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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Heading to Lotus of Cleveland on Friday.

I'm heading to Lotus of Cleveland next Friday (5/15/09) for my 9000 mile maintenance. How's the service at Lotus of Cleveland? Anything going on in Cleveland next weekend?
 

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www.theapexinn.com
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Sorry, I have to ask, why on earth would you go there if we have a FIRST class maint right here in Birmingham, MI ?? Just wondering.....Auto Europe is the best when it comes to maintenance.
 

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I was going to ask the same thing. Charles is one hell of a Lotus mechanic. I go to Auto Europe for all service I cannot do myself. I am in buffalo NY>
 

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you should be fine unless they made major changes...I purchased my ML350 and Cayenne from them last year as well as having my Lotus serviced there...

Ben is/was the service tech and knows what he is doing... try not to deal with Nick (Sales)at all if he is still there, I have nothing but negative to say about him...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wish I felt the same way about Auto Europe. I've had nothing but problems with them. Every time I go to have something done, it's either not done or I have to go back to have it redone. I have yet to have a problem-free visit to AE. They pissed me off so bad last year, I thought about selling my car because of the lack of support. I refuse to go back there again. Serra Toyota handles my oil changes. Livonia collision will handle any emergency service. And if I have a good experience with Lotus of Cleveland, they'll handle my factory maintenance.

Sorry, I have to ask, why on earth would you go there if we have a FIRST class maint right here in Birmingham, MI ?? Just wondering.....Auto Europe is the best when it comes to maintenance.
7500 mile maintenance cost me $200 and they didn't even check the air filter which is required at 7500 miles. Who knows what else they DIDN'T do. Last straw, never again.
 

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:eek: I've never heard a bad thing about them....ever !!! Hmm...
 

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My exige is at lotus of Cleveland right now being serviced and Ben, who is still the main Lotus service tech, is a great guy. I have always had a good experience getting work done there. I do not think you will be disappointed.
 

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Can't Please Everyone

After being in business for over 47 years and striving for perfection every time I have come to realize that we do and will make mistakes.
(were human)
We always try to correct our mistake and do the wright thing for the customer.
I guess we just can't make everyone happy. I highly recommend that he take his car elsewhere for service.
I hope someone can please this guy. I know I'm done trying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
After being in business for over 47 years and striving for perfection every time I have come to realize that we do and will make mistakes.
(were human)
We always try to correct our mistake and do the wright thing for the customer.
I guess we just can't make everyone happy. I highly recommend that he take his car elsewhere for service.
I hope someone can please this guy. I know I'm done trying.
Done trying? When did you try? Here's why I'm upset with Auto Europe...

1. I had a tire that would go flat every couple days. I took it in to AE, they told me that there were nails in both rear tires. They repaired both tires. The next day, the other tire (the one I wasn't having trouble with) was flat. So I took the tire off and took it to a local tire place. They said the tire was so poorly patched that they wouldn't touch it. I took it back to AE and they patched it again.

2. I took the car in for some vibration issues. They balanced the tires. On my way home I jumped on the freeway. At 60 mph the car shook terribly. I took the car back and they told me their equipment was out of calibration.

3. During the fore-mentioned 7500 mile maintenance I told them about an intermittant failure of the passenger side headlamp. They said they checked it out and that the bulb was burnt out. When I started the car the bulb was lit. I took the car home pulled apart the headlamp assembly to find a loose connection had caused the connector that plugs into the bulb to overheat and corrode. I trimmed the wire back and crimped on a new connector. Something that would have been obvious had they actually looked at it.

4. The air filter not being checked at the 7500 mile maintenance as mentioned above.

Put yourself in my shoes. Does this track record inspire confidence? If someone would have apologized or showed any level of concern for my vehicle I wouldn't be driving 2 hours for maintenance. AE, let me ask you this, and be honest. Had all this happened to you, what would you have done?
 

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Blue10, I cant vouch for AE but what i do know is that lotus customers mostly go by word of mouth and recommendations. A shop that comes highly recommended especially by Kestrel and others has to be good, very good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Blue10, I cant vouch for AE but what i do know is that lotus customers mostly go by word of mouth and recommendations. A shop that comes highly recommended especially by Kestrel and others has to be good, very good.
I know Serpent. I'm sure it was just a string of bad luck on my part. They are highly recommended by Lotus U.S.A. as well. The engineer I deal with says they are one of the best dealers in the U.S.. I don't know what else to do. They charge me for things they haven't done, and when they actually do something, I have to take it back because it wasn't done right. It's heartbreaking. I felt confident in buying my Elise knowing I had one of the best dealers right here in Michigan (I did my homework), then all this happens. It wasn't all bad. My first maintenance at 1500 miles went fine. I guess the worst part was that I never received an apology or any act of concern for my business. Had they shown that they cared about my Elise or keeping me as a customer, this would be a different conversation and I'd have an appointment with THEM on Friday, not LOC.
 

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I have to say first that I am good friends of both Tom and Eric so my statements may be bit jaded...but I know others that have had the same experience as me. I am not a rep of Auto Europe...have not been asked to write this and probalby should not...

But saying that...

As far as the headlights...the obvious fix is the one they did first. You had the advantage of having the second light failure and then looking for another cause. Perhaps if you had taken it back again they would have looked further and found the secondary cause. I as a mechanic (which I was for years) would have done the same as them. You always go the high percentage fix.
It is unrealistic to expect someone to fix something,...have it work....and then look further to find there may be another cause. Cars just dont work that way. They are not the human body. (longer story available about when we compared fixing a car to fixing the human body between a doctor and me) They are either broken or not.

Air cleaner...hey this is a simple error. Why would they not have checked it to have the chance to sell you an air cleaner. A high margin item. I think they made a simple error in forgetting to look at it.


Tire patch. This is not rocket science. It is glue and a patch. I am totally sure the second guy you took it to was a expert in tire repair. (lot of them here in the 21st century) and was qualifed to make the judgement call that it was a poorly done patch. Even if both of them failed, I would put it down to bad glue or a bad tire kit. And you did not take it back to them to fix it again, which I suspect they would have done at no charge.

Vibration issues...This is hard to see on a short test drive that the mechanic did. You cannot expect any mechanic to spend 1/2 hour testing a car for a fix that usually is just the tire balance. They rebalanced the tires...perhaps the equipment was out of balance...Did you ask them to look at again? I still have a vibration on my car at about the same speed. Very common in the Elise. Guess I am more tolerant of Lotus issues as I have had one for 30 years. As a mechanic....on the hour...paid by the hour...we always have to go with the high percentage fix. We are not magicians or soothsayers. to see the secondary fail that gives us more imformation.

Tom is a very nice guy....has gone and done great things for me when he did not have to. I was the first one that had a bad cam shaft replaced. Drove it all the way home to find out it stopped going into second cam. Drove all the way back. From Buffalo. Yes..they had put it in wrong....but it was their first and an undocumnted fix by Lotus at that time. Tom compensated me for my time and gas. It is not his fault that I live in Buffalo without a Lotus Dealership (that is Lotus cars fault by the way...I did offer to open one here). But he took the time to help me out...got my car in the next day...pulled Jon off another car he was working on and worked on mine.

Was I mad..no. And I had a 250 mile return trip and 250 miles back. Did I think they did the best they could with the information they had?...yes. did they take my car for a test drive? yes. Were the cams working at that time?...yes...Did something go wrong on the way home? Yes.... Did Tom make it up to me? Yes. Even bought me lunch as well. Was I mad...no.

You have blasted him on a national forum. Lotus is a very small world and you have put down his life long business and questioned his reputation and his character. Based on that I think he was very nice in his comments. I would have been a little more....lets say....had a more negative slant on this.

But Tom is not that kind of guy. I have known him for 25 years. You wont find a much nicer guy anywhere in the Lotus world. It is difficult for me to believe that when this happaned and if you told Tom...he was not apologetic....tried to make it up to you...or did not show concern for this. My god...he posted on a national forum to answer this. Does not sound like a guy unconcerned about this....or their business...or your business.

I think...no I will say it. This was not that bad...all explainable and the problem is that you would rather complain and drive 4 hours then to try to work out your issues with a guy I know would listen. YOu said the first service was good...what?...did they go bad all of a sudden. Glad you are not a customer of mine....and if you were at this point I would also tell you to go somewhere else.

Really...the four things you mention are of such random and difficult to diagnose if there are underlying issues....Things you could have just gone back and they would have done more research on.

I am sure the new Lotus dealer in Cleveland is perfect...and they do everything right...everytime. I hear they have a soothsayer on the clock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
They didn't replace the bulb. The problem was intermittant. They were correct in the vibration assessment. The tires were out of balance. Like I said, they said that their equipment was off calibration hence the return visit. They rebalanced, problem fixed. I don't know who Tom or Eric are. I appreciate that you are defending your friends, that doesn't change the experience I had at AE.
 

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When I first started in the business world...back in 1975. It was selling ultrasonic rodent control machines. It was my only job that I ever had where I did not work for myself.

My boss was a guy named Dick (last name not important). Passed away in the late 70's. He was the guy that invented the "Book of the Month" club and sold it to the Time Life Corp. He was one of the backers of President Johnson in the 60's. Was best friends of Lynn Townsend(then president of Chrysler), with the doctor that invented cortizone and Vance Hardke the senator from Iowa at the time. A very wise and wealthy man. I used to talk to these people at times and talked at great length with Dick during my year or two there. I often wish he was around today to bounce ideas off of.

He told me things..many things about business and there are a few I remember to this very day. I was having an issue with a customer and no matter what I did, the guy was just not going to let it go and would not constantly complain.

Dick told me...."Tony.....you will satisfy 50% of your customers all the time. You will satisfy 40% of them most the time, 5% some of the time and the final 5% you will never satisfy. That is the nature of the human mentality, that final 5% are always looking for the problem and the negative. Dont worry about it, it will get to the point where you will just have not let it bother you"

He was right.
 

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They didn't replace the bulb. The problem was intermittant. They were correct in the vibration assessment. The tires were out of balance. Like I said, they said that their equipment was off calibration hence the return visit. They rebalanced, problem fixed. I don't know who Tom or Eric are. I appreciate that you are defending your friends, that doesn't change the experience I had at AE.
Tom and Eric are the owners. Tom runs the service dept and if you did not talk to Tom then you should have.

I am at a loss. If you complained brought the car back and they fixed the problems, I really dont see the problem. I would think that would be a good reason to go to them. They stand behind their work. But everyones expectations are different....see my previous post.

From everything you have written, I honestly think you are just being unfair in your assessment. But that is my opinion and you have yours and nothing I or anyone else says is going to change your mind. But I do hope to give others pause in reading this thread.

I hope you get the service you want at the next dealer you are going to.

And I am not defending them because they are my friends. I am defending them because they do good work.
 

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Done trying? When did you try? Here's why I'm upset with Auto Europe...
And before I go to bed, I just could not let this last one go. By your own post just a few ago, you state "They were correct in the vibration assessment. The tires were out of balance. Like I said, they said that their equipment was off calibration hence the return visit. They rebalanced, problem fixed." And you also state other in some other place that they fixed the tire you brought back to them....

Sure sounds to me like they tried to satisfy you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That's an excellent quote (I'm not being sarcastic, I really do like it). I'm sure you're alluding that my place is in that final 5%. Maybe you're right. Maybe mine is an isolated case that somehow fell through the cracks. I don't doubt these are people of good character. Nor did I create this thread to bash them. I simply wanted to know if there was anything special going on in the Cleveland area on a specific weekend. Now it's turned into a thread trading subtle insults. Allow me to say this...

For whatever reason I had a bad experience with a local dealer. I handled it poorly and I apologize to those who have been offended as a result of this lapse in better judgement.

Moderator- if possible, please remove this thread as to not offend anyone else. Thank You
 

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That's an excellent quote (I'm not being sarcastic, I really do like it). I'm sure you're alluding that my place is in that final 5%. Maybe you're right.
I had to smile...I truly was not alluding to anything. If I was even thinking that I would have said it. I just thought it was a cute story that seemed to fit this situation and would make everyone think a bit.

No one...and I mean no one can own a Lotus and be in the final 5%. That is just a fact. Nice to see that you are a person that admits when there might be a problem with the way things ended up happaning on this thread. I know you did not start it to be what it ended up being. A class act to try and rectify it.

Hope I did not offend you, it was not my intention. Anyone that knows me knows I am not like that. I just did not want the guys at AE to get a bad rap unnecessarily.

I am a friend to most all in the Lotus world. I sure dont want to get on bad terms with anyone. Ill buy you a beer or a drink someday if we ever run into each other at a Lotus function. Have a laugh about this.
 
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