Monday, July 30, 2012

A series of unfortunate events :(

My dreams of winning a mini van at the educator special taping of The Price is Right was shattered when at 4am we hit something black the size of a large papaya in the second to the right lane on the 101north about 5 miles from the CBS studios! Dang LA freeways!

Luckily it was early and on the usually busy 101 freeway the cars were sparse. We swerved a little and quickly turned off to the shoulder. Thank God we were safe and didn't hit any other cars!

My girlfriend quickly checked out the damage: both right tires were completely flat!

We called OnStar they were very friendly. They suggested we be brought to the local Chevy dealership. Of course in the heat of things I agreed to be picked up and be brought where ever to get my car fixed! While we were waiting to be towed, I found the paperwork for my tire warranty at Discount Tire so when the tow truck arrived, we asked to be brought to the closest Discount Tire.

Once at the discount tire, the tow truck guy was in a hurry to disconnect our car and he quickly left. He left our car in the middle of the parking lot, not in a particular parking spot. So I jumped in the car to put it into a parking space and to keep us secure since it was still dark out only to find that the batteries were dead! So I called OnStar again to ask for a jump. The lady was really nice and in a short while a tow truck came to jump us.

7am comes and we talk to the rep at Discount Tire to get out car fixed. We come to find out "discount tire center" is different from "discount tire". So my warranty was not valid there!

I call the nearest Discount Tire a.k.a America's Tire to verify my warranty and ensure they had my tires in stock. Everything checked out and they said they'd be ready for us!

I call OnStar again to ask to be towed to the correct Discount Tire (which also goes by America's Tire in LA county) 6 miles away. After 50 mins on a threeway phone call with OnStar and a Chevy road side rep (Melaine), they denied my request for a tow to the correct Discount Tire/America's Tire. They would only take me to the closest Chevy dealership.

The Chevy rep even called the generic Discount Tire as we sat in our car in front of the business to confirm that they did not have my exact tires and that they would not honor my warranty. The rep at the generic discount tire said that the person who called was very rude. That person was the road side assistant rep from Chevy, Melanie.

Apparently, the first tow was supposed to take me to a Chevy dealership but the tow truck guy was nice enough to take us to a discount tire, too bad it was the wrong one! OnStar and Chevy explained that either the tow truck company or myself was supposed to get approval to be brought to Discount Tire instead of the closest dealership. I was never made aware of that during the calls I made to OnStar that morning. So, from my understanding OnStar will only bring you to their affiliate dealership, not where you need to go to ensure your safety and security!

After repeated requests and explanation that we were brought to the wrong place and that we were left with a dead battery, OnStar and Chevy would not cover a cost for another towing! So being on the phone threeway conversation with OnStar and Chevy, I asked if they were basically leaving us stranded and their reply was "I'm sorry Mrs. Garcia, there is nothing we can do for you".

Frustrated, my girlfriends and I got on the phone with each of our car insurance companies, we were able to get a tow truck to take us to the correct Discount Tire.

After a 2 hour wait, we finally got picked up by the third tow truck to go to Discount/America's Tire with the help of my girlfriend's Century 21 car insurance road side assistance. Because the tow truck only has one passenger seat, my girlfriends ended up walking the four miles to the Discount/America's Tire to get some exercise and enjoy the LA weather.

On my ride in the tow truck, I received a call from OnStar checking on my status and "if everything has been taken care of with your vehicle". I simply said "no, I was not taken care of and I had to arrange for my own towing". Then the OnStar rep explains my expense is reimbursable. Again, this wasn't mentioned in my previous 50 minute call! The rep then began to give me the details about how to obtain a reembursement. I explained I was in the tow truck and the rep said I could call their 800 number anytime to get the info. Our call ended with her saying "Thank you for choosing OnStar, we look forward to taking care of your needs in the future". Ya right...

The staff at Discount/America's Tire were very helpful and quick to work. Another hour or so and $$$ later, two new tires and a new tire pressure sensor, we were finally in a fully functioning car once again! The guys here, any location, are always nice, are patient with answering all questions, and work quickly.

Today I learned:
1: road side service through your car insurance is more reliable than OnStar.
2: OnStar is a waste of money, their loyalty is to their affiliate dealerships, not their customers
3: Discount/America's tire always is reliable!

The minivan winnings at the Price is Right will have to wait until next time! I'm thankful to my girlfriends for keeping cool during the stressful day!

Here are some pictures of the day's events:

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