Guys. Seriously. February was the shittiest month for me. Other than the fact that my birthday was in there somewhere, it was SHITTY.
There are actually a lot of reasons why, but the one I want to share with you today is because I bought a car. A Mazda CX5 to be exact. Which, as it turns out, has been the worst decision I have ever made in my entire 32 years on this planet.Let me take you on a little day by day diary, at least for the first week of this saga, and then I’ll recap the rest up through today.
January 31, 2016
I’m having a bad weekend and have some personal issues going on, and really need a pick me up. I’ve been planning on buying a Mazda CX5 for months now since I’ll need a 4 wheel drive vehicle when we move to Colorado. I’m going to buy it today!!!! That will be fun.
At this point, I do in fact, go to the dealership (Capitol Mazda, I’m looking at you) and purchase the car. They don’t have exactly the one I want, but a local dealership does and they can get it here by morning. They want me to sign paperwork tonight, which I do, with a caveat that I have 24 hours from receipt of vehicle to return it.
February 1, 2016
I’m so excited I get to pick up my brand new Mazda today!!! It’s everything I wanted and it’s beautiful. They call me in the afternoon to come pick it up. As I’m playing with my new $30,000 toy, they drop the bomb on me that there has been a recall on all CX5s and that I will not, in fact, be able to take it home today. (Now, the recall was announced in the morning, and they called me in the afternoon to pick it up, but I’m still so excited about the car I decide to let that slide.)
Bonus: They can install the roof rails I want while they keep it to work on the recall. They said it would just be a couple days.
February 2, 2016
I got a call from the sales guy at Mazda AND a text from the service department saying my car was done even sooner then they thought it would be. Yay! I head over in the afternoon to pick it up.
Me (to the service guy): Hi, I’m here to pick up my car.
Service guy: Oh, yeah, I’ve got that right here, the roof rails are all set.
Me: And the recall too right? They told me yesterday I couldn’t have it because of a recall.
Service guy: Oh I couldn’t find any recall attached to your car in the system so we didn’t do anything.
Me: <furrows brow> What? They literally told me yesterday, and you were right there. Can you please look into this further? If there is a recall out I don’t know if I even want to be driving it.
Service guy: Um, OK. I’ll have to look into it.
…… half hour later …….
Service guy: OK, so the recall was issued the morning of Feb 1, and you signed paperwork the evening of Jan 31, so technically your car isn’t prohibited from leaving the lot.
Me: OK… so I’m just supposed to take it with a recall?
Service guy: Well, yeah. You’d drive it for a few weeks until we figured out the fix and then bring it in to be worked on. But I’m not sure if you can really have it.
Me: You just said I could?
Service guy: Yeah, but since you never actually took possession of it, I don’t think we can let you have it. Even though you already bought it and it’s not technically in our inventory anymore.
Me: Sooooo… can I take it or not?
Service guy: I’m not sure, why don’t you just leave and get a rental car while we try to sort this out.
At this point, I go talk to the sales team to express my DEEP DISPLEASURE at how things are being handled. In the meantime, service guy tells me I better get going because the Enterprise Rental Car guy is waiting. Apparently, they won’t give me a Mazda loaner because now they’re telling me the recall could take WEEKS to get resolved and they don’t want their loaner cars out that long. Oh, yes, how terribly inconvenient for THEM.
I swiftly inform him I don’t work on Enterprise’s schedule and I’m not satisfied with the answers I’m being giving. A sales manager gets involved. They all want me to leave. They are afraid of loud, emotional women. (I can tell, they’re not the first.) They still can’t give me good answers, but agree to a free cargo cover for my trouble and usher me out since Enterprise is closing soon.
They tell me I have no right to be upset about the recall because it was out of their hands. Their brains cannot comprehend when I tell them that I am not in fact, upset about the recall. I’m upset about the lack of communication and the fact that I keep getting brought in here for no reason. That every time I call, one person says something totally different than the next. No one seems to be looking out for me, but rather pointing fingers at other departments.
They nod, not understanding, still convinced I’m unreasonably upset about the recall, and say they’ll call with updates. Also, apparently I am supposed to be falling over myself thanking them for paying for the rental? When they told me they were covering the cost of the rental, they looked like they had given me the best orgasm of my life, waiting expectantly for my gratitude. (Spoiler alert – they didn’t get it.)
I go to Enterprise, get the WORST customer service chick who can’t stop talking about her personal problems, and they give me sedan, because Mazda wouldn’t pay for a “comparable car” which would have been an SUV. I can have one for another $50 a day out of my own pocket though. Swell.
February 3, 2016
I’m at work telling my colleagues about all my car drama – they feel bad for me. As I’m sitting there, I realize my car payment is due soon, for the Hyundai Veloster I traded in. When I did the trade in, obviously they paid off that loan, so I log in to cancel my auto payment.
Except, it says I still owe the remaining balance. Slightly freaking out, I call TD Auto to explain the situation and figure out why it’s still showing I owe the money. The worst person in the world answers the phone.
Me: Hi there, I just traded in my car, and they are paying off the balance of my loan, but I still see it reflecting here in my account and telling me I have a payment due. I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on.
Worst person in the world: If it’s in your account, you owe.
Me: Oh, I understand that, but part of the trade-in was the payoff, and they said they work with you all the time. I’m just wondering if there is a delay before it shows up on my account or something.
Worst person in the world: Did they physically write a check and hand it to you?
Me: No, obviously not. They went through their system.
Worst person in the world: No one has just magically paid off your account. You owe whatever is on your account. This isn’t that hard a concept, is it?
Me: Excuse me? I’m just trying to understand the moving parts so I don’t get dinged for a late payment that I’m not even responsible for.
Worst person in the world: That’s not my problem.
Me: Oh, OK, thanks. Go fuck yourself.
So I call the Mazda finance guy in a panic. He tells me to chill out, that it takes 10 days to process and it will be fine. That TD Auto knows that, so should have told me the same thing as well. He asks how my car is, so I fill him in on my frustration. He says he’ll talk to some people to see about getting more information and moving things along.
Finance guy calls me. Tells me they are getting the parts for the recall tomorrow and my car is at the top of the list. Even offers to install the parking sensors I was interested in free of charge instead of the cargo cover. Great! I tell him I’d rather wait until both the recall and the sensors are done to pick up my car. I’ve seen enough of that dealership at this point. He tells me no problem, he will have someone install them on Friday so it will all be done for me to pick up Friday or Saturday. Fantastic, things are finally coming together!
Service department calls to tell me the part for the recall is in and they are working on my car. I ask if the sensors are already done. Response? “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Fuming, I call sales and finance to get a better answer, as these were promised to me. Sales guy says he has to check with the manager and will get back to me. Sales guy calls me back and says “No one said they’d be done Friday. That’s not how it works. You’ll have to pick your car up and then make another appointment to have that done if you want it.”
If I didn’t like my stuff so much, this is the point in which I would have hurled something across the room. Instead I calmly informed him that, no, I would not be doing that. I was lied to, and I’m tired of the piss poor communication. You can tell your manager that this is what is going to happen. I’m going to come in to pick up my car tonight, I don’t even want the sensors anymore, and instead, I will just not be paying the invoice for the roof rails that were installed since they are comparable in price. I do not ever want to have to come back to this dealership.
I pick up my car, and the General Manager catches wind of the whole thing. He apologizes profusely, gives me his card and says if I ever decide I do want the sensors, he will take care of it personally.
February 6 & 7, 2016
I finally have my car! We take it on a day trip to Monterey with my parents and I love how it drives, love the interior, and am overall just so happy to finally have it. But then the voice command doesn’t work. And the navigation won’t load. And the whole goddamn system crashes 3 times on the way home from Monterey.
And the rest….
So I took it in to have them fix the infotainment system. I wrote a very lengthy email to the general manager to share with the service department so they could see exactly what issues I had been having.
They replace the “module” that runs the whole thing, and tell me it’s fixed. In the service report, which I read later, it says that they road tested to make sure it didn’t “crash and reboot, as this was the customer’s main concern.” Well, actually it was ONE of my concerns but OK. I got my car back around mid-month.
Then literally just a couple days later on February 19, I realized NO, they did not in fact fix the issue with the infotainment system, and and the navigation in particular. If possible, it’s worse than before. Although to their credit, it didn’t crash again. Maybe I’m being too picky? Those thousands of extra dollars for the tech package and I expect it to recognize where I am? Actually give any sort of directions? Not reroute every 5 minutes because it thinks I’m flying over buildings? So I send another email, this time with 4 different videos as proof of how defective this thing is. This is also where I realize they probably never even road tested the navigation itself, or they would have seen all these issues.
Sooooo, they picked it up again to work on it. That was over a week and a half ago. Since then, I’ve made my first car payment on a car I’ve had for about 4 days total, which didn’t work, and has been eating up hours of my life in phone calls and follow ups every week.
I’ve been told by service multiple different things: they found an error code, they didn’t, the car is fine, etc. They finally told me if I wanted to try to escalate I should call corporate myself, which I did. I talk to them every day now. They told me one story, about another module being replaced, and Mazda engineers coming down to help the dealership, etc. But I literally JUST NOW on March 3, 2016 called the service department myself, and this is what they said:
“Yeah, we have your car. We’ve put like 50 miles on it and tested the navigation. There are no problems with it. So we haven’t done anything to it. It’s just been sitting here since last Monday. We are waiting to hear from Mazda tech/engineers to tell us what to do but I have no idea when we’ll hear back from them or how long that could take.”
Me: I’m going to throttle you. (No I didn’t actually say that, but I’m sure that’s basically what he heard). Is there no way to escalate this further? How is Mazda Corporate just sitting on their hands while I make my first car payment on a car I don’t have? You guys literally haven’t touched it to work on it?
Him: No, there’s nothing we can do. And nothing you can do to expedite it. I don’t know what to tell you, I guess you’re out of luck.
And then my head exploded into a million pieces.
I would tell you more, but this is already the longest thing in the world. If you’re tired from reading it, you will have a glimpse into how exhausting my February has been. I will probably have to start exploring legal options to return the car at this point but that’s a story for another day.