16 Things I Learned in 30 Days of Having an Electric Car

 1. It is 100% possible to forget how to pump gas. Although the Volt has a gas “generator” (not really an engine, but it’s a back up) I have yet to need to put any gas in it.

2. They’re stealthy. I had two ladies carry on a conversation behind my car while I got in, buckled up, put it in reverse and then had to stick my head out of the car and ask them to move because they couldn’t hear the car running!

3. Eavesdropping is so easy. Electric cars are silent, other drivers at intersections are not.. so you get to hear conversations people think are private.

4. There are no vibrations! You get used to it, but regular cars vibrate so much! It can’t be good for you?

5. PlugShare is awesome! As are the people on it. I used it to find a public charger when I was out at University Circle… unfortunately the chargers weren’t signed as being for EV only and a bunch of regular cars parked in the spots preventing me from charging. Continue reading

Whatever happened to customer service?

If you haven’t noticed by now, I appreciate good customer service and get upset with poor service. I haven’t really ranted about customer service for awhile so…

48-Hours to Schedule an Oil Change

When I needed to schedule an oil change, I went to the dealership website and they direct all service appointments to this online scheduling form… as in you can’t call the service department directly or find how to make an appointment if you don’t want to do the form. So I filled in the form and waited more than 24 hours. I heard nothing… so I called the dealership and asked to be transferred to service. I had to leave a voice mail. I missed the call back (let me not they called me back right at closing time) and asked me to call them the next day when they were open again. I said that I wanted an appointment for any time on Friday. ANY TIME! I can even drop my car off in the morning and leave it with them all day to squeeze in. Why couldn’t they just schedule it or tell me that Friday wasn’t available?  The next morning, before they were “open” I actually got an email, saying to call and schedule an appointment for the next week and Friday wasn’t good. Two days after I made the original request.  I was able to get an appointment for tomorrow so they called my husband to confirm. What is that? I’ve mentioned before that the dealer hasn’t been the best about customer service anyway. I love my car, but when my lease is up, I’ll be taking my business elsewhere.

Meter Inspection Date

Then the gas company needs to inspect our meter, which surprise, surprise it’s not accessible from the outside and someone needs to let them into our home to look at the meter. The postcard they sent said, “make every effort to do the work at a date a time that is convenient for you.”

The postcard’s message.

That turned out to be a load of crap. We tried to schedule a real, actual appointment at a convenient time just to find out that you aren’t able to schedule a date and time, just give them a time frame (ie morning, afternoon, evening) and they’ll call you “30 minutes” before arriving at your house. My husband was able to get us “an evening” which is defined by 4:30-8:30 on some evening at some time in the future… We didn’t know when. Last night when we got home, there was a tag on the door that they had come for an inspection. Neither of us got a call, they just showed up sometime during the work day. Brad called them and explained that they never called, had they called him he could have been home and the inspection would be done… wonder of wonders! They gave us a date… an actual date for the inspection! Like he’d asked for in the first place. Let’s see if we actually get a call now…

Have you noticed a recent increase in advertising that highlight excellent service as a benefit? The reason why is because everyone pretty much sucks at customer service, so companies that have truly good service have their different and better right there.

Rant Over.

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The Utility Circus

You’re Doing It Wrong

Feeling Left Out

I’m back on the customer service, good communication, former car dealership employee platform.

In late December, I traded in my car for a newer model. It wasn’t a stellar experience, but it also wasn’t horrible. Our salesman and the mangers knew that we were buying the car for me. My name was in the computer already because I’d taken my old car there for maintenance. Me, me, me! (Do I sound whiney?)

We’re even dressed alike!

The new car is in both of our names. My information was first on all of the paperwork. I drive the car every day. I keep the car clean. I will take the car in for scheduled  maintenance.

So imagine my surprise, when thank you emails arrived in my inbox, at an email address that is my name, that were addressed to Brad. I got phone calls on my cell number for Brad from the dealership. The card in the mail, the calendar, the junk they send…. all addressed to Brad (and only Brad). When we picked up my plates and registration, Brad’s name was first. (And they called him to report that the plates were in.)

Then to add insult to injury, I got “Happy Birthday!” emails for Brad, all throughout February. I have no idea why I’m surprised that with my birthday in two days I haven’t received anything addressed to me for my own car.

It’s probably something alphabetical, but it feels pretty sexist. I made the buying decision for this vehicle. I’m also the one deciding whether or not to return to that auto group for future vehicle needs and frankly, it’s not looking good.

The bottom line: Continue reading

My Husband Spied on Me!

While Brad was in San Francisco, I stole borrowed his car. It makes sense since my car uses a lot of gas and his uses none.

The cool thing about the Leaf is that it has an app. The car talks to the server, the server talks to the app and we can do all sorts of cool stuff. Including monitoring driving efficiency. Brad really likes to monitor the range and energy usage of the car, and continues to track how much we aren’t spending on gasoline.

From all the way across the country, he was checking up on how I drove the car. On Monday morning I got a text message:

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One Tuesday he sent me a driving report detailing the efficiency of my driving.

Regardless of how creepy the energy spying was, it’s nice to know I’m an energy efficient driver!