Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What can you do?

I got cheated today. I think because I am a foreigner and a female...

I have been trying to fix my petrol gauge since last week. I asked my normal mechanic, but he doesn't do electrics - but he recommended this one auto-electrician. I trust my mechanic so off I go to the other guy but he couldn't see me right away and then said it would take about 2 hours so it was better to leave the car. So this morning as we have our team meeting I dropped off the car and Sergej picked us up.

When I went back to pick it up, fixed, the gauge only showed half full, and I could smell petrol in the car. I normally wouldn't know how much petrol I have in the car - but because we just got back from a trip which Miika's organisation paid for our expenses, I had filled up the tank (so I could give him the bill). And at the same time I pushed the "trip" button on my car because the gauge was broken and I didn't want to get stuck running out.

So, I knew that I had gone exactly 146kms in the 6 days. And there was NO way that was half a tank of petrol. I just drove away because I didn't know what to do, and went back to the church (which was close by) . When I showed Ljilja that the gauge was only half full, she said well maybe it is still broken (which I hadn't thought about!). So we went back to see what they would say. They said it was fixed properly and that there was only half a tank of petrol. Ljilja said, "we know exactly how much should be in there - either it is broken still or someone took petrol out". They carried on "discussing" and then eventually the guys says "no one took any petrol, but just so there is no problem with the police, here is your money back for fixing the gauge"...

But at that stage it wasn't about the money but about the fact that we had been cheated and they were saying that we hadn't! I guess they thought, as I did all the negotiating, that she is foreign, she is a woman, her gauge was broken, she won't know how much was in the car and chanced their arm... so we left without taken the money (which I regret now... but at the time it was a matter of principle!!). But the point is if he didn't do anything wrong, why was he offering us our money back?

We went to go fill up the car to see if maybe the gauge was broken or something, or if they had taken some petrol to see how much was "missing" and we got in about 20litres and we for sure hadn't used more than 10litres!!

Anyway, that is the last time we will go there...
(and I just praise God for my mechanic who is so trustworthy - I had totally got used to having him that I forget that there are people who will do anything for a quick buck...)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

my dearest Bee -
I just hate it when men take advantage of women - especially in this instance, when you gave him business and he took advantage of the situation. I wish you would have taken the money he offered (hind site is always 20/20), he obviously felt like he could get in big trouble if you reported him.
I hope in the future he realizes that he needs to think before doing such a thing to someone else. I love you sooooooooo much my SA Girlie!! Many prayers, your #1 Supporter :-)

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