Just kidding, don’t; but seriously, do. I have a feeling that would be an easier and more efficient way to rid myself of the headache that has become my 2013 Hyundai Sonata – a mistake I will never forget….or a mistake that I will remember until I have a fabulous replacement.
When I moved to North Carolina for what I thought was a job offer and turned out to be…not a job offer, I bought a car. Why did I do that, you ask? Because everybody told me I needed a car, and renting would have been an expensive option, especially in a place I thought I was to stay. So, after test driving much more interesting, fun, attractive, exciting cars that would have been much more appropriate for a non-married, child-less girl such as myself, I chose Mr. Dull: he was safe (already broke down once), boasted excellent MPG (gets about 10 less than advertised), and affordable (not really, just less than the fancy cars I really want).
Sonata and I had a few boring weeks together, during which I passed the all too easy exam for the North Carolina Driver’s License. $40 and half an hour later, the DMV gave me my paper, temporary license and promised that the plastic, permanent card would come in the mail within ten business days. Since I was not settled into my own home, I requested that it arrive at my work-place. Two weeks later there was no sign of the card, so after a few hours of phone conversations, repeating myself to four different people, and another payment (this time only $10), they directed me to the online system which sent another license in the mail. Two weeks later, still no sign of the card. After another hour or so on the phone with the bright folks of North Crackalacky, I discovered that the card was sent out and returned Â few days earlier. Odd, right?
Meanwhile, I found out I was unemployed and had no choice but to boomerang back to my folks’ place in Los Angeles (it was either that, or continue to stay on friends’ couches throughout the Research Triangle). I decided to fly home and ship the car, since I did not want to drive cross country alone. Shipping the car with AAA’s recommended company Dependable Auto Shippers cost $1300, including the extra $150 I paid, per their suggestion, to ensure that my car would be on the top of the truck so no other vehicle’s oil and gunk would spill onto my brand new soccer mom car (did I mention I don’t have children?).
Now I am back in Los Angeles, and as if being 25 and living with my parents while job hunting isn’t stressful enough, I am dealing with all kinds of Sonata related absurdities. Firstly, I ordered the license a third time, this time directly to the dealership in Cary, who told me I can’t get the title of my car (which was fully paid by that time) until I get the North Carolina license…and the temporary license would not suffice. I was about to go to the California DMV when a kind neighbor just so happened to know that if I continued, my car would be black listed; apparently California has various laws regarding no new cars from out of state with less than 7,500 miles on it, no non-titled vehicles can be driven or publicly parked, and so on.
Hours of more North Carolina DMV phone time, and I discovered that the third license was sent to the dealership. Why did they not receive it? Because the gentleman I had been in contact with mostly no longer is with Hyundai, so every email correspondence we had went nowhere. Every time I asked him to let the front desk know my license was on the way, he agreed, but did no such thing.
Hours of Hyundai phone time, and I learned that the title was somehow mailed out, although they said we were under no circumstances allowed to receive title without the official license. Unfortunately, that title was sent to the non-updated address (the correct address was updated with the guy who left, and apparently did not care to pass that critical piece of information along). The gentleman on the other end of the phone conversation explained that the notes under this particular file explicitly showed that I requested not to have title on the car. Could this get any more ridiculous? Yes it could, and yes it does. I was also told that a copy of proof that the car is paid in full can only be faxedÂ or mailed, but not both. Additionally, no resubmitting of the title is allowed, so once it was sent to the wrong address, unless someone stops the mailman (which nobody did, in spite of my frantic email to all former co-workers), the title would be lost forever, as a result of Hyundai’s bureaucratic, inefficient, ineffective, frustrating, demoralizing, and outdated system that unfortunately still exists.
Now that I am back, back, in Cali, Cali, the Hyundai arrived after being shipped. The good news is, it didn’t get caught in Hurricane Sandy. The bad news is, it came back damaged: covered in oil and the side-view mirror scratched and dented. The man who dropped off the car said nobody told him to place in on the top of the truck, otherwise he would have. When we looked together at the paperwork, we saw that I signed off my car, agreeing that there was oil, scratches, and dents literally on all sides of the car. The guy who picked up my car in NC told me that I was signing a paper that said no scratches were on the car at all. I asked him what “S” means and he literally lied to my face, and I was stupid enough to trust him and sign (I was also alone, devastated, emotionally drained, and vulnerable). That being said, since it was clear that the clown completely over-stated damage, his word is untrustworthy…that, and dealing with angry Dr. Mish Mish is not pleasant, so normal, healthy people just do what I say. I love it. Unfortunately for me, I do notÂ always get what I want, and in this case, I am still waiting for the money promised to me to refund the extra I paid for the car to be on top, and to cover the damage caused by Dependable Auto Shippers or their partner company here in Los Angeles.
Hyundai acknowledged that they overstated MPG, and agreed to give an annual refund to all… that is, all but Sonatas. It is more principally irritating than anything else, as they only agreed to give $88 per year, instead of $88 per week, which is what would really be the difference.
Currently, I have a brand new completely insured car sitting in the driveway that I can’t legally drive, can’t afford to fix, and don’t legally own, although I paid for it in full. I have been lied to numerous times, ignored, been running through hoops that feel never ending, and have been dealing with incredibly slow, unintelligent, unhelpful individuals. Tens of hours of repetitive and seemingly useless phone calls have been made and have led me nowhere. When I moved back to this country, one of the things I most looked forward to was the evidence and beauty of customer service; a luxury that I have been fighting for, to no avail. I have a few suggestions on how to continue from this point, and am open to more. In the meantime, I will go with the flow…and suggest you do the same.Â Tizremu!Â