Archive for January, 2010

Freya mentioned on Consumerist

Poor Amy is having trouble with her VW. Amy, email me and we can share war-stories. Thanks for the mention, Ben Popken.

Wrapping up…!?

Apparently, Rusnak is finalizing the work on my car today. If they find no error codes or leaks they will release the car. Oh, mother of all creatures… Could it be true? It’s been a while since I drove in my own car. It feels like being on a really long business trip and longing for your own bed. No offense, KIA, it’s been fun, but I really would like to get my old ride back. Here are some things that I learned along the way:

– Assume everyone is your equal, and expect others to treat you the same. If they aren’t, find someone who is.
– If you can’t get anywhere, assume you are falling through the cracks — get yourself out of there.
– Light, continuous poking with a smile will get you much farther than yelling with your fists clinched.
– Having friends that encourage you is worth at least 10 Volvos.
– Crowd sourcing is the the new Village.
– Have fun, whatever you do.

On a completely different note

Nuisance Freewaya

I started this consumer activism campaign on October 30. The day after that Halloween rolled around, and it was nothing less than obvious that I was going to dress up as the Viking Goddess Freya. I rummaged through the house to find items for my costume — a sheep skin here, a helmet there, some old jewelry from the hay-days of the 80’s (sigh!) from the back of my closet, and a wooden sword from my son’s toy box. However, to complete my outfit I was determined to find a cat, as Freya is known in Norse mythology to ride a chariot pulled by two cats. In a house where my kids’ toys sometime overpower my sanity, I was baffled by the fact that I was unable to locate one single fluffy, cuddly, stuffed cat toy. I ran through the house  yelling: “I need a cat! Find me a cat!” No luck. I had to settle for a stuffed Lynx. Whatever.

One week later, I was driving through downtown LA on the 110 freeway, lugging my kids from one early Saturday soccer game to another, when traffic came to a screeching halt. All of a sudden I felt a paralyzing and bone-chilling horror, as I see a tiny little kitten — joyful and oblivious — skipping out from between the tires of a large RV right in front of me. Without really thinking, my motherly instincts kicked in faster than you could say schfifty-five, and I stepped out among the cars and grabbed the kitten with fierce authority and determination. There I was, standing in the middle of traffic (albeit at a stand-still), with a tiny cat in my arms. All I can say is, be careful what you ask for.

As for the kitten, I’d be a bit anxious if I were her. My chariot is planned to return home soon, and that’s when pulling-practice will start.

Brights at the end of the tunnel

Phiew! Where did last month go? Family from overseas flooded my home for weeks, a myriad of holidays came & went, and a new decade slipped in while I wasn’t looking — all this while still driving a KIA. I survived, and there is indeed good news to report. Here is what has gone down:

As I mentioned in my last post, Volvo sent over a release back in December that very generously offered to repair my car for a fabulous amount of almost $9K + labor covered by Rusnak. However it came bundled with the request of having me remove all “disparaging comments” from my blog, website and other forms of communication. Since this didn’t seem at all right to me, I decided to trust my network of friends to help me out.

After shooting an email to some Friends of Freya, I got in touch with a couple of (extremely prestigious) legal resources that gave me some insightful suggestions on how to approach my situation. Basically, I was encouraged to let Volvo know that I would not remove any comments from anywhere, since that’s not really how the internet works (love it!) — “you can’t really un-ring the bell once the bell has been rung”.

I had a lengthy conversation with Bill Casey at Volvo about by positioning. I let him know that I was under no circumstances willing to take anything down: neither the documentation of my experience dealing with Volvo and Rusnak; nor the numerous comments and stories from all of you who have contributed along the way. All I have done is documenting my experience and I will ask no one’s permission to do so.

Without hesitation Volvo sent over a new and revised release with all requests to remove “disparaging remarks” omitted from the agreement. Fabulous! Signed!

We are now apparently in the midst of the repair of my Volvo. I received an email update from Bill yesterday letting me know that my car is “almost ready”. Hopefully, it will be done later this week or early next. The repairs to the engine, radiator and axle are done. There are just a few things left. In addition, I received confirmation that the rental car (yay, KIA!) is still being covered by Rusnak. I have to say I was getting a little anxious when the rental car company called and wanted to check in on who was covering the bill…

So, here we are. Getting closer to a resolution. I still think about what would have happened if I sat down and shut my mouth back in October. I would have paid $5,100 for a new transmission I apparently did not need. Then what, I wonder…!?