Brand new or used Fiats, Maseratis, or Alfa Romeos? Avoid Fiat of Kirkland
Updated: Nov 5, 2018
As many of you know, we recently bought a new car, Toothless. It's the perfect city car for Seattle. We love it. Unfortunately with Toothless came a massive headache. My husband and I are brand new customers of Fiat of Kirland. One month and a few days into being an official customer I have to say, we are completely and utterly dissatisfied. Fiat of Kirland embodies everything that you imagine a stereotypical car dealer and car salesperson; distrustful, sleezy, and all around lazy.
Here's our experience over the last month with their dealership with misstep after misstep after misstep Only time will tell if Zach and the dealership will make things right. Based on the below, I have zero expectations.... only with the fact that this entire situation may end up on King 5, the BBB, Yelp, and ALL the car dealership sites.
To help identify areas of opportunity, I've underlined all the gaps in their "superb customer service" they need to work on. After all, I'm a lover not a hater.
The Honeymoon Phase:
Sept 2: We purchased a 2017 Fiat Abarth from Fiat of Kirkland with just over 6000 miles on it. We were aware there was a whistling from the passenger side of the car when you drove over 50+ MPH on the interstate. Anthony, the sales guy, said the A-frame pillar snapped and would need to get replaced. Minor and easy fix. He ordered the part and told us when it came in to bring the car in and they'd replace it for free. Anthony runs CarFax and says the car was not in an accident.
First warning, but you want to give them a chance
Coordinated a drop-off for 9/28:
- Casey (no clue who this guy is) leaves me a VM, the part came in, provides his cell number with instructions to call it back to coordinate a time/date for repair. When I called him back he tells me he can't help me and to call the service department.
- When I tried to coordinate a drop off with the Service dept, I'm informed that the Service dept is closed on Sat and Sun. I need to bring it in between M-F. (Ironically, their hold music says that their Service department is open Saturday and Sunday. WTF.
- We agree on 9/28 at 7am and asked for a loaner.
Realizing you might have made the wrong decision on a dealer
Sept 28: - Dropped off the car at 7am at Service Dept and inform Joe that there's three things I need help with:
1) The whistle on the right side, by the passenger door, happens when it goes above 50+MPH
2) A paint chip (which the service team informs me, that they don't know of any packages the Sales guys are selling and they don't support this service package. They can't help)
3) My oil change light that keeps coming on. Per Anthony, Fiat of Kirkland does a full service check on all cars before they are sold and the Service Team forgot to turn it off. "No biggie."
- It turns out that the car actually needed an oil change and that they were going to charge me $75. I received voicemails from the service team asking for approval and commit to paying for it so they could perform the service
- I escalate to Anthony and let him know that there should be no reason that I would be paying for it. He agreed and said he'd speak to the Service team.
- When I ask Anthony to have the car checked and have a full service on it, since it sounds like it wasn't checked as he said, there's not enough miles to warrant it and the car is fine.
- Picked up the car at 2:30pm. Gary, Service Manager asked me if "I was aware the car was in an accident?" I tell him no, we just bought it. He says that it took 3 technicians and the afternoon to figure out what the problem was as it was not the A-Pillar but rather the mirror. In fact the mirror was in an impact, most likely an accident, and that is what was causing the whistling when they drove over 50+ MPH. He said that because it was in an accident, it voided the warranty. However, he told me that he has instructed his technicians to make up something on the paperwork to ensure the warranty was not voided and that I wouldn't have to pay anything.
-Around 4pm, I call Anthony and share with him my conversation with Gary, and ask him why the Service Manager is telling me the car was in an accident when this wasn't shared with us when purchased it. Rather that immediately taking care of it he is frustrated and exasperated, saying "Why would Gary say something like this?!" and "I need to talk my General Manager to figure out what is going on and how to handle next steps" and then proceeds to keep talking to himself about why Gary would do something like this! I tell him that Gary was doing the right thing in being honest to us.
- During this conversation, I offer Anthony the opportunity to make this right and even offer to drop the car off for his team to look into the car, perform a deep analysis and cover any repairs, if any. He ignores and tells me he needs to talk to his GM and get back to me.
Confirmation. You chose the wrong dealer.
- I reach out to Anthony for an update in the afternoon as I still haven't heard back from him
- Anthony reaches out over text and tells me it's his day off.
- When I ask if I can speak to another manager while he's OOO he tells me that managers don't work on Monday and Tuesday, they get back on Wed and he'll follow up then.
- When I ask him why he didn't talk to his GM over the weekend and call me, he tells me that Mike wasn't working the weekend and tells me Wed is when an update will be available
Can this really be happening?
- No communication or update from Anthony or anyone from Fiat.
- I call Fiat back and ask for either the GM or the Sales Manager at 1pm
- I speak to Zach, whom identifies himself as the Sales Manager. I share with him the situation and ask him to assist while Anthony is OOO. He tells me that he will "look into it" and follow up with an update shortly
- EOD comes and no update from Zach
Mood. Don't fuck with me.
- EOD, I call Fiat back and leave a message for Zach to call me back
- Zach calls me back but has no idea who I am, why I'm calling. When I provide my name again, the high-level summary, he still doesn't recall my conversation from yesterday and asks what my question is and what I need from him.
- I recap the above story again and express my utmost unhappiness and frustration, emphasizing the fact that he evidently has not done anything to look into my issue as he communicated to me yesterday. I finally tell Zach that the dealership needs to run an analysis on my car and dig deep to figure out if there is any issues with it and they are going to cover the costs for any and all issues. Because in 3 months, 6 months, a year, etc, I'm not dealing with any issues becuase Fiat of Kirkland sat on their ass and didn't do their job.
- To his credit, Zach apologies and asks me to bring the car in and he promises that the car will go through an entire indepth analaysis and working of the car to identify any issues; promising he will cover the charges. He also confirms he will provide a loaner free of charge.
- We agree that I will bring the car in this Friday at 7am. When he says that the loaners are provided by the Sales team and that they can't commit to a delivery that early but closer to 9am, I inform him that I had dropped off my car on 9/28 at 7am, same time, with a loaner provided by the Service team with no issues. Zach says he'll figure it out.
This entire experience is just over ONE month. Not a year, not multiple months. ONE MONTH. #facepalm
I'm still baffled at how a brand new customer has to do all this work and provide a solution to an issue for this dealeership. It makes me miss our Audi and Acura dealerships. God, they seem like angels compared to these folks.
This above documenation was emailed via their website this evening. We'll see if they actually come back with an update. Because God only knows they don't deliver on what they promise.
To be continued.....