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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I truly cannot believe this! I registered and sent in my deposit on March 30, 2007 and attended one of the road show events last month. I just returned from a 9 day vacation and guess what happened? Yep, I got my invite and it was pulled just before I got back.

I received the invite email on Oct. 26 while I was out of town and when I tried to complete the reservation at mysmartfortwo.com after I returned, I was told that my password had expired. I called Smart in a total panic and they said that I would be "re-invited" in the future. They said when I asked directly that I was not in the back of the line but they couldn't say exactly when I would be "re-invited". I asked and got the following information (outdated/wrong?)

What is the EPA fuel mileage estimate?
Answer: They have not yet tested the 08 Smart (this can't be true)
What is the warranty?
Answer: Not decided at this point
When will the dealers officially be announced?
Answer: Hopefully before the end of the year

The girl said that my registration had been closed on November 2nd. She also said that everyone who got the invite had about ten days to respond. That looks like exactly 7 days to me. When I asked why it was open for such a short period, she said that ten days should have been long enough. I don't understand what the harm would be in keeping the website password open for at least 2-3 weeks. If they have to send in reservations in periodically, they could simply hold those that come in late until the next batch gets sent in.

I gotta tell you, this is pretty aggravating for someone who has waited so long to finalize the reservation. I reserved before the end of March. Has anyone else had this happen to them and if so, how long did it take to get "re-invited"? I did have a message on my answering machine that they did try to call me while I was gone on vacation, but I had no way to know THE INVITE was imminent. What's worse, the message on my machine from "Kyle" with Smart said that if I did not confirm soon, I would likely face "significant delays" on my Smart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Update and Dealer Insight on the Order Process

Just a follow up on my situation. I forgot to mention that I spoke to my dealer candidate earlier this week about my situation. He is completing his remodeling for the Smart section but they have not been officially named yet. Even he didn't know when that would happen. He did have some other insights about the ordering and delivery process.

1) He said that he has been a MB dealer for years and said they had a similar process for ordering cars. He said they have something called a bi-weekly or something similar, can't remember the exact name. Basically it is a periodic open period for people to order custom MB's. He said that after a certain number of days, that period is closed and anyone who wants to order a custom MB must wait a few weeks until the next period opens. It also allows dealers to track incoming stock by the period number. He said it sounded to him like Smart is doing something like that. He said that if that is the case, I should be in the next batch of invites. I sure hope he's right.

2) I asked him if he knew anything about how cars would be allocated to dealers. I gave the following ridiculous example: Suppose the first 2000 Smart orders came from, say, Atlanta. If Smart delivers cars as ordered, it means that for some weeks, no other dealers in the US would get any cars at launch. We know that isn't going to happen and that some spec cars are going to be mixed in with all shipments, right? He confirmed that Smart has been analyzing the order patterns and noticed that, not surprisingly, there is a surge in orders in the area that just held a road show event. He said that Smart is likely to do some kind of "leveling" in those cases. He also said he has been told that dealers will have at least a few cars at launch (presumably spec cars, I guess).

3) He confirmed that even at this late date, he doesn't know how many orders have been placed for his territory. He said that at the moment, he has no plans to require further paperwork beyond the initial $99 reservation and the ongoing confirmation process. He said he is happy at this point to let Smart handle the reservations at least until the backlog clears up but that Smart wants to hand off this process to the dealers at some point.

4) He said that he had a dozen or so people on his own unofficial waiting list and presumably they would get a crack at any Smarts that had been ordered and not purchased when they are delivered. He said that is one reason why he doesn't worry about getting more paperwork from those who ordered. He did say they absolutely would not get cars before those who reserved unless there were cancellations and that they would not sell Smarts for above MSRP.

5) I asked him that assuming that I get re-invited soon and confirm the order, did he know when I would hear from him? For example, would I hear before it arrived at his dealership? He said he wasn't sure and there was talk about setting up a tracking system to allow buyers to track their car through the delivery process. It seems to me they'll need something better than this for the benefit of buyers who will need to line up financing.

6) He said that he is very excited to be involved with the Smart line and really likes the way they are involving the enthusiasts.

I hope he is right about my delay not being too bad. As of today it has been exactly two weeks since my invite was pulled according to Smart. Others have posted as recently as today that there recent confimation is looking like a 2nd quarter 2008 delivery according to Smart. It is a little worriesome that with less than 8 weeks until 2008, there is so much information that is not out there like official EPA estimated mileage, warranty info, official announcement of dealers, not to mention any details about the whole ordering process through the local dealers. It is certainly possible that he knew a lot more than he could tell me but I think generally, he was very straightforward and enthusiastic in our discussion. I hope this is helpful in our ongoing discussions about the ordering and delivery process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
In another forum someone said about this reconfirmation process that Smart has an important operational reason for doing it this way but wouldn't say what the reason was. I have said all along that it is admirable that Smart is attempting to maintain some sort of priority based on the order that reservations are placed.

But...If it is so important that we respond in a limited number of days, why not say so in the email we get, or post it on their web page somewhere, or put it in one of those newsletters, etc. I think anything they could say about their process without being too specific would be appreciated by those of us that are very interested in their product. Also, if they had some way of letting us know when they will be sending out another batch of invites soon, some of us might know to look at their email more often. It wouldn't have mattered in my case as I did not have internet access where I was except for one day and that was the day my password expired. They should have some process for those who pre-registered then are not available either for emergency or other reasons.

It won't matter much if I am "re-invited" in the next few weeks. It's just human nature to worry that you've slipped back maybe thousands of spaces or more due to this small window of opportunity, which is apparently intentional.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Things worked out for me

Well, I received the REINVITE in my email yesterday. The email was dated Friday Nov. 16 but I didn't receive it until Sunday Nov. 18. It specified that I had only until Nov. 28 to respond but it only took me an hour or two to configure my Smart. I changed the color of my Passion from the red I originally chose to white after seeing the orange-red color at a road show event.

It looks like I did receive my reinvite exactly 14 days after my original one cancelled out. I hope this is helpful for anyone else who misses their original deadline for some reason.

My email suggests a possible first half of 2008 delivery so now the next wait begins.
 
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