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Settlements, cars, house projects

June 29, 2016

Amazon & Ticketmaster Settlements: The initial happiness of finding out I had some Ticketmaster vouchers was quickly squashed when I realized that they are only “potentially eligible” for free tickets.  I’m pretty sure I won’t use them.  The Amazon settlement was a little better for me, in that I’ll actually be able to use my $17.  But don’t expect any future settlements from anyone  – binding arbitration is the name of the game these days.

VW Settlement: Speaking of settlements, remember how we bought a brand new car in 2011?  We were super excited about the clean diesel technology, the great fuel economy, and the overall savings in fuel costs… And the hatchback!  It could fit so much stuff – we transported a lot of things that you’d never expect to be able to fit into a car.  I will never own a car with a trunk again!   I was pretty thrilled with our choice.

Except… it was all based on lying and cheating, and we’ve actually been driving a polluting car!  They finally sorted out the settlement, and T calculated they’ll do a buy-back/settlement, and we’ll get ~$20k and be carless.  Our A/C has been mostly busted for some time now, but we’ve been avoiding fixing it ($$) until we knew if we were keeping the car.  Due to the A/C issue (and a dent that I don’t want to talk about), we’ll likely go with the buy-back option. We haven’t decided if we’ll go with something new or used this time.

Car wish list:  I want a wagon or hatchback (maaaaybe a subcompact-crossover) a with respectable fuel economy, preferably with higher clearance.  It would ideally fits the dog crate without folding down the seats (our current setup requires folding down 2 of the 3 seats in the back).  Or we could get a crate/setup more custom designed to fit into cars nicely.  The desire for high clearance is to make some of the dirt roads we like to drive on to go backpacking passable  – but we did actually rent an SUV for our last trip, and could continue to do that as needed.  One thing we noted was that while the SUV we rented (Jeep Grand Cherokee) had some extra width to it, it actually didn’t seem to fit much more stuff than our Golf.

House Project:  Through the CA Earthquake Brace and Bolt program, combined with a county tax rebate associated with our house purchase, we’re getting ~$7k of earthquake retrofitting work done for a cost-to-us of about $1k.   It mostly consists of adding shear panels to the cripple walls.   Hooray for tax subsidized home maintenance projects!

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