General Motors Complaint - Customers Are Responsible??? Buyer Beware
OHIO -- General Motors customer service 2nd level representatives are the "Final" level and decision maker in the company.
It's amazing that they are not allowed to forward you to any management; give a physical address or correct department to send a consumer complaint to; or even give you the name of any manager. I was told it is company policy. Wonder why??? Could it be TOO many consumer complaints and now they don't want to hear it... I did my research too late - don't make the same mistake.
This whole issue started because our 2003 Pontiac Aztek started making a horrible noise - out of nowhere - on a Thursday evening. We immediately parked it until we could get service. We ended up at a Midas because we didn't know what it was - sounded like it could be the brakes - and Midas was the first shop we came to - we didn't want to drive the car any further. When I described the noise to the guy behind the counter, he smiled, said "I think I know what it is" and asked if there was any yellow discoloration around the rims - to which my husband replied, "yes there is". He then advised us that we had hub bearing problems, a known and ongoing issue with GM vehicles. He told us he knew of several people who had to have them done more than once while still driving under the initial warranty and that GM - who is aware of this ONGOING problem with their vehicles - had a recall. He checked his computer for the information and told us to take it to a dealer because we were under that recall. He also advised us that we probably had some brake issues and we could bring it back and he would look into it - he then gave us a print out showing this problem on a list of other problems.
Unfortunately, this was a Saturday and the dealership closet to our location had a service area that was closed until Monday.
Monday arrives and leaving work early, I take the vehicle in. I called first and was curtly advised that as long as my vehicle didn't exceed the mileage, (which it doesn't) I shouldn't have any issues.
Let me stop here and just say that I grew up in a GM buying family. My first car was a GM, and since I got married, this is the 2nd GM we have purchased together - and it will be the LAST GM we purchase.
I arrived at the dealership and met a very courteous service advisor whom I advised of the hub bearings and brakes problems. He did some research and advised me that the hub bearings were not under recall - they were under a manufacturer "extended warranty" which GM had implemented because they are aware of this ongoing problem. However, our company "extended warranty" had just conveniently ran out. He then went to talk to his manager, and came right back telling us there was nothing that could be done. I was shocked! We were not the first buyers on this vehicle and since the original purchase date was in January of 2003, that means the "extension" ran out in January of 2008. I asked why we were never notified and told them that we were not the first owners on our previous GM vehicle, but that when there was a problem with the fuel line we received a letter and thus immediately took the vehicle to the then closet dealership - which was a whole lot nicer to us as customers then the one we are currently dealing with -- The service advisor "advised" me to contact GM.
(okay - maybe we should have caught the hint when our Bonneville had a recall) He also told me he had to run a diagnostic check to tell us the problem - and of course that involved a service charge that would not be included in any repairs. I had shown him the printout and he took it to do his research (and never gave it back).
I called the company in good faith, expecting an admission to their dropping the ball in notifying us and for them to cover the problem. In explaining the situation to their extremely courteous 1st level customer service (after I was hung up on the first time) I was assured this would be immediately excalated to a higher level to be handled and they were extremely sorry for my inconvenience.
As anyone who has dealt with the customer service at GM is aware - the first level is where the "customer service" attitude ends. After this, I received a couple of messages on my answering machine - one advising us this was being looked into, and one very garbled and hard to understand message advising us of GM's final decision and that there was no further recourse available to us. I received a call from the service advisor. He told me that GM had decided to pay for the parts but we had to pay for the labor. I wasn't satisfied with this because we never received any notice of the problem. How unfair is that?
I wasn't aware that it is the CONSUMER'S DUTY to check for recalls or manufacturer defects with warranty extension. I guess we all better check periodically to see what issues our GM vehicles may be facing - because obviously it isn't the company's responsibility to let you know anything.
Needless to say, I have tried to get in touch with someone higher than the customer service 2nd level folks, but since they are the end all and be all in decision making for this company - I was advised there is no further recourse. I guess we buy their products at our own risK? Never again.... Buyers Beware!