal-and-plastic butt is going to carry ME, my KIDS, my DOGS, and ALL MY CRAP for the next twelve years or 300,000 miles...whichever comes first. 

So, for now, Stella's having a little bit of a spa day. At the dealer. 

Things I Didn't Know About Dealer Services and Didn't Know to Ask:

  1. When you go to their super fancy website to make your appointment ONLINE (because even though I am an extrovert, I don't always want to talk to people), they make it sound fairly inexpensive:  "you mean Stella gets ALL THAT for only $50?  DONE!" But when you show up, they tell you ALL that they'll do for your girl and it is "only" twice as much as the price online. "But I thought the 7500 mile service was only $50?" I am here to tell you that if you HAVE to ask that question a) you probably can't afford your "new" (mostly) car and b) you will be met with certain scorn. I learned the difference between tiers today. And I am definitely on the lower tier.
  2. The BIG reason I was STOKED about going to the dealership for Stella's oil change and tire rotation was that I would get a "free" car wash.  Anyone who sees my car on a regular basis can tell you that I will EASILY drive the 3,500 miles needed for an oil change before I will wash my car.  Every now and again I get a wild hair and clean a car...happens about twice a year (OK, fine...ONCE). Today, it does happen to be raining cats and dogs.  Today ALSO happens to be one of their busiest service days of the week. (Listen, I didn't PAY ATTENTION to the fact that it is Friday.  I drove almost 100 miles PAST the mileage that it showed on that little "change my oil" sticker in the window.  I am kinda freaky about making sure it's changed on time.)  On one of the busiest days of the week they CAN give me the "free" car wash but I would have to wait an additional 20-30 minutes on top of the 1.5 hours I was already told I'd be waiting.  Sorry, Stella.  You're going to have to bathe in God's natural shower today.
  3. The "Customer Lounge" is one of the swankiest waiting areas I've ever been in.  It's nicer than many doctor's offices.  They had "free" Krispy Kreme doughnuts for their valued customers (that's ME!  I'M a VALUED CUSTOMER!).  They had family-friendly television with cooking shows and little cult-like messages about how awesome Nissan is.  There was a note on top of the tv that said something like, "Hey, we're not planning to offend our customers and you can't either.  Watch your dirty political shows and murder-soaked newscasts at home.  Don't change our channel." "Free" newspapers were stacked next to the comfy (clean) armchairs.
  4. When Stella was finished with her (low tier) service, I walked out to the covered service area with my friendly service advisor and paid Stella's fee.  He then proffered a choice of two pieces of candy.  (Car dealerships are a little slice of heaven, I think.)  I gasped and exclaimed, "OH!" and picked the Crunch bar.  He said, "For THAT reaction, you get TWO!" and handed me another Crunch bar (which I happily squirreled away in my purse).  
Stella is all set for another 3,500 miles with her non-synthetic oil.  And in a couple more visits, I'll give her the ol' Special Tier treatment and have all her filters goosed and cleaned and whatnot.  I AM glad it's still raining cats and dogs though...she really did need that "free" bath.  

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1 comment:

  1. You had me smiling throughout, but I laughed as you were offered that second candy bar. I can just see and hear you. Precious. Thanks for giving us a truly free ride with you to the dealership.

    Also, there are ways to spend less than that. You and Stella will find your ways. Hopefully together. For almost ever.