Monday, January 28, 2008

Cutting spare keys with a chisel?

It should have been straightforward. Nip down to the Mercedes showroom (which doubles up as Smart) on the Boucher Road, give them my car key and the vehicle code, drink a cup of their finest tea, and be handed back two keys.

Smart Roadster key

The original owner of my car had handed it back with only one key – not terribly useful for everyday use or emergencies. But Agnews had ordered in a spare key, and just needed to programme it.

So this morning after being sent from desk to desk, I settled down at a glass table in the waiting area to boot my laptop, enjoy a cup of their finest tea and type up some notes while I waited ... and waited ... as if they were programming the key with a chisel!

By the magic of technology it takes a mere 35 minutes to generate the code for a new key. I imagine the long time is somehow linked to a security trick to prevent too many programming attempts in a day.

But in the end they realised that they’d only ordered a key fob, and not the actual key barrel (the shiny bit that sticks into the ignition). So after two hours, no key. And surprisingly for a showroom that prides itself on being modern – no free wifi for customers to use while they wait.

But in order to order the right key, they need the tax book faxed to them as evidence of owning the car ... despite the fact that it was faxed through so they could order the ill-fated key-fob. But no record seems to have been kept.

So they need it faxed again before they can order the proper key, before it will arrive, before I can go back down and before they spend 35 minutes generating another code before they programme the spare key. In the meantime, I’ll have to enjoy more of their finest tea.

The good news was that they did manage to release the grimy CD holders from the middle of the dashboard console, freeing up valuable real estate for storing things in an otherwise tight-for-space car whose passenger foot well was rapidly filling up with clutter!

1 comment:

tim said...

I was at the same showroom last wed., waiting to see a sales person for 5-10 mins. They seemed busy but no sales staff came near me!
I emailed Jonathan Beattie on 26/01/08 and am still waiting for a response...