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Discussion Starter #1
Hey gang, I recently purchased a 2008 Lotus Elise SC from Criswell in Gaithersburg, MD. (This is a bit long, reader beware if you have better things to do.)

The sales experience was a good one; however, my post sales experience has been a complete disaster in my opinion.

First, my sales person never mentioned the fact that the 1K service would cost over $300 bucks nor did they mention the computer they use for the ECU dump was not compatible with the 2008 model, thus a printout was not provided. (In defense of the sales team, after I bitched and complained a whole lot to the service manager, the sales manager did have the service manager waive the cost of my 1K service.)

Second, the service advisor I worked with during that 1K service was completely incompetent. She had no clue about anything Lotus related other than the fact she new what one looked like. I had to have the service manager send me via snail mail my service write-up to keep for my records because she didn’t know to include them with my service paperwork. This 1K service also took over 3 hours to complete and the Star Shield didn’t get installed as promised. (Paid for the Star Shield but wasn’t put on at port. I was going to have the 1K service and Star Shield done at the same time. Ultimately, the Star Shield never got installed due to me being jerked around for two weeks, which leads me into item number 3.) I also had two bolts missing from the cover atop of the coil packs. I was told they had one bolt in stock and would place the other one on order. Since I'm an hour away from the dealer and didn't want to come back for a single bolt, I had to "think outside the box" for them and have them take one off a car in the lot.

Third, this is the one that has compelled me to vent my frustrations out on an internet car forum. On May 27, 2008 Criswell received a certified letter from me requesting that my Star Shield, Extended Warranty, and Wheel/Tire Warranty be completely refunded. (I had reached my threshold of patience at this point because of the Star Shield debacle and the time it took for them to refund my Star Shield costs.)
Well, it is now July 9, 2008 and although the Star Shield cost has finally been refunded, two weeks ago mind you, I’m still waiting for the other refunds. I was told by the finance department early last week they received the funding back into their account and would issue my bank the check by late last week. I checked with my bank today, still nothing. Over the past month their finance department has been giving me the run around on when these refunds would be issued.(Calling up one day to be told a refund would be issued that day only to call up again a week later and be told that the refund would be going out that day.)

Forth, don’t get me started on the parts department issues both my friend and I have had over there. Being provided incorrect part numbers, parts department putting in wrong order thus having to wait another week for the correct part to arrive, etc, etc.

In conclusion, my experience with Criswell has been very lack luster. This thing with the refund timing has been completely absurd. I'll spare you the details as to why I think they are taking so long because it's only my speculation.

Your mileage may very with Criswell of Gaithersburg, MD but mine has been short, rough, and broken already.

Thanks for letting me vent.:popcorn:
 

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Dan will take care of you to the extent he can/has authority.

Don't know who your service advisor was, but get to know the Service Manager, Marty. He won't knock your socks off, but at least he knows a little about the cars.

Also, become known to them in a positive way. I've bought one car there and had four (including a G-body Esprit) serviced there. Made it a point to be known as more than a faceless customer dropping off a car for service. Won't say I get great service, but generally acceptable.

DO go into the service bay the next time your car is there (insist, insurance restrictions notwithstanding) and introduce yourself to and get to know the Lotus Tech, Albert. He's good people (assuming he's still there, been a month or two since I was there). Also, when you take the car in for an oil change (if you do) be sure Albert does it. Once I believe they had a trainee do the change on my car.

Absolutely agree about the parts dept. They are clueless about the cars. If I need parts for work I'm going to do I order from John at Fox Valley.

Had similar issues w/their accounting dept. way back in the day regarding deposit for an order for one of the first Elise's to be delivered.

I know that because you bought an 'expensive' car from them, that you expect better service. You SHOULD expect it and GET it, no doubt. But also know that all those Hummers they've sold and are trying to sell, and most of those loaded/oversized pickups/Suburbans/Tahoes sitting in the lot next to the service building, as well as those dozens of Vettes they sell, all have stickers as least as high as the Lotus. There should be no distinction in customer service, but to them the Lotus is nothing unusual or special.
 

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Why would or should the sales person mention the cost of the 1k mile service? I've never bought a car brand new and had the sales people tell me how much the services are going to cost (execpt BMW when they were doing the maint. included thing, the sales guys used that as a selling point).

The rest of the stuff you went through sounds kind of annoying, I hope you are able to get it resolved in a satisfactory fashion.

And most importantly CONGRATS on your sweet purchase, I hope it brings you a lot of fun and enjoyment :)

larez2
 

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Discussion Starter #6
SNIP
I know that because you bought an 'expensive' car from them, that you expect better service. You SHOULD expect it and GET it, no doubt. But also know that all those Hummers they've sold and are trying to sell, and most of those loaded/oversized pickups/Suburbans/Tahoes sitting in the lot next to the service building, as well as those dozens of Vettes they sell, all have stickers as least as high as the Lotus. There should be no distinction in customer service, but to them the Lotus is nothing unusual or special.
I agree with everything you've said in your post. At first, it did feel special buying this car but in the end you are correct, they are a domestic car dealership with Z06 Vettes on the lot for $80K. Despite having that feeling, I tried to have my post as objective as possible and tried to stick to facts rather than personal emotion. I appreciate the sympathy though.

Steven
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Why would or should the sales person mention the cost of the 1k mile service? I've never bought a car brand new and had the sales people tell me how much the services are going to cost (execpt BMW when they were doing the maint. included thing, the sales guys used that as a selling point).

The rest of the stuff you went through sounds kind of annoying, I hope you are able to get it resolved in a satisfactory fashion.

And most importantly CONGRATS on your sweet purchase, I hope it brings you a lot of fun and enjoyment :)

larez2
Well, I don't think it would have been a requirement to tell me about the cost but more of a courtesy considering I put $15K in cash down on the car. Having to come back two weeks later to shell out another $300 plus dollars for the first service would have been nice to know, could have shuffled a few bucks around on the down payment to cover it better.

Thanks for the congratulations; the car has been a dream to own. Not many sports cars invoke a grin from ear to ear but this car has me cheesing every time I drive it.

Thanks,

Steven
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you very much!
I just a PM trying to take care of this.
I'll make it better!!
Thanks for the quick response to my post, I'll give you a call this morning 07/10/2008. I'm hoping you can kick some tires and light some fires over there in the accounting department for me. I'm just trying to find closure to this matter.

Thanks Dan,

Steven
 

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not my experience

Thanks for the quick response to my post, I'll give you a call this morning 07/10/2008. I'm hoping you can kick some tires and light some fires over there in the accounting department for me. I'm just trying to find closure to this matter.

Thanks Dan,

Steven
I've had nothing but pleasant service from the Criswell guys... yes, they are a little more up to speed on all things Corvette (naturally) but they've gone above and beyond for me on more than one occasion. They even comped me a fix that technically wasnt warranty work. Really.

We all know by now that dealers have to make money on the back end (service and all) so $300 isnt out of the realm. I hear you on your other points but hang in there, most of the team really tries to make you happy.
 

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Well, I don't think it would have been a requirement to tell me about the cost but more of a courtesy considering I put $15K in cash down on the car. Having to come back two weeks later to shell out another $300 plus dollars for the first service would have been nice to know, could have shuffled a few bucks around on the down payment to cover it better.

Thanks for the congratulations; the car has been a dream to own. Not many sports cars invoke a grin from ear to ear but this car has me cheesing every time I drive it.

Thanks,

Steven

:clap: Good for you in getting to your 1K mark in 2 weeks!!!
 

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It always stinks when the service department can't deliver as well as the sales department can because then the customers use the sales people as recourse and it reflects badly on everyone.
Sales people are a dime a dozen so you really need to work at it to try and be above the rest and that's why I'm a firm believer that a really good sales person is also involved in the service and parts aspects of the business and by that, I mean that the sales person should always know when the client is coming down. If it's for service, make sure you are there to greet them and take care of in a timely manner...usually helps if you get along with a service advisor and a tech...and don't forget the parts dept. crew either.

This drastically reduces the chances of having a bad experience overall of your dealership. The selling aspects of the transaction is usually easy because the customer is excited about getting his/her car but this is where MOST sales people fail as the mentality is that there job is done once the customer drives away and that's hardly ever the case.
 

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Just my service perspective from Criswell....

I work with Marty and don't usually have any problems. I always talk to the tech when I pickup the car just to get his opinions. Sometimes parts can take forever, but the key is communication. And if you're pleasant with them, you can usually get what you want.
 

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I agree that you should not have expected to told the cost of the first service. Why would they have to tell you that or even expect them to. I would say that I would have expected you to find out that information before you bought the car.

Rest of the accounting issues are just ridiculous and should not be happaning. If a person tells me that a a check is going out that day...it should go out. No excuse is aceptable. There is no excuse other than they dont want to pay you or dont have the money.

As far as Lotus sales people knowing Lotus...well nobody wants to pay anybody the necessary money to keep some at a job for a decent length of time. That is the economy as it is now.

Cant blame the sales person, he/she is just trying to make a living.

Edit...and it cuts no ice that you put down 15K....to them it is just numbers. Either you pay them or the bank does. No different. The days of cash making a difference went south with the invention of personal computers....all the anti terrorism banking laws and things such as that. It is not like they can take the 15K and stuff it in their pocket and avoid taxes.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ironically, I just received a letter from my bank today in the mail that they are in receipt of the refund, letter dated 07/09/2008. So it appears I was one day short on patience, go figure.

Thanks again for all the comments you guys have provided! I will give their service department another chance at my next scheduled maintenance interval and see how things go.

Regards,

Steven
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I agree that you should not have expected to told the cost of the first service. Why would they have to tell you that or even expect them to. I would say that I would have expected you to find out that information before you bought the car.

Rest of the accounting issues are just ridiculous and should not be happaning. If a person tells me that a a check is going out that day...it should go out. No excuse is aceptable. There is no excuse other than they dont want to pay you or dont have the money.

As far as Lotus sales people knowing Lotus...well nobody wants to pay anybody the necessary money to keep some at a job for a decent length of time. That is the economy as it is now.

Cant blame the sales person, he/she is just trying to make a living.

Edit...and it cuts no ice that you put down 15K....to them it is just numbers. Either you pay them or the bank does. No different. The days of cash making a difference went south with the invention of personal computers....all the anti terrorism banking laws and things such as that. It is not like they can take the 15K and stuff it in their pocket and avoid taxes.

Yep, agreed.
 

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Ironically, I just received a letter from my bank today in the mail that they are in receipt of the refund, letter dated 07/09/2008. So it appears I was one day short on patience, go figure.

Thanks again for all the comments you guys have provided! I will give their service department another chance at my next scheduled maintenance interval and see how things go.

Regards,

Steven
If your next experience is positive, make sure u come on here and tell everyone. We all need to make sure our comments go + and -
 

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Let me put it this way....Criswell bought me a brand new FF CF spoiler because they scratched mine on the alignment rack. They were very upfront about the whole situation.

Very classy! :bow:
 

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Let me put it this way....Criswell bought me a brand new FF CF spoiler because they scratched mine on the alignment rack. They were very upfront about the whole situation.

Very classy! :bow:
damn...why dont they ever scratch my car??!!!!
 
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