Friday, October 31, 2008

 They didn't have to but they did it any way

Remember the deer? The totaled vehicle? The ensuing search for the perfect mini van for our family? It was quite a process for us. The first dealership we visited had a van we were interested in and we test drove it. We were pretty pleased with it, but decided we needed to shop around more before we committed to it. We just had this nagging fear of choosing a vehicle only to have some thing go wrong with it shortly after we made the investment. Paranoid? Maybe. Still, this was a big purchase for our family and we did have some experience to base our car buying anxiety on. When we purchased our previous van, which served as deer prey, we were told that we would be "taken care of" by the dealer we bought it from if some thing were to go wrong with it in the weeks after buying it. When we test drove the van it had stalled out a bit during the drive, but then all had been well. After making them all aware of the potential problem with the van we were given many verbal assurances which we appreciated and relied on. When the problem escalated several weeks later and a repair had to be made we were not taken care of by them in the way they had led us to believe. It was disappointing to say the least. We did not go back to that dealer this time. See? Maybe not so paranoid. :) It was hard to make our final decision this time. We spent several hours driving to many different car dealers. One afternoon we took the whole family out and spent about 4 hours van shopping. It got to the point where Noe began sobbing when Dave would start to slow down. Noe knew that signified another stop at another dealership and he was quite done. As seems to often be the case, we finally decided on the very first van we looked at and test drove. The sales manager and salesman who talked with us were nice and not too pushy. That is a plus for us. We had a running joke about the other places we visited; that with in seconds they would send their vultures out. It happened every single time. You know how sometimes when you get a different vehicle it takes some time to get used to and adjust to it? Not so with me and our lovely Grand Caravan. :) We were buddies right away. I loved the little things that were new to me. The back and side doors opening and closing for me with the touch of a button, the radio telling me the artist and name of the song playing. Those are super important things to look for when vehicle shopping right? :) I'm not a complete ditz though; we did notice an improvement in gas mileage compared to the Windstar. How's that for a good, solid, legitimate reason to be pleased with our purchase? :) Let me tell you, we were so disheartened when only a little over a week after the van became ours it began stalling out on the road. And then it died. Completely. Dave called the sales manager and explained the situation. We did not know what would happen. After all, the van was ours free and clear. No warranty, nothing like that. They had no legal responsibility to us. And yet we hoped that we would find an honorable responsibility, kindness, understanding, and a high standard of customer service. We hoped. Those things mean so much to us - especially Dave. He crosses places off from his list of shopping options if he experiences rudeness. He will drive further, pay more, and highly recommend business to those who understand we are giving them our trust, our money, and our time. After the phone call was made we were instructed to bring the van back to the dealership where we bought it so it could be repaired. They did the repairs in one day at no cost to us. We picked it up Tuesday afternoon. Unfortunately on our way out of the parking lot the check engine light came on - again. Dave and I just looked at each other with those "I can't believe this!" eyes. We drove it back in to the shop and unloaded all the boys. After about a half hour of waiting, it was once again declared fixed. We began our journey home only to have the light come on again and the van begin to stall about a mile from home. Pure craziness! Once again, Dave brought the van in and received nothing but apologies and support. The van will be spending the weekend at the shop and we will get it early next week. The repairs continue to be done at no cost to us. In addition to that, they have provided us with a very nice van to drive, which is three years newer than ours, while we wait. Although the situation has been frustrating, we are really, really impressed. For the time we have spent with the sales manager, salesmen, and mechanics, we don't blame them at all for what is going on. It seems it was just time for a sensor to go out, a fuel line to get cracked, and some other little things to happen. The manner in which we have been treated has been very admirable. I have a feeling any future vehicle purchases by us will be looked for at Frank Beck Chevrolet and Cadillac in Hillsdale Michigan before we go any where else. Yes, that was very out of character for me. :) I generally don't advertise on my blog and I stay as far away from naming locations as possible. We all know about the crazy blog stalking axe murderers who just wait for last names and locations so they can - you know, like, murder and stuff. With an axe. Or steal something, or come yell at us for bad grammar - some thing. So, to all of you with the axes: We bought our van there, but that doesn't mean that we live any where near there! Perhaps it took us a long long time to get there. Like super long, van buying, road trip. You'll never know! If any of you actually do live near that location and need a new or used vehicle, I highly recommend you give them a visit. Ask for Russ or Boomer, because they rock. So much so that they will be getting some of these when we go to pick the van up. :) Thanks Russ and Boomer! You guys have given us a little bit more trust in human kind. We are pleased to be doing business with you! We won't forget this. Because that's how we are.

11 comments:

Aspiemom said...

I'm so glad that they stood behind the van they sold you and were diligent in making sure you were happy!

Anne Elizabeth said...

That is such a blessing that they have been working with you. I pray that they are able to fix it and that you have no future problems:)

photomama said...

Your sense of humor is so apreciated and hopefully your van will be on the mend soon. Did I mention I want a honda odessy? I should have my husband read your comments since he is the one that should really care, HUH?

Angie said...

You are not paranoid, I completely understand. :) So glad they are taking care of you. I hope there are no problems for a long, long time!

Noah and Ryders Mommy said...

I'm so happy that they are being so understanding and patient! That is such a rare thing to find in people these days and you guys are very lucky to have them near! Hoping and praying that the van is FIXED :)

Sara@ Butterville said...

Now that's what I call a real TREAT! It really does restore your faith in the world when things like this happen and Customer Service really MEANS Service. Congrats on it turning out well. Can I borrow you when I take my ring in??? I may need some of your luck.:)

dani said...

that is awesome that they were so accomodating, wendi:) i hope when you get your van back next week that all will be well and you'll have no further problems!!!
have a great weekend:D
love,
dani

Rach@In His Hands said...

Yay for great customer service!! It is too bad that we so often receive rude, rushed, greedy, sloppy service. Frank Beck...we applaud you! :)

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy reading your blog?!

~ Rachel

Sarah M. said...

Can't wait to hear all is well with the new van!

Tonya said...

I get nervous about buying a new vehicle too. We took about 3 weeks the last time we bought a car about a year ago. Oh the headache! Glad you found one you liked.

Rachel said...

This post restored my faith in customer service. :) I'm like your hubby, there's too little of that going on now.