Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My experience with AutoMax Hyundai on I-240

UPDATE: I just received a phone call from the owner of AutoMax, Max Fairchild. It is amazing what a calm ten minute conversation with someone in charge can do for a customer that has had a bad experience. AutoMax is handling the situation with my car with no charge to me and the issued seems to have been resolved. Max sincerely apologized and chatted with me about any possible way they could make this a better situation. He gave me his cell phone number and wants me to call him when I pick up the car to make sure that everything is how it should be. He let me know that the behavior his employee showed me was is in no way a good representation of his five dealership locations. Just in conversation, I mentioned to him that I work downtown and he invited me over to his downtown office to meet me personally.

Thank you, Max, for taking the time to prove to me that your dealership does care about customer satisfaction and that my case was one of the rare negative moments.

Below is the story on my experience. While it does paint a very negative experience and a case of terrible customer relations, the problem has been resolved and I am now back to being a satisfied customer.

I finally got rid of my 1993 Honda Accord and bought a 2003 Civic Hybrid last month and I was a little giddy to finally have a car that had an antennae, had a radio that wouldn't fall out of it's "holder", had no signs of rust, had more than two hub cabs, had functioning A/C, had tint that hadn't turned purpleish-brown, had a working cruise control, had a fully in-place/intact ignition and also giddy to have a car that didn't make the most hideous screeching sound when in first gear...sorry old Honda Accord...but you were the definition of a "piece."

SO, when I test drove the car I thought I wanted I noticed only one small flaw...the car pulled to right in a major way. As I noted this fact to the salesman (who was in the car with me) he told me that it was just the alignment and that they would fix it for me. (time for negoticiating!)

After negotiation of the trade-in (haha, they actually took that car) and a little haggle on the newer car price, I signed the purchasing contract, also noting that the car was to be fixed of the alignment.

After I drove off the lot (it was a Saturday and the service/repair dept was closed on the weekend) I called and made an appointment to have the car fixed...this is where the fun begins.

I brought my car in to the service dept on a Monday morning to get fixed and at the end of the day I called to make sure they were finished and they told me they were and that I could come up to get it...keep in mind that I work/live on the NW side of OKC and I-240 is not exactly on the way to anything I go to.

After picking it up with a handshake and a smile I drove the car home but as soon as I got onto the highway my car was still changing lanes on its own...the problem was most definitely not fixed. I called AutoMax while still in the car and told them the situation, they told me I needed to call back the next day and speak to the manager.

SO I called the next morning and spoke to a manager...he said he would talk to the service guy and call me back. Never called back. I called the NEXT morning (Wednesday) and spoke to the assistant that answered the phone, she said he was with a customer and took my contact info and said he would call me back when the customer left...6 hours later I called again, the manager was out for the rest of the day. #Fail.

I then called Thursday morning, and talked to the general manager (Ron) and had to explain to him the entire story thus far. He said I needed to talk to the service guy and transferred me to the service dept...the service dept guy said it was more than alignment and listed a couple other things wrong with the car and that if anymore was going to happen to the car that he would have to get the "ok" with the boss. He transferred me back to the GM...he said he would have to check the service ticket and would call me back...I got no call back the rest of the day.

I called again on Friday morning and was told the manager was out for the day.

I called again on Monday morning and finally spoke to the GM again (Ron) and he told me that it was not the alignment and that they were only responsible to fix the alignment as it said on the contract...I told him the only reason it said alignment on the ticket was because that was the issue the salesman told me it was...his response, "Well he's just a salesman and didn't know. We have fixed the alignment as we promised and I'd have to talk to my boss to see if we would fix anything else."

"I don't care if he was just a salesman. He was a representative of AutoMax and told me the issue and wrote it down to get fixed. I don't care if it was the alignment or anything else...I said it pulls to the right and he assured me it would be fixed."

"Let me call you back." -Ron

I got a call at the end of the day on Monday from Ron telling me that if I dropped my car off in the morning they would give me a "loaner" car until they fixed it. (hooray)

This morning I called up to AutoMax to make sure that everything would be ready for me to pick up and go so that I wouldn't have to wait (after voting and going to AutoMax I needed to get to work as soon as possible). The lady told me Ron wasn't in the office yet but expected him any moment, I told her it was no problem and that Ron knew I was coming up there.

As I arrived, I saw Ron at the front. He told that he wished I would have called first, I told him I did...he said that I just needed to drive around back to the service dept to pick up my loaner car...

I get to the service dept...no loaner car available. (I am now not a happy camper)

I drove back to the front of the store and am determined to let Ron know exactly how I felt...which is VERY unusual for me when it comes to approaching business owners as I can understand that running a business from a managerial standpoint can be difficult...I usually let things roll off and just move on...not this time.

I approached Ron and told him (in a not so passive voice and hands raised about ribs-high) and said, "There's no loaner car available. I thought you said I'd get a loaner this morning."

"I told you I wanted you to call first." -Ron

"I DID call." -Me

"Well you needed to call and make an appointment to get a loaner" -Ron

"You never said I needed to make an appointment" -Me

"Listen, we're going to fix your car...I already told my boss about it and we're going to just take the hit on the extra $350 it's going to cost to fix your car" -Ron

"Well that's not my fault" -Me

"YES IT IS" - Ron

"What?!?! It's my fault? I told your salesman the only issue I had was that it pulled to the right" -Me

"Well, he's just a salesman and didn't know what the issue was...he's just trying to..." -Ron

(Interrupting him) "I don't care if he's just a salesman! He told him..." -Me

(Ron interrupting me said) "Hey! You need to stop talking so I can finish!" -Ron

"No, RON, that's not how this whole thing works! You can't just tell me stop talking...(Ron, now rolling his eyes, picks up the phone and calls the service dept and mumbles into the phone as I keep talking)...I have called up here for seven straight days trying to get this little issue fixed and you have been ignoring me this whole time! (Ron hangs up the phone and looks at me)"

"Ok, walk with my salesman to the service department and they'll get you a loaner" -Ron

"I already went over there, they don't have one to give me" -Me

"I know they don't have one but they'll find one." -Ron

"If they could have 'found one' they should have 'found it' before I came in here to argue with you." -Me as I walk off with the salesman and exit the building.

(After leaving the building I asked the salesman why he works for that guy...he responded telling me he treats all of the employees like that too)

AutoMax Hyundai on I-240 (with an emphasis on Ron Bowie) earned a big time #Fail today.