Personal/Commentary

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

Click here for part 2, in which I have a wonderful interaction with Hyundai’s social team.

In the middle of last week, I noticed that my car was riding a bit rough, and was making what could only be called a growling sound when I was moving at higher than 40mph, and I was deeply concerned that the issue was coming from the engine or the transmission. As my car is still under warranty, I made an appointment to have the car checked out at 11:30am on Thursday, March 1, at Paramus Hyundai.

Contact 1: Thursday, March 1, 2018, 11:30am

I drop the car off and meet Stanley, my service center contact. Even though Paramus Hyundai’s website advertises a shuttle service to anywhere within 6 miles of the service center, I’m told that there is no one to drive the shuttle and I am out of luck. No offer to loan me a car, no offer to rent me a car, nothing. I take a Lyft back to my office. ($13.47)

This is the first thing you see when you go to the service center online:

Contact 2: Thursday, March 1, 2018, 12:39pm

Stanley calls to tell me that they don’t see an obvious issue, and that they will run a diagnostic test. The test costs $150, and if nothing is wrong, I have to pay for the test. I agree to the test.

Contact 3: Thursday, March 1, 2018, 2:07pm

Stanley calls and asks if I’ve been in an accident. I say no, and he asks if I hit a pothole, which I definitely did (and do every year because we have snow and therefore potholes). He says that I have a broken hub bearing, and that it can be fixed that day, and will cost $771. I agree to the repair.

Contact 4: Thursday, March 1, 2018, 2:52pm

Stanley calls again, and tells me that while they thought it wasn’t damaged, that the knuckle on the wheel with the broken hub bearing broke during the repair(he also made sure to tell me that it was probably already damaged), but that they can’t get the part until tomorrow. He says it is $300 but offers a discount of $100 off of the price, bringing my new proposed total to $971. He says that the part will be overnighted and will be delivered by 10am Friday, so my car will be ready on Friday.

Luckily, an available co-worker who lives near me drives me home from the office.

I take a Lyft to work in the morning as I still don’t have a car. ($26.14)

Contact 5: Friday, March 2, 2018, 1:06pm

I have to call Paramus Hyundai because they haven’t reached out to me. I’m told that Stanley isn’t there today, but after a period of time on hold, I hear that the part hasn’t arrived yet, that the delivery might be delayed because of the weather. I’m told I will get a call when the part arrives.

Contact 6: Friday, March 2, 2018, 3:31pm

I call them again because I haven’t heard anything. I speak to a woman who is a service manager(I don’t get her name), and she reiterates that the weather has prevented the part from being delivered. I find this hard to believe, as my office is a few minutes away, and somehow, our deliveries have all arrived without issue, regardless of some problematic weather.

She says that she’s looking into it and will call me back.

In the meantime, I have plans for the evening and the work day is over, and since I know my car isn’t fixed because the part isn’t there, I take another Lyft to go home. ($21.02)

Contact 7: Saturday, March 3, 2018, 11:14am

I call Paramus Hyundai because the service manager from Friday never called back about the status of the part needed for my car to be fixed.

I speak to another woman that I haven’t talked to before. I am asked who my contact was, and I say Stanley, and I’m told that he isn’t there. She asks my name again, and when she repeats it, the service manager from Friday chimes in to say “Oh we don’t get deliveries on the weekend. It might be here on Monday, but maybe Tuesday.” I ask if they are going to call me to tell me when the part arrives, and I get a yes.

I get a ride to Enterprise Car Rental, and rent a car that I’m supposed to return on Tuesday. ($160.54) (Updated cost to $214.06, see below.)

Contact 8: Monday, March 5, 2018, 12:56pm

I call again, because I still haven’t heard anything. I mentioned that Stanley was my contact, and then am told “he doesn’t work here anymore,” which is slightly distressing. I’m told that my part hasn’t arrived yet.

Contact 9: Monday, March 5, 2018, 3:41pm

I call, again, to see if the part is there. I am finally told that it arrived and that my car will be ready tomorrow. I ask, again, if someone will call me when the car is ready, and they say yes.

It’s Tuesday now and I haven’t heard anything yet. It is 12pm.

I cannot believe the runaround I have been through with the service center from the dealership. I was told by so many people that Hyundai was so great, and that hasn’t been my experience at all. I have been previously irritated with this particular service center, and while I would love to not go back, I had to use a dealer service center when I thought that I might be dealing with an issue that would be warranty-covered. I probably would have taken the car somewhere else to have the wheel repaired, but when Stanley told me it would be fixed that day, I agreed, in the interest of time and the fact that my family only has 1 car, so the less time without it, the better.

At this point, all of this extra time has cost me hundreds of dollars. If anyone from Paramus Hyundai had been kinder to me, or more apologetic for the delay, I would not be as upset about this, but I literally have spent over $200 on Lyft rides and a rental car.

To say I am extremely disappointed would be an understatement. I only hope I get the car back today.

UPDATE

Contact 10: Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 1:14pm

I called the service center as I haven’t heard anything. The woman I spoke to looked something up, put me on hold, and then came back to tell me the car is ready for pickup. Yet again, wondering if anyone would have called me, as they said they would. Did the fact that my original contact guy either quit or got fired really cause all of this delay?

A lovely coworker gave me a ride to Paramus Hyundai, so I didn’t have to take another Lyft.

Contact 11: Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 1:45pm

I arrived and told Vivian at the counter that I was there to pick up the car. There was some confusion about it since the paperwork wasn’t done, but it wasn’t long before I was handing my credit card over to pay the $971 for the fix.

I now have 2 cars at my office, and will have to do some juggling to get Will here so that we can return the rental tonight. This has been an experience that I don’t intend to expose myself to again. I genuinely hope that this post will be seen by Hyundai, and that it gives them a case study in how tiny changes in customer interactions would completely change someone’s experience.

This Tucson is the first new car I’ve ever purchased, and I got a Hyundai because I have multiple family members with great Hyundai experiences. I haven’t experienced that as much as I wanted to, which is unfortunate. At this point in time, I can’t imagine that I will buy another Hyundai.

Tell me about your favorite car brands on Twitter.

UPDATE 2

Due to work schedules and juggling cars, we dropped the rental car off at Enterprise after they closed and put the key in the drop slot. As we didn’t get there before closing, we were charged for another day of rental on the final bill. The price for the rental is increased to $214.06.

Contact 12: Wednesday, March 7, 2018, via Twitter

After tweeting out this blog post, Hyundai responds to acknowledge my issue and asks me to follow up via phone or email. I will send an email to share this blog post with them. I am grateful for the opportunity to have my voice heard here.

Click here for part 2, in which I have a wonderful interaction with Hyundai’s social team.

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Link Tank #48

by Jamie Sanford on February 12, 2018

Click here for all of the link posts on JamieSanford.com.


RuPaul is giving you all of the wisdom.

I am super into the Olympics, and I have been on Mirai Nagasu’s team since she was a tiny teenager winning Nationals in 2008. She was robbed of an Olympic slot in 2014, and she just proved why she is on the team in 2018 with an AMAZING long program for the figure skating team event! It’s weird to be proud of someone you don’t know but I am doing it anyway.

In other Olympic news, Buzzfeed is here to make sure we know how hot the U.S. Men’s Bobsled Team is, because damn.

Jayne Mansfield had a house called the Pink Palace. You definitely want to look, it is amazing.

If you are in upstate New York and are looking for something to do, go see the Seneca White Deer. I can’t wait to do this!

One of the best things about how terrible the world is right now is the wonderful writing that is coming out of it. Someone made the cinnamon rolls that Mario Batali shared in his “sorry about the sexual misconduct” email, and this piece is amazing.

Trixie Mattel is for everyone. This GQ profile is wonderful.

This absolute fantasy photoshoot on In the Frow, at Kennedy Space Center, makes me want to be a model.

I love the 90s classic Batman Forever, and here’s a great Hollywood Reporter story of how it came about.

Here’s a 3+ hour film about the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics. This was the Nancy and Tonya Olympics!

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2017 Instagram Roundup

by Jamie Sanford on December 29, 2017

It’s that time again. The end of the year, and lots of Instagrams to go through.

Let’s get right into the yearly recap.

After a chill NYE with the boys, we went to our favorite park on New Year’s Day. We would end up on a lot of trips to this park all year.

Pete was in NJ for work, and we had a few chances to hang out.

Wine tasting with the boys.

Back at the park, too warm for a normal winter.

We escaped to Florida for a little trip, and toured the campus of Florida Southern College. You can see my full posts on this experience here.

We also went to the Everglades and took an excellent airboat tour.

We also managed to be there at the right time for a trip to the Florida Strawberry Festival.

Back at home – I took this photo of my favorite immigrant.

Different views of the Flatiron Building.

Estate sailing has not become old yet. Old houses are still the weirdest, most interesting museums.

Dad visited and we went to Rutt’s Hut, because you have to.

I posted about the Met Costume Institute’s “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” Exhibition a LOT. It was beautiful.

We had a great evening with Stevie Nicks.

We went to our first air show. (Together, that is.)

We went to a local zoo and William bonded with the budgies.

Back to Florida for a wedding and we finally went to the Giraffe Ranch with Mom and Dad! Look at this beautiful creature! <3

Amazing skies at Mike & Amy’s wedding.

An uneventful July ended with a bang, when I got an email about a surprise Nine Inch Nails show on a random Monday night at Webster Hall.

Random stop at the Gingerbread House, which has seen much better days.

More estate sailing, and another weird thing I should have purchased.

Got together with the girls and selfied with Wadee’ah.

Went to the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival with William, and we had poutine in the cold.

We got fancy for David and Brian’s wedding!

Halloween dinner.

We love the fall. A lot.

Will and I had a photoshoot to feature my forest queen antler headpieces. Images can be seen here.

We ventured out to a different park, this time at Ramapo Reservation.

We went to a most excellent Gary Numan show on Will’s birthday. Here’s a video of one of my favorite songs from the show. Watch out for the arm at the very end. So good.

We have not traveled nearly as much this year as we have in the past few, but I intend on changing that for next year. Here’s to another year of Instagrams!

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Forest Fantasy | Living My Best Life

by Jamie Sanford on December 7, 2017

I have been brewing a blog post about making for some time now. I keep working on new projects that make me have more to say, and so it is very delayed. However, I had to do something about this project.

I have been thinking about making a headpiece for myself featuring large antlers for ages, and I finally managed to do so this past October. My Halloween plans did not work out, so I didn’t have a chance to go out in my costume, which is not so much a costume as me living my forest queen fantasy. I wanted to mark the occasion of this particular project, so I asked William to make some photos of me. Add this to the list of things I have done this year to actively try to live my best life. I know that the phrase is overused to death, but the concept is right. I am over being worried about what other people think about me, and so here I am in the woods.

The overwhelming feeling I had while doing this is that I had no idea what to do with my hands. How do models do this?

Will: “Pose like a statue!” Jamie: *does this*

I wish more of my purple hair was illuminated in this one.

The headpiece on my head is a mixture of faux flowers from Michael’s and 2 different kinds of plastic antlers that I found at Pier 1 Imports and then disassembled from their original locations, and painted to what I wanted them to look like. My dress is from eShakti.

“I’m going to stand behind this plant so my hands don’t look weird.” Look at the antlers though!! This is by far the most complicated thing that I have made, and I am super-proud of the result.

Go forth and live your best life. I know that your version of that probably won’t be wearing a giant headpiece in the woods, but you get the idea.

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Thanksgiving 2017

by Jamie Sanford on November 23, 2017

Here we go again, with the time flying by more quickly than any of us would like. The holidays have officially arrived.

It seems like the right time to revisit my gratitude practice and how it is going. I will admit to not often enough focusing on it, but I still benefit from the foundation of gratitude that I built for myself. I am, in general, extremely grateful for all of the things I have received from the universe as well as the things I have that I’ve worked hard to have or achieve.

For anyone who needs help, let’s start with really low-level, basic gratitude stuff. Starting to look at your life a little bit differently will lead you on a different path.

  • You are alive and breathing and reading a blog post. You can breathe, and see. How many people have you already outlived?
  • You have a computer or other device with which to read this blog post. Your privilege is starting to show. Do you see where this is going?

Let’s level up a bit. Here are some of my own gratitude list items.

  • According to survey data, 40% of Americans would be in financial crisis if they suddenly were presented with a bill of $400 or more. I am not in that 40%. Will and I have worked hard to do all of the important adult financial stuff that you are “supposed” to do, and the reason that we can do that is because we make enough money to do so. So many people are not in this scenario.
  • I have a home that is filled with the things I love and the human I love the most in the world.
  • My health, for the most part, is quite good, despite all of my efforts to ruin it. (Hello, upcoming goals.)
  • I have made it to adult life with some of the most amazing friendships intact, with people I’ve known for 20 or more years. What they add to my life is immeasurable.
  • I laugh every day. Multiple times.

I could go in and make this list longer, but that isn’t what this is about. For me, it is being present in the gratitude and having that contribute greatly to my happiness.

I do believe that for many people, happiness is a choice. (Click the link for much more on this topic.) If you focus on things you are unhappy about, you’ll be unhappy about everything. If you focus on the good stuff, you’ll realize just how much good stuff there is, and hopefully you can pair that with recognizing your own luck/privilege/good fortune/whatever you want to call it.

Take an extra moment today to create your own mental gratitude list. Good luck!

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