Thursday, May 02, 2002

THE CRANKY CONSUMER
One of the nice things about being a freelancer is I have plenty of time to write letters to businesses that piss me off. I firmly believe these companies don't get enough detailed feedback from unhappy consumers and they NEED to hear from us. Remember my Saab incident of a few days ago? (scroll down for it) Well, I wrote a little letter to the local Saab folks and now they're climbing all over themselves to fix the problems. Yeah!!! Here it is for your amusement.

4/25/2002

Saab Service Department
XXX Saab of Orlando

Dear Mr. XXX,

This week, after getting our family Saab serviced, I got a letter from you imploring me to fill out a satisfaction survey that I would soon receive from Saab. The letter included two questions the survey might contain and suggested – via the use of pre-checked boxes – how I should answer. While I admire Saab for their aspiration to excellent service, I find this letter insulting. Let me explain why:

1) I know how to fill out a survey. I do not need your company to pre-check the boxes in some simpleton demonstration of how you’d like me to respond. Whatever pinhead consultant convinced Saab that this was a good idea deserves to be shot.

2) You want customers to feel special? Trying using a computer to print our name on letters you send out. Hand-scrawling the car owner’s name atop a pre-printed form is about as personal as…well…as personal as most car salesmen.

Also clouding the issue was the service I received. First, let me say that Guy XXX is an absolutely top-notch rep for your company. I am always pleased to deal with him. No matter what he’s getting paid now, the guy deserves a big raise. Your service department? That’s another story. Two quick examples:

1) When your staff returned my car, the dashboard indicator read COOLANT LEVEL LOW – this after a $500 “Golden Service.” Are your drivers so stupid or blind that they don’t see such warnings when bringing out the cars? Perhaps they don’t care? Either way, it’s sad. Luckily, Guy XXX took car of that instantly.

2) One complaint I had was that the driver side rug was detached, exposing the door metal. The repair report said the rug was “reattached with glue and screws.” Really? Within 48 hours, the rug was just as detached as before. My guess? Your crew jammed the rug underneath the sidewall and tightened it down, hoping I was too stupid to notice. Ha. They’ll get a chance to fix that again and again until they do it right.

3) I thought you were supposed to clean the car when it gets serviced? Sure, the outside was wet, but the rear wheels were still coated in black brake gunk and the interior was just as full of crumbs as when I brought it in.

Considering the half-assed job on the rug and cleaning, I have doubts whether any of the repairs were performed as indicated. Usually, I feel good about Saab service, now…we’ll see. But trust me, when I get that survey from Saab, I will be certain to fill it in and send it back promptly.

You know, I probably wouldn’t be so pissed off about the rug and coolant thing if I didn’t get that ridiculous letter. So maybe it is doing its job in pushing me to rate the service I received.

Yours truly,

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