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Maybe Toyota Will Wake Up The Big Three Automakers

This is a bit of a personal gripe here, but man I'm frustrated. Here is the story:

Nearly 2 weeks ago on a Saturday I had a left rear blow-out on my 2006 Montana while driving along the highway, no big deal most of us have had similar experiences. I changed the tire and put on the "stupid spare" and went on my way. The next day and most of the dealerships were closed, well the GM ones were. On Monday I went to the local Goodyear tire shop by my work, to see if I could get a replacement tire through them instead of driving all the way to the dealership. Bad news, I found out that the particular tires on my vehicle are hard to come by and that Goodyear could special order it for me but it would take at least a week and be over $200 before it was even put on the rim and balanced.

I called the salesman who sold me the Montana, but he was sick all week (hey we all get sick so I understand). Finally I got a hold of him last Saturday, and he set me up with the service guy to get me a better deal for the tire. After speaking with him and telling him 3 times that the tire had raised white lettering he said he would locate a tire and get back to me. Less than 5 minutes later he called me back saying he found me the tire and that I could drop off the rim on Monday and they'll mount it for me after it was delivered. I dropped off the rim early Monday and left my father-in-law's number for him to pick up the tire because I was working late and had to take my son to his sport camp as well. The dealership called and my father-in-law picked up the tire. Later that night I went to get the tire from the in-laws so I could put it on my van. The Dealership put the wrong tire on the rim, it wasn't raised white lettering like we discussed, and they charged nearly $20.00 more than the price we discussed which made it more than Goodyear's deal.

The next day I had to drive all the way to the dealership (which isn't that close) and deal with this tire thing yet again. After talking with the service guy he said that he knew it was the wrong tire but he ordered it and had them put it on anyway because he figured I needed a tire. He didn't even ask me to check to see if it was alright. The reason why they put the other tire on was because they couldn't get the right tire for another 2 days from the supplier who had them on backorder. It had been over a week already, another 2 days wasn't going to matter. I also brought up the over charge and he said no problem he'll refund it right away, but he couldn't because it had been 24hrs and they can only do same day refunds. He arranged for a refund check to be prepared for me upon pick up of the proper tire.

I picked up the tire today and it was the right one, yah! The check of course wasn't there, they had mailed it yesterday. I'm looking forward to getting my money next week!

This isn't the first time I've been "inconvenienced" by this dealership. They mis-diagnosed my vehicle last summer and replaced parts that didn't fix the problem, but they finally fixed a few weeks later once they realized they looked up the solution to the my problem but for the wrong engine. There was also a problem with my CD player, which they couldn't get a replacement one for over a month, yet they had a ton of vehicles on the lot with the same CD player that they could have taken out for my vehicle and put the back order one in later. Two months after I finally got my CD player fixed I got a phone call from the dealership that they wanted me to come in to get my CD player replaced because they finally got a replacement one for me. I thought maybe there was a recall so I asked - "No, we finally got that backordered one in for you", was the reply. I told them I got a new one 2 months ago from them and that I probably didn't need it. "Oh, O.K. Thank-you and have a good day", click.

When I owned my Honda Civic I never had a problem with the quality of service from the dealership at anytime and I owned that car for 7 years. I've owned the Montana for 10 months and I'm fed up with the dealership. I've always been a strong supporter of North American Auto manufacturers but when I needed to buy a car to commute to Toronto everyday I needed something that was good on gas, cheap to buy and maintain, and that held its value. The Civic won out over the GM Firefly, Ford Escort, and Chrysler horizon. Not much of a choice there I'm afraid. I even sold that Civic 7 years later for $5000 - I only paid $10 000 for it to begin with. By the time I sold that car there were no Fireflys, Escorts, or horizons left on the road because they were all scraped. After I sold the Honda I went back to North American cars; Gran Prix, Bonneville, and now the Montana. Let me make it clear, I really don't have much of a problem with the Montana itself, its the quality of service that stinks. I will not be back to that dealership again, I guess I'll have to try another one instead.

Maybe the introduction of Toyota into NASCAR will wake up the Big 3 Automakers to provide to their customers better service at their dealerships, or at least show dealers how to hire people who know what they are doing. Its a service industry and they need to keep their customers happy, not disgruntled.