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View Full Version : Experienced owners please convince me...rant



Luv2byte
09-16-2013, 05:48 PM
I bought a maintenance plan, basically prepaid LOF package, I like to be able to pull up, get it serviced & away I go. Not to mention over 5yr prices will go up but I've paid one set price for my oil change & services, mostly I like the convenience of it all being prepaid.

I got my paperwork on it a week ago. I was shocked, I paid more than 3x the value of the document they sent me! In all the cars I've purchased plans on I've never overpaid like this! Not to mention the other issues with the whole thing around the limitations stated in the document. I called the dealership, the finance guy I worked with for the purchase wasn't in so I gave the concern to another finance guy who said he will look into it but if I don't hear back in the next day or so expect a call Friday from the guy I worked with. Fine. No call Friday, Sat or Sun (yes he worked all 3 of those days). I call this afternoon. His comments were they JUST turned it over (TODAY) to a customer relations guy who is researching it but I can always just cancel the package but sounds like the paperwork was wrong that we got signed up for but didn't explain the difference either, just kept telling me that this guy will cal me & I can cancel.

Now if you read the issues forum my car is in the shop for what was assumed a TSB, the MIL went off but they said still bring it in to check. I took it in last Friday (to studio closest to me, not the once I purchased from), two hours later I was given all clear. I get down the hwy in rush hour traffic & light comes back on, so I turned around & went back to dealership. I will say they were prepared when I got back, had loaner car ready & running for me. I called today for an update on the car, since their service dept is open on Saturdays I thought they would have an idea/update. They said they would call me back, I told them I was at that one number for a only an hour more (I was at that phone for 75min after that call). Just over two hours later from first call I call again. Turns out the tech isn't working today and doesn't have an update for me, that the tech is working with another dept on the issues that are still unknown.

PLEASE tell me I didn't make a mistake turning in my perfectly reliable & comfy SUV for a "fix it again..."? I love the look, size, features & culture of this car, overall it really is perfect for us, but I'm feeling so scammed right now it's not funny. I know things have to work themselves out over time but two issues without communication & our little car only has 985mi on it, I should be in the honeymoon phase, not mourning. I'm trying to be patient but when there are issues coming & going its hard to feel good about the purchase.

Mario500L
09-16-2013, 06:34 PM
Hello Ellie,

I can sense your frustration, to have a brand new car with "all the related" issues on your other thread. The 500L is my first FIAT, I always had either VW or Honda (CR-V and FIT (a car that mechanics hate, by the way, never breaks). So far my experience with the 500L has been nice. What I can tell by my "studio", or dealership: I knew more about the car as the sales person, and he was trying to convince me to buy something that I already made my mind (only to explain how sometimes the personal at the "studio" are inexperienced on the 500L.) About the service area, when I first had my "engine alert" , I went there, and the manager was a very nice guy and experienced, but even thought, he ask me if I forgot somehow to close the fuel cap. What I replied, well the 500L doesn't have one, and he "ops , yes, I need to still get used on that". By the time I was there I felt like the "service area" was a personal one, since I was the only one there, and my car also.

So, I don't know about others places, but what I felt is the Fiat studios are still on their infancy, not like, Honda for example, that they are "here" forever. On the other side, I don't know about you, but I don't like things that are ordinary, and the 500L stands on the street and road, since not that much people have one. I saw you have a Z3 so you know, the feeling (by 2001 I mean).

So bottom line , I would stay with faith that everything will be fixed, if you still have issues, I would request , demand a new car, is not the same as a new computer, but I am sure Fiat wants to have in they early stages (at least with the 500L (new model)) customers happy, so call the headquarters, and let they know your frustration.

ALL THE BEST.....

Luv2byte
09-16-2013, 07:03 PM
Thank you. Your right, I like things that are not the same "black suit with matching tie", I like things that have a specialness or uniqueness to them, fun, some personality (which is why I think the z4's up through 2012 were hideous, '13 had a slight improvement & LOVE my Z3). If I wanted run of the mill car I would have got a CR-v or Ford Edge to suit our needs but I read everything I could get my hands on for the 500l for 18mo. My poor hubby - I even made him go w me to auto shows in hopes of seeing one before they hit the market. I love the look & fun factor of these cars.

The studio we got ours from (130mi north of home), the sales person was pretty good - she knew that the cooler box isn't really a cooler in US & she paired our phones in seconds (I wanted to do it but she was so insistent the car be ready when we got in it, I gave in). But the communication to resolve the maintenance plan is sad & my car being in the shop (60mi south of home) not worked on also bothers me. It doesn't help I'm a QA analyst so I'm pretty particular with customer service & communication. The whole buying process was best ever of any car we've purchased, since signature on the dotted line service hasn't been as good as expected, mostly around communication.

I'll push for new car if it reaches lemon law limits, but I really want to give fiat a chance to fix both wrongs. Also, we have a loaded trekking, not many of them around right now, I will be happy with my car being in good health, stable & reliable....parked at home.

Mario500L
09-16-2013, 07:48 PM
Oh! "QA analyst", grins, I am one also, actually working my %&^& off to a big delivery this week, and checking some sites about 500L , but let's not tell my boss about that. Please, keep us posted.

Luv2byte
09-16-2013, 08:21 PM
Oh! "QA analyst", grins, I am one also, actually working my %&^& off to a big delivery this week, and checking some sites about 500L , but let's not tell my boss about that. Please, keep us posted.

Yeah, it's hard to be patient w less than stellar service isn't it? It's lead to some interesting conversations tho. We painted our house last year, I didn't give a super favorable review of our sales rep (only thing I marked down as his 'rude), turns out he was the store manager, emailed me, asked to talk further & when he did he said he totally sees what I saw & didn't like it (in himself). Another was our insurance adjuster for a claim we made this year, adjust called me when everything was finally finished & asked my opinion on how he did & where he could do better. (He was amazing actually!)

But yeah, I get annoyed for little things such as asking me to hold but not waiting for my answer or simply telling me to hold. Rude.

Think good thoughts for the news on my "baby", I really do hope it's a basic fix & not sign of more to come but today, it feels ominous.

Wolfepaw
09-16-2013, 09:05 PM
I bought a maintenance plan, basically prepaid LOF package, I like to be able to pull up, get it serviced & away I go. Not to mention over 5yr prices will go up but I've paid one set price for my oil change & services, mostly I like the convenience of it all being prepaid.

I got my paperwork on it a week ago. I was shocked, I paid more than 3x the value of the document they sent me! In all the cars I've purchased plans on I've never overpaid like this! Not to mention the other issues with the whole thing around the limitations stated in the document. I called the dealership, the finance guy I worked with for the purchase wasn't in so I gave the concern to another finance guy who said he will look into it but if I don't hear back in the next day or so expect a call Friday from the guy I worked with. Fine. No call Friday, Sat or Sun (yes he worked all 3 of those days). I call this afternoon. His comments were they JUST turned it over (TODAY) to a customer relations guy who is researching it but I can always just cancel the package but sounds like the paperwork was wrong that we got signed up for but didn't explain the difference either, just kept telling me that this guy will cal me & I can cancel.

Now if you read the issues forum my car is in the shop for what was assumed a TSB, the MIL went off but they said still bring it in to check. I took it in last Friday (to studio closest to me, not the once I purchased from), two hours later I was given all clear. I get down the hwy in rush hour traffic & light comes back on, so I turned around & went back to dealership. I will say they were prepared when I got back, had loaner car ready & running for me. I called today for an update on the car, since their service dept is open on Saturdays I thought they would have an idea/update. They said they would call me back, I told them I was at that one number for a only an hour more (I was at that phone for 75min after that call). Just over two hours later from first call I call again. Turns out the tech isn't working today and doesn't have an update for me, that the tech is working with another dept on the issues that are still unknown.

PLEASE tell me I didn't make a mistake turning in my perfectly reliable & comfy SUV for a "fix it again..."? I love the look, size, features & culture of this car, overall it really is perfect for us, but I'm feeling so scammed right now it's not funny. I know things have to work themselves out over time but two issues without communication & our little car only has 985mi on it, I should be in the honeymoon phase, not mourning. I'm trying to be patient but when there are issues coming & going its hard to feel good about the purchase.

Combination of things going on, things I knew going in and so I am giving a much longer rope than normal. Fiat has only been back in the US a couple of years. New studios, new people to the cars and models. The second and most important thing is, brand new model from them that we were an early adopter of. I've experience much of the same as you with how my studio has handled things. I haven't heard a peep from my salesperson since I walked out the door. My plates had been in for 5 weeks and I never got a call. I had to drive 40 miles to the studio and insist they find them. I'm always telling the service rep all the TSB's on my car, he's "never heard of that issue". I called about the SXM issue the first week I had the 500L, called multiple times and was told I would receive a call back. No call back, won't even discuss it with me on the phone. I just had my 500L in for an oil change that took three hours because they didn't know about the hose clamp.

All that said, I love my two Fiat's and in the end, as long as they do keep coming out with fixes for the issues on the 500L, and thanks to this forum I hear about them, I'll be ok. People stop me constantly to ask about the 500L as they've never seen one before. Buzzing around in my 500 Sport makes me smile. In the end, for me, that's enough to forgive the rest.

Luv2byte
09-16-2013, 09:12 PM
That is the possitive attitude I need to help me from feeling regretful. I knew there may be things to adjust on a first run car but poor customer service sure makes it worse.

Wolfepaw
09-16-2013, 09:42 PM
That is the possitive attitude I need to help me from feeling regretful. I knew there may be things to adjust on a first run car but poor customer service sure makes it worse.

Just to give you one more ray of hope, my 500 Sport is a 2013, not a first year, and it has been flawless. Service techs know everything about it and knock on virtual wood, zero problems with it at 18K miles. :) Hopefully they get things right with your 500L soon, or I have a feeling our friendly resident Fiat service rep on the forums is going to start making calls to your studio. They don't want FiatCares on their case, trust me.:devilish:

Luv2byte
09-16-2013, 09:49 PM
Just to give you one more ray of hope, my 500 Sport is a 2013, not a first year, and it has been flawless. Service techs know everything about it and knock on virtual wood, zero problems with it at 18K miles. :) Hopefully they get things right with your 500L soon, or I have a feeling our friendly resident Fiat service rep on the forums is going to start making calls to your studio. They don't want FiatCares on their case, trust me.:devilish:

It does give me hope - but I felt confident since much of the technology 500L is in the Arbarths & other 500's. I'm not happy that the car I'm paying for is sitting not being worked on actively, or more than "tech was off today" when initially he made it sound like a tech was working on it. The issue w the studio I purchased from is shady but I'm hopeful still. I know I can get a refund but that isn't the point, I want explanation of the difference in price of maintenance plan then if warranted a refund, but mostly communication a bit more expedient than a week only to be told they JUST turned the issue over to someone else? Just doesn't sit well. I still love my little car, I just would like better communication.

n00dle
09-16-2013, 10:26 PM
well... I feel bad for your situation. You're right, this should be the honeymoon phase with your new car. Hopefully, every concern you have will be addressed to your satisfaction.

Jalpa_Mike
09-17-2013, 12:43 PM
Don't feel too bad Ellie. I think once the kinks are worked out, you'll be as happy as a Lark in June. When we bought our 2012 FIAT 500 Sport a couple years back, I went out to get the in car one morning and it wouldn't start. All the lights came on, radio worked, etc. FIAT paid to have it towed to our local dealer (FIAT of Tacoma). Once they got into it, they found that the bolt holding the battery cable to the starter wasn't torqued properly. It vibrated loose and fell off!

After that, we had 2 years of trouble free motoring! :-)

Luv2byte
09-17-2013, 06:17 PM
Don't feel too bad Ellie. I think once the kinks are worked out, you'll be as happy as a Lark in June. When we bought our 2012 FIAT 500 Sport a couple years back, I went out to get the in car one morning and it wouldn't start. All the lights came on, radio worked, etc. FIAT paid to have it towed to our local dealer (FIAT of Tacoma). Once they got into it, they found that the bolt holding the battery cable to the starter wasn't torqued properly. It vibrated loose and fell off!

After that, we had 2 years of trouble free motoring! :-)

I hope so, I really like the car & already miss it more than my trusty, perfectly running, no issue, gas hog SUV. I hope this is just a bump in the road, not an indicator of the future. But I just got off the phone w the studio, they AND Fiat engineers are stumped. I gave permission to drive it as needed to see if the light will come back on. It's totally random when it goes off & on, as they have now discovered since its back to being off they said.

Indie500L
09-17-2013, 10:16 PM
I guess we have been lucky and only have had a few GPS and Radio problems and the blinky door lock which they flashed. 1800+ miles and going ok still on our 500L Lounge

Luv2byte
09-17-2013, 10:43 PM
I guess we have been lucky and only have had a few GPS and Radio problems and the blinky door lock which they flashed. 1800+ miles and going ok still on our 500L Lounge

That is awesome..I'm jealous but it is nice to hear you can enjoy your car.

Mario500L
09-18-2013, 01:39 PM
Hello Ellie,

Any news ? ( I guess I am also anxious to see you happy with the new L baby :) ). By your trouble, I would try to get something from the "studio", like gas gift-card or anything that at least covers your trouble.

Luv2byte
09-18-2013, 06:22 PM
Yeah good luck w the "gift".

So within an hour I got two calls, they called me instead of other way around, first time it's been that way!

Maintenance package - basically, they used wrong code when selling it to me & correct price but NO ONE ever verified the price to see if it was more or a savings, so two issues there. Then even tho I asked service for the price quote for synthetic for my L he still quoted conventional oil change price. They have since educated staff about this issue. The customer relations guy I was talking to said he wanted to get chain of events from me, apologize then decide what I would like to do (refund or other plan). He said fiat just released other maintenance plans but he hasn't looked very closely at them or priced them out. He is going to pull all options together & call me back (which I might just ask for refund, undecided still). I asked about dollar limits as the document (even tho wrong plan) sates a specific amt & customer to pay difference. He said they never charge the customer any $$ difference no matter what. I told him that was nice but it means nothing if not in writing. What am I to tell them in say (for example) two years when he or our finance guy no longer works there or policies change? If not in writing it means nothing. He totally understood & agreed. So hopefully by tomorrow I will know something more on that one.

As for my car being repaired - service dept called me, they THINK it's a brake light switch (only because they saw this once before on a 500). They are going to talk to the fiat engineers once more & order the switch within the hour. Since my schedule doesn't allow me time to get the car tomorrow (when estimated it will be done), I asked they keep it until Saturday morning, test it again after repair to be sure that fixed it.

Progress...slow but progress...not happy that a car pmt is coming due & I've only driven the car for not quite two weeks.

Mario500L
09-18-2013, 08:26 PM
All the best. Well, my car payment is also around the corner. Well, you can always apply for a Fiat QA analyst position, and make sure that kind of issue never happens again :)

Luv2byte
09-18-2013, 09:09 PM
All the best. Well, my car payment is also around the corner. Well, you can always apply for a Fiat QA analyst position, and make sure that kind of issue never happens again :)

Or at least light a fire under some backsides on what effective communication really is & how it relates to customer service satisfaction. angel

Luv2byte
09-21-2013, 11:57 AM
Sigh. Car not ready as promised. Part of the issue is the part didn't come in as expected. I was asked to call at 8-am today to verify the car was ready before I head to the studio (60mi from home). I call at 8:30, wanted to give them time to get their day started. Car is still out with the tech who doesn't come in for the day until around 9am (then why did he tell me to call at 8am if he knew the tech wasn't in until around 9?). They are going to rescan the car when he does get in today so it won't be until at 10-11am to be ready. We have an appt in town here mid-day so that doesn't work for us.

If all checks out on the car today we will probably go late today or Monday. Huge rainstorm coming tomorrow, I do not feel like driving 60mi (one way) in a rainstorm & I prefer service be open when I pick it up, just in case I have to turn around & take it back again, I can leave it running so they can scan the code again.

it's crazy that this has been since a week ago Friday that I dropped it off & it's not near as big of an issue as others are seeing on their cars.

Mario500L
09-21-2013, 01:54 PM
Sigh. Car not ready as promised. Part of the issue is the part didn't come in as expected. I was asked to call at 8-am today to verify the car was ready before I head to the studio (60mi from home). I call at 8:30, wanted to give them time to get their day started. Car is still out with the tech who doesn't come in for the day until around 9am (then why did he tell me to call at 8am if he knew the tech wasn't in until around 9?). They are going to rescan the car when he does get in today so it won't be until at 10-11am to be ready. We have an appt in town here mid-day so that doesn't work for us.

If all checks out on the car today we will probably go late today or Monday. Huge rainstorm coming tomorrow, I do not feel like driving 60mi (one way) in a rainstorm & I prefer service be open when I pick it up, just in case I have to turn around & take it back again, I can leave it running so they can scan the code again.

it's crazy that this has been since a week ago Friday that I dropped it off & it's not near as big of an issue as others are seeing on their cars.

Ciao Ellie,

First , let me understand one thing "Car is still out with the tech who doesn't come in for the day until around 9am", you mean the tech is with your car, running around even before he check for work on that day ? I hope this is not like that old movie, when 2 teens got a father's car for the day, and returned later with a load of miles.

I would really, if was you, call the FIAT headquarters, and really complain , because only Silvio Berlusconi, knows what they are doing with your car. I would be furious, at this point with all these stronzate they are playing over there.

I know that is 60 miles, but, jezz, I would be there , and "listen very careful guys, I am not moving my <complete as you wish> from here until I don't have my car fixed. On another thread, you saw that they offered at least 1 month free for all the trouble dichiee had.

Please , keep us posted.

Luv2byte
09-21-2013, 02:36 PM
Ciao Ellie,

First , let me understand one thing "Car is still out with the tech who doesn't come in for the day until around 9am", you mean the tech is with your car, running around even before he check for work on that day ? I hope this is not like that old movie, when 2 teens got a father's car for the day, and returned later with a load of miles.

I would really, if was you, call the FIAT headquarters, and really complain , because only Silvio Berlusconi, knows what they are doing with your car. I would be furious, at this point with all these stronzate they are playing over there.

I know that is 60 miles, but, jezz, I would be there , and "listen very careful guys, I am not moving my <complete as you wish> from here until I don't have my car fixed. On another thread, you saw that they offered at least 1 month free for all the trouble dichiee had.

Please , keep us posted.


You are correct - scene from Faris Beuler is accurate visual...

I assume the tech driving it, presumably to home, is their version of "real world driving" to see if the light reappears. I probably should have verified their version of this. I know it had 985 mi on it & no scratches (except swirl marks from bad detailing at dealer). I do intend to check it over closely when I I get it. I've already emailed fiat about my issues & lack of timeliness of my issues. Not happy but happy car is done. Was was going to pick it up while service is open but I'm at a point I just want MY car back so we are going this evening after our appt I here in town.

Luv2byte
09-21-2013, 07:14 PM
Tech drove car home last night & back to the shop w computer hooked up so to scan for codes, no issues found. Wish us luck. Nice to have MY car back.

dichiee
09-21-2013, 07:32 PM
Tech drove car home last night & back to the shop w computer hooked up so to scan for codes, no issues found. Wish us luck. Nice to have MY car back.

Congrats! Now where's mine!

Mario500L
09-21-2013, 07:35 PM
Tech drove car home last night & back to the shop w computer hooked up so to scan for codes, no issues found. Wish us luck. Nice to have MY car back.

!!!Yes Yes Yes.

All the best Ellie, enjoy your 500L. Fantastic news.

Mario500L
09-21-2013, 07:36 PM
Congrats! Now where's mine!

Ciao dichiee , I am sure yours will be next !

Luv2byte
09-21-2013, 08:05 PM
Congrats! Now where's mine!

If it makes you feel better my nav randomly rebooted again xxrotflmao

Indie500L
09-21-2013, 08:13 PM
HA HA HA YUP welcome to the reboot club!! Hope that puppy keeps running with no scan codes!!! I wonder if the radio is running Windows HA! SO GET OUT THERE AND RACK UP SOME MILES!!! Fall is around the corner geeeezzz!

Luv2byte
09-24-2013, 02:06 AM
I bought a maintenance plan, basically prepaid LOF package, I like to be able to pull up, get it serviced & away I go. Not to mention over 5yr prices will go up but I've paid one set price for my oil change & services, mostly I like the convenience of it all being prepaid.

I got my paperwork on it a week ago. I was shocked, I paid more than 3x the value of the document they sent me! In all the cars I've purchased plans on I've never overpaid like this! Not to mention the other issues with the whole thing around the limitations stated in the document. I called the dealership, the finance guy I worked with for the purchase wasn't in so I gave the concern to another finance guy who said he will look into it but if I don't hear back in the next day or so expect a call Friday from the guy I worked with. Fine. No call Friday, Sat or Sun (yes he worked all 3 of those days). I call this afternoon. His comments were they JUST turned it over (TODAY) to a customer relations guy who is researching it but I can always just cancel the package but sounds like the paperwork was wrong that we got signed up for but didn't explain the difference either, just kept telling me that this guy will cal me & I can cancel.



Well, fiat of Kirkland didn't call me still! When I talked to their customer relations guy last week, (a week after I contacted them for the problem w maintenance plan & two phone calls later) he said he was going to research options & call me. I figured he meant within a day or two max. Nope. 6 days later, no call. I called & left him a voicemail to cancel the maintained plan, refund it ASAP & they better not charge me cancellation fee. I told him their communication & customer service was deplorable & it should not take two weeks to figure out an issue that should be routine for them! Micah called me 90min later, acted as if he talked to me often & had been hard at work, he said he was going to process a refund today because he didn't find that any of fiat's maintenance plans actually saved any money or were a convenience after all when it came to the 500L. He made it sound like it was his idea to refund & didn't even offer an apology!

I did like their sales team who did have good customer service but finance was horrible, Brian the finance mgr may be a good ol Christian boy but he left his ethics & morals at home I think (turns out he goes to the same church as my inlaws!). He has poor customer service follow through & so does their customer relations guy Micah, neither have guilt or ownership in screwing a customer - they blame it on Fiat, they were just doing what Fiat said to do, uh huh. Their service dept manager, Brennan, seems pretty good & we will probably use them for our basic services like oil changes since we are in that area every few months.

Mario500L
09-24-2013, 08:44 AM
Well, fiat of Kirkland didn't call me still! When I talked to their customer relations guy last week, (a week after I contacted them for the problem w maintenance plan & two phone calls later) he said he was going to research options & call me. I figured he meant within a day or two max. Nope. 6 days later, no call. I called & left him a voicemail to cancel the maintained plan, refund it ASAP & they better not charge me cancellation fee. I told him their communication & customer service was deplorable & it should not take two weeks to figure out an issue that should be routine for them! Micah called me 90min later, acted as if he talked to me often & had been hard at work, he said he was going to process a refund today because he didn't find that any of fiat's maintenance plans actually saved any money or were a convenience after all when it came to the 500L. He made it sound like it was his idea to refund & didn't even offer an apology!

I did like their sales team who did have good customer service but finance was horrible, Brian the finance mgr may be a good ol Christian boy but he left his ethics & morals at home I think (turns out he goes to the same church as my inlaws!). He has poor customer service follow through & so does their customer relations guy Micah, neither have guilt or ownership in screwing a customer - they blame it on Fiat, they were just doing what Fiat said to do, uh huh. Their service dept manager, Brennan, seems pretty good & we will probably use them for our basic services like oil changes since we are in that area every few months.

Pre-paid maintenance doesn't make sense at all. Oil change on the 500L is every 10K miles, and the first maintenance schedule is at 20K miles. I got an extended warranty, (a bit expensive, so I am having second thoughts on that), only because I have a high mileage commute daily (at least for now). About the "finance mgr be a good .... and left... and goes to the same church as your inlaws) , :) that was pretty funny. They have a special training in "how to left ethics at home" , the same course lawyers have , as I heard.

My finance guy was pretty nice, and worked with 5 options until he got the best deal, but of course, you can shop for another finance , and just pay off the current one.

So , the FIAT experience , so far , has been fine, aside the fact I knew more about the car as the sales guy, and I am a bit "worried" on parts, if help us G we need in the near future.