If you follow me on Twitter, I’m sure you read about the horrible experience I had the other week at American Service Center located in Arlington, VA.
I’m a firm believer in writing letters of complaint whenever I have a poor customer service experience and sharing with others when I’ve feel I’ve been wronged. Sometimes upper management has no idea what is going on within their own business without those advocates letting them know what is really going on, they would never know why they’re losing business.
So about my experience at American Service Center (ASC)…I scheduled an appointment to drop my car off on a Tuesday at 9:30AM, to have a cracked rim and a windshield wiper replaced. I also asked them to look at the other rim, because I’d been informed the other rim was cracked as well.
When I arrived they told me they didn’t have an appointment for me, should’ve known right then it wasn’t going to go well. I was hoping they’d fix it while I waited since it was a fairly simply procedure, NTB only took 30 minutes to take off both of my rims and determined they were cracked. Instead, I was told they’d call me when it was ready and the advisor walked away. When I asked about my loaner, the advisor was very condescending and said that since I did not purchase my car from them they would not provide a loaner. Every time I’d taken my car to other dealerships in the area they always gave me a loaner even though I purchased my car in Atlanta.
That afternoon around 4:00PM when I still had not heard from the service advisor regarding the status of my car, so I decided to follow-up. When I called he wasn’t available. Finally he called me back at the end of the day verifying the rim was cracked. Umm yeah, that’s what I told him when I dropped it off that morning, along with telling him the guy in parts department had already been ordered them and they just needed to be installed. Fortunately, I was able to get a ride from a friend home from work.
Fast forward to the next day, I commuted to work via Metro again and still had not received a phone call stating my car was ready. I ended up calling ASC around 11:00AM and asked to speak with the Service Department manager because I was feed up. He then informed me he’d just spoken with his business development officer about the number of cars they’d taken in the day before. Truthfully, I could’ve cared less. My concern was that I was stranded for over 24 hours without a car for such a minor repair.
I was finally told my car is ready around lunch time. So I took the Metro back out to VA to pick it up. I went to the cashier to pay for my service and wait for my car. I hoped it would be quick and I’d be back to work. That was not the case. I ended up waiting an hour for them to find my car. And no one seemed to know where it was as if it has just vanished.
During the wait, I tried to find my service advisor, then the service manager and was told both were gone to lunch. To make matters worse, I was repeatedly told by the attendants, they couldn’t do anything because the second person who tried to find my car disappeared with all of my paperwork and the receipt. Eventually, another service advisor called the mechanic who worked on my car who told him where my car was. The mechanic took 2 minutes, went to where the cars are parked, found my car, and told the advisor my car was in fact where he’d left it.
When I heard him say that I was heated. By this time, I’d been gone from work for 2 hours and missed an important conference call. When my car finally came out, I didn’t receive an apology, nothing. I vowed to never return to America Service Center in Arlington, VA.
After that mind-numbing experience, I wrote a detailed 2-page letter expressing my concerns regarding the poor customer service, the time it took for them to complete a simple repair, as well as concerns for my safety, when they told me nothing was wrong with my passenger side rim when there clearly was a problem. I sent the letter certified to the General Manager, asking for an apology and compensation for my inconvenience. After all time is money, and after such a horrendous experience I deserved something.
With that said, I hope no one else encounters what I went through with American Service Center. Don’t be afraid to let others know when you’ve had poor or unacceptable customer service. By writing a letter or calling the manager you’re providing valuable feedback and you never know what you’ll get out of making a simple complaint. Some times you just have to let ‘em know.