Hi friends –
It’s been a bit since I shared any stories with you so Dad said it’d be OK if told you a truck story. I may be fixed but I’m still a guy and I happen to like the truck Mom and Dad picked out for me when I came home. Over the past month we’ve been having small problems with the engine systems. I thought they had it all smooth until the other day a dash light came on and I alerted Dad as soon as I saw it. He said we’d call the service center as soon as they open, and the truck ran perfectly safe so I was happy to be on our way. Dad worked remotely so that the service shuttle could take care of him and not sit there all day. He didn’t tell me, however, that he was going to leave me home with Mom while he dropped the truck off. He told me later that he was gone for no more than a half hour and he was perfectly safe and figured I’d just take the chance to cuddle with Mom. I reminded him that we are a team and I will not be separated from him in the future. He told me he was sorry and simply thought I’d like to stay home and be cozy. I told him I like to be with him; anything else is plain unacceptable. My ultimatum was backed up by Mom’s recount of the Dane alert system of loud whining and cold wet noses. She had no idea he had left either because she was in bed not feeling well and I woke her up. I love her an all, but she don’t need a Dane and Dad NEEDS me! I greeted him as soon as soon as the door opened and gave him smooches! So glad he was alright!!!!
We worked remotely all day, sure that the truck would be back for us by noon, as requested. The phone didn’t ring by 11:30 so Dad called to check in. People get busy and the time rushes by; we understand. This call brought anxiety, though, because they reported that they had been working on it all morning and had made improvements but all the issues were not worked out. The service tech asked to keep the truck and Dad felt lost. This was not good news. Dad needed to pick up the human puppies from school and Mom didn’t feel well and we can’t all fit in her car! You see the dealer offers a “free rental” of a mid-size car. That’s barkable! Can you see a family of four humans and a Dane in a mid-size sedan? That means that once Dad gets all of loaded up he wouldn’t have space for him. They offered to get us a van or full-sized SUV but we had to pay an extra $15. Mom made a good point while on the phone with the service advisor when she asked a simple question: What would you do if Dad was in a wheelchair? Would you take his truck and offer a sedan, then make him pay to be accommodated? The service advisor stopped cold and didn’t know how to answer. While Dad talked, and explored rental options, Mom called and asked to speak with our sales representative. He is familiar with me and our situation. Within minutes our sales person was speaking with a manager and they set aside a loaner ride that would fit us all perfectly, with some reconfiguration of the seating. We now have a Honda Odyssey while our Pilot is being fixed. Dad really likes a truck, but even he admitted that for a van this one is nice. Maybe Mom can have one when she’s ready.
**Editor’s Note: We are not so cheap we can’t shell out $15, but that was just for one day and then if they had it longer we had to pay the full rental. If we were just a “normal” family and could manage to squeeze into a smaller vehicle we would have accepted the discomfort and been done with it, but as far as I am concerned this was an accommodation issue and Momma Bear came out.
When Dad contacted the Service department again today, because they will have it for a third day, Dad asked what his opinion of the problem was. The reply was that he was not quoting prices. Dad laughed and restated the question. Being only curious, and not a mechanic himself, he wanted someone to tell him what was happening, what the solutions may be, and if the service may be a warranty type of item since this is outside of what normally happens to a truck of this type with the amount of miles it has been driven, given that the parts list in question are not of the disposable variety. This must have made him more comfortable because he told us that, yes, this is not normal and we do have an extended warranty that may cover this, and they’d be working with Honda to see what they can do to make this right without having this be three days of labor and parts.
What struck me about this whole series of interactions were the two different views of the same problem. The service tech only saw that he needed Dad’s truck for more than a half day, and their normal process is to help schedule a rental of a mid-size sedan because that is their policy. When Dad asked for another solution, there wasn’t one for him, other than the scripted responses. When Dad’s sales person was contacted he was able to see that maybe for someone with a special need, like transporting a secret service dog and a family of four, that required a special solution. He was able to loan a van out of the same dealership where for someone else, it didn’t exist. These two people work for the same company, in the same building, and see life completely differently. I fully expect our family to be happy repeat customers rather than dissatisfied and disgruntled beings; but then again I am teaching the higher Dane view of the world am I not?