Friday, August 14, 2009

The Customer Is Always Right

Hi all! Hope you're doing well!

Last week, I had some unforeseen car problems. The transmission on my car went bust. Luckily it was under warranty, so I took it to a dealership instead of my regular mechanic for a free fix. Despite the weeklong inconvenience, I thought I was super lucky. I mean, thank goodness it was covered!

Unfortunately, when I got in the car to pick it up, it was making a worse noise after they fixed it than before I brought it in! I took it too my personal mechanic to see what the dealership had done, and he confirmed my suspicions. The dealership had broken another part while working on the trans.

Anyway, as you can guess, I’ve spent many hours this week killing time in various in car dealerships, and so I’d like to offer some helpful thoughts on how to amuse yourself when you’re waiting in a showroom.

Normally, my MO for waiting involves banging the keys on my laptop or reading a book (this week, it was Sherry Thomas's Private Arrangements [my review here]). But after I'd just been had by a mechanic, here's what I was came up with to amuse myself while waiting:

1. Test all the horns of the cars on display. This is especially fun if there are trucks around. Be sure to test out quick staccato beeps and long furious howls. If they tell you to stop, explain the importance of car safety.

2. Change the channel on the lobby television, or complain frequently about the volume. The lobby TV is one of those gray areas of disputed territory. Who wields power? Consider it a social experiment in anarchy.

3. Go to the free coffee kiosk, pour a full cup, drink half, throw it out. Repeat until jitters set in.

4. Ask to test drive a car, but insist that it must be the one in the middle of the showroom floor, the one surrounded by cones, potted plants, and advertising. If they argue, tell them the customer is always right!

Okay, so I didn’t actually do any of those things. In fact, I ended up paying for the repair despite the dealer’s mistake (minus labor). But if I had done any of the above, one wonders what might have happened differently. If you see a future heroine in one of my books causing mischief at a car dealership, you’ll know why!

Anyway, despite all the bad news of the week, I got really super good news too! I got the advanced copies of my new release, IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, hot off the press (it’s about two sisters who own a wildflower farm in Vermont, and a meteorite-hunting hero).

I’m planning on running a big contest this month especially for subscribers of my mailing list; I’m going to be giving away a number of copies of my book Simple Wishes, and I’ll also be giving away one book lover’s gift basket—worth well over $50! If you’d like to have a go at winning, please sign up ASAP on my Web site:

See you there!

Oh, and in the meantime, if I missed any naughty behaviors for the car dealership, let me know. Always good to have ammunition for next time!


Lisa Dale


Armenia said...

Lisa, I love the one about insisting upon test driving the car in the middle of the show room. What sweet revenge!!!

Sorry to hear about your car problems, and I know how frustrating it can be at car dealership. Oh, but what a deliciously mischiefous story you can weave out of this experience.

cheryl c said...

Hi, Lisa! It was funny to read about your ideas for revenge! Save these ideas because I do think you could use something from this experience in a future book.

I also want to tell everyone here that I have had the pleasure of reading Lisa's book SIMPLE WISHES. It is a wonderful story, so all of you should rush out to buy it!:-)

Martha Lawson said...

Hi Lisa!

That's just to funny! I do believe though, I wouldn't have paid for the part they broke! (Or at the least, I would have done all the things you thought about!) Naw, I'd been too chicken. Any way, I got a good chuckle. Sorry about the car trouble, tho.

Mary said...

That was pretty funny, at least thinking about doing any of those things are funny. Not that I would ever have the guts to do any of them. lol Hope the car is all fixed now, having car problems is just a pain.

Alison said...

It's more like work, but you could sit in a car, then spill the contents of your purse out and see how many people scrabble about in the interior trying to find things for you.