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Discussion Starter #1
HI All,
We here so much about poor quality and customer service, here's a report from a vauxhall owner visiting the Lotus factory.

I lifted this from SELOC, a post by IMP.

Chris

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Lotus Customer Care

I thought I'd post this to show that sometimes a company can go out of its way to help. (apologies if this has been posted before). From the Piston Heads site

"Not sure whether this should go here on in the Lotus forum, but I felt that it would be read by more people here and it's more a customer care post than specifically about Lotus.

I went to Hethel with the VX owners club for my first trackday on Saturday driving up in pouring rain from Portsmouth on Friday afternoon/evening, arriving at the Quality Inn around 9.30pm. After a bit of shuttling (the club was staying at two different hotels) my car, along with 2 or 3 others, ended up at the Travelodge and we all went back and had a few drinks at the Quality Inn.

Next morning at 7.30 I get a knock on the room door..."Have you got a red VX? One was broken into last night". Went down to find someone had cut a large hole in the soft top, ripped off the dash and stolen the radio. The night manageress had tried finding the owner when it had happened (3.15am) but hadn't found me. She'd called the police but they hadn't arrived. Thankfully, one of the other owners had gone down and done his best with a black bin-liner to keep out the rain. We called the police again and were told they would get someone round as soon as they could. The other owners eventually had to leave for the drivers briefing at Hethel. The police arrived at about 9.30am and took all the details. A nice guy but there wasn't much he could do. There was no CCTV at the hotel but he did check with the garage opposite and arranged to go back later when the manager was around to view their tape.

The manageress said she had phoned her husband and he was on his way out to help. When he arrived he kindly offered to take me down to Homebase where I bought some duck-tape in the hope that I could patch the roof enough to drive the 200 miles back home. After borrowing towels and an iron from the hotel I did my best to dry the soft top and patch it up. When I eventually got to Hethel around 10.30 the patching was already coming unstuck, the wind and rain had started lifting the tape even though I had limited my speed.

As we were at Lotus I asked the young lady from Lotus Sports & Performance (Annette) if there was anything she could do, maybe some way of patching the top or even if there was an old one lying around somewhere. She said that they could probably sell me one (at around £600 that I didn't have) but after some thought she said that she would phone the factory and see what could be done.

After a while she told me that she had spoken to the factory manager and that they were sorting something out. We drove around to the main production line and in through the roller door. As we got out, it was like a formula one pit stop, mechanics just descended on my car...off with the roof and the loose dash was taken away. Annette said they had found an Elise S2 roof that was a quality reject (a little glue had seeped somewhere it shouldn't) and after a little adjustment it was fitted to my VX. The dashboard was cleaned up, new sticky pads were added and it was fitted back in place. My car was driven through the leak test facility to check to make sure it fitted correctly. After a little adjustment to the windows it was all ok.

Luke (Productions Operations Manager) then took me on a guided tour of the factory, from "goods in" through to the finished cars. As we walked back towards my car I saw it had been moved to the final section of the production line...everyone had grabbed a cloth and they were washing and polishing it.

After feeling so low and wondering how I was going to get home, my day was transformed into an unforgettable experience. Thank you Lotus, I cannot imagine how customer care could be better. I can only hope that my garage will always contain a Lotus (albeit currently one with a Vauxhall badge).

I never did drive on the track, after what had happened I felt that I shouldn't push my luck too far. I did go out as a passenger (Thanks Ian) so at least I got to see what it was like...rain, standing water and a few tail-out moments

To Luke, Annette and the mechanics, thank you for going so far out of your way to help me, there will be Christmas drinks on their way to the Lotus factory."

Many thanks to all who helped and offered support. "
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Great post by IMP.
Chris
 

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Very, very cool! I definetly felt very excited by my factory tour, and everyone there was knowledgeable, friendly, and eager to meet and chat with me, a future customer, not even a long time owner. Its stories like this that prove to me, even more than my own experience, that Lotus is great not just because of their awesome cars and incredible engineering, but because of the honest, wonderful people that make up the company.

Lotus, A+++++
Other manufactures, :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I recall my trip to the factory in 93, had a personally guided tour and was allowed to take all the pictures I wanted. What a great experience. My guide then drove me over to Ketteringham hall for a tour of Team Lotus.

Chris

BTW> Lillie, look forward to meeting you in LA. BTW< We're staying at the Holiday Inn downtown. Is the pantry within walking distance?
 

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It's a great story, I wonder if this is a function of the size of Lotus. Companies that small tend to retain more of their passion in the trenches. It's like going to REI to get climbing gear. The kids at REI LOVE outdoors etc, whereas in other places they are just there to sell stuff. This reads like a great company staffed by people who are passionate about motorsports and just happen to be lucky that it makes them money.
 

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Hopefully it's contagious and our dealers will catch the fever that the factory folks have. Nice story.
 

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Man, that's an awesome story. Gave me the chills. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I can tell you guys from past dealings with Arnie and the guys at LCU, they'll take good care of us as well!!
Chris
 

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Tremendous story, gives you the sense that these folks really care about what they're doing and making sure that their customers are taken care of.

Off-topic, but did anyone else notice the corporate names (Quality Inn, Travelodge, Home Base) in the story ? I had to double - check that the writer was relating a story about Hethel, not Jersey City or Anytown, USA. I knew that England has KFC, Pizza Hut, etc., but Quality Inn and Home Base, too ? Kind of scary, IMO. Does every place have to be "corporatized" ? This is why I won't shop at Wal Mart. My 2 cents, flame suit on ;)
 

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mikester said:
Does every place have to be "corporatized" ?
I think the word you're looking for is "homogenized" - or more appropriately "Americanized". Hotels and burger joints are only the start. It gets worse from there. For instance, Disney is currently planning development of a HUGE theme park in China.
 

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Bravo Lotus!

That was an absolutely fantastic story. I applaud Lotus for definitely going "above and beyond" to make an owner satisfied. I think it's things such as the extra effort described in the story above that make people dedicated-enthusiasts to any particula marque.

Sadly, I agree with Modern Wedgie. There are other marques (one in particular that I won't mention) that I've given undue devotion to and have done nothing but undermine my belief in their product. I can certainly guarantee to you that I'd NEVER spend another dollar on one of their products.

I wonder if I can determine when my car will be built and if I might be able to arrange a tour of the facility in Hethel while my car is being assembled. I think it would be quite a sight!

Bob K.
 

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Re: Bravo Lotus!

Sadly, I agree with Modern Wedgie. There are other marques (one in particular that I won't mention) that I've given undue devotion to and have done nothing but undermine my belief in their product. I can certainly guarantee to you that I'd NEVER spend another dollar on one of their products.
Name name please. Can't it be a Porsche with several engine replacements?
 

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Let's just say...

... (without naming names) that they've been known to be "Found On Road Dead."

Bob K.
 

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The problems that everyone hears about with Lotus and lack of quality service is mainly due to the dealers. They're usually crap and have no idea a) how to fix problems with the car and b) how to handle the customer. You'll find you have a lot of small irritating problems with the Elise and going to the dealer is usually a waste of time. This is why there is a technical thread on SELOC because most owners have given up and just try and fix problems themselves. Lotus will even respond to your emails within reason.
 
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