Below is a letter we are drafting to Kelly Fiat. Greg has just now picked up my car. He found that the piece Kelly Jeep in Lynnfield MA was fixing wasn't done properly and caused it to break. In addition to that my car is filthy and was not detailed as it was supposed to be. We now have to bring my car back yet again to be properly fixed. Greg is on his way to Kelly Fiat now to show them the disgrace.
I am writing to relay my Fiat service experiences as a new car owner. I apologize for the length of the letter. I felt it necessary to provide the details of my service experience.
I purchased a Fiat 500c in December of 2011. The shopping and purchase experience with the Fiat dealership was very polished. As a dealership, you went the extra mile to deliver the car to me at my work after repairing the mirror adjustment electronics (which were not working at time of purchase).
Unfortunately, this is where the positive experience has ended. On June 16 of 2012 I brought the Fiat in for its first scheduled fluid change. Because the service needed to be completed at Kelly Jeep, I made a point to speak with a servicer representative and make an appointment (Round trip to this dealership from my house is around an hour). In addition to the fluid change, I also asked that the roof liner above the driver side window be inspected. I noticed the roof panel was not attached and the panel edge was below the molding.
The overall customer experience of this appointment was poor. The fluid change took approximately 90 minutes, and only after I inquired as to why it was taking so long, was I informed that other Fiat related updateds were also being performed. I appreciate having the service department take the initiative of doing the work, but I also would have appreciated knowing this would be performed and the wait time associated with it. Additionally, I was informed the repair to the roof panel required parts to be ordered. The Service representative (Arvis I believe) told me I should call the service department in four to five days to see if the parts are in, asked that I be called when the parts arrive as I didn’t believe I needed to follow up on a repair that should not be needed in a new car. I also asked if I could make the follow-up appointment for Saturday the 30th, as my work and travel schedule requires me to plan ahead. Arvis informed me he could not schedule the appointment until the parts arrived, but that it should be “no problem” After an additional 15 minute wait (while my car sat outside the waiting area) I was provided my keys and was on my way.
After receiving no follow up, I called the service department on June 25th. The Service Department transferred me to the parts department, where the parts employee who answered the phone told me he was not the correct person for Fait parts and transferred me to the service department, to be transferred to the parts department again. Finally, an employee named Dan sensed my frustration and after not finding me in the system, offered to call me back after he looked into it. Dan called back shortly thereafter to tell me he did not have the parts, and they would be available in four to five days. He offered to call me when they came in which I thanked him for. I then asked to be transferred to the Service Department where I again attempted to schedule an appointment for the 30th and again was told it could not be scheduled until the parts came (I am not sure who I spoke with). I again discussed my need to plan for the appointment and was told it would be “no problem” to schedule the appointment.
On Thursday, June 28th, I called to check on the parts, after having no contact from the Service or Parts department. I was told the parts were in and transferred to the Service department, who informed me there was “no possibility” of getting in on the 30th. I begrudgingly scheduled the appointment for my next free day on July 14th. I asked the Service Representative what the duration of the fix and was told it was a one day job; I would be provided a loaner car for the day and could pick it up in the evening.
On July 9th, I called to confirm the appointment. At this point I had lost faith in the Service Department’s ability to execute and felt it was my responsibility to follow up and confirm. The appointment was on track.
On the 14th I arrived at 8:00 am to drop off my Fiat and pick up the loaner car. While dropping off my car I was told it would be a two day job and the car would not be ready until Monday. I attempted to take it in stride. I expected at least one additional issue based on the experience thus far, and I didn’t want to rush the work, after all, the car is about 6 months old. The transition to the loaner car took about 30 minutes since I had to get back out of the loaner car and inform the staff that there was no fuel in the car. As I drove the car home, I became aware of the overall lack of cleanliness in the vehicle. The floorboards and carpeting were filled with beach sand, the dash was extremely dirty, and a food wrapper fell out from under the seat. I opted to vacuum and wipe down the car when I got home, as it was embarrassing to drive anyone in that vehicle.
My follow-up at 11:00 am on Monday, June 16th revealed “they were about to start the work”. I voiced my discouragement in this wasn’t the message I had been told earlier. I was then told there were no Fiat technicians working on Saturday. I asked why the appointment was not rescheduled rather than the duration of the appointment expended, but at this point, any response would not have been acceptable.
Promised follow up calls to me ensuring the car would be available by 5:00 pm were not made, and after waiting an hour and a half for the “call right back”, I attempted to call the service department, experienced the now standard three transfers, and gave up after being unable to reach the service department. Around 1:00 pm I was able to reach the Service department and was told the clips were being put in as we spoke and the car would be ready by 5:00 pm.
On average, my wife and I purchase a new car every three to five years, and this is by far the least professional experience I have ever had with a service department. Due to the frequency of the issues, I do not believe I am the only customer one who experiences these types of communication breakdowns, mixed messages and lack of follow through when dealing with the service department. The overall attitude I receive from the service department is one of indifference, which is in stark contrast to the level of service I regularly received from dealerships when servicing my other vehicles.
I wanted to relay my experience to you because it has devalued the overall interaction with Kelly Auto group and will weigh heavily as a factor in my decision of where I make a future car purchase and when offering advice to other regarding dealerships. I had expected your organization to provide higher quality service when repairing a defect that should not have occurred in a new car, or, at the very least, offered apology for the inconvenience and lost time associated with the repair; I have received neither. If you would like to further discuss my experience with the Kelly Auto group, I would be happy to share them with you.