Last post on Jul 07, 2013 at 1:13 PM
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#1 of 17 How to Effectively Complain about your Car Problem
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Mar 08, 2013 (4:16 pm)
What "tricks of the trade" have you used to get your dealer or automaker to go the extra mile to fix your car?
#2 of 17 Re: How to Effectively Complain about your Car Problem [steve_]
Mar 10, 2013 (6:59 am)
No real tricks to it; just be very specific about what your car is doing or not doing and when it is doing it or not doing it. When I drop the car off the night before, I write very specifically what I'm dropping it off for, even though I've already called ahead to make the appointment and told the Service Writer ahead of time. Usually when I sign my receipt upon picking the car up, on the work order will be the notes 'see attached' and my note is attached.
For out-of-warranty things, a couple times over the years I have written an email to Customer Service at headquarters, politely explaining my situation, why I'm disappointed, and reiterating that I've had (fill in the number) of their new products over the years, and that my beef isn't with the dealer--it's this specific product. I also reiterate that I utilize the dealer for routine service stops.
I've had great luck just doing the above couple things. But then also, I don't 'turn the radio up' if something in the vehicle doesn't seem right. I get it in soon.
Mar 10, 2013 (12:00 pm)
"Shouting, writing angry emails in all caps and generally freaking out at customer service representatives are all tactics guaranteed to make your quest for a positive resolution a lot harder. And as one companyís social media rep writes in to explain to Consumerist, often complaining customers arenít doing anything to help her help them.
People think that if they publicly complain, they will get their stuff fixed faster, but I would guess that most companies donít have staff that are solely dedicated to answering Facebook or Twitter comments. I get to it when I can (always within a few hours) but the whole process would be faster if people would go ahead and make their public complaints, but then send a direct message with their contact info."
Help Us Help You: One Companyís Social Media Rep Explains How To Get Complaints Resolved (consumerist.com)
#4 of 17 Re: flies and honey? [steve_]
Mar 13, 2013 (3:53 am)
No tricks by me either. I always just try to be nice and explain what ever the problem is the best I can, perhaps adding some info if the problem 'seems' to have been experienced by others and posted at places like Edmunds. Even if I have to be persistent and it takes multiple trips I'll still be nice about it. For instance my daily driver had a situation where the brake fluid warning light would come on under certain circumstances (temps under 20 degrees or so) , not nice at oh-dark thirty in the morning on a cold day when trying to get to work on wondering if there was going to be an important failure.
Dropped it off at dealer two or three times only to get the 'could not re-create' answer, likely do to the fact that by the time they got to it the black vehicle had been cooking in the early morning sun and had gotten to warm to re-create. I did persist though and managed to take a lunch time ride to dealer on a really cold day when it didn't get warmed up enough circumvent problem and they had a tech walk out just to prove the light was on. Annoying , but got to where we needed to be to attempt fix.
#5 of 17 this was pretty effective
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Mar 16, 2013 (6:26 am)
"Hondaís recall of about 183,000 vehicles that might apply the brakes on their own was prompted by a woman who was frightened by having that problem in her own Honda and angry that there wasnít a recall.
Carrie Carvalho of Arlington, Mass., used a little-known tactic: Filing a formal defect petition with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, requiring the agency to review her concern."
Petition by Owner Prompts Recall of 183,000 Honda Vehicles (NY Times)
#8 of 17 My 2013 Subaru Outback
Apr 01, 2013 (6:50 pm)
The mileage on sticker said 26-30, and my 2012 identical car regularly got 30-31 mpg. The new car has been terrible. Best mpg so far is 26.1 and I have 5600 miles on the car since purchase at end of December. Who do I complain to? I called the salesman and he blamed it on "winter fuel".
#9 of 17 Re: My 2013 Subaru Outback [subiebarb]
Apr 03, 2013 (9:17 am)
So your car gets the advertised mileage. I don't see what the problem is.
Winter driving will always consume more fuel especially if you live in a region where you have snow or slippery roads where your AWD is constantly engaged, therefore using more fuel.
#10 of 17 My Story
Apr 05, 2013 (8:19 am)
With my 2004 Bonneville, the A/C would cycle on/off at weird times, and no codes were in the system. Like when I would accelerate to pass, it would kick on; it would kick off when I was just cruising. Drove me crazy, not to mention made me hot.
Of course, they could not replicate when I left the car on several occasions. This is a smallish GM dealer, and customer service is their hallmark. It's the main reason I do all my business there.
Usually the same mechanic works on your car, so I asked to leave the car and have the serviceman drive it as his personnel vehicle until it could be solved. In the third week, it finally replicated, and he had his OB? scanner plugged in, and got a code. It turned out to be a crimped wiring harness.
Car was returned completely fixed with a full tank of gas!
Then there was the time I got a seat on the last flight out of Atlanta because I was the only bumped passenger from the cancelled earlier flight that asked rather than demanded. The desk and gate agents made sure everyone at that gate waiting to be called for standby knew that my being considerate got me the last seat.