Saturday, August 02, 2008

Friday’s antics

It was a morning of frantic, yet choreographed activity. The car changeover day. Leaving one back to Mallusk, picking the other up on the Boucher Road, and collecting kit for next week’s Tech Camp, and a supply of coloured card from Play Resource Warehouse over off Duncairn Gardens.

It started well, getting the diminutive Smart Roadster back to the Fleet workshop. It took a while to get the paperwork completed – they give the car a good inspection for wear and tear before accepting it back – and discovering that the bottle of magic run-flat tyre fluid hadn’t been returned by the last driver when I got the vehicle in January.

We stocked up with paper in the Aladdin’s cave, and headed south to Charles Hurst’s Toyota dealership. That was where the wheel’s (metaphorically) came off the plans. The salesman was off on leave, and while he had registered the car and sorted out the invoice, the car hadn’t been scheduled for its last minute clean and finish.

So after a few minutes of faffing and signing paperwork, we took the hint and left the garage to it for an hour and went into town to pick up the camera kit and laptops to support next week’s animation workshops. It was about then I wished that I’d got some breakfast before beginning this Dora the Explorer-esque escapade. Getting the “if you could be here for 11:45” text message, we hared back across to Boucher Road and arrived just as the Aygo was driven up to the showroom’s door. Good sign: right colour, right registration.

Toyota Aygo BlueThe showroom manager wandered across and spontaneously apologised for the morning’s delay, and explained that in these kind of situations he likes to offer customers a meal on him (up to a certain value!) to make up for inconvenience. So we’ll be taking ourselves out some night and giving him the bill. An unexpected (and appreciated) act of customer service. But then ...

Looking out the window while yet more paperwork was being sifted through, I noticed the smooth back bumper. Umm. Looked wrong. Parking sensors are normally pretty visible, as they are mounted flush on the outside of the bumper. Yup. The XtraProtected extra hadn’t been fitted.

So it’ll be back to the dealer to leave the car in some day next week for them to drill holes in the bumper and finish building it. Glad that Tech Camp’s running over on that side of town!

The only other snag was that paying the balance by Maestro (ye olde Switch) didn’t run smoothly, with the transaction referred to the call centre, who took an age to answer, and then took an age to get through to the bank, and an age to ask me questions and relay the answers over to the bank. Arghh.

Boy was I ever so glad to get to work, grab a tray in the canteen, and get to my desk only a minute late for the 2 o’clock teleconference.

But the good news is that the wee car arrived with a full tank of petrol and is running well. Zooms along quite happily. Turns on a sixpence (quite a large one) and has already had the back seats down and a pile of gear stashed in it. There’s a jack plug input on the front of the radio, so no need for cassette adapters or iPod FM transmitters. And the voice-activated Bluetooth (most major European languages and Cantonese catered for!) has still to be played with. Though I miss the way the Smart kept the brake on for a few seconds after you took your foot off the pedal (or until you hit the accelerator to move away). The handbrake will get a lot more use now!


Timothy Belmont said...

Glad to hear you're enjoying it.

Anonymous said...

Had a similar Maestro induced long wait and subsequent interrogation when I bought our kitchen at IKEA. They asked everything but my inside leg measurement...

One thing though, when are these people going to realise that they could well be dealing with AiB, and any poor service will be broadcast over the interweb for the world to see? There's nowhere to hide! :)