Fun with General Motors

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by hobbes28, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. hobbes28

    hobbes28 Incredible Supporting Member

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    Just a bit of a vent that I would like to share with the rest of the class and get off of my chest at the moment. It's a little lengthy so if you feel like skipping to the good stuff, just look for the sign. ;)

    As many of you may remember, Alison and I bought a 1999 Chevy Suburban last August. We were the second owners, following an elderly lady that only used it every once and a while to get around town. Needless to say, it was in very good shape and had somewhere around 80,000 miles on it. It is an awesome vehicle to cart the kids around in and navigate up our mountain in the worst of weather. It is our trip car, travel car, grocery car, etc... It's the car that we drove from New Hampshire to make it to the DC Meetup as well.

    What some of you know and the rest of you will in about two seconds is that Alison and I are relocating to Texas and I drove down to get some of the stuff started down here, find a job, house, and get everything ready for the big move. The 'burb did a really good job getting my mom and I down here and was doing great getting me around town on the job searches and familiarization of the area....until one day. I was driving across town when it started sputtering like the spark plugs had gotten fouled. This was okay for me because it was getting to be right at 94,000 miles on it and most spark plugs are rated to be changed at 100k, so I changed them, nothing did some more work, all for nothing... so I had it towed. Fast forward two service departments and two tows across town and we come to discover that the engine needs to be replaced. There is something so wrong with the engine that it would cost more to repair it than replace it, so we have a price tag of somewhere near $5000 to do that.... to a 1999 engine with less than 100k miles on it. :hertz: Um... okay, let me call GM and see if they have any programs to help with this since it wouldn't look good for thier company if their motors only last this long.

    *Sign*
    I call up General Motors Customer support and ask them what they can do. I spend about an hour with bad customer service and a manager on a power trip being rude to me to see that "There is a recall on your vehicle for your seat neck extender, so there is nothing that GM can do for your engine." I say, "So GM doesn't think that their engine failing at less than 100,000 miles is odd enough to try and do something for us?" He says, "I didn't say we wouldn't do anything for you!" Me: "Um... you just did say that." "NO I DID NOT!" me: "Why don't you play back the recording, because you did. Better yet, ask me... I was there." Long silence and he comes back with "Let me see if there is something we can do". Ok, fine, let's see what they can do. I get a call back yesterday with some lady saying, "We've elevated your problem to a higher office in GM to see if they can help in any way." She asks a bunch of questions about car care, which we took care of it very well, mileage, various other stuff and says they can get back to me in a few days, probably on Thursday at 5pm. Today I get the call.

    "There is nothing that GM will do to help you with the cost of repairing your engine."
    me: "So, I, as a customer of GM, am not worth even getting a 1% discount on the cost of an engine to maybe keep me as a customer?"
    "GM has made it's decision and will not help you in any way"
    me: "Why won't they help me?"
    "Because you have such high mileage on your vehicle, you don't have a warranty on the vehicle, It's such an old vehicle, and other factors lead to GM's decision"
    me: "100k miles is a lot for the motor? Does that mean that the $60k replacement suburban wouldn't last that long either? Why should I replace this motor when the track record thus far isn't great?"
    "GM has made it's decision and will not help you"
    me: "So I am not significant enough of a person, as a GM owner, to be worthy as saving as a customer at any cost whatsoever? Is there anyone I can call to address this further or to have it reevaluated?"
    "No, GM has given you an answer and any person you speak to will see it in your file and give you the same answer I am giving you now."
    me: "Okay, then. At least now I know where General Motors stands"
    "I am sorry for your inconvenience, have a GREAT (that's right, great) day."


    Moral for those that didn't want to read more is that their complete disregard for their own customers or current owners has baked my cookies. I can not believe that a company as large as GM would rather lose a customer for life than give even $100 bucks in support of their own product that failed early. I think my mission from here forward will be to let every person know how insignificant we are to GM and how they would rather lose thier future customers to save .00000000000000001% of their bottom line. Kinda makes you feel all warm and tingly inside, huh? There will definitely be more to come from this one.

    PS, this isn't a soapbox vent to get people started on the US cars vs. Foreign vs. gas guzzlers vs. global warming stuff, it's just a vent because I am still in shock about how little GM cares about thier customers.
     
  2. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That sucks....... it seems like one of those cases where the big company blankets all thier customers complaints in the same catagory, without doing ANY background checks :er: ....... but then big companies can do that...... the only thing you can do is either ....... keep badgering them........ just never buy any of their products again..... or like in this country, we have a tv programme called 'watchdog' and they give BAD publicity to any BIG company that gets so many complaints from thier customers...... not much compensation for the hastle you've had i know.
     
  3. bace

    bace TPF Noob!

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    Dude. That sucks. If it's any consolation, I've hated GM for years. Even over Ford. As a company not only do they make crap products but they basically wash their hands of them once they're off the lot. When they come back to the lot, they see more dollar signs. It's like most big companies, but GM's seem to come back to the lot...a lot.
     
  4. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    I've been reading that GM would go bankrupt one of these days. I wouldn't be suprised though...

    ...unless they hire someone like Carlos Ghosn.
     
  5. bace

    bace TPF Noob!

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    GM, or a company owned by GM, probably has as pattent on water powered cars.

    They may go bankrupt as "GM", but it's CEO's and Execs will all magically relocate to the new "WM" for Water Motors.
     
  6. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    What he forgot to add in is tale is that the car still has a $11K loan to pay off. So we're paying payments on a car that we can't drive until we fork over another $5K for the new engine. I am going to go into a corner and cry now *sob*

    Oh, and the dealership offered to pay off the loan and get us into a new suburban which would quintiple our car payment. Other than that they had no suggestions. Morons.
     
  7. bace

    bace TPF Noob!

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    you could always go to a junk yard and see if anything has been written off with a decent engine.

    What exactly is wrong with the engine? Sounds pretty suspect that they would tell you that you need a brand new one. Did the timing belt go? Is there some kind of other damage due to wear?

    And $5k also sounds a bit steep. Have you had any other mechanics look at it? Like NON GM dealer mechanics. You know those places are brutal when it comes to service and repair. They'll charge you insane amounts for labour and parts. %120 markups on parts, $80-$100/hr for labour (mechanics only get $40).

    It's either that, or crash a loaner into the building when no-one is there. Mind you that'll just make insurance rates go up.
     
  8. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I think we probably will have it looked at elsewhere, but two places have confirmed it's serious engine work needed. Right now it's at the dealer lot because they will let us keep it there for free while we save for repairs. I didn't talk to the repair place since I'm still in NH so I don't know the exact details of the damages. It's hard being in a new town and not having a good repair place. If anyone knows a place in the Dallas area that's good let us know :mrgreen:

    We were thinking that when it's repaired we can use it as a moving billboard for why GM's customer service sucks :twisted:

    ETA: It's the compression in the #4 cylander and they don't know why it's not working. The said it's acting like it has a blown ring, but the ring itself is fine. I guess they they can get the engine + labor for $3500 so that's a little better than what we were first told. Probably still wouldn't hurt to get a second opinion since it's a lot of money to shell out.
     
  9. ShutteredEye

    ShutteredEye TPF Noob!

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    Hobbes, are you up to swapping out the motor yourself?

    I may have a line on a good motor for you, it's a 5.7 350, right? Vortec.
     
  10. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    :x I've been following this story for a little while, and I really detest the outcome. I would have *liked* to think that they would have done something to ease your pain, in the name of good customer service. That's the bottom line.....nothing is preventing them from doing something....they are choosing not to do anything. :thumbdown: Everything Aubrey is angry about is dead on - this is a corporation that does not care about its customers.

    I wouldn't give a flip about seeing them go down in flames - except for the knowledge that thousands of dedicated employees will probably get shafted in the process, as well. :(

    I hope you guys can find someone who can work independently of the dealership and give you a better deal on the repairs.

    In the meantime, you could probably notify a local consumer's advocate type person, in the media or whatnot, and let them in on it as well.
     
  11. ShutteredEye

    ShutteredEye TPF Noob!

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    Oh and for God's sake, DON'T pay for another tow. I have a 3/4 ton dodge and a car hauler. PM'ing you my number, but you should already have it.
     
  12. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    OOOO! He's in transit from TX to NH at the moment but I'll have him shoot you a PM when he gets here. Thanks for checking Robert, you're awesome! :hug::
     

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