We're all Overbooked

Tight stacked beside each other, the chores scheduled on town day regulate my life. I know this is true for almost everybody. But, for rural women who drive an hour and a half into town, the tasks lean against each other for support. Pull out one and the rest tumble about in disarray.

I arranged today to have my car’s regular checkup/oil change. As always, I inquired how long this would take. An hour, I was told. I planned my whole day around this fact and much of my next week leaned against this crucial chore. I drove AN HOUR AND A HALF to Mid City Motor World (note how in a desire to spare this fine business embarrassment, I cleverly conceal their name).

I arrived for my appointment at 9 am (on time). Filled in all the paperwork and wandered out to wait with my children for an hour when I was informed by a polite and blushing young gentleman that they were backed up and wouldn’t be finished for two and a half hours. Two and a half hours…. I had doctors’ appointments lined up, music lessons, and other children to pick up. Maybe, they suggested, I could just come back at 1. There was no way I could fit that into my day. I took my keys quietly and left. I’ve worked in the service industry. I don’t yell at people who don’t make policy.

They were sorry. They did wash my car in attempt to make up for the problem but somehow I don’t think business owners understand rural scheduling difficulties. If one lives in town, an overbooked business is an annoyance– to a tightly scheduled rural momma, it’s a disaster. In all probability, I am going to have to make a 3 hour round trip on a whole other day (that basically means another full 8 hours mangled, lots more expensive and morally questionable gas is used, and my littlest misses another day of homeschooling).

This wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last because I bought the service package.

Consistently, businesses (and this one in particular) fail to realize the extent of damage that their overbooking practices do to their rural customer.

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Photo by Martin Pool

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11 comments

  • Since Cars are this company’s business, you would have thought they could have found a vehicle somewhere on the backlot for you to drive since their problem had become yours.

  • Well do not assume someone who lives in a city is less effected by a one hour appointment taking two and a half plus hours. Anywhere you live, any situation in which you live, being told one hour and then being held hostage indefinitely for two plus hours is a disaster.

    This company -– you know Mid City Motor World that company we are delicately not mentioning — has violated its service contract with you through its repeated failure to meet verbally established and agreed to time lines and agreements of service with you, the contract holder.

    I would suggest writing them and telling them you want to be reimbursed and released from your service contract — a service contract they have repeatedly violated and failed to honor by misrepresenting their service abilities to you at great personal and professional cost to you.

    You purchased a service contract the seller falsely represented to you. That is fraud. The company can release you now and make up for that failure to meet contractually agreed on parameters through monetary reimbursement and release from contract, or you can truthfully publish that fact in any local paper willing to carry the story. Which is probably every local paper they are not advertising in. And possibly some that they do advertise in, seeing as it is a small community and continuing to carry an add for a company the fraudulently takes advantage of the local population is maybe not going to work out long run. And you may also bring it up with the local district attorney. Who perhaps would be interested in the fact this company is fraudulently misleading an entire constituency and costing a far reaching community uncountable man hours both personal and professional.

    [I do not talk this way real often but this is a legal sitch and I worked with lawyers a while this company is fucked if you bring a class action suit they should give up easy here it would be incredibly stupid of them not to – though, in the way of all things, it will probably work better if Kevin calls because they are assholes who will leave a mother with a five year old child standing on the side of the road without wheels without a second thought. Meaning, you, as a woman with a child, were easy. The only thing I would check before this is? This is a small community with a questionable law enforcement arm and I would, before I went this route, make sure the owners of the company are not related to someone in a local squad car. Humboldt is kind of corrupt and they can fight back real nasty ways if there is that kind of connection. So check first. You do not need that. But burn that contract and walk away either way.]

  • Well do not assume someone who lives in a city is less effected by a one hour appointment taking two and a half plus hours. Anywhere you live, any situation in which you live, being told one hour and then being held hostage indefinitely for two plus hours is a disaster.

    This company -– you know Mid City Motor World that company we are delicately not mentioning — has violated its service contract with you through its repeated failure to meet verbally established and agreed to time lines and agreements of service with you, the contract holder.

    I would suggest writing them and telling them you want to be reimbursed and released from your service contract — a service contract they have repeatedly violated and failed to honor by misrepresenting their service abilities to you at great personal and professional cost to you.

    You purchased a service contract the seller falsely represented to you. That is fraud. The company can release you now and make up for that failure to meet contractually agreed on parameters through monetary reimbursement and release from contract, or you can truthfully publish that fact in any local paper willing to carry the story. Which is probably every local paper they are not advertising in. And possibly some that they do advertise in, seeing as it is a small community and continuing to carry an add for a company the fraudulently takes advantage of the local population is maybe not going to work out long run. And you may also bring it up with the local district attorney. Who perhaps would be interested in the fact this company is fraudulently misleading an entire constituency and costing a far reaching community uncountable man hours both personal and professional.

    [I do not talk this way real often but this is a legal sitch and I worked with lawyers a while this company is fucked if you bring a class action suit they should give up easy here it would be incredibly stupid of them not to – though, in the way of all things, it will probably work better if Kevin calls because they are assholes who will leave a mother with a five year old child standing on the side of the road without wheels without a second thought. Meaning, you, as a woman with a child, were easy. The only thing I would check before this is? This is a small community with a questionable law enforcement arm and I would, before I went this route, make sure the owners of the company are not related to someone in a local squad car. Humboldt is kind of corrupt and they can fight back real nasty ways if there is that kind of connection. So check first. You do not need that. But burn that contract and walk away either way.]

  • Wow, I’m obviously not a good consumer. I’m so used to this happening (two months ago it was the dentist that couldn’t fit me in–in fairness I was 10 minutes late there but I waited another 10 minutes in the waiting room before they came out and told me I would have to come back another day.) Maybe I need to at least ask for a loaner car. Max, you are scary! I’m going to ponder what you said.

  • Wow, I’m obviously not a good consumer. I’m so used to this happening (two months ago it was the dentist that couldn’t fit me in–in fairness I was 10 minutes late there but I waited another 10 minutes in the waiting room before they came out and told me I would have to come back another day.) Maybe I need to at least ask for a loaner car. Max, you are scary! I’m going to ponder what you said.

  • I like Max’s thinking. Definitely write a letter(to them or the editor of the paper) explaining the inconvenience and expense of having to hang out or reschedule. Maybe next time they can, as AM mentioned, give you a loaner, or make someone who came in w/o an appointment wait. I don’t think I would have yelled at the blushing young gentleman, but would have given his manager an earful. Usually, tho, as an adult, I’ve never dealt with any company in Humboldt about customer service issues, a company manager who receives a complaint letter, and knows that copies have been, or are ready to be, sent to the media, will bend over backward to make it right – if not somehow reimbursing you for their botched scheduling, then giving something else to you.

    BTW, washing a car that’s just been in for service is a common practice among any dealership worth its salt. If they had completely detailed your car, making the interior smell good, getting all the gravel and dust out of the nooks and crannies and air vents, AND making the dashboard and tires shine like patent leather, THAT would have been a feeble attempt to make up for making you wait so long.

  • I like Max’s thinking. Definitely write a letter(to them or the editor of the paper) explaining the inconvenience and expense of having to hang out or reschedule. Maybe next time they can, as AM mentioned, give you a loaner, or make someone who came in w/o an appointment wait. I don’t think I would have yelled at the blushing young gentleman, but would have given his manager an earful. Usually, tho, as an adult, I’ve never dealt with any company in Humboldt about customer service issues, a company manager who receives a complaint letter, and knows that copies have been, or are ready to be, sent to the media, will bend over backward to make it right – if not somehow reimbursing you for their botched scheduling, then giving something else to you.

    BTW, washing a car that’s just been in for service is a common practice among any dealership worth its salt. If they had completely detailed your car, making the interior smell good, getting all the gravel and dust out of the nooks and crannies and air vents, AND making the dashboard and tires shine like patent leather, THAT would have been a feeble attempt to make up for making you wait so long.

  • On the lighter side, it reminds me of a Seinfeld episode where Jerry rips the rental car desk attendant a new one over the company’s policy of overbooking reservations. Very funny bit a sarcasm, where he explains to the attendant that having a reservation means he has not just reserved the right to ask for a car if one’s available, but he has actually reserved A CAR that is waiting for him to pick up. Of course, I agree with you entirely that it’s not cool to rip service employees who don’t set policy, but that scene was still vicariously cathartic.

  • On the lighter side, it reminds me of a Seinfeld episode where Jerry rips the rental car desk attendant a new one over the company’s policy of overbooking reservations. Very funny bit a sarcasm, where he explains to the attendant that having a reservation means he has not just reserved the right to ask for a car if one’s available, but he has actually reserved A CAR that is waiting for him to pick up. Of course, I agree with you entirely that it’s not cool to rip service employees who don’t set policy, but that scene was still vicariously cathartic.

  • What a bummer! Yes, I think I would have asked for a loaner car; on second thought, I would have strongly suggested to the manager that he give you a loaner car for totally messing up your entire day.

  • What a bummer! Yes, I think I would have asked for a loaner car; on second thought, I would have strongly suggested to the manager that he give you a loaner car for totally messing up your entire day.

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