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-   -   Smart troubles - Dumb troubles (https://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f4/smart-troubles-dumb-troubles-6659/)

katzam 05-13-2008 03:35 PM

Smart troubles - Dumb troubles
 
Well, what an interesting month May has been. On April 12th, I asked my dealer why there were folks posting here that they had received their car in Dallas when they had ordered/configured theirs after I had. On April, 27th, I received a call from the dealer telling me that my car was at the dealership. No emails or other notices had been received.

On 5/1, I joyfully picked up my beautiful blue/black Smartie and on Friday drove to Houston and Lousiana to see my husband. I returned on Sunday and had put 1000 miles on the car. For the most part, everything was wonderful. The A/C froze up once and we noticed some difficulties in shifting into park at times. But it was infrequent and I just thought that I had not done something correctly. I had SO much fun driving and met so many people everywhere I stopped.

On 5/5, on the way to work, the check engine light came on. I contacted the dealer about the problems and they told me that they would not provide a loaner. So, I arranged to have them come to tow the car. That afternoon, there were 3 times that I could not shift the car into or out of park for over 15 minutes. About 3 hours after calling for the tow, it arrived (I live 2 hours from Dallas). The tow truck driver was very nice and careful with my baby.

On 5/8 I went out of town and on 5/9 my husband called to tell me that they had just returned my car to me...well, they returned A car to me...but not mine! OMG!

Eventually my car came home and, since I am still out of town, I have not driven it. Nor have I read the details on what all was wrong. But my husband now tells me he wants to take it out of town with him and leave me with my other car. Why? Cuz it is so fun to drive. And this from the man who was unsure about me getting the car!

I love my car - but it is so frustrating that after owning it for 4 days it is in the shop for 5 and I get NOTHING out of it. Customer service is, as many others have noted, a major problem. As with typical supply and demand - since they know so many folks want a car, they don't have to meet common standards because someone will eventually buy the car.
I hope the dealers start paying attention, because this trend will not last forever.

mmmeat 05-13-2008 05:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by katzam (Post 74703)
I love my car - but it is so frustrating that after owning it for 4 days it is in the shop for 5 and I get NOTHING out of it. Customer service is, as many others have noted, a major problem.

What kind of customer service do you expect? Did the dealership pick up your car and deliver it back to you? Did they fix the issue with the shifter?

Your pal,
Meat.

SmartPassion 05-13-2008 05:05 PM

This ain't Lexus. :D

mmmeat 05-13-2008 05:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SmartPassion (Post 74743)
This ain't Lexus. :D

...or Mercedes. :rolleyes:

Your pal,
Meat.

jwight 05-13-2008 05:09 PM

To be fair, the dealer for one didn't notify her her car was en route and, for two (pun intended!) brought the wrong car back to her on their first attempt (what, they all look alike?) So that's about a five out of ten in my book. And no it ain't Lexus but the Dallas dealer is co-located with a huge M-B dealership. :)

bumblebee 05-13-2008 05:18 PM

I know on the sales side they've been delivering 40-60 cars a month. (They have 900+ allocated for the year ) So juggling between calling customers and scheduling for deliveries they may have overlooked here and there. Plus, they are probably short staffed to keep up with the delivery schedules with all their customers. On the service side, the last time I was in (nothing mechanical) they had 3 smarts in for service plus a bunch being prep. for deliveries and they only have 1 or 2 techs certify to work on the smarts.
I understand your frustration and hope that does not deter your love for driving your smart car.

I do want to say that I haven't had any problems with my smart since I pick her up in January. The sales consultants, parts department, and the service department has been very helpful to me whenever I have questions or concerns about the car.

mmmeat 05-13-2008 05:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jwight (Post 74749)
To be fair, the dealer for one didn't notify her her car was en route and, for two (pun intended!) brought the wrong car back to her on their first attempt (what, they all look alike?) So that's about a five out of ten in my book. And no it ain't Lexus but the Dallas dealer is co-located with a huge M-B dealership. :)

To be fair, the dealership sent a tow truck out at least three times (for a total of 12 hours of driving time) to pick up and deliver her car. I don't know of any dealership that would do that for a sub-$20K car. And, again - to be fair - I'm not sure that the dealership didn't say her car wouldn't be back the next day; there's nothing in their post to indicate that communication was required or did not occur.

And I'm reasonably certain that the tow truck driver doesn't work exclusively for Smart, so it's not at all impossible that the driver could have picked up the wrong car and delivered it - it probably doesn't have license plates on it yet.

Whether the Smart dealer is colocated with another dealership isn't particularly relevant as they both operate as separate dealerships.

Just playing devil's advocate here; the dealerships seem to be getting an unfair rap on these boards lately. Not sure why.

Your pal,
Meat.

jwight 05-13-2008 05:31 PM

I don't know why either, unless it's bringing the wrong car back and failing to notify a customer their car is 30 days out, give them the VIN#, etc. This is supposed to be a new way of buying a car (the "smart buying experience"), not the same old, same old we've put up with for years. Sorry, but the dealers signed on to this - it's up to them to deliver IMHO. And BTW, the long tow truck drive - part of the deal when the car is out of commission. It's what they should of done; not like there's a smart center on every corner. Hold their feet to the fire! :)

mmmeat 05-13-2008 06:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jwight (Post 74775)
I don't know why either, unless it's bringing the wrong car back

Bet they don't do that again.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jwight (Post 74775)
and failing to notify a customer their car is 30 days out,

Bet they don't do that again.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jwight (Post 74775)
give them the VIN#, etc.

Bet they don't do that again.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jwight (Post 74775)
This is supposed to be a new way of buying a car (the "smart buying experience"), not the same old, same old we've put up with for years. Sorry, but the dealers signed on to this - it's up to them to deliver IMHO. And BTW, the long tow truck drive - part of the deal when the car is out of commission. It's what they should of done; not like there's a smart center on every corner. Hold their feet to the fire! :)

As far as I can see - and, mind you my experience is only limited to the three dealerships in my area - it is a new way of buying a car. When I go to a dealership, I either have an AAA discount, a Masonic nod and handshake, or a previous business relationship with the dealership that gets me better than fleet pricing on whatever it is I'm buying. Much like any of my posts on message board, I go in armed with knowledge and ready to draw my line in the sand to get the price I am willing to pay.

With Smart, it's completely different; there's no high pressure sales pitch, no "what can we do to get you into this car today?", no closer, no back and forth with the salesman's "boss" to get the best deal because the salesman really is on your "side." :rolleyes:

With Smart, you order your car, you wait, when you're ready to give up or have just about forgotten that you ordered it, your car shows up. Or you can go the orphan route. Sure, there may be a different radio, powdercoated wheels or some other accessories added to that car doing it that way, but you can get the car right then without the demented and sadistic pressure of a salesman.

Every orphan I've seen hasn't been marked up with anything I wouldn't get by myself. They've had wheels & tires, or a radio, or aftermarket leather ... one had all three. None of them was exorbitantly marked up, and the benefit of having the dealer do the install is that it's now part of the warranty.

And, BTW, I don't know of any dealership that would drive 2 hours to pick up a $15K car.

I'm not sure why everyone is convinced that by buying a Smart they should be treated as if they've just purchased a $50K+ Mercedes - regardless of whether or not the Smart shares a parking lot with a Mercedes dealership. It's a Smart. It's different.

Your pal,
Meat.

dbwill 05-13-2008 06:26 PM

Meat you hit the nail on the head!!


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