Friday, May 29, 2015

Holt Fiat of Fort Worth

When you work in a business that relies heavily on customer word of mouth, such as the car industry, you should really make sure that your customer service is amazing. After all, there are plenty of dealerships to find the car you want these days, especially living in a large city. In fact, pretty much any business who wants to make customer follow-up calls should take the time to have some kind of customer database that you can update information with sales calls and the like so that you don't drive your customers or potential customers insane by calling them all of the time. This is apparently not a priority at Holt Fiat of Fort Worth.

I should have known that they were a tad bit incompetent based on my first experience with them. I mean, when you are literally sitting in the dealership showroom, signing paperwork on the car you just leased and someone from the same dealership calls you to see if you're still in the market for a car, that should be a big red flag that these people don't have their act together. But at the time, we laughed it off. Ha ha. No big deal.

When, a few weeks after signing the lease on our new car, various sales people from Holt Fiat of Fort Worth were STILL calling us to see if we are still in the market for a new car, you start to get annoyed. Not just one sales call, but a couple of them. Hello, moron, I'm DRIVING A BRAND NEW FIAT I LEASED FROM YOU A MONTH AGO. Update your records. Oh wait, perhaps I should assume that you don't bother to keep records?

Finally the sales calls stopped, and we made it through the first oil change without incident. When I went in for my second oil change, thankfully without my 5 year old, I sat in the waiting room for two hours. Finally, as I'm watching another completely useless daytime TV talk show, a chick wanders into the waiting room and says "Are you just getting an oil change? I think your car is ready." I followed her out to the service office and what do you know? My car is parked there and just hanging out. I asked her how long it had been sitting there, since no one had bothered to come get me, and it was obvious to me that she didn't want to tell me. The work order copy I was given with my receipt showed 50 minutes of time spent....which leaves an hour and 10 minutes of it not being worked on. Oh yes, I was livid.

I let them know on my satisfaction survey about my so-called service. I did receive one phone call in response to my survey, and I didn't answer my phone because I was in the shower. The service manager left me a voicemail and asked that I call him back, but I decided you know what? If I'm that much of a priority to talk to an apologize for having idiots working in the service department, he will call again. I mean, surely this guy will make at least one more attempt to contact me. Nope. I never heard another word.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I received a call from a sales guy at Holt Fiat of Fort Worth with some weird trendy name that his parents probably made up so I don't remember what it was. He wanted to talk to me about some great promotions they have going on. I informed him that I was very happy with my 500L and wasn't even halfway through my lease, so it didn't really make any sense for me to come look at any of their promos. He then asked if he could get me in a 2015 model for less money than I was paying now, would I be interested? Well of course saving some money each month sounds great, but I reminded him that we still have 19 months left on our lease so it's really not feasible, to which he said that they could totally work with that. I also informed him that I would not pay any money out of my pocket because I didn't need a new car. He said fine. So you know what? I said ok, we will come in on Saturday. I even made an appointment with him, although it did little good because when we showed up at our appointment time he was busy with other people and passed us off to Random Sales Girl who pretty much had no clue what she was doing.

Random Sales Girl asked what we were looking for, so I explained to her that hey, you guys called us - you stated that you could get us in a newer model for less money so here we are. Make it happen. I told her that I didn't need a new car - I love my 500L and we are not even halfway through out lease, but dude said he could work with that so we came in. I told her what we were paying currently, and if they could work out something less than that, we could talk.

Random Sales Girl then proceeded to make us pick out a car, which really seems pretty pointless to me.  I had told them that I would not sacrifice any of the features that my car currently has, so a back-up camera was priority, as was navigation and my Beats audio. For some reason, that was just too much information for them and they spent a good hour just trying to figure out if they had a car that matched all of those requirements. So we finally find a car and she made me test drive the darn thing. Look honey, I ALREADY HAVE ONE OF THESE CARS. I don't need to drive another one - I know what they drive like. But I obliged, and of course the car we test drove had no gas in it so we literally went around the block. I was just humoring her anyway.

I guess it's too difficult to have just bypassed this whole process and talked straight to someone in finance. It's too much trouble to walk and say "Look, this is what I pay now. What is the amount I could spend on a 2015 model and end up with cheaper payments? Now do you have a car with the features I require for that amount?" Oh no, we had to go through the whole annoying car sales process as if we were regular suckers. Poor Kate and Trey were just hanging out in the showroom for FOUR HOURS. They were so good though.

Random sales chick also didn't understand the concept of "lower payment than I have now" either. She needed a number from us. So I repeated, "I pay XXX now. Anything less than that." Do you know what she did?? She told whoever it is that she kept disappearing to that we needed payments between $275-300. That's like 35% less than we pay now! That's not even FEASIBLE! Clearly a basic understanding of math isn't required to sell cars.

This figure finally prompted Head Sales Guy to come out to talk to us. He was very apologetic that he wasn't going to be able to come close to $275 on a monthly payment, at which point we informed him that Random Sales Girl pulled that number out of her rear and we never said that was our requirement. So I stated again that we said anything less than we pay now, otherwise it didn't make sense for us to bother. I mean, really, we should have just left because the incompetence was making it difficult to breathe, but we were a good three hours in at this point. Head Sales Guy disappeared again and came back with a figure $50 higher than our current payment. Basically that was the best they could do because we weren't far enough into our lease, which I informed him I had explained to his sales guy that called me in the first place, who assured me it wouldn't be a problem.

At this point, Head Sales Guy started talking to us about turn over with their sales people and what-not, which was basically his way of not saying that he's sorry that they have employed a bunch of idiots who don't know what they're talking about, but that's what they did. You know, it's called TRAINING. When you hire someone, train them.

We left, four hours later, in our same car that I already love. Before we even got onto the freeway, I received a call from the satisfaction survey people about my "recent visit to Holt Fiat of Fort Worth". When the guy asked if I had come in for my appointment, I laughed at him and told him we had just left. He was surprised, but I answered his questions anyway.

Three days later......guess who calls Nick to see if we are still in the market for a new car? Yep! Holt Fiat of Fort Worth. The following day they called me to see if we were still in the market for a new car....and then they called me again two days later to ask if we are still in the market for a new car. Each call, different sales person. The last phone call I received pushed me beyond my limit of tolerance for stupidity. I was very quick to inform her that we had wasted 4 hours in her showroom and that I was not interested in any promotions and she was the third phone call we had received and we didn't appreciate it.

That prompted me to send an email to Head Sales Guy yesterday, informing him that I really didn't appreciate all the calls and that it wasn't that hard to create some sort of spreadsheet or database to keep track of customers so that you don't annoy them to death. No reply.

Guess what happened today???? Customer satisfaction survey call from Holt Fiat of Fort Worth! She wanted to follow up with our recent visit and see if anyone had contacted us. My exact words were "Are you kidding me? You are the 4th phone call I have received since I wasted four hours in your showroom and no, I am not satisfied. I have already answered your satisfaction questions on the same day I visited your dealership, I have received three annoying sales calls, and I don't want any more!" She apologized and stammered something about how sometimes information doesn't get updated, to which I replied that I just assumed they didn't keep track of information because this wasn't the first time I've had problems with their lack of organization.

I love my Fiat 500L. But pigs will have to fly out of the sky playing the theme song from Superman on a flute before I will ever step foot in Holt Fiat of Fort Worth again. There are other Fiat dealerships, and even if I have to drive to Dallas for one I will. They could give me a free Fiat and I doubt I would bother to drive over to pick it up from them.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Last day of Pre-school

I dropped her off for her very last day of pre-school today. I can't believe that I don't ever have to bring her back to pre-school. I can't believe that the next school I drop her off at will be elementary school. She's going to kindergarten! It's real!
At least she's excited. I may still be in a bit of denial.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

She's a graduate!

While I do believe that things like pre-school and kindergarten graduation...and 8th grade graduation...and all other grades that you can graduate from that aren't actually 12th grade are pretty pointless and kind of dumb, seeing Kate in a tiny little cap and gown tonight at her pre-school was pretty cute and made me tear up a couple of times.
She has been practicing her songs at home for weeks now, and tonight on the way into the building she confessed that she was a little bit nervous. Last year when she performed a song with her 3 year old class, she didn't sing at all. She kept glancing over at us and smiling really big, but never sang with the rest of her class. Tonight though, now that she is a big 5 year old, she sang every word and did very hand motion just perfect! Mommy was quite proud.
Everyone came to see her: Bill, Yiayia, Nana, Karyn, Gerald, Mom, Dad, Trey, and then me and Nick. She had a whole cheering section. She said later that she couldn't believe that everyone came to see her and she was so surprised to see everybody. She's definitely loved!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

Since we were going to have a busy day today, Kate decided to give me my mother's day gifts yesterday evening. As she did last year, she had made something special for me at school. She also did a little bit of shopping with Daddy too.

Nick and I actually bought one of my gifts in Cozumel at the Pandora store on the Puerta Maya pier. I had selected a cute little seahorse charm for my bracelet and the sales guy showed me the new mother's day charms and one of them caught my eye, so we decided to buy it there and Nick would just save that one for Kate to give me today. I had asked for a hanging basket for the front flower bed, so Kate picked out a pretty lavender colored one. They painted small clay pots at school and filled them with Hershey's kisses as well as a Mommy coupon book. I received a dozen red roses on Friday too! I am pretty spoiled.
 This afternoon when we got home from church, we did our annual mommy/daughter photos that we always take on this day. Bu this year Kate wanted to take a few photos of Daddy and me too, so we let her.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Registration Day

I am in a state of denial. Denial that come August, life is going to change. No more sleeping until 7:30/8-ish every day....no more zoo trips during the week when it's not crowded.....no more random hanging out at the mall all day when it's rainy outside.....no more vacations while kids are still in school so it's less crowded with other people's annoying children everywhere.....heck, even evening activities during the week will have to be limited because bedtime has to move up to a ridiculously early time.....SCHOOL IS STARTING. 

Of all the dumb reasons I wish I could homeschool Kate, none of them are actually legitimate, good reasons for it. They mostly stem around convenience for us, like flexible travel and not having to get up early, neither of which is a valid (or reasonable) reason for not enrolling Kate in public school. Let's also just admit right now that I would probably stink at homeschooling because I don't like schedules, I don't have a great deal of daily discipline about some things, and Kate and I would probably drive each other crazy.

So yesterday was kindergarten enrollment. Kate had a full day too - it was her second to last Tuesday of pre-school (and the last time I had to write that monthly check, YES!), followed by gymnastics, and immediately from gymnastics we headed to her new elementary school to register her. She was so excited!

After filling out all of the necessary paperwork, I was given the parent packet of necessary information (PTA, here I come) and then we were given a tour of the school with a small group of other in-denial parents and eager little kids. They took a photo of Kate, asked her to draw a picture of herself and write her name on it, then she got to make a small bracelet with exactly 10 beads on it, and finally she got to join in on a little dance party in another classroom with another teacher. As we left, they gave her a bag of free books, pencil, sticker, and bookmark. 
As we walked to the car, Kate declared that "Kindergarten is awesome!" We will see how she feels when I try to wake her up at 6:30 that first day. Her first bell rings at 7:30! What are these people hoping to accomplish by that??? We are definitely going to have to ease slowly into the earlier bedtime and waking time. Since the day we brought her home, Kate has always been a bit of a night owl and never an early riser, which I have always been very thankful for.
My girl is growing up!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Zoo Day

Since it wasn't too hot yesterday and Kate was home with Mommy, we decided to take advantage of the cool weather and head to the zoo.
 Even though it was another school field trip day (we counted 8 buses in the parking lot when we pulled in around 10:15) we followed our usual zoo route and avoided the crowds for most of the day. We always head straight to the back and take our time coming back to the front. Works like a charm.
 After the zoo we headed to Target for a little shopping. Target is the only place that carries the children's protein bars that Kate loves, We meandered through the sporting goods, looking at kid's fishing poles. Next month we are taking a trip down to Concan with Jason, Heather, and the kids to the Frio River. I'm pretty excited, as it has been around 15 years since I took a trip down there but I remember it being a lot of fun. We are going to float the river and swim, play, and be generally outdoorsy for a few days before heading into San Antonio to go to Sea World. Kylie and Logan having fishing poles...and now Kate thinks she needs one. Target doesn't have a big selection so we will have to keep looking.

Friday, May 1, 2015

MapMyWalk: April Update

April was an interesting month. I began having some trouble with my left foot (and no, that wasn't just from the toe injury on the cruise). Earlier this month I began noticing that the pain in the bottom of my left foot was getting worse after I would finish running. It sort of felt like a bad heel spur, but then I began to realize that the pain wasn't coming from my heel but rather the outside edge of my left foot, back near my heel. After feeling around down there I figured out where the bad spot was and began googling and talking to running friends about it. Now this is a total self-diagnosis, because I don't really want to pay for x-rays or MRIs, but I am fairly certain that I have a stress fracture. Pretty much the only thing you can do for that is to rest the bone, which means no running. That's a pretty big bummer for me, but at least it's not bad enough that I can't continue walking so for now, I'm back to that. 

April Stats:
Fitbit Steps: 340,578
Year-to-date Fitbit Steps: 1,506,623
Miles Ran: 2.78
Miles Walked: 50.52
Total Miles: 53.3
Year-to-date Miles: 241.69