Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Government Motors screws up, tries to catch horse after

barn door falls off; anybody surprised?
So, after seeing a newspaper ad promoting Camaros at a local Chevy dealer, I called and left a voicemail saying I was interested in a test drive.

I never heard back.

I was shocked. Here I was, ready to buy, while GM was in financial straits. I thought they'd be all over me. Turns out it's not so easy to obtain a piece of the American dream.

The next week, I decided to widen my search. I e-mailed four Chevy dealers in the area. Two never wrote back. One replied that they had no Camaros, and ended the correspondence right there. The fourth said they'd have one soon -- just stay tuned.

Dealer 4 began to check in periodically -- pitching Camaros that I could buy sight unseen. I reminded him of my request for a test drive. Then I reiterated my request for a test drive. Then I absolutely insisted on a test drive. And, eventually, I ended up with an appointment. But after driving 45 minutes to the dealer, I found that the one Camaro they'd gotten in was an automatic (I'd asked for a manual transmission) and that I wouldn't be allowed to drive it, just sit in it on the lot. The sales person tried to get me in a Corvette and to convince me that transmission is the same (it's not). I left the dealership, dejected, but not yet ready to give up

Yeah, putting politicians and unions in charge of (used to be)General Motors works out real well. Customer wants car, "Screw you, look at something else."

Oh, the ending:
UPDATE: Just in, via Twitter from GM's Adam Denison, one of the PR personnel for Camaro:

"FYI, we offered that WaPo blogger a ride with Ed Peper at a local dealership tomorrow. Haven't heard from him yet."

Based on Vijay Ravindran's Twitter feed, tomorrow may not work out, but it's interesting to see that GM PR is all over this
Well, gee, they just found out multiple dealers crapped on a potential customer; they'd BETTER be 'all over this'. Although, were I Ravindran, my response would probably be "Too late, jackass."


Anonymous said...

Not because he wants to test drive one and MAYBE buy one, BUT because he's associated with the wapo. Wanna bet if a grunt-in-the-trenches blogger tried for this that anything would have happened?

Adam Denison said...

Our response, I thought, was pretty proactive. This is a case of supply and demand because of how much in demand the Camaro is right now. Granted, it could've been handled better (hindsight is always 20/20, right?), but we're trying to correct the situation. Vijay and I have been in touch and we'll follow up with him when he gets back from vacation.

Adam Denison said...

Yes, actually. I'm happy to report that through Twitter and online web chats we've been able to help out customers in similar situations. We've helped them track the status of their orders, provided them the names of dealers who have cars available and offered other help. That's the beauty of social media. It allows to connect more directly with customers.

martywd said...

Adam Denison said...
Our response, I thought, was pretty proactive...  

Dang, Firehand!  If this Denison comment is on the up-and-up(?) you've even got GM-types reading here!  

I'm not sure that's a good thing though, them (GM) now being the gummint and all?   ;-)

Firehand said...

I guess after the stink of the story got people's attention, GM decided the ought to pay attention and try to deal with it. Or defuse it. Or something.