Looking around the city of Lagos alone, one could argue that Lagosians lack a maintenance culture. Though, the federal government in August 2012 decided to maintain/repair expansion joints of the heavily strained Third Mainland bridge – the longest bridge in Africa (and spent an estimated N1.5billion/$10m in the process). I could question the bill but I applaud their efforts in preventing a full-scale disaster Hollywood style. Now, let’s come away from my government and focus on little old me who decided to service my car like I usually do every 3 months…and still paid the price for it not long after plying third mainland bridge.
My car was in a fine working state 3 months prior to last Friday when I decided it was time to hand it over to my trusty mechanic I’ve been using for the last 4 years. I had been observing year on year that the rate of my bill increase was faster than the rate of inflation in the economy. I pretended not to notice. After all, he had been doing a good job thus far, that is, until last Sunday after I was heading out for my radio interview with ‘N6’ of Cool FM 96.9. The unthinkable happened while I was on third mainland bridge zooming at 120kph – the engine oil symbol began to flash repeatedly on my dashboard accompanied with a three-syllable beep – as if an airplane was about to nosedive into the lagoon below. I was terrified and I just kept driving and praying that my car wouldn’t stop in the middle of the bridge. I was also thinking of how good it would feel to strangle my mechanic whom I suspect of some foul play.
My prayers were answered alright – my car didn’t stop on the bridge but the car went off and was just rolling as I descended at the end (so it’s true what they say, ‘Be careful what you wish for!’). I was fortunate enough to solicit the help of some nearby military men…well, I was on their turf anyway. My car was pushed of the main road while I took a taxi to the radio station. By the time I got back an hour or so later I arranged for AA Rescue to pick up car close to the Muson Centre (a popular recreational spot for hosting big events like ‘big-shot’ weddings). They were fast, professional and reliable to say the least. I had paid the annual subscription and never thought I’d need to have my car towed. I didn’t pay a dime extra plus I hitched a ride home in the tow truck; win-win!
Speaking of paying, I haven’t paid my mechanic for the crappy-near-death-service job (my sweet girlfriend dropped me off at work today, God bless her). So my dear readers and fans, I’m putting the power in your hands. For one time only I want you to decide whether or not I pay my mechanic at all for the service rendered. The results of this poll will be announced hopefully by Wednesday so place your votes, thanks 😛
I reckon that your mechanic should be held accountable for the shoddy work he did, but I think that once he has done the job properly (and should be given the chance to do so) he should be paid. And you should not have to pay for the extra work. Unless, of course, he told you he had fixed something when he hand’t even touched it. In that case, not only would non-payment be the option, but also a visit to Fair Trading or whatever your equivalent in Nigeria is.
My mum took her car in once to get the brake pads replaced. She collected her car, paid the money and went on her way. Her car broke down a week later and the guy who fixed it said “love, you really should get those brake pads replaced. They are down to the metal”. Mum was horrified as she had just paid to have them done. When she went back to the shop to complain/see what the story was, they had closed up and pissed off, taking all their customer’s money and not doing the work. They knew they were leaving so did a shonky runner. Asides from being totally illegal and immoral, what if mum had crashed and injured herself because of her brakes not having been fixed when she thought they were!
Ha, if only the legal system in Nigeria was that reliable – I’m better off sorting this out with the mechanic one-on-one. I’m glad your mum realized the malpractice in good time before getting hurt. What people would do to make a quick buck is beyond me. My philosophy is that such crooks never seem to prosper in life; rather, they live from hand to mouth and rarely get good brakes, pardon me, breaks 😀
Thanks for your input. It’ll go a long way as I make my final decision.
Stopping over soon!
Greetings from Uganda!
I don’t own a car(never owned one) but i shall pay a towing subscription when i buy one eventually.
I think the mechanic should be give a chance to make things right and then may be you can pay him for the job.
Lastly, thank God for the girl friend!