I had a frustrating encounter at the car service centre yesterday and I felt like giving the woman at the counter a bite in the face. Like Wawa. When you buy a national car in Malaysia, you get 3 "free" car services. Sounds good? Not really - only the labour is free and then you pay 3 times more for the oil, filters etc etc. You also get 4 years' warranty on spare parts. Sounds good? Not really. It applies only when they get to service your car (at exorbitant charges) or else the warranty becomes invalid. You may also have to wait months for a spare part and a MINOR service can take as long as 4 hours. Yesterday's conversation went like this....
Me : I think I've got a problem with my absorbers. Can I get them inspected today?
Her : Our technician is not in.
Me : When will they be in?
Her : We can't say for sure.
Me : Can I leave my number with you. As soon as they come in give me a call and I will fly over.
Her : Oh no, we can't do that because they come and go.
Me : (?) How about tomorrow? Can you fix the time so I can come when they are free?
Her : Oh no, we can't do that! We do not know when they will be free! You have to make an appointment.
Me : Ok, just let me know what time the appointment is and which day they are free.
Her : Oh no! We cannot tell you what time they are free! Come early and we will give you a number.
Me : Ok, can I come, get the number and return later so I don't have to waste time nodding off in your office for 5 hours?
Her : Oh no, we can't do that!
Me : ?? I don't mind being the last car serviced, you know. You can give me the last number for the day and I can come then.
Her : Oh no, we cannot tell you the exact time!
Me : How about a rough estimate of the time?
Her : We can't do that either!
Me : (Snarling and baring my teeth by now). Ok, miss, in case the absorbers have to be changed, are the parts available?
Her : Oh, we will have to check first.
Me : Can you check now?
Her : Ok
Me : (Happy at last, she said ok! Finally!)
Her : Yes the parts are available.
Me : (Oh, wonder of wonders, light at the end of the tunnel!) Can you make sure the parts are ready when I come then?
Her : Oh no, we cannot guarantee that! I can only tell you the parts are available today or tomorrow! But we cannot service your car today because we are full for the day!
Me : ??!!?? Ok I will come tomorrow then.
Her : What time would you like to come?
Me : You should be the one telling me.....after all God knows when you guys are ever free. Or perhaps even God doesn't know.