David Derringer is nothing if not determined. An owner of General Motors cars for years, the Virginia man wanted the automaker to reimburse him for the cost of a power steering pump that repeatedly failed on his wife's Chevrolet HHR wagon.
The same problematic part had been recalled in Chevrolet's Cobalt compact cars, but not in its HHR models, Derringer told ClickonDetroit.com. Derringer wanted his wife to be safe, so he purchased a new pump and requested a refund. But GM refused to give him his money back.
That led to a challenging exchange with a GM telephone operator when he called to complain, Dillinger said, prompting him Monday to jump in his GMC pickup truck and drive 450 miles from his Virginia home to Detroit to settle the matter with GM officials in person.
"I'm tired of being handled on the phone like, 'You're not going to drive three states away when you're in Virginia.' It's a 'we'll do what we can' kind of attitude, condescending," he said.
After arriving at GM's Renaissance Center headquarters, Derringer was escorted out. But after he contacted a local television station about the matter, GM officials agreed to speak with their disgruntled customer -- and he was given a refund.
"I've had some satisfaction knowing I've done all I can do," Derringer said.
Sometimes the squeaky wheel does get the grease.