Anyone who is a regular reader of my blog knows that I have the actual worst luck with vehicles. The engines blow up, the interiors fall apart, or they just make noises that they shouldn’t. This blog post isn’t about any of those things….at least this time. This time, I want to spend some time talking about my windshield.
Rewind the clock to the end of January. My husband’s car just stopped working. It just turned off in the middle of driving. It turns out some kind of pump failed in it. Until it could be replaced, it was undriveable. (Sidebar: Is undriveable a word? It is now!) We shared my vehicle for the entire last week of January until the new pump part thingee arrived and could be installed. I forget the reason, but he took my car to his dealership to check on something (or perhaps order the part)? That’s when he noticed this:
A crack had formed in my windshield on the driver side. The crack was exactly at eye level (at least for me, a short person). My husband texted me with the bad news. SIGH. More money into the money pit. Two weeks prior to this, I had to get a new tire due to a pothole. Prior to that, I had to get two new tires because my back tires were bald. I started to call around for quotes. It turns out my comprehensive deductible on my insurance is 500 dollars. A new window costs 500 dollars. Why bother using insurance at that point?
As I called around for quotes, I kept getting asked the same question: Do you have a rain sensor? I’ll be the first person to admit that I know next to nothing about cars, engines and vehicle stuff. I would have to assume that I do not have a rain sensor because my wipers do not kick on when it rains. To me, that’s what I would think a rain sensor would be. Just to be sure, I wanted to call my dealer and double check. If anyone would know, it should be them, right? Wrong. They have no idea what they sold me. I then asked if they could look it up by VIN or if I could find it in my manual. NOPE. “Because the manual is generic” The only solution is to put 90 miles round trip on my car to go to the dealership for a 5 second inspection. Like, AYFKM? I left a nasty voicemail for Chrysler. Yep, that’s right…Chrysler in Michigan. I already have an open case. We’re on a first name fuckin’ basis. But that’s another story for another time.
Feeling helpless, I was left with no other choice to call my insurance agent and open a claim. My hopes were that the crack could be repaired without the windshield needing total replacement since I was getting the runaround. It seems a windshield repair is completely covered with my current insurance policy. Replacement is not. My insurance company contacted Safelite to come out and look at the windshield. Safelite is their preferred window replacement provider.
The next day, Safelite came out and with one look determined a repair was out of the question. The reason for this is that the crack went the entire way to the end of the windshield. Once that happens, the windshield is unsafe and not repairable. Fantastic. A new windshield had to be ordered and they set up a follow-up appointment to install it. The story doesn’t end here folks….it is just beginning. Buckle up, because this ride is about to get bumpy.
Two days later, Safelite shows up to install my brand new $500 windshield. Except there’s a problem. It’s the wrong windshield. Let me repeat that. The wrong windshield. It turns out the first guy that came out to attempt a repair wrote down the wrong type of windshield on the work order. Guy #2 calls the office and explains the situation. A new (correct) windshield is ordered, but it “has to come from the factory” and will take “2-12 days to arrive” because “my car is super rare.” Fine. Whatever. Just tell me, Guy #2, is the windshield going to fall apart and smash on me when I’m driving? Allegedly, it won’t because it’s made of multiple layers. Fine….do what you need to do. Blood pressure slightly elevated.
February 5th was the day that my $500 new-new windshield was supposed to be installed. That is to say the correctly ordered one. Guy #3 and Guy #4 show up. They can’t install the windshield outside because it’s lightly flurrying so we allow them to use the garage. Luckily it was cleaned out and organized due to the husband’s car pump installation. The appointment was set for between 8am-12pm. They called to say they couldn’t make it until 12-2pm. I’m slightly annoyed because I had work early Saturday morning and needed to sleep to get back on schedule. I ended up falling asleep and napping through their arrival and the installation. I had no choice. The work gets done and the bill is paid. If I didn’t know any better, my car is in better shape now then it was when they first got there. I had a new windshield, the glass was clean, the car was vacuumed. I was impressed, though poorer.
I drove around with the new windshield on Saturday and Sunday. I didn’t go anywhere on Monday and most of Tuesday. When I left the house for work on Tuesday, it was lightly snowing, but at that point it wasn’t sticking to the roads. It was clinging and melting to the grass, cars and surfaces. I open my door to my car to drive to work around 2:45pmish and this is what I see:
I had to do a double take because I didn’t believe what I was seeing. All of the snow that was melting was dripping down directly from above my rear view mirror, into my light fixture, then down into my dashboard, down the front of my stereo and temperature controls and into my cupholder and cigarette lighter. I don’t smoke, so I use it for a car phone charger as you can see. Plugged into my stereo was my 6th gen iPod nano and it was sitting in nearly a half inch of dirty melted snow car water. I just about lost my mind. I quickly alerted my husband to what happened. We stood there and watched water drip from my windshield down into my car in amazement. Drip. Drip. Drip. I rescued my iPod, the cables and a USB power inverter from the water, but it was too late. It was already drenched. The car charger cable still works, luckily. I didn’t test the USB power inverter thing yet, but I bought it at Five Below so it’s really not a big deal. The iPod doesn’t turn on. I’m not sure about the old style apple cable that was connected. That was the last type of cable I had like that and I shared it between that iPod and my iPad. I put the iPod in a bag of rice, but I’m not holding much hope for that.
I called Safelite again to complain about the shoddy installation of the windshield. Except this time I am yelling and cursing. My cars circuitry is working for the moment, but how do I know this water damage doesn’t screw up something months from now? My iPod doesn’t turn on. WHAT. ARE. YOU. GOING. TO. DO. ABOUT. IT. The answer was hang up. They hung up on me. It’s not bad enough that they ordered the wrong windshield, broke an appointment and now ruined my car’s interior and my personal effects, now they’ve hung up on me to boot. I call back AGAIN get a different rep on the phone and get transferred to the executive team who makes a follow-up appointment for yesterday.
Yesterday, Guy #3 from Friday and his boss show up. I opened up the car and showed them where the water was leaking. They take the windshield apart again and lo and behold, there’s a big section of glue missing from where the water was leaking. They fixed everything and re-vacuumed my car. I was told by the boss that I needed to produce a receipt from my iPod. The iPod is years and years old. Apple doesn’t make that model any more. I’ve moved and reorganized and I do not have the receipt. I don’t know if I threw it away or what, but I do not have it. Once again, I call Safelite and explain the situation. They talked with corporate and they are paying to get my car detailed as well as a new iPod. I am just going to have to keep an eye on the circuitry. I don’t know what to say or do about that until something breaks.
What bothers me the most about the iPod is not that it’s just an expensive piece of Apple gear that was ruined. It’s the songs loaded on it that meant a lot to me. I know it’s probably worth not more than 50 bucks today and it was probably a $199 device in it’s heyday at best. The songs that are loaded on it were from a specific time period in my life when I was dealing with specific struggles, worries, fears and had specific goals and dreams. The way that I felt when I listened to the music loaded on it cannot be replaced. My hard drive has died at least twice since the last time it was synced. I cannot re-sync it without iTunes wanting to format it and I don’t want to format it. I have since upgraded to an SSD and travel less, so hard drive failure is longer an issue for me, but it’s still upsetting. Lesson learned I guess.
Music to me is like photographs, poetry or art to other people. It makes you feel a certain way, it triggers memories. You cannot replace a piece of personalized property such as an iPod loaded with specific music from 3 hard drives ago. I can’t just walk into Best Buy and say, can you please sell me the same exact iPod loaded with the same exact music? Sigh. I realize I probably sound like a child having a temper tantrum over this, but I don’t ask for many things. Music is one of the few things that motivates me to do anything that I don’t want to do. I listen to music when I clean, when I drive, when I’m getting ready in the morning, and throughout the day. Literally, any other device I own could have been in that center console and I wouldn’t have cared. My iPod hits where it hurts. Look. I admit it, I hate driving. Listening to music was the one thing that made the experience somewhat enjoyable. It also keeps me awake when I’m driving exceptionally early or ridiculously late. Just ugh. Starting over sucks.
I really do not want anything from this company. I am happy they agreed to try to make things right, but it’s more of a principle thing at this point. I kind of just want my car to go back to the way it was before this mess started, but unfortunately life does not come with a rewind button. As if that all wasn’t bad enough, I get this in my e-mail:
Salt in an open wound much, Safelite? So, I’m going to fill out the survey and send them a link to this blog post. Would I recommend this company to friends and family? Hell no. I think it would even be cruel to recommend them to my worst enemy.