One day a while back I went to the garage to find a puddle of water under my car. That’s never a good sign but to my fortune this turned out to be a failed, and therefore leaking, windscreen washer pump and nothing more serious.
I am partially handy in things mechanical and decided I could replace the part myself.
My default thinking was to ring the spare parts department of the local dealer for my car’s manufacturer. The small pump, about the size of small Masterfood’s spice jar was to cost $180 to replace.
So much for default thinking. I then decided to obtain a comparative price through a Google search. The same part was available for about $45 from a US shop but they didn’t ship to Australia. This made me realise that the part would also probably be available through third party parts suppliers in Australia.
I rang my local Auto Parts supplier and asked the question. They found what they thought “may be” the right part. It had all the right model and part numbers on it.
To be 100% I emailed them a picture of the part from my car to verify I was getting the right thing. I didn’t hear back for a few days and the puddle under my car grew until the washer reservoir was empty. I called back and spoke to someone who didn’t know anything about it.
When I asked about the email and confirming the part they said that there was no suitable part.
That didn’t sound right so I rang back and managed to get onto the person I spoke to originally. I had to resend the email...and call them back a couple of days later again.
Eventually the part was verified as the right one. It would cost $51 plus $10 shipping. That seemed weird. I mean, it was going to the store.
Despite being my “local” store I am still a 30 minute drive from it. I asked for the part to be delivered to me instead of the store then seeing as I was paying for delivery anyway. It couldn’t be done. Besides, the part was not in stock. They said they’d get it in and call me back.
Are you seeing the picture here? It gets better.
To their credit the part did become available roughly around the time they said.
However, it was not in their store and they wouldn’t order it until I paid a deposit in person.
I could not make a phone payment. I had to drive 30 minutes to pay a deposit, drive home 30 minutes, wait for an indeterminate number of days, drive back 30 minutes to pick the part up, drive home for 30 minutes.
At best that is two hours out of my life. One hour if they could be bothered taking a phone payment. I would have paid $61 to buy local and have it in my hand.
Instead of wasting my life any further with this endeavour, I got back onto the web and checked eBay for the part.
I found it in the UK and it could be shipped to me for a grand total of $34 Australian.
I no longer shop at that Auto parts store even if I am in the area and in need of something.