Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The milk of human kindness ...

Or, in short, How certain companies endear themselves while another tries to further alienate itself ... or, at least, shoot itself in the foot:

SO, my dears, I'm SURE that you are CURIOUS and ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEATS in ANTICIPATION to know HOW (oh, how!) the whole Ballad of Insanity that is "Ultimate" Warranty plays out.

Tough. It still has yet to come to its conclusion.

BUT!! I do have some FURTHER ADVENTURES in INSANITY in regards to this case.

We've covered how our van's been sitting at a dealership for nearly three weeks ... because the dealership cannot start working on said van until a certain warranty company tells them that "Yes! Go to work! We will pay you! As long as you make sure -- beyond a shadow or ANY doubt -- that we will pay you BEFORE you even BREATHE on the van!"
(Slight exaggeration. The tech there was allowed to diagnose the problem. The problem being that the transmission that was replaced not three months prior was, in his words, "toast.")

And SO, my dears, my darlings, my loyal friends, they've had to sit on their hands -- and I've been stuck without transportation while my husband's at work -- as "Ultimate" (YES, I AM doing the air quotes as I say this) Warranty has come up with more and more hoops to make us jump through:

1- Wait a week and a half ... and THEN deem it NECESSARY and IMPERATIVE to have it towed (out of our pocket) to the next town's dealership. (Hello!! It's a HONDA dealership. Honda guarantees it's labor WORLD-frickin'-WIDE. Therefore, this is NOT necessary nor imperative.)

2- Try and shove the responsibility onto the company that shipped/procured the (now defunct) transmission.
-- Okay, okay. Technically, it's the logical next step. ...

NEW DEVELOPMENT: This company? Not going to cover it because (wait for it ...
wait for it ...)
They are owed money, lots of money (try six figures of money -- like, more than we owe on our house-kinda figures) by none other than (everybody, join in!) "Ultimate" Warranty!!

So, as of around 1 P.M. this afternoon, we were stymied. UW's not going to cover it ... this other company's not going to cover it since it's owed so much by UW ... it's not the dealerships' place to cover this ...

The tech at the local dealership (if you're wanting good techs ... seriously, go to the Honda dealerships here in the Willamette Valley. Links below -- And they are GREAT!) suggested that my next move is to call the finance manager at the next town's dealership (the dealership where we bought the van).

As I'm leaving a businesslike and composed message on his voice mail ... well, you understand, I'm frustrated. ... I break down into just-shy-of-sobbing tears.

Less than ten minutes later, I receive a phone call from L ... I had chatted with her the last time we took the van into that dealership. She's lovely. ... And she tells me, "You are GONNA be TAKEN CARE OF." She assures me that this is not acceptable treatment. "Ultimate," yes, is going through a bit of an upheaval ... BUT we are going to get this covered.
She tells me that I near broke her heart, crying like that (When she and I met ... and the other time I've talked to her on the phone ... when this transmission started to go out ... I've always been my (more normal) happy-go-lucky self).

So, in short, "Ultimate Warranty? Still not so "ultimate" as "ultra-nightmare" ... or as I accidentally mistyped, but it's SO fitting(!), "Ultimare."
At least in my not-so-limited (but I sure wish it WERE) experience.

HOWEVER, The local Honda dealerships? Jiffy Lube??
At least for me, they have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their customer service. They have sent faxes (in Jiffy Lube's case), made numerous phone calls (UHonda and BRHonda), and gave lots of moral support while treating me like a very valued and appreciated customer (all of the above).

(And really, BRHonda has no real REASON to be so darn nice. We haven't paid them thousands of dollars. We haven't even paid them a dime! -- We've done business with the others. -- AND REGARDLESS, they still treat us with respect.

This touches me. They are kind and respectful because that is how a business should be. **You hear that "Ultimate" Warranty?? You who have received a good chunk of money ... And you still treat us like ... Well, let's just say that whenever Michael and I call, we don't come away from the phone conversation thinking about what good customer service we've received. In fact, we come away thinking exactly the opposite. **

Does this mean that the list of things that money can't buy has gotten longer?
- love
- class
- compassion
- kindness


STILL, at the moment when I'm starting to question Heavenly Father ... I know that He hears my prayers ... but right at my breaking point, when I'm SO CLOSE to losing my faith in regards to this situation ... He sends me some realy wonderful people: The techs at BRHonda, L and K at UHonda ...

This is good.

L, if you ever read this, you are truly the answer to a prayer. Especially when your first words after making sure that it was me on the line were "You are going to be taken care of." I'm so grateful for you.

See, this is the way to win customer loyalty. Treat your customers well. If I had lots of money (or just enough that it wouldn't stretch us too tight), I'd be buying cars RIGHT THIS SECOND from these dealerships.

As it is, while you're telling your friends and family how they should never even consider a warranty from "Ultimate" Warranty, you should totally tell them that Jiffy Lube's and Honda's service (and Honda's technicians) are AMAZING. If you have a problem, they will listen. And they will go to bat for you. REPEATEDLY.

Which, at this day and age, seems to be such an anomaly. Most businesses, it seems, are just out to worship the almighty dollar (or Euro or whatever), the customer be damned.

Honda, Jiffy Lube?
Thanks for restoring my faith in corporations.
You guys rock.

Ultimate?
I can't say the same about you.
What are you going to do to change this?

1 comment:

Jennifer Davis said...

Oh man! I can't believe the problems that you have had! I am glad you have had good experiences with the Dealerships - we had the most HORRIBLE experience and treatment from UHonda and our van (We know a couple of other people with problems with them to) - so you might be one of the few with a good experience with them :) I pray it all works out for you. Car problems are the worst!

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