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MikeP

Not Impressed With The "lexus Experience"

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First I have to say I am definitely impressed with my '04 LS430, that is when I have had a chance to drive it. :angry: I had a rattle in the sunroof and to make a long story short, in the 8 weeks I've owned the car, it's been in the shop for 2 of those weeks, waiting for a sunroof module. I brought my car in on 8/7 for the tech to diagnose the problem, the new sunroof module was ordered the next day. The following Tuesday 8/14, I picked up my car to evacuate from "Ivan" and the parts had not yet arrived. When I returned home, I called for another appointment to have the new sunroof installed. My appointment was 8/23. I brought it in at 7:30AM thinking I would be able to get my car back the same day. Friday, the following day, I called to ask about the status of my car and was told the roof rails had been damaged in shipment and new parts had to be ordered. I guess if I wouldn't have checked, I still would not have known what had happened.

Since I hadn't been given an update as of today, 8/28, I called the Service Manager and asked for a report. He said the parts were not in and he would have to check on when to expect them. I told him I couldn't believe that the Parts Dept. hadn't checked to see if the first sunroof module was OK since the carton had be be damaged when it arrived. I also told him I was disappointed that Lexus wouldn't ship the new sunroof "overnight" since I had already waited almost 2 weeks without my car. He said Lexus had checked their inventory and didn't have the parts at their usual warehouses, so they had to get it from Canada. I reminded him that planes fly very quickly and that even if they had to get it from Japan, much less Canada, it could arrive the next day. The SM did a check and told me the new parts should arrive tomorrow, or Thursday at the latest. The new parts were ordered last Friday, so I wouldn't consider this an "overnight" shipment.

I am pretty disappointed, not just in the amount of time it's taking to get these parts, but in the lack of communication from my Service Advisor. I have never received a call to update me on the status of my car, when they expect the parts to arrive and when they anticipate my car will be ready. They have had my car for 25% of the time I have owned it. It's amazing Lexus can ship new transmissions and fuel pumps all over the country with no problem and install both in one day. A replacement sunroof takes a car out of service for 2 weeks, maybe longer. Not impressed. :censored:

Mike

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Lexus dealers are run by Americans, not the Japanese so the quality of the service you get is rather similar to what you'd get at a Ford or Chevy dealer; i.e, mediocre. We Americans are what we are and I don't know what Toyota / Lexus could do to fundamentally change our frequently sloppy, uncaring and unquality conscious ways

(exploding space shuttles, bogus CIA intelligence about WMD's, etc.)

About all Toyota / Lexus can really do is try to design and build its cars so well

that owners rarely need to visit the American run Lexus dealers to begin with for unexpected mechanical problems. And on that score Toyota / Lexus has been doing well for many years.

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Prior to this Lexus, I owned 3 others. My last one was a '98 LS400. I sold it after 3 years and bought another brand, even though I knew Lexus couldn't be beat for quality and service. Owning Brand "J" convinced me I had made a stupid mistake, so I bought my '04 LS430. So far, I have not found the service, at the same Lexus dealer I bought the others from, to be anywhere close to providing the same level of service as 4 years ago. I realize that this dealer is selling and servicing many more cars than when I last had a Lexus, but I would have hoped their level of customer service would have kept up with the demand. This dealer is spending millions building new facilities and they promise to add to the number of Service Advisors. I just hope this dealer AND Lexus understand that return buisness happens not only because of quality products, but because their dealers provide consistently excellent service. So far I have to drop the "consistently excellent" as a description of my experience.

Mike

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Sounds to me like some service department mgr's need to have thier jobs threatened. I can't beleive that Lexus, and the owners of a dealership would allow such poor comunication, assuming everything you say is true.

Jimmy

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Jimmy,

I honestly didn't exaggerate. In fact, to shorten the "story", I left a lot out. I have been taught to document, document, document, in my job, so out of habit, I started documenting dates, times, conversations and outcomes. I now have 4 pages in a Word document.

Mike

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I have no doubts that Mike's story is true since Lexus of New Orleans is a sad excuse for a Lexus dealership-especially the service department. It took them two seperate trips to figure out that my ES300 had a dead alternator. I'm glad I'm at LSU right now because LeBlanc Lexus is an excellent dealership. Who is your service advisor at Lex of NO? Not to name any names(but this narrows it since there is only one lady in the dept), I've dealt with the only female advisor there, and my wanting them to service my car was some sort of inconvience to her. I politely asked for my keys, and that is the last time I've been in that dealership. Their parts department has nothing in stock...not even beige floormats! :o

I'm sorry you have to deal with that dealership. You should drive up to BR and let LeBlanc Lexus take care of it. I've used them once, and it was a completely different(...and pleasureable) experience from NO eventhough they do have the same owner. Do you have your car, or is it still at the dealer? I think they should save the money they are spending on the gym that's going to be in the new facility(that's what a saleswoman told me when I test drove a RX) and hire some decent service personel. :angry:

:cheers:

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Hey Blake, you young wippersnapper :D No, my car is still at the dealer. I'm hoping the new sunroof module comes in tomorrow, but it could be Thursday. Each time I've brought it in for the sunroof, the tech immediately removes the headliner, so I can't just drive it off and return it when the parts come in. My next worry is that the headliner being removed and reinstalled will cause damage to it or cause additional rattles. I am even wondering if the new sunroof module will be installed properly. Then, God forbid, maybe the new sunroof won't cure the problem. Well, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

I did call Lexus Customer Service this afternoon to complain about the damaged part and the delay in sending the replacement. I also complained about the lack of communication by my Service Advisor (Steve, but don't say I told you :wacko: ). I did that mainly to get on record with Lexus about the problem in case the saga continues. I do believe I'll try LeBlanc next time I need service or if I have future problems with this installation.

Mike

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What a pain in the !Removed!. Its the dealership, on the whole Lexus service is excellent but not all the dealerships are created equal. We have some REAL stinkers around here. We also have some excellent ones.

Here's what *I* would do. Call them tomorrow and tell them that if your car is not ready by Thursday as they promised you want it returned in the same condition you dropped it off in and you will be taking your business elsewhere. This is actually what I do for a living, teach car dealerships how to get and hold onto their service business. You are an established customer with this dealership and they should treat you accordingly. At this point I would stop all communication with the service advisor and insist that you only speak with the service manager or the general manager of the dealership. I also would ask for some sort of freebie for my trouble, maybe 10% off my first friggin $200 oil change. They should have no problem with this as it will ensure your business.

If they don't comply go to LeBlanc. Draft a letter stating why you have made this decision after your long relationship with this dealer. Copy it to the service advisor, the service manager, the general manager, and Lexus customer service.

THATS how you get action from a car dealership. They'll jump like popcorn kernals every time you walk in the building after you do this. A dealership loses a fortune in potential revenue when they loose a longtime customer like you.

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Mike:

Have a question for you. Since I work with an Auto-Group I can understand how the parts Department works, and to me it doesn't sound like they're neglecting you. We call it a process.

Here's my question for you. Did the dealership provide you with a Loaner car, or are you being inconvinienced? If you're being inconvinienced, then ask them to provide you with a loaner car, or ask for the car to be returned until the part comes in.

You have to understand the Parts Department has no control over when and from where a part comes in. They're just a receiving party.

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Mike:

Have a question for you. Since I work with an Auto-Group I can understand how the parts Department works, and to me it doesn't sound like they're neglecting you. We call it a process.

Here's my question for you. Did the dealership provide you with a Loaner car, or are you being inconvinienced? If you're being inconvinienced, then ask them to provide you with a loaner car, or ask for the car to be returned until the part comes in.

You have to understand the Parts Department has no control over when and from where a part comes in. They're just a receiving party.

Thanks for your response. Yes, I've been given a loaner each time my car has been in for service. The loaners have been great, both times a new (less than 3000 miles) ES or RX. Maybe I'm different, but even having a loaner for a week at a time is an inconvenience. I keep sunglasses, reading glasses, stuff in the trunk, etc. that has to be removed each time I bring my car in. I am retired, so I am pretty free to take short trips when the spirit "moves" me. I have postponed doing that because, well let's face it, my loaners are not My LS430. So, while I appreciate the use of a loaner, it's not the same as having my own car.

My only question for the Parts Dept. concerns the condition of the package in which the sunroof module was shipped in. The parts were in house for over a week before I brought my car in to have them installed. I doubt that the container the sunroof module was shipped in was in pristine condition if the roof rails inside the package were damaged. I was told they only discovered the damage when the tech attempted to install the roof rails and the mounting holes didn't line up. I have no way of knowing if the Parts Dept. told the Service Manager the package and maybe the contents were damaged prior to that or not. It's possible the Service Dept. wanted to attempt to install the parts thinking they could straighten the rails. I'll never know the true story. The only person I blame for this fiasco is the Service Manager because it's his responsibility to ensure the customers' cars get repaired correctly and with as little inconvenience as possible.

I'm convinced that the lack of communication was deliberate. After the tech removed the headliner from my car, they didn't want to reinstall it. They were hoping to buy time until the parts arrived, so they kept telling me "tomorrow's the day". I was dumb enough to buy their story, so I have to take some blame also.

Mike

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What a pain in the !Removed!. Its the dealership, on the whole Lexus service is excellent but not all the dealerships are created equal. We have some REAL stinkers around here. We also have some excellent ones.

Here's what *I* would do. Call them tomorrow and tell them that if your car is not ready by Thursday as they promised you want it returned in the same condition you dropped it off in and you will be taking your business elsewhere. This is actually what I do for a living, teach car dealerships how to get and hold onto their service business. You are an established customer with this dealership and they should treat you accordingly. At this point I would stop all communication with the service advisor and insist that you only speak with the service manager or the general manager of the dealership. I also would ask for some sort of freebie for my trouble, maybe 10% off my first friggin $200 oil change. They should have no problem with this as it will ensure your business.

If they don't comply go to LeBlanc. Draft a letter stating why you have made this decision after your long relationship with this dealer. Copy it to the service advisor, the service manager, the general manager, and Lexus customer service.

THATS how you get action from a car dealership. They'll jump like popcorn kernals every time you walk in the building after you do this. A dealership loses a fortune in potential revenue when they loose a longtime customer like you.

Steve,

Thanks for your excellent advice. I'm going to print your post and use it as a step-by-step guide to bring this situation to a conclusion.

Mike

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It's a shame to be have trouble like this........you've paid a good sum for the automobile - and you deserve the "red carpet". ;)

let us know how it ends!!

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It's a shame to be have trouble like this........you've paid a good sum for the automobile - and you deserve the "red carpet". ;)

let us know how it ends!!

Well, it hasn't ended today, at least. It's 3:45 PM now and I just got off the phone with the Service Manager. He had promised to call me by noon to let me know if the parts had arrived or not. He didn't call, so I called him. I told him that I wanted to pick up my car by the close of business tomorrow, whether the parts arrived or not. He checked with the Parts Dept. to find out when they usually receive shipments (you'd think he would know that) and was told before noon. So if the parts come in, my car should be fixed tomorrow. If they don't, I will call Customer Service back to let them know. I'll keep you posted.

Mike

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I say name and shame 'em.

Send them your four page document, and explain that if this matter is not resolved completely to your satisfaction with <time scale>, then this document will posted in full, on these boards.

Over 40 thousand distinct Lexus Owners (and prospective Lexus owners) visit these forums every month - do you think your dealership wants that sort of publicity?

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I say name and shame 'em.

Send them your four page document, and explain that if this matter is not resolved completely to your satisfaction with <time scale>, then this document will posted in full, on these boards.

Over 40 thousand distinct Lexus Owners (and prospective Lexus owners) visit these forums every month - do you think your dealership wants that sort of publicity?

Good point and what a great idea!! Grab them by the balls and tell them you are done with their games. Nothing will get a dealer's attention (which cares about CSI) like releasing documents which show them in a bad light to the public. You may even consider notifying the local news about your ordeal and letting them make a story about it (or atleast threaten to do so).

Great point Matt!

Good luck Mike :cheers:

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Thanks for all your support & suggestions. This is exactly why discussion groups are so important.

Even though my dealer's service department has made some inexcusable blunders, I am not sure just how much Lexus is to blame for the taking so long to ship the replacement parts. The first time, the parts were ordered on a Wednesday and only arrived at the dealer toward the middle or end of the following week, even though the parts were ordered telling Lexus "car in shop, customer waiting". The sunroof rails came in damaged. Bad packaging? Maybe, or did the tech mishandle the rails in trying to install them? I'll never know. I do know that the damaged parts sat at the dealer for a week before I brought my car back for the second time to have the sunroof replaced. Only then did they "notice" the rail holes didn't match up with the mounting points. Seems to me for the contents to be damaged, the packaging had to show signs of abuse. You would think someone in Parts or Service would have checked the contents before removing the headliner of my car.

The new parts were ordered last Friday and they have still not yet received them today. Couldn't Lexus have shipped the parts with some sort of higher priority, even coming from Toronto?

It seems to me that both Lexus and my dealer share the blame for mishandling this problem. In the end as always, it's the customer that suffers the consequences, no matter who is at fault.

Again, thanks for your interest and support. It has made it a little easier to go through this ordeal.

Mike

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Sorry to hear about your misfortune, but the only recourse you have is to talk to the GM and ask him to take some action that will help him better serve you. Tell him that you don't think the Service Manager payed enough attention to your situation as he/she might do for their other long time customers, and you feel very wounded. By doing this you're telling him/her that to better serve you in the future, you don't want to be treated this way and keep me abreast at what you're doing step-bystep.

Damaging a dealers CSI report isn't helping them help you; they're just going to pick on you when you're not there, or stick specifically to your workorder. They won't go beyond to help you when you might need something done quickly and efficiently.

I work primarily at an Infiniti dealer where that CSI reports hurts the dealer. The service advisor doesn't get paid at the same rate as he/she might have before. It's like a 60day missed payment post on your credit rating. It takes months to recover. Now last time I checked, Lexus doesn't support anything like this, but the individual dealers do. So the GM and the CEO/CFO/CIO.

To me this would get my attention, and I'd be encouraged to do somehting about the future experience for this customer.

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Its because of the CSI ratings that I'm in business, dealerships pay me to create custom customer retention programs to hold onto their long term sales and maximize their CSI. Most dealers are extremely poor at customer service and following up with the customer and even treating them with respect. I just left a terrible dealership today picking up our Prius from service. The service woman was quite clueless, errors were made on my invoice, the oil was over-filled by half a quart, they tried to stick me with a $40 rental charge when they were supposed to be picking up the cost of the rental (warranty work) and then argued with me afterwards. They were unable to duplicate the concern but it happened just as we were leaving so we turned around and headed back. The service manager (who I assume is the service manager he failed to introduce himself) was quite smug and insinuated that we were unaware of how the car or this car operates and forced me at one time to snap at him "This isn't the first car I've owned you know", was very rude to my fiance and she was trying to describe the drivability problem and even laughed at her when she said she knew people from her Prius chat forum who had the same concern. You can bet the GM of that dealer is going to get a letter from me.

What you're missing is that yes you want to be sure that you don't seek to damage the CSI of the dealership or the service personnel unless its warranted but there comes a time when the dealership has just totally screwed off. If they don't make it right, they're going to have to deal with the reprocussions. They can make fun of me or talk about me behind my back all they want but they won't get the chance to keep from helping me in the future because they won't be doing any of my service.

Now I don't think he's to that point yet, but I would be if that car either doesn't come back tomorrow or they don't offer me something for my trouble. 2 weeks out of a car for a sunroof is plain unnaceptable.

We actually had a similar experience with a different Toyota dealer having the radio replaced in the Prius. Part came in, didn't call. I called, part was in. Arranged to have it dropped off when I could pick my fiance up the part is now the wrong part, ordered new part part comes in, nobody calls. I call, make an appointment to bring it in, bring it in and drop it off. It has somehow now got a big scratch on the face of it, order new part. Part comes in, nobody calls, finally its done. Took about a month and a half and Toyota doesn't do loaners for services that "take such little time!". In THAT situation the service advisor and manager were very courteous and apologetic about our experience and gave us a $100 gift certificate to the gift shop for our trouble, we used it to buy some winter mats. No reason to do anything to them as they took care of the situation. These people don't seem to have.

I should have gone back there instead of to the dealer we did for this recall, but the first dealer didn't have the parts. Apparently the recall wasn't for that year Prius anyways like they said it was :rolleyes:

Lexus punishes dealers for bad CSI reports for sales but not service BTW.

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Success, maybe. Yesterday the service manager called to let me know he had a tracking number and a date/time of arrival for the replacement sunroof. He said it was being delivered, he thought, by DHL and was due yesterday by noon. His call was at 12:30 and the delivery had not yet arrived. He asked if I would consider allowing them to keep my car for another day, in case the parts arrived later that afternoon. That would give them time to install the new sunroof and test that it did not rattle like the original. I swore I wasn't going to do it, but I agreed.

This morning about 8:45, the service manager called to let me know the sunroof did arrive yesterday, undamaged, and the tech installed it this morning. He said the tech took my car for a test drive prior to installing the headliner and there was no rattle. He said the tech needed to install the headliner and he was going to go with the tech when he does his final test drive. The service manager than asked if I would like them to detail my car, at no charge. I told him that I appreciated the offer, but would wash & inspect my car when I got home. Maybe I was dumb to decline the offer, but by washing the car myself, I'll be able to go over it real well to see if there were any scratches or dings while in the shop.

I have thought about what has upset me most about this experience and came to the conclusion that is was the length of time my car was sitting at the dealer's just gathering dust (15-16 days in total). If the service department would have reinstalled the headliner, both times, and returned my car, it wouldn't have mattered if the parts took a month to arrive. But the service department wanted to make it easy for them, instead of the customer. They didn't want to do extra work reinstalling the headliner. The other problem was the lack of communication by the service advisor. I have decided to have a conversation with the service manager, in a very calm manner, educating him on what makes a customer satisfied and what causes frustration. I hope he will be open to my comments.

I also hope when I pick up my car later today, the rattle will indeed be gone and everything else is in the same condition as when I dropped it off over a week ago. I'll check back in with a final later today or tomorrow.

Mike

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good to hear that your problem is finally resolved (mostly). the SM should be very open to any comments as long as you are calm about it, like you said.

keep us posted!

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Hopefully it should work out like you hope. You made the right decision by not letting them detail it, dealerships do horrible detailing jobs. I never even let them wash mine. Still they made the offer and that was worth something. It sounds like they should be open to your comments.

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Well, it looks like my car faired better than I through this ordeal, at least emotionally. I got a call from the service manager at 12 noon letting me know that my car was ready. He asked again if I wanted them to detail the car or at least wash it. I thanked him and said no. He then told me that I would be able to tell where they had attached a piece of plastic over the hole in the sunroof and there was a spot of tree sap on the trunk. He thought both would come off when I washed it. He said he personally checked out my car for any scratches and he didn't see any. He said he had checked out the sunroof and it no longer rattled.

He told me the tech had installed a new rain sensor (maybe it comes in the sunroof kit?) and noticed that the adhesive that sticks to the windshield, had a bubble in it and he was concerned that the rain sensor might not be as effective. He said they tried it and it worked, but so as not to take any chances, they ordered a new one. He asked me to give him a call when I get the notice the part is in and he would have it installed while I waited.

As I walked into the dealer's to pick up my car, the service manager met me and gave me the paperwork to sign. As we walked to my car, the service manager apologized for the problems. I then told him that I appreciated his personal attention and that I wanted to suggest 2 things that would have made my experience less painful. The first was to give me back my car when they knew they had to order a part. I would not feel the anxiety of imagining my car being dinged by someone not as careful as I am and I would also prefer driving my own car rather than a loaner. If I had my car, I would have been happy to wait a month for the part to arrive. Second, I suggested he explain to the service advisor that any customer who cares about his/her car, wants to be continually informed as to the status of the repair.

The service manager thanked me for the comments and agreed that both suggestions had much merit. He said, especially when a customer expresses a concern or a request that might be specific to his/her needs, that should be entered into their file. That way the information is available whenever they service the customer's car, without the customer having to repeat it.

I had visions of dust on my car an inch thick and a spot of tree sap the size of a dinner plate. As we walked up to my car, it looked surprisingly clean. The spot of tree sap was still sticky and about half the size of a dime. I felt good even before I tested the sunroof. The service manager offered to ride with me to test the sunroof, but I declined telling him that I would have plenty of time to do that and I would let him know if there was any problem. We shook hands and I jumped into the driver's seat.

It was almost as exciting as when I first took delivery of it. I enjoyed the drive home and tested the sunroof. No rattle. :D I pulled into my driveway and got out my wash bucket. I kept looking for any new scratch, but there were none. The tree sap came off easily with a little detail spray. Now it shines again better than the day I got it. Isn't life grand........oh, and I do feel much better about the service manager and the dealer. Hopefully this was just some relationship pains we were going through. I learned from this experience and I think the service manager did also. Much of what I learned came from here. Thanks for your ears and your knowledge.

Mike

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It was almost as exciting as when I first took delivery of it. I enjoyed the drive home and tested the sunroof. No rattle. :D I pulled into my driveway and got out my wash bucket. I kept looking for any new scratch, but there were none. The tree sap came off easily with a little detail spray. Now it shines again better than the day I got it. Isn't life grand........oh, and I do feel much better about the service manager and the dealer. Hopefully this was just some relationship pains we were going through. I learned from this experience and I think the service manager did also. Much of what I learned came from here. Thanks for your ears and your knowledge.

excellent news Mike - glad to hear this story has a happy ending :cheers:

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Yep, I told ya, let your feeling be known and thats the true test. They earned your business for life.

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Yep, I told ya, let your feeling be known and thats the true test. They earned your business for life.

On the contrary Steve, I'd still be very leary until they PROOVE their worth one or two more times.

They need to understand that this man paid a substantial amount of money for a car, and deserves "near perfect" service EVERY time he pulls the LS in........

Mike, I think you feel somewhat like I would - relieved but leary........ :unsure:

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