Jun 032017
Courtesy Nissan

Courtesy Nissan of Tampa

I’ve posted before about the unusually high number of issues I’ve had with my supposedly New 2016 Nissan Rogue. Since purchasing, they’ve had to make a number of significant repairs including, replacing one of the power lift gate cylinders, the steering column, three replacements of seat trim piece that keep braking, and those are the major items. If you’ve been following, you’ll also know my experience with Courtesy Nissan here in Tampa hasn’t been good.

I had an issue with the two front door windows. Especially on the passenger side, any push of the of the window button (up or down), resulted in a rather loud “snap” or pop. This happened consistently 100% of the time. It happened sometimes on the driver’s side. Since I’m nearing the end of my manufacturer warranty, I wanted to get this issue resolved, so this past Wednesday, I stopped by Courtesy Nissan to schedule an appointment.

I describe the symptoms to the service advisor taking my information, and the service advisor next to him broke in to say, “there’s a recall on that” (I think he meant to say service bulletin). He went on to say that something didn’t properly glued, and that he’d written a couple of service orders for that recently. As we were scheduling, I explained since I was still under warranty, I’d need a car to get back to the office. The service advisor told me they wouldn’t do that for such a quick repair, and I asked how long. He responded that it would take no more than 2 hours. I was skeptical, but agreed to an 8AM appointment this past Friday, with the understanding, I’d be out no later than 10AM.

Well, I arrived at about 7:45 Friday morning. The Service Advisor who wrote the order wasn’t in yet, but one of the others started looking, and guess what, somehow, despite coming by and being right in front of the guy, he hadn’t managed to schedule the appointment. Of course I was not a happy camper, and made that clear. They were all about, “well we’ll get you in,” but of course, that’s like how the doctor’s office “works you in.” I’d gone to the trouble to make an appointment, and expected to be in and out as promised.

Then I go into the waiting room, and it’s not long until the Service Advisor comes in to say, they need me to show them the problem…of course they claim they can’t find the problem. I knew exactly what was going on when I walked out there, and the Service Manager (always looking to be an asshole) was standing there. They were both on the driver’s side, so I walked to the passenger side, hit the button several times up and down, and said, “you mean to tell me that neither of you can hear that?” Well, it seems it wasn’t so loud when they were doing it. For crying out loud, that button is an AB switch…it’s all down, all up, or off…you can’t finesse it. Of course, then he starts the song and dance about, we’ll have to see if this is a warranty issue.

I’d had it with Richard Phelps, the Service Manager, so I just told him I didn’t understand what he got out of trying to always create an adversarial situation. I explained that the window operation wasn’t a “consumable” item, so that yes, they would fix it….and that unfortunately for them, it wouldn’t even matter if my warranty had run out, since one of their other Service Advisors had spilled the beans about it being a service bulletin issue, and that could be sure I’d looked it up, and did they want the bulletin number?

At 9AM, I go to the Service Advisor, and ask him what the diagnosis is, and how much longer, reminding him of the agreed 10AM completion time for this “simple” fix. He goes to check on it, and finally comes back to tell me I can have a loaner, and they’ll call when it’s done. Obviously, it is not the simple fix he claims, or no one had even started on the car. They finally called around 3:15 to tell me it was ready. It’s just sad. I can’t believe it is that hard to give decent auto service.

I just don’t get it. I understand that your sales person could care less what happens once you sign the paperwork. He’s made his money, but are service departments not also profit centers? Do they really imagine that, once the warranty is out, I’d take the car back to them, ever? Do they think that I’d ever consider buying another car, only to have to potentially deal with the absolute asshole who runs their service department? I’m sure I’m one customer the General Manager will be glad isn’t coming back, but I don’t see how they get to keep it up.

I’ll concede the General Manager stepped up and basically gave me a couple of free oil changes, but that hardly covers the inconvenience and bad service. His other proposed solution was to offer me a very good deal on something that might be more to my liking, such as a another Pathfinder. I got a call from one of their sales people a few times, but never with a vehicle I was interested in, and at this point, I just have a sneaking suspicion the GM would tell this tale at some sales meeting, about he got over a unsatisified customer, by selling him yet another car and making a bunch of money off that sale, and they’d all yuck it up big time. None of the deals offered seem to be “outstanding” deals to me.

Feb 172016

DSC_0120There, I said it. Back in late August I traded in my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder for a supposedly new 2015 Rogue. I based it on test drives and comparisons with a variety of similar crossovers, and reading reviews on several auto websites, combined with the price I got it for. I was fairly pleased, but in the past two months a number of critical components have failed, and Nissan and the dealership are unconcerned and actually fairly rude about it.

I was very happy with my Pathfinder. I purchased it used in about 2008, and by the time I traded it in, it had nearly 180,000 miles. I’d experienced one failure of some sort of electrical system box, and a transmission failure at about 90,000 miles caused by a design flaw in the radiator. I spoke with the regional manager for Nissan, and in the end he made good on that, and later Nissan issued an extended warranty to cover the issue, so that had given some confidence in Nissan. Other than those few issues, it had been little more than routine maintenance and stuff that wears out. The interior was certainly not in perfect shape, but was not in terrible shape, and the exterior showed some of nicks and dings you’d expect from a 10-year-old vehicle with that kind of mileage.

Things kind of started off bad when Nissan issued a major update to the navigation system, but wanted to charge $150 for the update. I did get customer service to agree to reimburse me for the update, and they did do that. Continue reading »