Customer service complaint

Last week, we had an appointment to have a few things done to a new car. M bought the car on Saturday at the dealer, and they made arrangements for a few things to be done the following Friday. The guy wrote it down for us, and I put it into my calendar. I was to drop off the car for the service and get a loaner car since it would take the entire day.

Unfortunately, the new car suffered some scratches the night before the appointment. I took the car in, expecting to hold off on one of the original services (a protective coating on the car) until the damage was fixed. When I arrived at the dealer, they had no record of my appointment for anything. Since I had to come back anyway, I wasn’t as upset as I might have been. Instead, I got an estimate on buffing the scratches, had them schedule the other service to coincide with that, and we held off on scheduling the coating application until the other work is done.

But even as I left the dealer with an appointment for services, I was uneasy. I asked the bodywork specialist if it was okay if I brought the car back for the service. Did M need to sign anything since the car is in his name? They said to just have him call the body shop to authorize the work. I had him do just that on Saturday, then call the dealer to make sure the other service was indeed scheduled, that the two shops would work together (the dealer would arrange with LoJack to have someone from LoJack go to the body shop for installation), and that I’d have transportation. Would the loaner car be given on both trips or just when the coating was applied? The dealer knew nothing about a loaner car for me, but they do offer a courtesy shuttle. They assured me that everyone would work together, so I need only give the car to the dealer. We also clarified that I would make one payment to the dealer for everything, including the body shop subcontractor.

After the holiday weekend, I headed over to the dealer for my 8AM appointment. They seemed a little confused, but they eventually took the car. I’m not sure if I was in the system or if they simply used the printout I handed them (that the dealer had given me the previous week). They said, “You’re paying the body shop directly, right?” Oof. I said that I was told I’d be paying the dealer, but I didn’t really care whom I paid, as long as the right person got paid and I got the car back. They said to pay the body shop directly so it would be cheaper. I asked what else I needed to do, and they said nothing. They’d call to let me know when the car is ready.

I got a ride home with the shuttle and went about my day. Later, I got a call from the body shop. They needed an authorization signature in order to start the body work. You know, the authorization about which I had asked when I was there at the shop on Friday. The authorization which M called Saturday and confirmed that nothing more was needed other than having me drop the car off at the dealer. Oy. I was able to print and fax the signed form (which the shop emailed to me) at the apartment’s leasing office. I called to confirm that they got the fax, and they seemed surprised that I followed up and made them check for the fax. I also confirmed that they did not need any deposit or money before the work was begun and that I could pay them by phone with my credit card before they release the car to the dealer so I can pick it up.

I hope that I get a call when the car is done. I hope that both jobs are completed and that I got the right information. I considered asking for each item in writing, but I didn’t want to go overboard. Let’s hope that was a good call. None of this has been terrible, but all of these little things add up to frustration. More importantly, I worry that the work won’t get done properly or on time. We shall see…

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