You may remember, back at the end of July, that Princess Penelope's car broke down two hours from home when she was at the midpoint of driving back from her Dad's. I must say, that day goes down as probably the most stressful one in my history as a Mom. When your baby (even if she is 17) is stranded on the side of the interstate on a 90+ degree day, two hours away from you..... well all of the horrible things that could happen go through your mind. Fortunately common sense prevailed, and I told her to contact the police, explain the situation, and ask for assistance in getting to a safe place. The police were there within two minutes of her call, and got her to a safe place. That made the hellacious trip to get her much less frantic.
The car, well that ended up having a happy ending too. As it turned out, the car had jumped time and had consequently blown out the alternator. Both of those things I'd had replace shortly after I bought the car. We ended up having the car towed back to Birmingham to the place that did the original work (at a cost of $455 for the tow --- ouch!). The place that did the original work completely stood behind their work and I was charged nothing for the re-repairs. And they covered the cost of towing the car back to Birmingham, and the work we'd had done while it was out of town.
The manager of the shop had told me that it would take a few weeks to get the reimbursement check to me. After a month, the check hadn't arrived, so I gave him a call. He called the corporate office and we realized there had been an error in my mailing address ---- they had left off the "Drive", with a Circle, Court and Street of the same name, the check that had been mailed two weeks prior never got to me. So..... they reissued the check, put it in the mail with the correct address, and I had it in hand the very next day. So, I have now been completely reimbursed for everything.
Sometimes, its worth shopping around for the VERY best deals.... however, often times, it is much better to have a good relationship with the people that do the big stuff for you. I've used this shop for 13 years, I know the manager and the head mechanic --- they kept my previous car running when it was really a complete piece of crap. They know me by name (and car), and now know the Princess too. They make sure I know when costly standard maintenance is due --- 6 months before it is due so that I can plan for it. They make sure I have the current coupons and know about upcoming maintenance specials. When they quote me an approximate cost for a repair or maintenance, the final cost almost always comes in less than the quote, so I never get any ugly surprises. When I called about the check that hadn't arrived, there was no having to look up anything in files, the manager knew exactly what the deal was on the phone with the corporate office and I had a call back within 5 minutes telling me the new check was being mailed. They aren't the absolute cheapest place to get service in this town, but I will say that I do believe they are the best! No hassles, they stand behind their work and my car never sits in repair limbo.
I could shop around for a cheaper price, but they give me something else that a cheaper price wouldn't. Peace of mind.