Wednesday, 8 October 2008

My (own) Ella, Ella, Ella...

Ella, my car, my baby, my darling, is in for her first service today, poor thing. She is named Ella after jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald because she is a Honda Jazz (only I would come up with that, right?). She's the first female car I've had, preceded by Ziggy, my fiesty Ford Fiesta, and George, my grumpy 1960-something Alpha Romeo Giulia that I got to drive a grand total of twice (my father bought him "for me" and worked on him solidly before selling him off to a collector).

Anyhoo... Ella is in for a service today, as I mentioned, and I am thus far extremely impressed with the local Honda branch! When I had to take Ziggy in for his services in Cape Town, it meant visiting the hideous Rondebosch dealership, which, aside from being filthy, was inefficient and bloody expensive. Luckily it was down the road from the local library, so I could retreat there afterwards and breathe in the smell of old books to calm my nerves. Yes, I'm odd. Had you not noticed? Pfffft...

At the Ford dealership I would wait ages while the surly staff studiously ignored me and continued with their phone conversations. Once I'd finally been served, I could not convince them to drop me off at varsity after I'd handed my Zigster in to have his insides checked out by the monkeys that worked there. It was like dropping your toddler at daycare, only to discover that the childminder was a depressed has-been soap star with a penchant for early morning vodka shots and cherry cigars (where do i get this stuff?!).

Today's car doctor visit was a world apart. I forged my way through the miserable traffic on William Nicol (the worst road in the world, in my opinion) and arrived at the clean and friendly Honda haven, where I was greeted personally and shown to a parking bay. Within 10 minutes the paperwork was done and I was allocated a friendly driver who dropped me off at the office, after politely laughing at my lame jokes and proficiently making small talk with me.

Half an hour later, I received a phone call from the man working on my car to inform me that he would need to align my wheels. He just wanted to make sure I was ok with that and let me know what the cost would be before they went ahead. How different from my Ford experience, where they would do as much extra work as they could before I arrived to pick up my car and faint at the price and the pile of car component boxes on my passenger seat.

I'll see how Ella's doing when I get her back, but so far, thumbs up to Honda for not pissing me off today. For a car dealership, that is truly impressive. I'll take them one of the beeeeeg smiley face stickers I'm currently obsessed with. I'm sure they'll be impressed.


po said...

I hope your car comes back in one happy piece.

You lived in Cape Town too? Did you go to UCT?

It seems like the whole blogosphere was in Cape Town at some point.

Shania said...

I think the smiley face sticker will get you at least 30% off!

Moe Wanchuk said...

I grew up in Detroit, which is the home of GM, Ford and Chrysler. They treated their customers like sh*t for years and now everyone is buying Toyotas and Hondas. Ford and GM are very close to filing for bankruptcy. It's sad, but their past mistakes are coming back to haunt.

MsBehavn said...

One of the reasons that I would buy a BMW is because of their amazing customer service.

I had to take the bf's car in to a local dealership to check out some little malfunctioning warning light thingy and while I waited I had the most amazing espresso and fresh muffin this side of the Mugg and Bean!

So it might be the most expensive cup of coffee and muffin I've ever bought but who cares? I was made to feel important and they sorted the problem out in a few minutes.

So glad you and Ella are in good hands, Tam.

Sweets said...

you know what i'm always most excited about when i have my car serviced?... the clean car they give back to me... obviously it doesn't take much to make me happy :)

Kitty Cat said...

So nice to actually hear of good service for a change! Toyota were pretty good too, when I had a tazz, and now VW down here are good too.

Tamara said...

Po: Thanks. Ella is well. Yup, I went to UCT. Why?

Shania: I wish!

Moe: That explains a lot.

MsB: I hope your b/f doesn't drive like most BMW drivers. They're all... twits. To put it politely.

Sweets: Yup. I was thrilled at that too ;-)

Kitty Cat: Toyota is pretty good, but not as good as they used to be. And VW up here sucks.

31337 said...

its good to hear a good tale about a dealership. here they all pretty much suck. worse if like me you have an older car. independent mechanics save the day but they are hardly reliable. *sigh*

Kit said...

Hey T - long time.

This is so funny! My dog is called Ella - not after Ella Fitzgerald - after Nigella Lawson, the chef on all those BBC food programs.

When we first got her three years ago, our cheeky little Labrador pup would run around eating EVERYTHING especially my shoes - and what's more she would BITE - ankles, fingers, anything she could get her hands on. At the time, BBC Food had a program called 'Nigella Bites' - so we named her Nigella. Because Nigella Bites - a lot!! Now though, we never call her by her full name - only the shortened version 'Ella!'

Our second dog, a much calmer, very sweet Weimeraner is called Cinder, so that when we call them together we go.. "Cinder...ella... Cinder...ella...cinderella" Our neighbors must think we are NUTS!!

Anyway - great name. Good to hear Ella's checkup was a success.