drwex (drwex) wrote,

The (end of) the car saga

There are things in my life that are not politics. I start to write about them and then some new horror rears its slimy appendage in Washington and whatever trivia inhabits my life gets swept aside by the sense that people ought to be LEFT TO PEE IN PEACE fercrissakes or maybe we ought to break with tradition and not send people back to war zones and gang brutality to die and maybe people who are not like us because of their skin colors or religious beliefs might, just MIGHT, also be humans worthy of equal consideration and fair treatment. Concept.

But still, life goes on and I'd like to tell you about how I hit Maximum Freak Out in my own personal space. This has nothing to do with politics, nor really anything important.

This story has a lot of moving parts and is complicated by illness and weather. I'll try to simplify somewhat.

I had VW TDI diesel, one of the illegal ones. VW made me a buyback offer that was too good to refuse. In effect, I would have had the use of the car for three years for free. I decided to get a new Toyota Prius V which I purchased on Jan 3 for 0% interest, no money down. Details of all this are not terribly relevant to the story.

My plan had been to leave the car at Toyota until I turned in the VW in mid-February, then move the plates over because I didn't want to pay registration and insurance for three vehicles. This plan ran aground when I realized that my registration was going to expire at the end of January.

New plan! Park VW off street at my house, take plates from VW put on Toyota, move insurance to Toyota. Have Toyota put plates on new car. Have AAA tow the VW to the turn-in appointment. The car has to be driveable, not street-legal (I think) which it is.

So on Jan 30th I show up at Toyota with my plates and say "I'd like my car, please." Whereupon I discover that they have not done the one piece of work required at purchase, which was to install heated seats. Much sputtering ensues, I'm kind of steamed. No problem, says they, they can do the work in a day and they'll give me a free loaner. Why they had the car for four weeks and didn't do this work is never adequately explained.

A common theme throughout this story will be "Woburn Toyota are a clueless bunch of fucknuts" and you should never deal with them.

Needless to say, the work is not done the next day and there is bad weather involved and when I finally get around to getting an answer from them the answer is "We can't give you this car back because it is now not legal." See above about registration expiring at the end of January.

So now I need to renew the registration and bring them a sticker for the car to be legal and them to give it to me. However, I cannot renew the registration because I thought THEY (CBoF that they are) were going to do that and I no longer have the form that the RMV sends me because I don't want to renew the VW I want a registration for the Toyota.

Meanwhile, I call AAA to ask about the tow, only to be told that they won't tow a vehicle that isn't registered. I... what the what?? at them but they aren't budging. To make matters funnier, VW tells me that no, it's not just the vehicle has to be in drivable condition - I have to drive it in. Proof by example, I guess.

So now I have ZERO legally registered vehicles, no form to register them, and no time to deal. In steps Pygment who does have time and she goes to the RMV for me on Friday. The plan is now to register the VW, get the plates back from Toyota, put them back on the VW ... did I mention one of the bolts holding the plate on was rusted and I kind of had to remove it destructively? Yeah, OK I'll stick the plate in the window if I have to ... then once the VW is turned in I'll have the RMV transfer the plates and registration to the Toyota.

What could possibly go wrong? Start with Pygment at the RMV can't register the car because she lacks the form. No problem, she calls Liberty Mutual and explains the situation to them whereupon they generate a new form and send it to her... with tomorrow's date on it. Needless to say, the RMV (a) do not accept this form and (b) are not open on the weekend.

So now I STILL have zero legally registered vehicles, and I have 3.5 days until my appointment with VW, two of which are weekend days on which nothing will get done. The plan is now: go to the RMV Tuesday morning, register the VW, go to Toyota, get the plates, take the plates to the VW, put the plates on the VW, drive to VW dealership, turn in the car, take the plates OFF the VW, go back to the RMV and have the registration transferred to the Prius go back to Woburn Toyota and put the plates BACK on the Prius.

What could possibly go wrong? This was the point where I hit maximum freak-out. It's worth mentioning that on Thursday, about 30 hours after doing this vehicle tango, I'm scheduled to get on a plane to Atlanta. Traveling stresses me out under the best of circumstances.

Sunday it snows, leading to an unexpected snow day on Monday. Since we're home with the kids anyway, Pygment heads back to the RMV Monday morning, returning in remarkably little time... with a registration for the wrong car. It seems that rather than processing the renewal and THEN the transfer, the RMV has processed both at once so we have now a shiny new sticker for the Toyota.

At this point I decide "screw it; we're going ahead with the plan anyway" and I want to reduce the number of variables. I take the paper and the sticker to Woburn Toyota (CBoF remember) and hand it to them, saying "Give me my car now" (or remarkably similar and not very polite words).

"No," say they. It seems that my car is packed nose-to-tail inside their repair garage and they are desperately trying to get the remaining two dozen cars moved because their plowing company is about to show up. Said plowing company will not plow if there are cars parked about because liability like whoa! So I can't have my car back, despite producing the piece of paper they said last week was necessary to get said car back. CBoF. I step out of the office so I can curse loudly and call Pygment to blow off some steam.

I go back inside: When, I inquire, can I have my car back? "First thing tomorrow morning." (that's the actual quote.) I'm well aware at this point that they are a CBoF so I ask, "What does that translate to in hours?"

"The inspection station opens at 8, so 10AM or so?"

I discard being civil and snap at them that I will be back at 8:30 tomorrow morning and I expect to get my car. I point out that I'm taking time off work for this, that this is the last in a long line of their screw-ups, and they had bloody well better get it right this time. CBoF.

I show up at 8:30 the next morning, glowering at everyone in sight. My car is produced by 9:30 and I drive off. Go home, move plates to VW, go to work, drive to appointment at VW dealership where very nice woman takes pictures of car, gives me forms to fill out, chats politely, and cuts me a virtual check.

Nothing explodes, nobody gets killed or goes to jail and I have a functional, legally registered car now that I am never ever taking back to Woburn Toyota if I can avoid it.

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth, at http://drwex.dreamwidth.org/944640.html. You can comment here or there.
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