Category Archives: Bad CS

Element update. stuck in the middle with you. Catch 22 , if the honda has a recall we can look, if it doesn’t it can’t be faulty ( Allstate’s logic)

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Filed under Arizona, Bad CS, Honda Element
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Exhaust remidies for time-being with Honda cust care.   They say that they won’t comment on it, send a person to look or in general car unless the insurance company  claims the part is defective.  The dealer, Arrowhead Honda thinks the same which leaves me in the “good hands” of Allstate.

Allstate so far have proven to be useless. E.G they say that with0ut a recall on 09 there’s no reported brake issues.  Despite the fact I am a paying customer of theirs for years   we’re not, apparently, capable of reporting a dead braking system without warning.  Ergo they won’t investigate which was the case of our last phone call.

We’ve lost a lot of money , or will via the deductibe and increased rates, the car is now a salvage,  the car will lose money when we sell it. We have  failed to get anything remotely like the peace-of-mind that buying a low-milage certified vehicle.

Apparently no one wants to sell me their otter art. Wholesale annoyance.

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Filed under Bad CS, General

Over the past three weeks I have been trying to get my Otterman Empire store  stocked. Primarily I’m looking for American, hand made  wherever possible art , any medium,any type of otter .  To date only one of the US  companies approached  re wholesale prices have contacted me, they  received  an order and then have failed to get back to me with final shipping cost/ ship date.

I.E.,  I have nothing new in stock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End of the year Mini Bash or how to lose a sale by pissing off a customer.

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Filed under Bad CS, Family

Dear Mini,

I’m following up on an incident we had with our Mini Cooper S this month and the manner in which it was handled.

While you have the records in the customer service system I will briefly go over the issue. My wife left her key atop a gas pump and drove off. The car gave no warning and 20 miles later it was unable to start ,finally realizing that it didn’t have a key.

The manual states that it will not start without the key being inside it. The dealer, the phone line and the manager this was eventually escalated too all accept that the car starts with the key outside the car. The Mini helpline email address was not helpful (incident 1-1641681520) and referred us to the dealer. The dealer had referred us to Mini so I called.

The first helpline operator I spoke with suggested I read the manual. I did, again, and it says, in unambiguous terms ,that this shouldn’t happen.

He didn’t meet my expectations of customer service ,having run helplines of this nature I’m pretty critical, then again being made to feel like it’s my fault for not knowing how the car operates does that to me. Maybe you can pull the tape and listen?

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I called back, had a productive E.G., the antithesis of my first contact and  I was passed onto Anthony. I relayed my concerns that what is apparently a commonly known fact at Mini wasn’t passed on to the owners. The car starts with the transponder several feet away contrary to the manual. He correctly asked what I wanted from this process. I wanted Mini to consider replacing the key or providing it at cost due to what I consider a serious flaw in the implementation of the comfort access feature. The car gave no audible or visual warning that the key wasn’t within range as she drove off.

Anthony got back to us within a couple of days to tell us that Mini would not consider a free key or any consideration re this incident. I thanked him for trying and noted that it seemed very strange and puzzling that a good faith offer from Mini allowing me to buy a key at cost was unavailable to me. To be turned from advocate to adversary over what I see as your product failing to work as described is frustrating. Yes my wife made a mistake but it’s one that should not have been possible had the car functioned per the manual. This was during the day thankfully but it could have been so much worse than losing the $300 for the new key.

I thought that maybe Mini semi-believed it’s motoring family shtick but came away feeling very much chastened by Mini N Scottsdale and the initial phone call to the mini hotline for daring to have a problem with the car. Tack on your poor email response and I have to say that I’ve been underwhelmed by your public facing service.

How does it harm Mini to help us? I know that we liked the Mini so much I sold a great car I really liked to get it. I planned on selling our second one when the Countryman was released but now that’s very unlikely to occur. I’d still like to talk about this because I am curious as to why a key safety feature of your vehicle would deviate so far from the manual’s description.

Regards

Mini Cooper kept mum. So what if our manual is incorrect. no keys for you

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Filed under Anarchy from the UK, Arizona, Bad CS, General
Tagged as

Alas the possibility that a car company could do anything other than suck at customer relations remains as rare as rocking-horse poop.While everyone understands our position and regrets they can’t do more  the fact is the Mini Cooper manual says that the car can’t start without the keys in it.

Mini dealers and the Mini helpline say it can.  Ergo you lost they key and you need to buy a new one.  No one is concerned that the car starts without a key in it which is rather alarming. It’s not alarming the car didn’t give a warning that there was no key.

So what we have here is  a car that can be started sans keys  in the car. It looks like any elevation of the key greatly increases the distance at which the car can be unlocked and driven away and the sun roof is likely a big factor. So for fun some experiments will follow.

P.S. Letting us buy the key at cost was rejected. Ok  so for the sake of losing NO money. Result. That’s one less 2012 Clubman sold plus  way more public noise about their customer relations being poor.  Nice going  Mini.

This family thing, it’s a brand.  while they hadn’t fooled me with their story I would have expected they’d at least pretend that they were able to do anything than quote manuals ( incorrectly ) 😛  to me.

PPS Anthony’s managers  You have no fucking brains. Seriously  what the hell makes it in your interest to deny a reasonable request ( key replacement at cost) based on your erroneous manual which   some telephone dick told me to go read and understand.  What happened to, ah  I see that’s in error , let me find out rather than being a total  cock about it?

an Inconvenient access truth. More about mini cooper s FOB :

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Filed under Arizona, Bad CS, General
Tagged as

First they tell me to read the manual,  you know cos I’m not as cute,or as fast, as a Mini and am more likely to be in error. Well let’s look around page 24-25 ( close to it)

mini manual

Is there any doubt here that the car should not start when the  key is not in the car, when the key is  five feet away from the car?  Well the helpline , I eventually got to a manager, and asked them to consider that they could be owe me a new key / serious price break on the $300 item because their car is not working as stated. 

That was a few days ago.  

An interesting time with the Mini Cooper’s “convenience” key

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Filed under Arizona, Bad CS, General
Tagged as

The last car we bought was a Mini Cooper S which I see as the car that makes up for all the regular Minis I drove,you know the ones with a fixed L shaped seat, rusting sills, 10” wheels  sliding mirrors, no heater worth a damn etc.

The “new” car ,a 2007 Cooper S, came with a remote key and what’s called a convenience feature in which you do not have to put your key into the slot to start it. E.G.,It can stay in your pocket , your bag or attached to a purse.

Common belief is that the car won’t start without the key being inside the car.  Sadly , as we found out this weekend, that is not the case.  My wife left her purse atop the pump, got in ,  door closed, started car and drove off.   ( ended up having to get a ride then break into the house)

The car gave zero warning that key wasn’t within the car and  20 miles later, car turned off and couldn’t start it again.

No keys , no movement , no nothing!   This is not the behavior I want from a car so I called the local Mini dealer, 2 days after they failed to return my wife’s call , to find out what the parameters of the  keyless start are.  I also sent a note to Mini asking the same.

So far nothing from Mini and an unhelpful  “you’re the only one in 3000-4000 customers to have this problem.”  from the dealer  and an offer to look at it which I will have to take them up  on.

I really want to know why the car wont let you lock it with the key inside, assumption that it knows where the key is in relation to the car, yet will let it drive off without one being present. Surely that’s not that  hard a question for the  people that sell it/ make it?  

   Couple that to the Airbag system that can be harmed just by moving your seat back and it looks like the  LUCAS lord of darkness joke re the state of UK auto electrical  systems has jumped over into the BMW made Mini.

I knew Bell Honda was full of gas. Say no to N2 refills and other overblown upgrades.

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Filed under Bad CS, General, phoenix, reality

If there’s one thing that bugs me more on not knowing enough about the physical world it’s those people that try to sell you a service, product or in the case of carbon credits a total line of bullshit.  Bell Honda appear to follow this model of customer service. Their ploy, based on  their reliance, that your ignorance of the subject will be such that you’ll gladly pay a premium to have N2 fill your tires.

They try to up sell you on nitrogen which has nominal to NO practical value when fitted to your average car. I had read anecdotally that Honda were not a fan of the practice and I send a tweet to see if I could get a reference for this. 

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There you go.  I’ve been to this dealer twice and while the service was done quickly,the waiting area is clean, nice wifi,play area and coffee  It’s only been after the usual chat re, “service this to Honda’s requirements to keep the extended warranty valid”How they then want to add injector cleaning agents, N2 and suggest a transmission flush on a < 30k car, a 30k MANUAL car is beyond me. Despite declining the injector cleaning they billed me for it anyway and took money of the air filter instead. They must have some kind of weird  bonus structure going there but a 30k car that’s performing well does not need it. 

Needless to say I’ll be using another dealership  for future warranty work.

Crappiest marketing of the week Sam’s club for Windows 7

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Filed under Bad CS, General

What you are looking at is the subject line from a mail that I received this weekend

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There’s a slight issue with that subject line which one could charitably call a willing attempt to deceive,to appear fraudulent or maybe even to be an outright lie.

The price refers to you already having Windows 7, aka Windows 7 starter edition.

How can you upgrade to 7 by already  having 7? This is such a trivial thing that it pains me that they would even try this line out. Upgrades –from- $78 or Upgrades –to- $78 are still speaking in weasel-words but  at least it’s supportable on logical and grammatical grounds.

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Follow up. Several weeks have passed.   I’m a member so I  wrote them a  letter which they didn’t respond to. Well that’s one membership that’s not getting renewed.

As much as I hate DRM, Disney’s found a way to make it SUCK More. Pay them more, and you still can’t watch the fucking movie.

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Filed under Bad CS, media, Media mayhem, rants

It’s amazing that the genius of Pixar’s use of technology can by waylaid by such a dogmatic adherence to treating their customers as pirates via by way of Disney’s distribution .I’m referring to the digital copies,that we pay extra for, not  coming with the requisite codes to enable us to use them. From what I’ve read online we have to prov that we bought the disk,mess around with the mail , yes the real mail with stamps and white van, and wait for them to decide if we’re believable or not before graciously allowing us to use that which we paid for.

We’ve bought every Pixar movie on release date, seen every movie on release date and have spent an embarrassing amount of money on Cars , and other movie, memorabilia for our son. This  bullshit has sufficiently damaged my view of things Disney to the point that Kennedy Space Center rather than Disneyworld is looking like the preferred destination for our son’s 4th birthday.

Irony?  They think we’re thieves yet we paid for an item that’s not present and in a sane world circumstances wouldn’t the company responsible for the error apologize for the oversight rather than make the public jump through a pile of hoops?  

Amazon.com: Customer Discussions: Wall-e missing digital copy code!!!

You would think that people that sell $4k recorders would answer their mail: Update

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Filed under Bad CS

Update:

Was called this morning and the part’s on it’s way. The response time from the last mail was excellent.  It’s a mystery why the same form just vanished into the ether.   Woo hoo  my power issues, at least for equipment , are nearly solved

You would think that people that sell $4k recorders would answer their mail

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Filed under Bad CS

Three mails in a month to the US distributor of Fostex via their online support form have led to zero response.  No obvious phone number. Oddly the UK distributor has the item and a phone number.

Welcome to Fostex USA

You’re welcome to it.Looks like the Sound Devices line will be getting serious consideration when the time comes to upgrade.  

I’m sure that I’m about to use irony correctly. Fred Pryor infomercial, er seminars.

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Filed under Bad CS, reblog, Work

How to Communicate with Tact & Professionalism —

I’ve been in a training seminar two days this weeks with the below goal in mind.

“Become a polished, persuasive communicator and express your thoughts and ideas with clarity and diplomacy”

The diplomacy part likely occurred during my single restroom break,three minutes long, on the second day.

While I’ll address the material covered by the class in a future post I have concerns with the intrusiveness of marketing within the curriculum.

Anyone that’s read Professor Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials),or Rushkoff’s Coercion may have been amused, as I was, that a seminar designed to teach you more effective methods of persuasive communication seemed to be using similar techniques to sell future conferences, audiobooks and training subscriptions.

I have no problem with selling during the breaks, displays within the room ,fliers in the course material. What I’d like is for them to restrict this solely to those areas.  In what  could be considered a mildly coercive environment the ethics of  this practice are questionable. Cheaper dictionaries refer to coercion only in terms of physical force and I can see my usage of this term being confusing in that light.I’m referring to an environment that is engineered to trigger as many of the six principles of influence within the first few hours.

  • Social proof.(people come forward to buy in breaks)
  • Scarcity.  (have to order by end of seminar)
  • Authority (The obvious one:)
  • liking. (Dr was likable, really good at what he does)
  • Commitment and consistency ( writing in the prices, and additions to the advert in the same format the rest of the class takes)
  • Reciprocation(Starts out with hey, schedule runs to 1630 but can get you out by 1600, next day 1530) To many that’s doing them a favor)

I can live with all the above, I may even be misinterpreting the above weapons of persuasion. Twenty minutes were taken up with Evelyn Wood’s speed reading course,and many other products,in the time preceding lunch on day one which to me seemed rather inconsistent with the stated goals. 

Looks like I’m not the only one with this concern.

http://www.viewpoints.com/Fred-Pryor-Seminars-reviews

  I seriously recommend both books to anyone that engages in commerce , eg every adult, in the USA.

 

Was I yelping or just going ouch? Change of lifestyle notification.

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Filed under Bad CS, Family, phoenix

A phrase my father uses, a lot, in connection with me is “you’d start a row in an empty house”. Lately it seems that I require slightly more people, tables ,drink and a kitchen but ,alas, the propensity to argue is still there.  I prefer  not to complain at the point of service ,unless it’s something that could be easily rectified at the time, because it really bugs the wife.  Either I don’t go far enough ,or  more likely I am not exactly pleasant when I start complaining. Try serving my kid shitty food you will get shitty attitude. Once an eatery gets comfortable with being able to send out undercooked, salty,incorrect or hazardous food it’s too late to take it up with the onsite management that  allow these things to happen.

Here are two of our most recent outings

Lone Star Steak house visit 

The Yard house visit ( I gave away the gift cert)

I don’t enjoy paying for this feeling but it’s nowhere near as the frustration that comes from “ we’re sorry you didn’t like”  or “we’re sorry you feel that way”   there’s rarely anyone that is sorry that we served you fuzzy food. No harm, no foul.  Just our time, our moods and good will.You know nothing of value.

The change

  • No more chain meals when we’re in the home town. Breakfast is exempt.
  • Buying a new table for the kitchen and a couple of items to make food production easier.
  • Using the money saved to eat at better locations less frequently.

A parable from the Principia Discordia follows after the cut that could explain how we let ourselves fall into traps like this.

Read More »

Honda Certified used cars. They don’t actually have to be certifiable at time of sale. Superstition Springs Honda and the paranormal.

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Filed under Arizona, Bad CS, Family

I believe I have a candidate for James Randi’s  million dollar prize.  The prize   awarded

“to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event.”

could be won in Arizona.The unlikely candidate is Honda of Superstition Springs , after all the name fits nicely, for claiming that a car  certified as having passed Honda’s 150 point test managed to be incapable of passing it at the time I purchased it. During the time the car sat on the lot it lost these abilities  with no human intervention.

  • rear high level brake light. Absent and wiring hanging lose (88. Brake lights)
  • rear speakers that didn’t work. (103. Audio system—radio/CD/cassette, speaker operation)
  • Fuel release cap that didn’t work. (127. Fuel door release)
  • and an interior bulb that was out. (123. Interior lights—switch/door operation)

Which doesn’t reconcile well with.

“We’ve taken the headache out of used car research by doing the homework for you. So when you choose a Honda Certified Used Vehicle, rest easy knowing it passes more than just a 150-point inspection. It passes our strict standards as well.”

Honda’s strict standards  are letting the dealer certify it and in case of a dispute passing on what the dealer would be willing to do. They seem to have  little purpose other than to be a heat sink. Throughout the process the weasel apologies of “we’re sorry you feel that way”  began to grate. In short as long as the car is fixed afterwards they are happy. 

Not sorry it happens, not sorry they can’t do anything about it but just sorry that someone actually fell for their line of BS.

After certification the car sat on the lot over 100 days and during that time  the above items are meant to have changed condition.  This is why they should be going after that million dollar prize  because I’ve yet to see a tail light, wiring and fixture separate themselves from a housing and then hide. 

The speakers are unlikely to have failed  but Chris ,general manager, said the didn’t at the time check those just the main function not per speaker. I had pointed out the poor wiring and asked them to check it prior to purchase, they said they had. So even if they missed it on the first occasion  there’s little excuse for the second.

The light bulb certainly could have blown any time  and the fuel release? It’s doubtful as they filled the gas prior to the delivery and it had to be self evident that people were needed to open it up.

Morris @ Honda USA is unconcerned with this state of affairs and doesn’t  see any incongruity between the quoted  paragraph above from the Honda site and my experience.  

The remedy took 8 hours of waiting,as  they didn’t, actually wouldn’t, give me a loan car and it was claimed it would only take two hours  on the first occasion.  In the end two 60 mile round trips were needed.

All they had to do, take car, get me to work/ back and return it in the condition they advertised it as .  Annoying, yes  but livable.  Sadly that wasn’t the case.

I believe the cars price was influenced by the certified program and that inherent in that offer was the reasonable expectation that  all of the items on the provided list were functioning at time of purchase. Seemingly that’s not the case and Honda appears to  value the delivery condition as being valueless but backed up by their valuable warranty.

The dealer believes that no breach of the contract was evident which is a matter I disagree on.  Had the car worked as advertised I would not be out 10 hours of time. Apart from offering a paint warranty which I didn’t want  ( retail about$400 but practically free to them) and a future loan car they consider the matter closed.

The take away from this is that you should not expect a car from a Honda  certified used program to be in the condition advertised  and why should you? Apparently  Honda and at least one dealership believes  as long as it’s fixed you should be grateful. 

Auto annoyance.Camelback VW. Our attempt at buying a car. Honesty is most certainly an option.

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Filed under Arizona, Bad CS, General

I posted this over at Yelp but after I’ve just had another surprise , e.g a loan application that I never requested, I think it’s time to expend some time on informing people what they are getting into  if dealing with Camelback VW

EXEC Summary:

+Wasted our time with childish obfuscation of the sales price
+Disregarded our ceiling for buying a vehicle
+Changed terms of finance and what it would take to qualify
+ Ran a  loan application for me instead of a credit check after telling them we’d not be using them then having it denied. In fact I am checking to see if this was retaliatory strike.

Some of this is a review of the used car sales process and while the staff at Camelback VW  insist that we must have somehow misunderstood them I don’t think that. We went to look at a car, tested it,and left. We liked it enough to discuss terms  the day after and  that’s where the fun started. We had simple needs. Tell us the car price + tax, fees and registration.  That’s it we didn’t want a warranty or many of the other add ons that they try to foist on you.  They made an offer, we declined  as it was above our stated max of 10k  out the door max.

Strike 1:  Failing to listen to your customer.

Forward a day and a call from  James called wanted us to consider it again at what they called the auction price. (Claimed car was a week away from being auctioned)   This sounded better so we found sitter for the kid,  drove down and asked for a new price. It was $200 less than previously and still above $10k. They had taken up yet another night and this offer just plain sucked. They could have told us on the phone but no they think it’s clever to waste people’s money acting like a paranoid secret squirrel on a meth bender.

Strike 2:  Treating us like children will not make us respect you or even be civil.  We should have walked at that juncture.

The usual what could we do to guarantee you’d buy it discussion occurred?  Easy  8k out the door, that’s a pretty low offer,insulting? Maybe but hey once you take the piss with an offer that failed to meet our limit  and lose us a few hours of spare time then I get pissy.  They didn’t even counter, just said no way, can’t even get close and the poor dealer’s story of how much they were in for that car etc came out.  I really thought they would break out some violins.

Next day  call about how the night guy mustn’t have been informed of the “auction price” offer and really they would let us get it for  9200 out the door Yay:)  Erin went down on her own to fill out the paperwork.

( Sidebar) I have really good credit ( there’s a reason Scrooge McDuck is Scottish after all) my partner less so, ok it’s poor. That’s ok we expected to pay dearly for this , her first car, but 20% is just plain awful. Hell when I was new to this country I got a lower rate on a new VW bug.)

They came back over 20% and I suggested she not do this without talking first or seeing if my bank would be a better bet. After she spent  more hours at VW Camelback they wanted to run the numbers with me and her ( they still sucked being a  full 12% over the number my bank qualified me for today) but in the meantime they told her she no longer qualified at 20% , that it would have to be co signed BUT if we added an extended warranty onto it, they could call in a special favor and they could see about it. This scam is so well known I can link to it:)

That’s when we walked for the last time. I could have bought the car, cash but that defeats the  rebuilding credit goal.  Simply didn’t trust them. I think the withholding of credit unless you get to the figure by adding warranties  is problematic and  coercive in a manner that I’d consider unethical given a prior indication, the reason we were even back in the dealers , that she’d been approved.   We received a call saying  “they are sorry we misunderstood”  some apology, we understand that you get so used to BS that you can’t stop doing it even if you want to.

Ended the day at Superstition Honda and bought a used Civic so HA  we were serious. you jack offs! Loan? 6%  . What’s sad is that I really like diesel cars and have bought a new VW prior. I’ve had service at this dealer prior and this is how they go about building a long term business. Morons lost a car sale, a potential car sale and  service for both.

Time passed and I just got a letter from the bank saying they’d denied my loan. I never entered into a loan with these people just a credit check. I’m doing some research on the dates/ times this occurred because it seems a tad malicious to apply me for a loan I’d not filled out the paperwork.