About poodleshark

I am Poodleshark, my mission is to navigate the briny waters of consumption and catch the big one. I am not a follower of JD Powers, I eat JD Powers!

SONY…Proof The Customer Is Always Right

The HN has been on the hunt for a new computer or tablet hybrid.  Initially, we started with MAC (personal fav). However as the HN pointed out, business still regard PCs as their standard equipment. A few years back, I bought him a Sony Vaio laptop for Christmas.  Even I was impressed by the quality and customer service of the equipment.

Example, an issue developed with the cooling fan. It became very noisy and started to hinder the performance of the computer.  The HN went to the customer service website and was able to chat directly with a customer representative, who in turn, informed him about the problem with the fans.  In addition, the rep scheduled an onsite (home) service call to replace the fan at no cost to us.

The HN was in charge of the time and date, to spare him any inconvenience.  Now that he is looking for another computer, he is taking that customer service into consideration.  It is no surprise that Sony is the frontrunner for the new computer.  While price is important, customer service and honesty about their product is making the decision easier.

 

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Where have all the wagons gone?

As you probably guessed I am in the market for a new car that is NOT a VW.  However, this also encompasses and I know I am going to be vilified for this, not and SUV either.  Rather, what I would like to buy is a station wagon. an excellent choice that compliments our family’s needs.  However, due to the current state of availability, it looks like I will have to buy a ticket to Europe.

The one size fits all SUV, although it comes in many flavors, holds little to no interest for me or the HN.  What ever happened to the ubiquitous wagon of yesteryear?  That shuttled families from school to sporting events to shopping sprees in the name of style, comfort and good gas mileage.  Today, manufacturers don’t offer the consumer what they need, rather their marketing trolls try to convince us to buy vehicles that provide the manufacturer with a higher margin.  This is no longer about consumer choice unless you are referring to color, cloth, leather, pleather, 21 inch wheels and it’s shiny!!

I admit to having a series of SUV in my former life.  However, they served a purpose as it allowed me to carry the necessary equipment to do my job.  But, how many times have you seen a mother going to get groceries in an urban environment where the sheer size of the “urban assault vehicles” (SUV) serves no purpose and can be better served by a wagon.

Which is why I am making the case for the return of the wagon.  Wagons have just as much and sometimes more space than an SUV.  They are also easier to park, maneuver and are fuel sippers compared to their gas chugging counterparts.  The HN, who at one time was an automotive engineer was disgusted that marketeers eschewed the practicality and usefulness of wagons.  Instead, their short sightedness and greed combined with their disdain for human opinion decreed SUVs be rammed down our throats.  For marketing believes that we are sheep in need of a shepherd.  BAA!

Today the HN read an article indicating that Ford is trying to see the light.  Ford is thinking of bringing back an affordable, yet practical wagon.  With rising gas prices, parking spaces getting smaller and even garages in new homes shrinking in size, the writing is on the wall.  The SUV is about to be put back into it’s rightful place.

As everything old is new again, I invite you to tell your story of wagon memories.  The HN has many tales of family and adventure in their Buick Estate wagon crossing America from shore to shore.

 

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The end of the affair, why I will never buy another Volkswagen

2004, was supposed to mark the beginning of a new era for me, moving on from my 20+ year career and transitioning to my real passion, the medical field.  To celebrate, I bought myself a Tornado Red Volkswagen Beetle Convertible.

In the past, VW has always been my “go to” car when beginning a new milestone.  Previously I had bought a brand new red Cabriolet and headed to grad school.  VW had always represented starting over and beginning anew, a fresh take on life.  It was always me and my brave little car crossing the miles on my way to the next phase in my life.

While the career didn’t go as planned, I began the journey of matrimony, marrying my soulmate and moving across the country.  It was there my romance hit the skids.  It started with a repeated headlight bulb shorting out and required numerous replacements.  No reason was ever given to me by the dealer, just that I needed a new bulb and to add insult I was charged to replace it each time.

The next issue involved the airbag light coming on in the instrument panel.  Again, repeated trips to the dealer resulted in non committal responses and the usual run around.  No resolutions and this was disturbing considering the car was not even six months old.  After numerous code resets, I resigned myself to driving around with the airbag light on.

Next to go, was the return of the check engine light.  I would be driving along and the check engine light would light up like a Christmas tree.  As a result, the dealership dance began and I was told, “nothing to worry about, scan shows nothing, reset the codes” .  But, like a bad penny, the light was on and on. I got to the point where I thought it was normal.

The tipping point occurred when the tiptronic sensor began to malfunction.  Once again, it was high ho, high ho, it is off to the dealer I go.  Only to hear the patent response. “scan shoes nothing, reset codes next” or as I call it “second verse same as the first, little bit louder, little bit worse”.

What I found most annoying was according to the powers that be, this was not under the warranty.  As the tiptronic sensor failed, it was a slippery slope to the transmission.  It started innocently enough, one minute, we were driving, top down relaxing with our dog Napoleon and the car began to lurch between first and second gear.  Never thinking it could be that serious we shrugged it off.

Fast forward, and the car is bucking more than a rodeo bronco.  Numerous inquires to the dealer and VW proved to be migraine inducing.  At the end of my rope, I turned to my hero, my  Yoda, my High Nerd (HN) (who is also my hubby).  The HN who was also an automotive engineer began to use his super powers to get to the root cause of my problem.

End result was not pretty, he uncovered numerous technical bulletins and recalls on every problem I had encountered.  Even worse, was that VW had knowingly put the same faulty transmission in 2004, 2005, 2006, etc, you get the point models until the they updated the model.

Still not willing to part with my beloved, I printed up all of the technical bulletins and recall notices and made an appointment with my local dealer.  I assured my HN that VW would do the right thing and fix the problems.

For those of you wondering, please e-mail and I will send you the links to the technical bulletins and recall notices for VW.

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In the beginning, the top down with the dogs was my stress reliever.

Well, that visit resulted me in leaving Wonderland once and for all, not only would the dealer do nothing, “It’s not our problem” they would refused to even do a courtesy diagnostic.  Fixing the car is cost counter effective and not with the aggravation.  Those who buy a VW, exercise caution, as it is akin to having a boyfriend that can’t commit.

Better times with the VW bug

Better times with the VW bug