The Christmas Tree Service Line

So my Dodge Ram 1500 started leaking oil on my garage floor.  This I found extremely troubling because it is not even three years old yet.  The good news, if there is a silver lining, is that the car was still under 36K miles so under my manufacturer’s warranty.  Noting I also had an oil change coming up anyway I dropped it off overnight at a local Dodge dealer (name withheld for now).  My wife had an event to go to the next day so as long as I could pick the truck up by 4:30pm we were good to go.

Not hearing anything by 3:30pm the next day, I called the dealership to check on the status.  The receptionist answers the phone, I request the service department and the wait music begins.  3 to 4 minutes later I she comes back on, verifies that I am waiting for the service department, says she is going to try again and the music starts back up.  At least 9 minutes later an individual comes on and starts talking about a vehicle he was looking into for me and asks if I could be put on hold.  After agreeing to this, he eventually returned to the call a few minutes later where he starts the conversation about my truck.  “I am not entirely sure how you know what vehicle I am calling about since I have not given you my name or told you the truck I was calling about?”, was my first response.  He proceeds to tell me about a 3 year 36K bumper to bumper warranty and wanted to know how many miles my truck had.  “Roughly 33K, but I do not think you are talking to the right person, I just want the status of a truck that was dropped off for service last night.”  “Oh, you have the sales department, let me put you on hold and get right back to you.”  Cue the wait music.  A few minutes later he answers the phone, I repeat the intent of my call and he apologizes stating “The phones were lit up like a Christmas Tree.”  He then puts me back on hold with a promise to transfer me to the service department.  It is now an official quest.  All of a sudden some guy answers and says “Elmore here”.  “Is this the service department?”  “No”, and back on hold I go.

At 26 minutes into the first call, the service department finally answers and I find out my truck is just now heading onto the lift.  Well, that was a complete waste of time.  Linda comes home around 4:30 and wants to head out to get the truck at which time I give her the story and question whether it will be done on time.  A call back to the dealership confirms that it was not done yet, but we could pick it up the next day without any problems.  This will be an inconvenience, but I can work around it.

At 5:55pm that night, the service representative calls me and immediately apologizes for calling me so late.  Apparently the technician put my order in his toolbox and went home for the day and they couldn’t find the paperwork.  Turns out the oil leak was due to “The last oil technician [fancy title eh?] failed to sufficiently tighten the filter”  This made me feel a little uncomfortable since this same dealership did my last oil change.  To his credit, he read my thoughts and confirmed that the same technician did not work on it this time and that it was properly fixed.  He then informs me if I could get there by 6pm I could pick up my truck.  I live over 30 minutes away so this was not an option.  Again he apologized which I appreciated.

As it turns out, my wife came down sick the next day so getting the truck was not an option until the following day which was even more annoying, but the good news is the truck is no longer leaking any oil.  The odd thing about all this is that this is the FIRST time I have not received an email asking how my service was and that they would do anything required to get me satisfied enough to fill it out in a positive fashion.  Of course this really didn’t matter much because ironically I never received a factory survey to even fill out.  Seems kind of odd if you ask me unless, of course, this 5 star rating system is based on the dealerships having a say on who the surveys go to.  Kind of like the political polls who call one demographic (for example those who are home during the day and do not have caller ID) and then state they know who is going to win the upcoming election.

Anyway, a very merry holiday Christmas lighted phone to you and your family!

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