Vipers in Our Midst

Posted: March 17, 2007 in Uncategorized

Okay, now I’m mad.

I spent most of the afternoon at a car audio place, only to find out…

But I get ahead of myself.

My wife’s car alarm works fine, but the remotes have been self-destructing over time.  Finally, mine broke.  As in, there’s no longer anything keeping the button from depressing.  Except gravity, that is.  So if you turn the remote upward, the alrm sets.  And resets.  And sets.  And resets.  Ad nauseum.

Several months ago, I went to the dealer to get a new remote.  They told me it was after-market.  Sorry.  The used car lot where we bought the car was a block away, so I stopped by there.  Nope, no records from five whole years ago, but it was probably installed at the car audio place across the street.  I had a vague memory of them swapping the alarm remotes right after we bought it and discovered the alarm wouldn’t arm below freezing.  In November, that happened a lot.  I had no idea that meant they swapped out the entire alarm unit.  I’ve never had a car alarm before!

I trotted over to the car audio place across the street and explained the situtation.  They referred me to an online site.  

So I went home and took apart the remote and put in all the numbers the site asked for and ordered two, so I’d have a spare.  Got them in early November.

Unfortunately, the programming instructions required changing the DIP switch on the unit under the dash, and I couldn’t find the screw holes anywhere on the dang unit.  I figured that $45/hr was worth it to have the car audio place program the new remotes.

Except they couldn’t get it to work.  Said they could put in a new system for $200 + tax.  Yeah, okay, fine, but how long will it take.  I mean, it’s St. Pat’s and there’s a festival downtown, and I have kids.  Oh, it’s real quick, he says.  Just put it in.

About 2-1/2 hours later, I finally get out of there — too late for the festivities, and my entire afternoon has been shot.  I open up the instructions and read.  Press this button, and it chirps.  Press it again, and it chirps twice.  Pretty much like the old one.


No chirp.  Lock it and open the door, no alarm.  What’s up with that?

Turns out it’s not  an alarm.  Just remote locking.

Say what??  Why didn’t anyone tell me this??  I didn’t even know there was such a thing.  What’s the point, when you’ve got electric door locks? 

But, really!  When I get a replacement, I expect it to have the same functionality!  And I expect them to tell me if it doesn’t!

After a long, frustrating conversation with the manager, wherein he informed me that they refuse to re-install the original alarm, because “it wasn’t installed right,” I decided to eat another $100 and get a Viper alarm installed.  (That’s the difference in the installed cost of the two systems.)  Why not fight it?  ‘Cause it would cost me far more than that in time to sue the car audio shop, that’s why.  Not worth it in the long run.

Which I’m sure they were counting on.  But it still makes me mad when I have to do business with vipers.


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