GM Roadside Assistance NIGHTMARE
I recently bought a new 2014 GMC Sierra Crew Cab Z71 4WD. I spent more money than I ever dreamed I would spend on a vehicle to get exactly what I wanted. Drove off the lot on Halloween day and was absolutely shaking with excitement. My wife was laughing at me for driving so slow and babying it down the highway. After 2 days of proud ownership I packed my family in the new truck for a trip to the nearest Costco about 20 miles away. We stocked up on all the usual Costco purchases, fresh chicken, deli meats, frozen meals and vegetables, and it was time to head home.
We loaded up the bed of the truck; I hopped in, inserted the key and was ready to roll. Only the key wouldn't go all the way in and definitely wasn’t turning forward. I thought maybe I locked the column when I got back in the truck so I tried turned the steering wheel left and right as I wiggled the key back and forth. This has always worked in the past, but not this time. Nothing. I turned and wiggled, and tried again, still nothing.
Before getting upset I said to my wife, let me call the service department at the dealership and see if they've heard of this happening to the 2014'*. I got the service manager on the phone, and he said "try turning the wheel left and right and wiggle the key at the same time". Great. Tried that. So I kept tying over and over pulling harder, trying to jar it out of the locked position. Still nothing. I started to break a sweat. After a few minutes and dozens of attempts the service manager told me I would have to call Onstar to get further assistance, that there was nothing he could do on his end. Made sense at the time, so I pushed the blue Onstar button expecting to be enlightened with a simple fix, or at least some answers as to why my brand new $50K truck has stranded me with a bed full of frozen food in a Costco parking lot. Maybe it was something electrical, or some security feature that they could diagnose on their end.
Onstar picked up right away, ready to help. After explaining the situation and my conversation with the service dept and my efforts to break the column free she began to read from “the script” of what-to-do’*. “What position is the key in?”…”Have you tried turning the key left and right and wiggling the key?” UGHH! Obviously there was no magical information that she would produce so she attempted to connect me to GM Roadside Assistance. Disconnected. I held for several minutes before I realized that we were no longer connected, then decided to call the dealership.
I got the sales guy on the phone, and he seemed to be overly concerned that I was stranded. Normally I would think his concern stemmed from the fact that I would soon be presented with the “satisfaction survey” and GM is BIG on having completely satisfied checked for every line. But he genuinely is a nice guy and I think he empathized with me. He said “hang tight and I’ll call roadside and have them call you back”. So they did. The guy on the other end acted like I had never inserted a key into an ignition before and started to go through the “have you tried this” routine. After explaining the situation and deciding the only conclusion would be to have the truck towed, he proceeded to give me a time from of 1-2 hours. REALLY? After 4 phone calls and 45 minutes of struggling in the parking lot of Costco with a bed full of frozen food and a cab with 2 small children, NOW I have to wait 1-2 hours. Not good enough. I explained my predicament and asked if there was anyway the tow could be expedited in order to save my food. After a little Roadside Assistance excuse making the call dropped YET AGAIN.
Luckily about this time my salesman called me back to check in. I told him that I had been dropped again. Obviously he wasn’t happy about all the disconnects and the time frame Roadside had given me. He got off the phone with me so he could call a sister dealership and see how they could help.
5 minutes later Roadside calls back. “Looks like we got disconnected”. He then told me that a tow truck had been scheduled and would pick me up in about 1.5 hours (only me, not my family), to take me to the dealership so that I could fill out some paperwork and get a loaner. So in 1.5 hours and about 2.5-3 hours after I loaded my car with frozen groceries I would be picked up, my wife and kids would wait by the truck in a parking lot for ANOTHER hour while I go sign paperwork before I can pick them up and take them home. What a brilliant idea. It’* as if common sense is completely absent from the entire “assistance” part of this “great” service. I let him know that was completely unacceptable and that I would be filing complaints with anyone that I could get a hold of from GM. Anyone that might show a little concern.
After I hung up with him my salesman called me back and let me know that he contacted his sister dealership and that the manager himself would bring me a loaner, help me load up my family, and HE would wait for the tow truck so that I could get my family and groceries home, AND that he would be there in 15 minutes. Outstanding. THAT is real assistance and that’* exactly what happened.
Turns out, the new laser cut key system has a risk for a mechanical piece to break off inside the cylinder and block the key from being completely inserted. There was a Service Bulletin but it had not been made public yet. It took 3 days for the service dept and GM to fix it and for me to get my truck back, but I haven’t had a problem since. Hopefully not many of you will run into this issue, because I can tell you…you will be greatly disappointed by GM Roadside Assistance as well as Onstar. I also have Onstar on my wife’* Tahoe and now I’m quite sure the only thing it’* good for is sending me a monthly email with the tire pressure and oil life. I can look at the instrument panel for that. I’ll be canceling my Onstar service as soon as the term is up and definitely will not renew the service on my Truck.
GM Roadside Assistance and Onstar are a COMPLETE waste of time and money. If you break down, hopefully you bought you vehicle from a customer service oriented dealer that will take real life situations into consideration and do their best to make things right.