Bert’s Retired…

…which, if I used British English would not be a convenient double entendre because I’d be writing “Bert’s Retyred.”

The thing is, I’ve always had a preference for American spelling. To me, it’s always seemed more logical. It’s one of the many things that used to get me into trouble in school!

Being an IT person, I like logic, just as computers like logic. Unfortunately there’s a shortage of it here in Thailand, and so I find myself getting into trouble just as I did in school. People have to be very patient with me to explain why things are done they way the are. There always seem to be reasons, but I never seem to understand them, because they never seem to involve logic. I guess that’s my fault, and my problem to solve. But getting Bert retired was a good example.

In case you are new to Twitterings, or haven’t been around here for a while, I should explain – Bert is my Ford Ranger, and last week during a long trip, his front left tire exploded, leaving me bouncing along on the rim, and almost needing a change of underwear. So, my priority for this week, was to get him retired.

Once again I have to give kudos to Ford’s customer service people. I started with an e-mail, as for me that’s always easier. I can explain things carefully, send photographs, and not worry about how many people it takes to translate it and to find a solution. The next day there were lots of phone calls, with the result I had to take the damaged tire, and as it turned out damaged wheel, to the dealer in Nakhon. Fair enough. I couldn’t expect them to replace it based on an e-mailed photograph, but at the same time, I was anxious to avoid too many two-hour trips.

At the dealership lots of people were involved. There were lots of questions. Lots of people kept saying “your accident.” And I kept saying “It wasn’t an accident, the freaking thing exploded.” It was starting to get irritating because I’d done nothing wrong. I guess I was looking for a little sympathy for having to change a wheel at the start of a 550km journey, but I wasn’t getting any.

So, it was another of those situations where the farang didn’t understand how things are done, and with no one wanting to tell the farang what he really should be doing, because that would be rude. There was one nice lady who I hadn’t met before, and whose English was pretty good. And she kept asking me “So, you want us to send the wheel and tire to Bangkok?” as though I had some choice in the matter. But I was failing miserably to find out what the alternative was.

Then we began a conversation about timing, which seemed to be at least two weeks because Ford in Bangkok had to send the tire to Dunlop for inspection. I could see this taking a month or more, and as I told them, I absolutely positively had to have a new rim and tire within ten days because I’d be heading off on another trip – one that couldn’t be delayed.

So, while I’m trying to find out if I can buy a new rim and tire, which eventually would have left me with two spares … and which, based on the events of last week didn’t seem like such a bad idea … everyone else was talking about insurance. We’re back to the accident thingy again, I thought.

Anyways, as I dug deeper into the “Why the bleep are we talking about insurance when it wasn’t an accident?” question, it started to dawn on me. It seems there’s no warranty on wheels, so I’d have to buy a new one. And Dunlop, if they agreed the tire was faulty, would only refund 50%.

Whereas, if I called it “an accident,” the insurance would cover everything except a small amount for the actual usage on the damaged tire. And, I wouldn’t lose any no claims bonus, as that system is quite different in Thailand, although I didn’t complicate matters by trying to find out just how different. That can wait for another day.

So, it was a no brainer really, except it took an hour to reach the point of me agreeing “Oh yes, it was an accident.” Sigh.

I’d already learned from online forums that in the case of any type of accident, the insurance people come to look, take photographs, fill out forms and get signatures. And that’s just what happened. All in the space of about ten minutes. Which brought me back to the question of the timing for the replacements. “Oh, you can come Friday morning” they said. “We’ve already ordered the wheel and tire.”

I left there happy, and as bemused as always. And just in case things didn’t work out as promised, I’ve held this article until Bert has had his new front left rim & tire fitted. Oh, and they’ve also replaced the damaged rear bumper free of charge – the one that was hit from behind by a fast moving tree – because that really was an accident. See…

Ford Ranger, New Rim and Tire
The “30 Minute Quick Service” turned into two hours, but at least Bert has a new paw.


...has been travelling the world for more than sixty years; having lived and worked in five countries and travelled to many many more.

He likes to write about his travels - present and past - along with his other main interests of Drones, Information Technology and Motorsport, and he adds a few general twitterings along the way.

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