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Old 04-03-2011, 10:05 AM   #1
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Unhappy Just up to here with the Dealership Service...

Hi,

I am at my wits end.

Been a lurker here at the forums for some time. Read a lot that has helped out with my car, wife'* car (Honda Accord -- the only Import, but she had it before we married), my parent'* car, and the in-law'* cars.

Being the only one who actually knows what the different shapes, boxes, and clicky things are under the hood of a car, I get asked to maintain the cars. This grew from when I was learning to drive and if I wanted to drive a car, I would wash, keep the cars back then in good shape, rotate the tires, and sit at the mechanics when work was being done. Which is fine, I don't mind and it all. Coming to the forums has helped out a lot to see what others have done and read stories.

But back to the how the service department lost the key (I'll leave the name out for now because I am not sure about the rules regarding that).

So my mother in-law got mailed a letter from GM that her Vibe has a "possible recall for a tranny module" so my wife made arrangements for my mother in-law to drop it off so the dealership can match the part serial number on the module.

10 am on Friday rolls around -- she don't speak much English and the dealership calls me and the wife saying the car would be done by 1 pm and they would call either of us so we could tell my mother in-law that the shuttle would be there to get her after lunch. Fine. "Can you add an oil change while it is there please?"

The dealership calls soon after and, yes the Vibe is part of the recall. Thanks, bye.

Now, the mother in-law needs the car to visit my father in-law at the hospital while he is trying to recover from a stroke. She calls me at 2 pm wondering if they called -- nope. So my wife calls the dealership (I'm in a different town 25 minutes away). The service people say, "...we're still working on the car, but it will be ready soon. We'll call you when it is ready."

I call my mother in-law and tell her to wait.

3 pm my mother in-law can't wait and is getting antsy, so I tell my wife to drop her computer work and pick up her mother and take her to the hospital.

Well, 5 pm rolls around and the service manager calls my wife on her cell phone (she is at the hospital) saying, "We have some bad news about the car..."

My wife thinks that there is something really wrong with the car and the transmission and it is broken. Bad timing as my mother in-law needs the car to get to the hospital.

"We can't find the key. Did your mother take it with her when she left?"

My wife asks my mother in-law and no. The service people needed to move it and took the key.

"No. Didn't you guys have to move it?"

"Yeah. Oh. Then we would have had the key. Well you need to bring a spare key so we can cut you another one. We'll do the reschedule the service for next week."

My wife is ready to blow up, but can't (hospitals are quiet places).

Apparently, when they said that they were working on it at 2pm, they weren't. They were looking for the key at that time. My wife wants the service done tomorrow and gets the reply, "But we're pretty full."

My wife says no, get it done tomorrow, we'll get the spare and drop it off to you.

By the time my wife get'* there, the main guy dodged her by leaving, the leftovers in service don't know what is going on and thinks that my wife has lost her key and wants a new one.

UGH! No!

The one girl who knows the whole situation says "Marc" the Service Manager won't be back until Monday, but Shirley will help out and she has a note about it.

My wife presses and they can't say if the key was misplaced in the garage, lost, or stolen. They then add in this zinger...

"These things happen all the time..."

So Saturday rolls around and I have to take my wife up to pick up the car.

Again, none of the people there know what is going on. The one service manager who was supposed to see us (Shirley) didn't feel well and left for the day. The other service manager working there that day just says, "According to this note, we still can't find the key."

"Has a copy been made for us?"

"Well, there'* no work order for that. So I would say no."

"What is going to be done about it? We're down a key."

"You'll have to talk to Marc about that, he was the manager on Friday."

I ask, "Do you know if it was lost, misplaced, or stolen?"(there are like 5 keys and workorders/invoices within 4 feet of me, two on the desk in front of me and if someone of lesser character than me wanted to prove a point, all of those keys would be gonet that would be bad).

I can't say what happened to your key, but no one would steal a key and if they did, there is nothing on the key tag to indicate an address. There is only the make, model, license plate, VIN, and customer name. Service manager waltzes off to deal with a mechanic.

Customer name? Do they realize that a car key is like a frontdoor key to your house. Whatever is in car is now open and easy game.

My wife asks, "Can I wait until Monday and talk to Marc about this and pay then?"

"Well you can, but I can't release the car until you pay. Unless you pay, we have to hold onto your key."

I chime in, "You mean keys. You guys have both of the keys."

In walks the service manager and just a matter of perfect timing.

"Can you call this customer? So and so gave them their car and the customer didn't pay for the service."

Bravo service desk girl (she turned blue in the face).

The service manager then says to me and my wife, "I do have some good news. Someone in parts has ordered a blank, but it has to come from Philadelphia."

I am not sure if I should ask if it is my mother in-law'* replacement blank or for someone else. I am just sick of it all at this point.

The bottom line is that no one has done anything to fix this.

No one there will take responsibility of it and are pretty callous. No one wants to be the face of the company but passes it off to someone else. No one will talk about replacing the key (Do we have to pay for one? When do we get one? What is the matter? Are they saying it was stolen and now have to replace the locks and ignition?).

No one has apologized for the time and inconvenience (it may not make things right, but it may make it a little better).

My mother in-law already in a bad state of mind and has this added.


TL;DR version

Dealership misplaces key, can't say if it was lost or stolen. Won't pony up for a new key for some reason. The two managers are dodging you. And the service people still charge for what amounts to a 30 hour oil change.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:13 PM   #2
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Sounds liek a bunch of winners there. Lets hope GM customerservice sees this thread and is able to do something about it.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:10 AM   #3
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Start asking to speak to the next up. Then the next and if necessary the owner. I've had to do this in the past and after the vehicle was finally fixed...kinda that dealer never saw the car again, GM got a call and email about the issues.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:58 AM   #4
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I would definitely have a talk with the owner of the dealership. IF they can't resolve the problem, I would inform GM Customer Service.
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:10 PM   #5
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As an update (and thanks for reading the previous post -- I really needed to vent).

Yeah, I went in with my wife this morning and talked to the Customer Service Agent and the Service Manager.

The Service Manager, he had caught wind of this and was doing his own investigation and went tracking down the mechanic.

The Customer Service Agent had his back up when we were talking to him, saying that these things happen all the time. People lose things all the time. He'll replace the key. He understands that the 30 hours of not having a car is an inconvenience but other customers don't even have driveable cars for the weekend. He can not understand the "security" issue we are having as he will reprogram the car and key (I said same key, they can open the door and get the garage door opener and any stuff in the back. He says, people would not be able to find the car and he doubts anyone would or could do that. I say back Canada411.com, a google map, and gee it ain't that difficult). He says told my wife that this would be settled all by Tuesday and why was she down there today? (reason was because no one on Saturday could tell her and they were saying talk to Marc on Monday). If he doesn't find the key, he will order one and get it done by Wednesday (I said, apparently someone has ordered one and it won't arrive here until Friday).

My wife is really shaking now. She says, you are the big guys here, so nothing happens? No one is going to take ownership of this situation?

In short, it really looked, sounded, and smelled like he did not care. Other customers were off in the same area and were wondering (One dude: "Your key got stolen or lost here?" Me: "Yeah, they can't confirm nor deny." Dude: "Really? They won't own up to it?" I just roll my eyes.)

I asked why they would lie about working on the car when they didn't even have the key? And he said it was being worked on when my wife called at around 2:00pm on Friday.

I asked what was being worked on at that point if you didn't have the key? He can't be certain -- he'd have to talk to the mechanic. (when my wife dropped off the spare, the oil hadn't been changed and tranny module was not replaced as the car was on the recall -- so NOTHING! It was parked out back in the waiting area for cars. If you want to tell a yarn, make it a plausible one).

I say that the only reason that I am here is to keep my wife from jumping across his desk and shaking him because she is on edge. Her father is in the hospital. I point out that the car was supposed to be done early afternoon and that was the estimate. My mother in-law was depending on that car being there so she can get to the hospital. Instead my wife has to drop her work, run up and down, back and forth to do this and we weren't even sure if the spare key was home or if my brother in-law had it on his key chain. My mother in-law is without transportation, not even a loaner. Then what?

Why were we here? We go back and forth, and no one can tell us anything but to talk to, "Shirley on Saturday", but no Shirley as she left, so everyone then says, talk to "Marc on Monday." So here we are and we still know as much as we did on Friday when my wife got here and you were gone.

How would you like it if your frontdoor key or car key or any key for that matter was stolen or lost? Would you feel good about it? His answer was that keys get lost all the time.

Then why would they ask if my mother in-law took the key with her when they called at 5:00pm? The car was moved and work being done when there was no work done until Saturday? No answer.

My wife actually broke down crying because she was so frustrated (and given the whole situation with her father being in the hospital, I can't blame her). She then says, what can be done, we still don't have a key, you want my mother'* car back in here to reprogram when it does come in, whenever that is, we were inconvenienced for 30 hours, we weren't given an invoice when we paid (every single one of their printers were broken on Saturday -- can you believe it? This story just gets sooooo good... MAN, I CAN'T EVEN MAKE THIS STUFF UP!) and nothing has happened. Is this good customer service?

He said he would call back by 5:00 pm today. I just tell my wife.

The Service Manager seeing what was going on, comes on out and asks us to go into his office and asks the Customer Service Agent.

We go back over the whole thing again, the Customer Service Agent stays quiet on the whole thing.

The Service Manager is well experienced. He isn't jumping to any conclusions, he ain't got his back up, he is listening, and trying to understand it all. He is actually apologetic at one point which is a lot more than I can say about Marc. He offers to shuttle my mother in-law if they can't get the car done in the hour it takes to re-program. He offers to send someone to pick up the car if that would be better. He said had he known, that Friday and Saturday that we needed a car he would arranged for a loaner. He said it is their fault and he would look after this and make sure things would go the right direction moving ahead.

Well, fine all too late and it is cold comfort, but dammit, at least he came out and said it.

I said to my wife who is still stunned, "Wait for the phone call. Chock this up as a "Great Expereince".

She was bouncing between angry and sad and frustrated. So we left. I am not sure if we will get another domestic. My parent'* Cadillac (their fifth one), my brother in-law'* Sunfire, my Dodge Caravan (I am a GM guy, but the minivans at Dodge were going wayyyy too cheap and with 2 kids, I needed one), and my mother in-law'* Vibe. I think my wife wants a Honda instead.


The owner of the dealership is not there. He has three dealerships within a 2 hour radius and is usually not around.

Oh yeah, GM Canada'* program for dealing with customers when they come in for Car Service is actually called "Great Experience".
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:06 PM   #6
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You know, I am not holding my breath about it. If the frontline customer service guy, won't pony up and say, "We made a mistake, sorry, I'll make sure it is right.", I somehow doubt corporate will do anything.
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonpro03 View Post
I would definitely have a talk with the owner of the dealership. IF they can't resolve the problem, I would inform GM Customer Service.
Like I said, the dealership owner has 3 lots all within 2 hours of driving and probably some other things on the side to be worried about something this small. My Dad'* friend is a franchise funeral parlour owner and he has fleet cars for his funeral homes -- he said the service he got from there was so bad, that he switched his salesmen'* cars to Chrysler/Dodge and only gets his stretched limos from there.

Sometimes you can't win.
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBoost37 View Post
Start asking to speak to the next up. Then the next and if necessary the owner. I've had to do this in the past and after the vehicle was finally fixed...kinda that dealer never saw the car again, GM got a call and email about the issues.
They might listen if it were a brand new Cadillac Escalade or a ZO6 Corvette or an old and somehow ultra rare low mileage all numbers matching COPO Camaro or split window '63. But as it stands, whatever -- they'll see it as a Pontiac (dead part of the company) and as a Vibe (not really a GM but a "Japanese" product).

All I wanted was someone to own up to the situation. Is it that hard to say, "Sorry, we messed up and told a yarn about your car being worked on? We'll make it better. And sorry pushed in the wrong direction so hard, we made your wife cry."
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:33 PM   #9
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Looking back and trying to get objective about all of this...

You know, forget the apologies, the taking responsibility of what happened, and what was and wasn't done.

At the end of the day, all I want is the key they lost. No spares, no reprogramming, no second guessing, no worries.

Find that key and all the problems are pretty much well solved. Nothing good is going to come from this even if they cut a spare and reprogram the car.

The only good guy in this whole thing was the Service Manager. I have a feeling that the will probably push this thing through to make it go in the right direction.
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:38 PM   #10
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Saying sorry is only part of the problem. Them learning from this and correcting problems should be a major goal. This happens all the time? Really? Then why don't you find the cause and correct it? How hard is it to say my I have your key please, thank you. Stick a tag on it, write your name, car type, and perhaps lic number. Done. Even if the key is put down, anyone can pick it up and know where it goes. Loosing it show sloppy work at the workers level, not correcting the problem shows incompetent management. I can see a worker making a mistake, but management needs to be on top of things to prevent it from happening again.
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