Saturday, September 29, 2007

No Volvo and a Long Needle in My Back

I know the Universe has a better Volvo out there for me, but this was a huge disappointment yesterday. Ken and I drove down to Scituate with the plates from my minivan, ready to pick up my new car only to learn that the seller didn't fix the completely broken and inoperative emergency brake as promised.

Here's our email exchange before and after going to pick up the car. First, the email I received from the seller's wife on Thursday, confirming the fact that they were fixing the car and that I was picking it up the next day:

Hi Julie, We dropped the car off at the repair shop and told him it must be repaired tomorrow. He is reliable so I'm not worried.

Then, I received the following email from the seller himself on Thursday night:

The car should be ready at around 1-2 pm. I will keep on him to make sure this gets done.

I emailed him the following day before I left home AND followed up with a voicemail message:

John, I am leaving my house now for a 12noon appt. so I won't be on email. Are we all set to pick up the car, title, and bill of sale at 2:00pm-ish? Please call my cell to confirm: xxx-xxx-xxx, I won't be able to answer during my appt. but I will call you back. Thanks, Julie

He responded via a message on my voicemail saying that he would see me in Scituate after 2:00pm. I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off, getting a cashier's check (made out to myself, thank goodness), got to Ken's, took the plates off my van, waited for Matt to get off the bus so Ken could drop him at a friend's, and got on Rt. 3A and into tons of Friday afternoon traffic. (I called during the ride, got Seller John's voicemail again and left a message, saying that we we were running a bit late, I could be reached on my cell, blah, blah.)

Around 3:00 or so, we got to Scituate and I knocked on the door. Seller John's pretty daughter answered and shooed back the pretty dog inside. Seller John came out, hiked up his belt and said, and I quote..,"We have a conundrum." Picture this guy. Very, very white, balding (but not in a hot Ken way), wire rim glasses, polo shirt, khakis, Blackberry strapped to his belt, big huge house in Scituate, his own law firm out of his know the type (not that moi would stereotype someone based on their appearance). He told me the emergency brake was still broken but that is was no big deal ("how much do you really use it, anyway") and that he would take a couple hundred off.

I tried not to cry or spit at him, told Seller John that I needed a car that was ready to pass inspection and drive, as is, with no repairs. I said something about him calling me if and when he fixed it. Then Ken got to hear every swear I know on the way home.
After we got back to Ken's and I put the plates BACK on the minivan, picked up the kids, had dinner, and went to a much-needed meeting that has babysitting for the kids, I came home to find the following email from Seller John:

My apologies regarding the brakes. My Mechanic spent all day getting the check light out and was only able to tighten the brake cable. It needs some more work. I will be bringing the car in on Monday and advise you as to the results.
I thought this deserved a response and I did not hold back:

No thank you. I no longer feel comfortable doing business with you and I plan to continue my search for another used Volvo.

Just to set the record straight: I left you a message at 2:30 p.m., telling you that I was leaving Weymouth to drive down to Scituate with my boyfriend who was rearranging his schedule to do me a favor. In that message, I told you that, if you needed to reach me, I would be available on my cell and I left that phone number once again. You did not choose to call me but, instead had my boyfriend and I drive all the way down to Scituate on a Friday afternoon for what felt like a fool's errand. Your offer to "take off a couple hundred" was inappropriate and manipulative. You knew I wanted the car, had a check in hand, and thought I would just say "yes" so I could drive off with a new car. You were wrong. Had you called me and told me the emergency brake was still not functioning properly in order to pass Mass inspection at any inspection station of my choosing, I would have said, "please fix it or no deal." I made it very clear that I was looking for a car that needed absolutely no work to be inspected, registered, and drivable.

You are an attorney and you made a deal with me. We agreed, orally and in writing, to $2500 AFTER you repaired the valve that made the check engine light come on and AFTER you repaired the emergency brake to working order. While "your guy" may have let the illegal and inoperative emergency brake pass inspection, I care about my safety and the safety of my children and other passengers. An emergency brake is required by law for a reason--SO YOU CAN STOP YOUR CAR IN AN EMERGENCY.

Since you are an attorney, perhaps you are familiar with the Massachusetts State law requires a private seller to have a car inspected or ready to pass inspection. As ou know, the Volvo's sticker expires on Sunday. Good luck selling your car.
Maybe this isn't a good thing, but sometimes I love what how bi&%$y I can be in writing when I'm mad. (Some of you may remember my letter to Dan Shaughnessy after his "tiny teen angels" comment about the women's olympic gymnastics team. He, he, he. It pissed him off so much he called me to argue his point further! He, he, he.)
So, the Volvo search continues. Someone offered me $1500 for the painted minivan (I'm holding out another week in the hope of getting $2000.) No test drivers have shown up yet for the Buick. If no one buys either and I find a Volvo, I will donate both and get the write-off. Maybe the MS Society takes car donations...?

Oh, to top things off, I found out yesterday that I STILL have to get a lumbar puncture even though my second MRI on 9/17 confirmed the MS diagnosis. The neurologist told me that it's too establish a base line or something like that before the disease modifying drugs start "changing things." It's scheduled for 9am on Friday, 10/5 (for anyone who wants to send me reiki/prayers/positive vibes/good thoughts). I'm TERRIFIED...of the pain. I'm sure it will be like most things...way worse in my imagination.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Julie,
    Last night I sent you reiki for Friday's test, from Thurs evening through Friday evening. It was a pretty cool experience, my hands were really pulsating strongly the whole time. I called Colleen to ask her to do the same. Now if I read right from a more recent entry, is this test postponed? Either way I know you can use it. xoxo, Laura