Service.......

..... The Missus and I took a fieldtrip into town today to have her vehicle (Cary) serviced.... her service rate for Cary is about every 8,000 miles - which seems a bit whacky to me, but hey, I'm no mechanic.... anyhoo, Cary happens to be a 2004 Cadillac CTS-V with roughly 16K miles on him..... not that that really matters, well, except for the Cadillac part, but anyway....

.... so, we drive up to the Cadillac dealership where we bought Cary back in 2004 and the baldheaded guy behind the counter is animatedly chatting away on his cell phone about some luncheon engagement he's organizing with someone named Ted, another guy named Roger, and "Ed can't come because he's golfing in Niota"...... so after he finishes organizing his lunch, a sudden tsunami of deep-brooding glumness overwhelms him, and he turns to us......

.... needless to say, I was rather unimpressed with his attitude towards us as customers, his choice of hairstyles, and the fact that we had to wait even one nano-second while he laughed and giggled to some cretin about how Ed should have been at work today instead of sneaking off to golf while The Boss was in Daytona Beach for the week.....

.... anyway, I let the whole thing slide, tossed him the keys, and got out of there as painlessly as possible.....

.... so we lunched ourselves, wandered around Lowes, meandered around the grocery store, hit the folks at H&R Block for out yearly taxes, and basically killed time in town while waiting for Mr. Chromedome to call to say that Cary is ready....... after four hours, The Missus gave up hope and asked me to just drop her off at the dealership to wait so that I could run the groceries home before they spoiled in my trunk....

... but as I pulled into the parking lot, there sat Cary..... his platinum-colored paint hazed with the green East Tennessee pollen of early springtime, his V-series alloy wheels caked with a wintertime's worth of brake dust..... I was not amused that the fellow had not bothered to call us to let us know Cary was ready.........

..... folks, Cary is an American car..... serviced by an American dealership.... the very dealership where he WAS PURCHASED...... and to the best of my knowledge, isn't Cadillac supposed to be a "luxury" car?.... where's The Treatment that one would expect to get when you pull a 65K dollar car into a service center?.....a service center that you have visited LOYALLY for four years since purchasing the vehicle?.....

.... hey, I know that it isn't MY car.... it's hers.... and thus it is her responsibility to deal with the folks at the Cadillac dealership..... truly, it isn't my business - unless she asks me to intervene.....

.... but me?.... I drive a little convertible Audi A4 Cabriolet named Sylvia..... nothing fancy..... but she's cute, and I love driving her..... a beautiful little piece of 2006 German engineering..... I have her serviced regularly at the Audi dealership in Knoxville where they not only sell Audis, but also Porsche and Jaguars....

.... when I arrive there, I am treated very well.... I'm offered a rental car to use while they tend to Sylvia.... I'm offered free coffee, tea, water, or sodas if I choose to wait in the comfortable waiting room....... and if I choose not to risk driving a rental car, they'll have one of their mechanics drive me to the mall and then come to fetch me when they've finished with my car....... and not only that, but when I am finally reunited with my beloved Sylvia?..... she's still dripping from the washman's ministrations..... vacuumed, pressure-washed, and truly serviced... inside & out.... and she rolls off that dealership lot and into the Kingston Pike traffic looking like a million bucks...... and she only cost just over 45,000....... THAT is a service, ladies & gentlemen.........

.... so can you see a difference in the service that my Audi dealer gives me, and how the Cadillac Man treats The Missus??...... I certainly can......

..... sure, the Cadillac place is local - and it is definitely a pain in the ass for me to drive all the way to Knoxville for a service on the Audi - but you know what?..... I think it's worth it.....

.... and The President wants to bail out the auto industry..... well, I don't know if any attitude adjustments will ever filter down from The Manufacturer to The Dealer, but if that's the way they treat a Cadillac customer?..... I can't help but wonder how they'd treat the overworked salesman who shows up to get his Ford Taurus serviced.....

..... I just don't know... and yes, I'm in a bit of a bitchy mood..... but as of right now?.... well, Cary is slated to be paid off by the end of the year...... and if I had MY way, his ass is getting sold off and she's getting a Porsche..... it'd only be an extra 15-20K more than what she paid for Cary..... at least I know that they'll be treating her like a Queen every time she rolls it in for a check-up.......

.... if you're going to drop some serious cash on a car, the very LEAST that the manufacturer and dealer can do is seem THANKFUL that you bought their product.....

.... I have a feeling that any problems that the auto industry has aren't going to be solved by throwing wheelbarrows full of cash at them......

by Eric on April 09, 2009 | Bullshit (9) | TrackBack (0) | Psycho Rants
Bullshit So Far

I haven't bought a new American car in a long time, specifically for the gripes you have laid out. The American Auto Biz is a complete joke. Personally, I blame the unions as much as management. Three or four generations of Michiganites making 75 bucks an hour to turn a bolt or drop in a seat? There is no hope for that particular clusterfuck. Yet another classic case of the cart before the horse come back to bite us all in the ass.

I bought a 04 350Z lease return two years ago with 35K on the odometer for a song and a dance. And based on it's performance to date, I'd buy 10 more just like it before I bought one American performance coupe.

Plus it's the same shit under the skin.

Pop the body off your A4 and swap a few logos here and there and it's a Skoda Superb or a VW Passat/Chinese Passat Lingyu or a Golf/Jetta Mk5, thanks to the VW Group's PL46 platform.

I had the opportunity the other day to inform a customer who was intent on being long winded about his bad ass, gangster black, supercharged Land Rover that it was indeed a product of Tata Motors of India, best known for the Tata Nano and a whole cornucopia of heavy trucks and buses

That was satisfying.

Bottom line? It's all junk, homes. Another 10 years and there will be no such thing as performance cars in America. Better find something you like, garage it and drive it on the weekends, and hit public transit or your bicycle or the hooptie 90s sedan you bought from the local used lot for transpo.....

I doubt its an issue but general FYI: I understand that the first gen CTSVs are prone to really noisy final drive half shafts if you really push the car. Apparently the design guys missed the mark on the torque figures for the LS6 Vette Z06 engine and under-equipped the independent rear. The 2006 cars hit showrooms with upgraded rear diffs and shafts, supposedly.

Bullshitted by Andy on April 9, 2009 06:03 PM

... thanks, Bitterman..... it was just a sour deal all the way around...... luckily, she doesn't push the V too hard...... and personally?.... I can't wait for her to get rid of it.......

Bullshitted by Eric on April 9, 2009 08:08 PM

I do the services myself because I'm cheap.
When I was looking for different vehicles, I did a lot of comparison shopping and it seemed to me that given what I want:
-Economy
-Cruise
-A/C
-variable wipers (more than just two speeds)
-remote mirrors
-and most importantly..cost

I ended up with a 2004 S-10 with a V-6 auto supercab.
This has more goodies and gets better milage than the Japanese competion. for a better price.

Can't comment on the dealer service plans.

Bullshitted by Kurt P on April 9, 2009 10:09 PM

You know how I feel about German engineering. Your woman would fit nicely in a Porsche...hell, for that matter...so would you, but in these times the best rides are the ones that are paid for.

Bullshitted by Sam on April 10, 2009 08:43 AM

When I lived in Arlington, Va I bought a Dodge from the local dealer and I got the kind of service Eric gets from his Audi dealer. I remember having a rattle in the dash and the top mechanic spent an hour tracking it down and fixing it. Total charge was zip because the dealer said it should never have happened in the first place.

Later I moved to Maryland and bought a Dodge from the dealer there. The first couple of times I went the service was so bad and they didn't fix my reason for going so I called the district Chrysler manager and complained. After that I got good service but I think I must have been the only one. The point is that the first dealer is still in business and has been since 1923. The one from Maryland went out of business a couple of years later and I can guess why the one is still there and the other one not.

I never bought expensive cars but I also took care of the ones I bought and they served me well for the most part. I also only bought again from dealers who treated me right. Treat me wrong and you lost my business. No questions asked.


Bullshitted by dick on April 10, 2009 01:49 PM

I have drove Dodge vans or pickups for nearly twenty years...and was always treated like royalty at the Dodge house where I traded near Tampa. But the Dodge house near where I live now to put it bluntly sucks! I was happy with the deal I got when I bought the Red ram there...hell, would not have bought it otherwise. But their service department slow and their service writers are damn liars. I will NEVER go back and I have informed them and Dodge of this fact.

Bullshitted by GUYK on April 10, 2009 04:27 PM

My Toyota dealership gives pretty good service. The Lexus dealership treats people like your Audi dealership, like royalty. I love the Lexus dealership. Our Audi/BMW dealership treats people like crap. I told my husband, I'd have no issues if he NEVER bought another Audi just based on our crappy dealership.

I would not be surprised if I eventually buy my cars based on dealership treatment...

Bullshitted by Bou on April 10, 2009 07:59 PM

My BMW dealership is like your Audi dealership. And they always wash my car when they're done. German engineering and quality service.

When I was leaving on my Mississippi River trip my brother-in-law noticed that the splash pan under the engine on my Z3 was loose on one side. Stopped at a BMW dealership without an appointment. They fixed it in less than an hour at no cost to me. This was not the dealer where I bought the car. Tell Fiona to ditch the caddie and buy a BMW 3 series.

Bullshitted by Denny on April 11, 2009 02:56 PM

I have a 05 Caddie Escalade and an 03 BWM 540. I will be sticking with BMW.

Bullshitted by james old guy on April 11, 2009 07:17 PM