October 16, 2009

Sweet sweet ride

Maybe it's a guy thing... I love my car. That's it above, pretty sharp looking, huh? Okay, okay, Mr Truth Police, that is not my actual car, is a stock shot of the same car I have, an Acura RDX. Great set of wheels; well made, fun to drive, good in winter, loaded with gizmos and gadgets, peppy as hell, great to look at, lots of room for the dog and stepdog.

I have had this cool car for over two years, and unfortunately loving the car hasn't always meant loving owning the car. My experience in service has been less than stellar.

This doesn't seem to be just an Acura thing, and is one of the reasons I feel so little sympathy for the battered auto industry. After the hand-me-down Chrysler Cordoba, my first new car was when I graduated university, a sporty little Pontiac with metallic blue paint that turned murky yellow; GM said wasn't a defect and not their problem, to which I responded would never buy GM again if they wouldn't do something about it. They didn't, I haven't, and my relationship with GM ended there, many cars ago. Screw 'em.

Then there was a Chrysler, which was ok, and a Honda, which was pretty much problem free. Later I moved up the food chain a little, to a Lexus, where also got mediocre service. So when the time came to get my latest car, in 2007, I moved from Lexus to Acura, because of the car itself and the service promise.

Did I mention that I love love love the car? And yet Acura and I did not get off to a great start. Service appointments that took twice the time estimate, a customer lounge from 1972 that doesn't sit enough people, and a loaner car that smelled like the bad end of a cigarette factory were the highlights.

And then - I called and complained. I'm in sales too, and you can't fix what you don't know about. So I had a good talk with Matt the service guy (not his official title), and agreed I would book thru him next time. Yesterday was "next time", and yes I expected lousy service, and wow, Mr unimpressed was impressed -- appointment on time, loaner car clean and ready to go, and my car was washed and ready earlier than promised. Plus as an apology they comp'd the service!

Good salespeople know it's not just the product you are selling, it is the feeling, the experience, and the solution to a problem. Well, two years ago Acura sold me on the car, and since then the light has faded; now Matt at Acura sold me again.

So don't screw it up next time folks... because now I love love love the cool the car again!


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