That time of the year has come once again when I have to renew my car registration so I made an appointment with my local shop and got a safety inspection (which was discounted $10 due to my awesome coupon book that came with my Bulk Oil Changes) and renewed my registration at the same time. They even had the registration sticker there on the spot!
But they also told me that I needed a new engine air filter and cabin air filter. They had been telling me I needed the cabin air filter for over a year now but since it really doesn’t effect the performance of the vehicle, I never worried about it, but the engine air filter does decrease the performance. The total cost for the parts and labor would be about $45 + tax ($25 for the cabin and $20 for the engine) .
I had previously researched the price of the cabin air filter and found that at an auto part store nearby, it was only $15 and online I found a few for $10 (with free shipping) so I decided I would call the auto part store and see if they had the engine air filter there at a better price than the repair shop, and if so, I would buy them both locally. Again, I felt pressed to get them as soon as possible now because of the dirty engine air filter reducing my gas mileage. They told me they didn’t have one of the filters so I planned to check into another auto part store (same chain) that was closer to my house but was a newer store and the phone number was not listed online.
When I got there, I had trouble finding one of the filters (cabin air) so I went to ask the guy at the counter. He very rudely took my cars information and looked up the part. Then he told me they were out of that filter but the other store across town had one. I asked him if he could order one and he again told me the other store had one and I could go pick it up there. I informed him of my earlier call to that store and that they had none in stock. He then argued with me saying the computer said that had one so they had one and he asked if I had called this store by mistake.
That was enough for me. It was apparent the guy was unwilling to order the part for me and didn’t want my business if it was inconvenient for him. So in a bit of a rage, I spitefully turned around, put down all the other things I was going to purchase and walked out.
This story reminds me of an episode of Seinfeld when Jerry tries to return an item out of spite and is shot down:
Jerry: “Excuse me I’d like to return this jacket.”
Teller: “Certainly. May I ask why?”
Jerry: “……..For spite…”
Jerry: “That’s right. I don’t care for the salesman that sold it to me.”
Teller: “I don’t think you can return an item for spite.”
Jerry: “What do you mean?”
Jerry Seinfeld may not be able to get away with it but since I hadn’t actually purchased the stuff, I was able to save money based on spite.
I say saved because since I would have had to wait for either of the stores to order in the part I needed, I decided just to order them online and save an additional $10 (on top of the $15 I would have saved if I had purchased them at the local shop versus the auto repair place) totaling a $25 savings.
Not a bad savings for a purchase so when treated badly, don’t take the abuse. You may just find the poor service was just the thing you needed to clear your head, make a better purchasing decision and save some money in the process. br>