A Hijacking and the Fallout From It Pt.1

This is part 1 of a 3 part post.

I was recently hijacked or car jacked or whatever you want to call it. It was an unpleasant experince, one which left me with feelings of shock, anxiety and embarrassment. To be unaware of potential danger and to have your vehicle stolen before you even got a full understanding of what is happening is would not something I would wish on anyone.

I immediately contacted the authorities and gave them as much information as I could. Anyway my vehicle was found a few hours later nearby and was towed/ hauled away to a garage as whomever took it and abandoned it, locked it and kept the keys. The police service were able to gain access to it and forensics were all done with it the next day.

End of story right? No not by a long shot! As this was my only key, I could not retrieve my vehicle. Having bought it less than six months ago and paying a substantial amount of money for it, I contacted the dealership from whom I purchased the vehicle to state that I needed another key. As they were supposed to provide a spare key when I bought it, I wasn’t long in reminding them of this fact!

Anyhow, they agreed to do this and gave me contact details of a firm they use to carry out this sort of work. My contact within this firm stated he could be out the following day to get the replacement key coded into the vehicle, just to contact the garage where it was being held and advise them of his arrival. So I contacted the garage and was informed that this firms services would not be required as they have their own people to do this. As a matter of fact my vehicle was already unlocked and forensics were investigating now.

Now all this was positive news to me, as initially I assumed that it could be weeks before the vehicle was returned to me. But then things took a downturn. The garage who had hauled the vehicle for me explained that there was a two hundred and fifty pound haulage charge that had to be paid. Astonished and in shock at this blow, I could only mumble “ok.” Also, I use my vehicle for work that I do. So without a vehicle and due to time of day when most rental companies are closed; not to mention the shock / stress factor, I enquired about taking the following day off work.

PRESSURE! PRESSURE! PRESSURE! PRESSURE!

As I’m somewhat self-employed; the firm that I provide a service for told me there was no-one else available who could fill in for me. As for a rental vehicle; the nearest airport had twenty-four hour rental availability. So that was it then, it was made pretty clear that I simply had to return to work.

Stress! Stress! Stress! Stress!

Now I have an older beat-up work vehicle, that is on my property that I used for working the following day onwards. It was declared as off road due to the multiple problems with it. I couldn’t get it re-insured that evening, and because it wasn’t insured, it couldn’t be taxed. So of I went to work next day driving a broken down vehicle without tax or insurance.

PRESSURE! PRESSURE! PRESSURE! PRESSURE!

Later that day when I managed to get my other vehicle insured & taxed, disaster struck!!! It broke down!!!! What a nightmare. By this stage, I’d had enough. I left a voicemail on my bosses phone telling him that I was done with work, he’d just have to get someone else.

Stress! Stress! Stress! Stress!

Back at base, I contacted the key guy for an update. He was hopeful he’d get out that day and get a replacement key coded in. Time passed and the boss got in touch. What were my plans? What was my plan for tomorrow? I DON’T KNOW!! was the answer. I really didn’t.I couldn’t think straight. I was apprehensivly waiting on the key guy to contact me & now I had the boss piling pressure on me.

PRESSURE! PRESSURE! PRESSURE! PRESSURE!

“I’ll give you an hour to come up with a plan.” Was what I was told, so I might as well have had no time at all. Time was ticking by, an hour passed, then an hour and a half, then TWO hours. No phone call. It was looking like I’d have to hire a rental.

Stress! Stress! Stress! Stress!

Then, the phone rang. It was the Key guy. Blessed be!!!!! Surely good news? NO! unfortunately, he couldn’t get the replacement key coded in to the vehicle. I would have to get it towed to the dealership itself! NO WAY! I thought, that’s even more charges I’ll have to pay and all because I don’t have a spare key.

PRESSURE! PRESSURE! PRESSURE! PRESSURE!

So back on the phone to the dealership, explained what was happening and told them they should front the cost of haulage to their yard. After partaking in a game of pass the parcel, I ended up taking to one guy, who was a hard-nosed S.O.B. Not only were the dealership NOT going to pay for the haulage charges, but they weren’t going to pay for a replacement key now, as it wasn’t mentioned in the original paperwork. I tried to explain that it was verbally agreed upon at the point of sale, but his response was to pretty much call me a liar! No he would not be contacting the original sales rep, and no he had no need to contact the key guy!

Stress! STRESS! Stress! Stress!

I handed the phone to my wife and took the only step I could from there. I contacted the finance company whom I had the hire purchase agreement with. Cut a long story short they advised that unless I had this key agreement in writing, there was little they could do, but, they would conduct an investigation, but it could take up to 52 DAYS!!! to resolve.

PRESSURE! PRESSURE! PRESSURE! PRESSURE!

Finishing both calls with no results, with it now being too late to hire locally and knowing a call from work was imminent; I asked my wife for the loan of her car. I updated the boss and off I went around five PM in the pitch dark!

Stress! Stress! Stress! Stress!

A few hours later a colleague from work rang. He told me he would be passing my vehicle and could try to get going again. Brilliant I thought, and gave him an ETA of when I was likely to meet him. Around eight thirty, I met up with him and before we could attempt repairs, I discovered I had a massive blowout on the front wheel of the car and there was no spare!

PRESSURE! PRESSURE! PRESSURE! PRESSURE!

The only thing stopping the wheel from going completely flat, was a small electric pump I had. This was left running whilst my colleague attempted to get my other vehicle up and running. It whined and huffed and puffed but it just would not start. Twenty minutes he was at it and just picture the scene. This is in a busy residential area, the noise of these two vehicles combined at this late hour; not to mention that’s there’s another vehicle, his, also parked beside the other two!

Stress! Stress! Stress! Stress!

Eventually it huffed into life and kept going. But now I had two poorly vehicles and I needed both of them brought back to base. So it was agreed that he would drive my vehicle (along with his friend who didn’t drive) whilst I drove my wife’s car with ever decreasing tyre pressure. When I got home, I parked the car up, drove my work colleague (and his friend) back to his vehicle and turned towards home ( some miles away). It was 9:45pm (after a 7:30am start). I climbed into bed wondering if my clapped out vehicle would start the next morning and if my wife would be able to use her car to get to work!

PRESSURE! PRESSURE! PRESSURE! PRESSURE!

The next day brought a brought a mixture of good and bad news. The sales rep from the dealership whom I had originally dealt with rang to say that he had head what had happened and that they now front the costs of haulage and the cost of a replacement key. Brilliant news I thought, perhaps events are taking an upturn. But not too long after, my wife rang to say that she was unable to get the car wheel pumped up. Having no spare wheel, she was unable to use her car the entire day until a repair service provided a temporary fix that evening.

Also later that day, I received a phone call telling me that my vehicle had arrived in the dealership and was with the service department but they were unsure what it was doing there. After explaining the situation, I was advised that getting a replacement key coded would be no issue; it would be done tomorrow and when it was, I would receive a phone call advising me of this and the fee I would owe. I nearly blew a fuse and had a heart attack at the same time. I quickly impressed upon this person why I wouldn’t be paying any fee. Furthermore, that very day of the hijacking, my rear doors jammed, I wanted this issue fixed as it was still within warranty (this was duly noted).

So there I was thinking, ‘finally an end to these horrible few days!’ Everything was going to be resolved the following day and so I slept easy that night. So, was everything resolved the following day? Not. By. A. Long. Shot. The bad news was that the dealership themselves couldn’t get a replacement key coded into the vehicle. They were going to require a brand new key from the vehicle manufacturer themselves. This was going to take TEN working days. And the back doors, they weren’t going to fix them as the vehicle was now out of warranty. When I asked them to supply me with a courtesy vehicle in the meantime, I was told they wouldn’t / couldn’t. Why? Because…….. My warranty had expired. I could certainly pay and hire one, but supplying one free of charge? Nope, non, niet, nein!!!

STRESS! STRESS! STRESS! STRESS!

End of part 1.

3 thoughts on “A Hijacking and the Fallout From It Pt.1

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