Mar 14, 2008

Another Fine Mess

Poor Mrs. Sneed has experienced one of the things we all dread. Her wallet, with her car key attached was either stolen or lost and not yet returned. Of course, this means a bunch of hassle. She has to get an new driver's license, cancel her bank card and who knows what else? The biggest hassle is the potential fraudulent use of her information.

Then there is getting a replacement car key. Newer cars have transponder keys, with microchips embedded in them. The new keys will turn the ignition on, but the car will not start if it doesn't sync with the chip. You can no longer just take your key to the corner hardware store and get a copy made.

No siree, now you have to go to the dealer to get the proper key and as we all know, when car dealers have you down they show no mercy. They shamelessly charge out the wazoo for whatever service they perform.

I used to have an acquaintance who was a car dealer. He told me that new car dealers would rather not sell cars because there's not that much money in selling new cars. He claimed that all a dealer hopes to do through car sales is to pay the overhead associated with selling them. The real money is in parts and service and the only way to get that business from the automakers is to agree to sell their cars.

Anyway, assuming the missing wallet doesn't show up, I figure we will gget stuck for a couple of hundred bucks to get a new key. In contrast, I made about 20 car keys for older cars at the store today for a dollar ninety-nine each.

Here's another case from the files of, It's the Cheapest Man That Spends the Most.

A guy came into the store yesterday with a transponder key that he had gone to the dealership and purchased. He paid them to program the microchip so that it would be in sync with his car's computer, but balked at paying them an additional fee (about $20) to actually cut the key so that it would turn the ignition lock. After all, he reasoned, he could take it to the corner hardware store and have it cut for less than two bucks.

The problem began when someone (could have been me) might have made a slight error in cutting on side of the key. I say might have because the guy didn't have the car with him so that we could test the key out. Instead he got all snitty with me.

He complained to the boss that he was going to have to drive twenty miles to see if it worked and if it didn't he would have to go get a new one at the dealer. then he would have to come back to our store so that we could reimburse him for the blank key I hosed up, assuming I hosed it up.

Does any of that make any sense and do you think that this guy still believes that he saved any money with this scheme? And am I ever cutting a key blank that someone brings in? No to both, I'm guessing.

Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky


Steve said...

A hundred bucks for a car key??? That's CRAZY.

I hope the wallet turns up!

Kurt said...

I'm waiting for the air powered car.

10 lbs of awesome in a 5 lb bag said...

It's funny that you mentioned that dealerships make most of their money on service and other things, besides selling new cars. Someone who works at a local dealership bragged that they sold 3,000 (expensive import) cars last year. I tried doing some quick math in my head, and it didn't seem like that money would go very far. Even if they made $2,000 per car, wouldn't that money be eaten quickly by expenses, including paying your sales staff, rent, carrying costs on the cars, etc.?

Coffee Messiah said...

You gotta love the person willing to waste time and money and saving neither! ; (