I feel like I need to get this story down on paper (you know what I mean) before it leaves me. I'll try to keep it short.
So there I was, Friday night, excited about coming home to a 4-day New Year's weekend and my car stalls a few miles west of Athens. I call Krista and I call roadside assistance (that we pay for with our cell phone). Roadside assistance says they can send a tow, but if I don't want to pay a bunch of money out of pocket I'll have to tow it to Athens instead of Florence. So I decide to pay $10 out of pocket (instead of a ton more) and get the chance to figure out where to get the car fixed in Athens. Krista will just meet me there. Where? The WalMart parking lot is as good as anywhere. I have no idea what's wrong, but if we can't get it done there, there's a place across the street.
So about 25 minutes later, the guy in the tow truck calls. He's coming from Huntsville (!) and he's about 20 minutes away. Good grief. Krista will probably beat him here, coming all the way from Florence. I don't know why they didn't call someone closer, but they said it'll only be $10, so I don't care. So Krista shows up, and 15 minutes later, there's the tow truck. We follow him to the WalMart parking lot get ready to pay him our $10 and he says its $55. Because he had to come all the way from Huntsville. Well, duh.
Now, he's holding my car hostage until I give him $55 cash. Which I don't have on me. So I call roadside assistance. They ask to talk to him, he gives the phone back to me, and roadside assistance says it's all worked out. Like an idiot, I hang up. When I go talk to the tow truck guy he's on the phone with his boss, and he says they're calling the insurance company and he still won't release my car. So I call roadside assistance back and get "your call is important to us; it will be answered in the order it was received" for about 10 minutes. I get on the phone with them (again) and they call the towing company who they say is completely rude and won't discuss anything. While I'm on the phone the tow truck guy says the price has magically dropped to $33. Okay...
The woman I'm talking to at roadside assistance says she doesn't know what to do at this point. I ask to talk to a manager (because if I was going to pay a bunch of money out of pocket, I'd have towed it to Florence). By now we've been hanging out in the WalMart parking lot with my 5-year-old and 9-month-old for a half hour. I get put on hold forever with the manager, and finally I ask the tow truck guy if he'll take a check; he says yes, and I hang up while on hold.
So this night's been a pain and we're looking forward to coming back to Athens for a day trip on Saturday to figure out how to get the car fixed. We're all starving so we hit the Zaxby's drive through. I run in to use the restroom, and while I'm in there, my phone starts ringing. Perfect timing. There's no possible way I can answer it, and by the time I finally get to it, it quits. Unknown Caller. Well, I can't call it back, so I hop back into the car and it rings again. Unknown Caller. I pick it up, and it's Phil, the manager at roadside assistance. No way.
He wants to do what he can to make it right. So he says we can use two of our roadside assistance calls (I think we still have 3 left), and he'll call the tow truck back to take us to Florence. Great!
After waiting awhile, the same guy comes back, tows us to Florence, and I guess because roadside assistance covers up to $50 each time, the towing company will take the $150 and he gives us our check back. So, our car gets back to Florence, we don't have to go to Athens, we get our $33 back, and the fuel pump that needs replaced only costs us $700! What a great time.
My suggestion? Use Cingular's roadside assistance, but be sure you don't use Reliable Towing in Huntsville.
Of course, then, Saturday night I eat something that makes me so sick I feel like I'm going to die on Sunday. I'm so weak I can't do anything besides lie around, much less play Guitar Hero. I sleep 12 hours Sunday night and I barely have enough strength to go out and do something Monday night on New Year's. Even by Thursday when I'm at work I'm only to about 80%. I wonder what that was.
Ah. Thus ends my most memorable New Year's weekend. And that, as they say, is the rest of the story.
And sorry...I guess I didn't keep it short.