One of the first articles we published in 2005 commenced the story of a little Gallic number and the horrors of being on the receiving end of a Monday Morning car, or perhaps it was a Friday afternoon example and Les Français were about to demonstrate their Rugby prowess by annihilating their favourite enemy thereby emptying the Factory in record time.
Either way it didn’t make much difference because in all the years of Automotive History there has never been such a car! However if anyone after reading this current chapter can beat the list of faults and eclipse the dissatisfaction rating, we will be glad to hear from them. We might even publish it on our Garage Horror Stories Archive on the Web Site! You are going to have to come up with something the equal of Frankenstein meets Alien or you are simply not at the races! Actually we never got to the races because with just 70 miles on the clock on day two the car went into self destruct mode and refused to take us any further!
Sadly, the Main Dealer who supplied this poorly constructed example of Automotive construction at its worst, had not been attending the Classes for Irate Customer Retrieval which are run regularly throughout the Autumn and Winter months when Car sales are a little slow and well, the Certificate of Attendance looks good on a C.V. ! We are talking here about the little list of accomplishments that accompany Job applications and Career advancement not the enigmatic and thoroughly charming Car of the same name by a certain French Car maker! Perhaps if we had purchased a little C.V. (although few examples existed at that time) we wouldn’t be writing this current chapter of the saga!
Still Life is full of Surprises and even fuller when it comes to parting with hard earned cash for those money eating, brain numbing, heartbreaking bits of Technology with the four little black bits that go round and round. (Phrase courtesy of Gary Anderson who for those of you not familiar with Motor Sport is a Formula One Designer and now fascinating Commentator)
Classes in dealing with all kinds of upset Car customers should be mandatory for all Car Sales Personnel and should be paid for by the Manufacturers. After all, without the Car Salesman, the Manufacturers would have a helluva lot of inventory to shift and since they created the problems in the first place it seems only fair that they should solve them don’t you think?
After the first few return visits to the said Dealership as parts imploded, shut down or just plain fell off, it was obvious that an early warning alarm system had been hurriedly cobbled together to announce our proximity! When someone did have the unfortunate experience of facing us head on, there were the usual expressions of incredulity and amazement that such a car could possibly be giving trouble. “Oh we never have any problems with this model” or “You have been spectacularly unfortunate with this Car” and so on…As anyone will tell you, the fact (disputable!) that no one else is having problems with a particular car or that you have been unlucky, doesn’t do anything at all to ease your own particular pain. In fact I think it makes things worse if anything!
What was sadly lacking but all too common was the need to appreciate that when things go wrong… Hell… they gotta get fixed and Pronto AND with a smile AND some suitable apologies. Then and maybe only then a Customer might be saved for another day. But what the heck we don’t need to bother with customers OR their problems… we’ve got a never ending queue of victims waiting to part with their cash for the latest model that’s been well advertised on T.V. so why worry?
I think this must be the derivation of the commonly used phrase now “No Worries” Picture the Car salesman viewing the queue of Customers waiting at the door come opening time…all he has to do is chant the personal mantra quietly to himself “No Worries” and all will be well . Did you ever hear of a Car Salesman being lynched?
The gruesome details would make a grown man weep…I should know I was there! Do you want the shortened version or the Directors Cut? The fully unexpurgated version will be available shortly on the web site but it is being digitally enhanced as we speak… so here are just a few titbits to keep you amused:
Week One … All Electrics Down …No Can fix! Temporary replacement for booked holiday!
Month One… Front Shock Absorber ceases to Absorb! Head Mechanic says there is no problem. Delighted when after insistence by customer that car be looked at there is a problem after all! Customers don’t know squat about Cars! That’s what you think!
Month Six… Steering Rack decides not to Steer any more! Why should the Shocks have all the fun? Obviously didn’t like the way I took our local corner every day on two wheels! No Part available in Ireland …so Coffee and Croissants for four days while car waits patiently on the rack! It’s a bit like the Spanish inquisition only French! Driving skills becoming atrophied through lack of use!
Month Eight…Accelerator Cable decides all this speed is just too much for comfort and …just like that …Snaps. Bank Holiday weekend ends in confrontation with Lady Friend and a Taxi home and complete misery.
I think that’s enough to be getting on with don’t you?…keep your ear to the ground for further instalments!