Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The one where they messed up her car....

My poor new (well, less than six months old) car. I took it to the dealership for service (its very first one!) and they messed it all up. Left the oil cap off so there was oil everywhere. When I called stranded downtown in my big city, they kept asking me to look around for the oil cap, as if it would magically appear in my pocket or ear maybe. After a huge hassle, well, you'll see what happens. I finally took it somewhere else to have it seen to properly, but here's the letter I wrote to the Very Big Foreign Car Company, making a serious effort to not sound like another irate, unreasonable customer. We'll see how it goes....

June 6, 2006

Very Big Foreign Car Company

Attention: Bitchy Customer Department

Dear Friend,

I purchased a 2006 Corolla/Civic/Sentra/Jetta/Optima/Whatever in January of this year from Mr. Very Nice Salesman at VBFCC in Chicken Holler and the entire process was hassle-free and painless. The car itself has been terrific, and I could not be happier with it. I have recommended this model and dealership to friends.

I live in Possum Creek and so I took my car to VBFCC in Possum Creek on Saturday for its 6000 mile service. In contrast to the professionalism and helpful attitude of the staff at Chicken Holler, I was surprised to not receive the same level of service at the Possum Creek dealership’s service center. It being a holiday weekend, they were hurrying to get cars through the service center and customers out the door. I waited an hour for my car, and once it was finished I paid and left.

An hour later my engine was smoking. After inspecting the engine, it was obvious [doesn't take a genius!] that the oil cap had not been replaced. Oil was all over my engine and smoke was pouring out of my car. I phoned the dealership and was told to bring the car back in and they would replace my oil cap and refill my oil. I did not feel that this would be safe given that I was 20 miles away from the dealership and did not know how much oil was left in my car. *Underacheiver of the Year*, the service manager at Possum Creek, informed me that he was going to be at least an hour and a half getting to me with my missing oil cap as he was in the middle of his lunch break. [At a big ol' Southern Steakhouse where you can throw peanut shells on the floor, mind you. Gosh, at that point I would have liked to have some lunch as well. Hunh. Imagine that.] When I expressed to him that this was not acceptable another employee was sent to my location to bring my oil cap and follow me back to the dealership.

At the dealership I was told that my engine would be steam cleaned and the oil level checked. I sat inside and watched as my engine was not steam cleaned, but pressure washed in the car wash area. When it was ready, Underacheiver gave me a business card for a free oil change. It was then that I realized that instead of getting my 6000 mile service as I had asked for, I only received (and paid for) an oil change. There was no sense of remorse for my time and inconvenience nor was there accountability for their actions.

Because I was extremely concerned about possible damage to my engine due to the high setting of the pressure washer, and because the 6000 mile service had not been completed to keep the car under warranty and in good working order, I drove the 100 miles to Chicken Holler on Monday . Not only were they happy to complete the work not done on my car, and clean the rest of the oil residue off of my engine, they were also exceptionally professional, courteous, and accommodating.

I find it disappointing that I cannot depend on consistent service from VBFCC's service centers. I feel that you should know that your Chicken Holler dealership is a shining example of customer service, while the dealership in Possum Creek sets a very poor standard. I will not have any maintenance work done at VBFCC Possum Creek again, even with the card for a free oil change.

Yet Another Heather

We'll see if anything at all comes of this annoying mess. I'm just glad that my car is okay now. Rest assured that the local dealership and service center will not be getting any of my future business, which is absolutely fine because they gave me the creeps anyway. The poor receptionist was training and was the one who inadvertantly made my appointment later in the day than they wanted to take me (normally they close at 6:00 on Saturdays, but this being a long weekend they were closing at noon). And Underacheiver of the Year was hitting on her something fierce, which was unsettling because he was definitely old enough to be her father. About halfway through sitting there waiting 2 sales guys came in with grocery bags and the employees started slapping together sandwiches for lunch right in the office area. Except, I suppose, for Underacheiver, because heaven forbid he didn't get his Texas Sirloin. The point I'm trying to make is, I was unhappy with them even BEFORE they screwed up!

No comments: