At Your Service: The Finale My Life 19 OCT 2008

SpannerFinally it is done. And I am now flat broke.

So the Jetta is finally back from its ordeal at Disa Auto Services, after having been dropped off in their care way back on Tuesday morning already. Originally I was meant to pick it up on Wednesday due to the size of the job being done, but a problem with the delivery of my new pipes forced an extended stay, meaning I could only finally pick my baby up on the Friday afternoon.

And boy did this little excursion cost me a packet. So much so that in retrospect it might have been cheaper simply to sell the car and then buy a new second hand one. Oh well, I guess the work had to be done, so what could I do?

What does piss me off a little though is when Pieter (the mechanic) phoned me up the first time with the list of all the work that needs to be done, he quoted me around R8 000. However, after discussing the state of my pipes under the car, I agreed to them replacing those as well, with the total rising to just under R10 000. Now already I had a hard time swallowing (pushing me, the ultimate ‘cash is king’ man, so far as to applying for a credit card believe it or not), so you can imagine my shock when on Friday the receptionist called me up to tell me that my car was ready for collection and the final amount was R11 594.43.

Like WTF!?! I only later discovered when picking up the bill that this was due to the original quote being quoted to me sans VAT, which annoys me just that little. However, in hindsight I never asked whether the quote included VAT or not, so I guess I need to shoulder a little bit of the blame on that one as well.

Anyway, the final bill I have sitting here in my hands is three pages long and the list of all the replacement parts and work done is rather frightening. It’s like a half a new car I tell you! But I guess that passing the 200 000 Km mark on a car does tend to cause just that little bit of wear and tear, so it was to be expected just that little. :)

Dissecting the bill, I see that for labour alone, I coughed up R4 745.25 meaning that the parts set me back R5425.28. Scary stuff considering nothing major was actually replaced; the most expensive parts being the water pump (R488.20) and a hose (R489.35)

But at least it looks like they’ve done a good and thorough job and admittedly the car is running like a dream now (plus I’m interested to see if the fuel economy increased a little as well), so overall I guess I’m pretty happy with the outcome. But after all that work done, the car had better now serve me for a couple of years still to come!

I just wish that fixing it up didn’t mean having to live off dry Salticrax for the rest of the month :(

Oh, but at least I got my revenge on them for ‘stealing’ all my money – first thing I did after collecting my car was peel off their gigantic sticker on my back window. No free advertising for you Mr Disa Auto Services I’m afraid! Give me back some of my money and I’ll consider it! ;)

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.