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Old 05-20-14, 02:57 PM   #1
Allannde
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Default Oh My! Dealer canceled order

On last March 30, five days after the order for my RX450h was placed, I joined Club Lexus with high hopes. On May 14, without my consent, Larry H Miller Lexus, here in Spokane, Washington canceled my order. This took place on the 49th day of what was supposed ti be a 90 day wait for a special,order car.

Why would such a thing happen? I find this to be interesting, instructive as well as very disappointing. As we all know, Lexus makes a big deal of customer satisfaction. There is the Customer Satisfaction Inventory (CSI) after the sale which is used to "prove" how good Lexus customer service is. In my case, the customer service was really terrible (they admitted, in writing, that it was "inexcusable") and when I suggested that it needed to improve, they canceled my car. Because this had been a topic of conversation, I can only assume that they would rather loose the sale than get a bad survey.

There are two lessons from this. The first is that claims of customer satisfaction are bogus. When they "goof up", they just do not sell a car (no survey that way). The second is that the customer satisfaction survey is having the effect of leaving people like me without the car they want instead of improving the customer experience. Could this fall into the category of unintended consequences?

In a PM, Anita said that I would be welcome to "hang around" CL, but without my Lexus, I wonder.
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Old 05-20-14, 03:26 PM   #2
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Wow, I am sorry that this happened. Must be a huge disappointment for you.

Was this for a 2014 or 2015?
Would that have made a difference?
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Old 05-20-14, 04:11 PM   #3
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I thought I've read somewhere about orders being canceled when they switch over model years. It has to do with the factory not producing that year anymore. It surprises me that they don't just fill every order that have, but if my recollection is correct, they don't.
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Old 05-20-14, 04:47 PM   #4
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Unfortunately that was not the case here, Ernie. It's hard enough finding a dealer that'll take a special order and then have to sit back and wait, hope, worry for forever it seems until the day it arrives and every little feature and option is checked over. But lack of communication on the dealer's side was the cause. Responding to inquiries shouldn't be too much to ask. Sorry Allennde if I'm overstepping my boundary. I've mentioned trying to work with another dealer to find your RXh. Don't let Larry H Miller ruin it for you. I know you waited a while already which certainly doesn't help. Part of me doesn't want to believe your order was canceled either. At the least I hope you feel a bit better sharing your experience. And you're more than welcome to stay. I'll just pester you until you get the 450h

BTW, I added a little more description to your title.
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Old 05-20-14, 07:16 PM   #5
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It's unfortunate this happened and the first I hear of this. As Anita stated, if you still believe in the vehicle, give it another chance at another dealer and move on. Don't let this unfortunate mistake ruin what typically is an excellent experience with the vehicle and service. But before "moving on", I'd contact Lexus Corp and report this. I'd expect some perks at the very least for the trouble either from Corp or the dealer that canceled on you. Good luck.
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Old 05-20-14, 10:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corradoMR2 View Post
It's unfortunate this happened and the first I hear of this. As Anita stated, if you still believe in the vehicle, give it another chance at another dealer and move on. Don't let this unfortunate mistake ruin what typically is an excellent experience with the vehicle and service. But before "moving on", I'd contact Lexus Corp and report this. I'd expect some perks at the very least for the trouble either from Corp or the dealer that canceled on you. Good luck.
I did have a long conversation today with a Case Manager at Lexus Corporate whose name was given to me as "Marlene". She was most pleasant and apologetic. But she stressed that the abilities of Lexus Corporate to intervene or even deal with a situation like this are limited by federal law. She took many notes and said that she would bring the matter to the attention of "appropriate officials" but that I would have no way of knowing the results of that.

I tried to get the attention of the General Manager of Larry H Miller Lexus, but he did not reply. I get the impression that they are "circling the wagons".

I strongly suspect that the fact that I must have hand controls to drive is a factor. Larry H. Miller Lexus was never able to find a driver who could demonstrate the car for me and I made three special trips for that purpose. That and the almost consistent lack of returned telephone calls and emails made it hard. I finally got frustrated and said so. It was going to be hard to arrange a delivery if we could not communicate. I have since dealt with three other dealers (different makes) and had no such problem.

It even crossed my mind that it might take more than money to qualify for Lexus ownership and that I might not have what it takes.

The nearest other Lexus dealer is a five hours drive away. I seriously wonder if it is practical to consider owning a Lexus at this point.

I do appreciate the thoughts which have been expressed. This could happen again to others.
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Old 05-21-14, 06:52 AM   #7
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You might be right that this is related to hand controls. Toyota had recently settled a billion dollar frivolous lawsuit related to electronic throttle control sensors. Last thing they would want at this stage is to introduce any variables to controlling throttle or brake operations.

Unless, the above were aftermarket, in which case, Toyota would not be liable.
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Old 05-21-14, 07:18 AM   #8
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^ my thoughts exactly.
They're avoiding future lawsuit at your expense.
Sad, but true.
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Old 05-21-14, 09:50 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by vlad_a View Post
You might be right that this is related to hand controls. Toyota had recently settled a billion dollar frivolous lawsuit related to electronic throttle control sensors. Last thing they would want at this stage is to introduce any variables to controlling throttle or brake operations.

Unless, the above were aftermarket, in which case, Toyota would not be liable.
An interesting theory and I appreciate the thought behind it. Lexus, like many car companies, has a "mobility program" where they actually reimburse up to $1000 for the cost of after market installation of such devices as hand controls. This action FOLLOWS delivery and is accompanied by a very legal disclaimer of responsibility for the modification.

I doubt that there is a legal issue here.

I am quite sure that the issue is the Customer Satisfaction Survey and the need to keep "perfect" record even if it meant loosing a sale.

The ironic part is that if they had asked me, I would have told them that I was planning NOT to complete the survey simply because I wanted the car more than I wanted to make a fuss about the service.

But they didn't ask.

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Old 05-21-14, 11:04 AM   #10
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If there is no legal exposure, then it could be as simple as Lexus switching to 2015 models early. I am not sure why, though.
I find, in most cases, there is no agenda... just a plain screw-up. A reputable dealer can provide excellent service, even if mistakes are made. I'm sorry, that is not the case with the dealership you dealt with. I would recommend to try again at another shop.

Also, any particular reason why you are custom-ordering RX450h?
I considered doing a factory build to avoid paying for the useless Nav, but got so much run-around, that I gave up and found a good deal for one on the lot out of state.
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Old 05-21-14, 12:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad_a View Post
If there is no legal exposure, then it could be as simple as Lexus switching to 2015 models early. I am not sure why, though.
I find, in most cases, there is no agenda... just a plain screw-up. A reputable dealer can provide excellent service, even if mistakes are made. I'm sorry, that is not the case with the dealership you dealt with. I would recommend to try again at another shop.

Also, any particular reason why you are custom-ordering RX450h?
I considered doing a factory build to avoid paying for the useless Nav, but got so much run-around, that I gave up and found a good deal for one on the lot out of state.
vlad, in this case, the mistakes started back in the middle of February and plagued the process all the way until the middle of May. It was a never ending struggle for me but it did result in an order which was placed on March 25 and "locked" just a few days later. "Locked" means that it was accepted for build and that there was no issue with equipment or model year.

In the end, I had waited almost a week for response to an email requesting information on the status of the order. I had reached Shawn Dougall, General Sales Manager of LHM Lexus by telephone. Shawn said he was unaware of the email I had been waiting on. He promised that he would get back to me with an answer "before I go home tonight". He did not. I sent him a note the next day saying that I was frustrated with him. This is his reply. He said to me, "There is no excuse for yesterday. I have all the good intentions to provide you with exceptional service but it continues to happen the wrong way. Unfortunately it seems my staff or I are unable to assist you in the way you need. Unfortunately we got off on the wrong foot and it will be best if we no longer do business together." That is everything that he said.

The reason for special order was that I chose Head Up Display and LED headlights and the only way to get these items is by special order.

Please be aware of the importance AND THE MISUSE of the after sale questionaire or Customer Satisfaction Inventory. In my case, this denied me the car I wanted rather than causing an improvement to service.
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Old 05-21-14, 07:36 PM   #12
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Honestly, if 5 hours is the next dealer, I'd probably not consider the RX any longer since I would not want to drive that long and back for servicing and I'd probably want to avoid going to the close dealer that dumped me. Then again, if you really LOVE the RX, you bite the bullet on two trips to the far-away dealer - one to sign the contract, the other to pick up the vehicle but I'd call them first explain how you got dumped from your local Lexus dealer and ensure they want to do business with you. If all good, buy it there. Then, for servicing, there's always your local Toyota dealer you can go to for routine work which several of us in this forum do for cost and convenience (work is warranted). If something major and unexpected happens with your RX where you need warranty work done, at that point, you go to your local Lexus dealer or call Roadside Assistance and they will send it to the nearest dealer (i.e. your local one). The Sales department may have denied to do business with you, but there's no reason you're "banned" from the Service department. They cannot deny you service especially if it's a warranty-related issue.

Were you considering other vehicles?
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Old 05-21-14, 08:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corradoMR2 View Post
Honestly, if 5 hours is the next dealer, I'd probably not consider the RX any longer since I would not want to drive that long and back for servicing and I'd probably want to avoid going to the close dealer that dumped me. Then again, if you really LOVE the RX, you bite the bullet on two trips to the far-away dealer - one to sign the contract, the other to pick up the vehicle but I'd call them first explain how you got dumped from your local Lexus dealer and ensure they want to do business with you. If all good, buy it there. Then, for servicing, there's always your local Toyota dealer you can go to for routine work which several of us in this forum do for cost and convenience (work is warranted). If something major and unexpected happens with your RX where you need warranty work done, at that point, you go to your local Lexus dealer or call Roadside Assistance and they will send it to the nearest dealer (i.e. your local one). The Sales department may have denied to do business with you, but there's no reason you're "banned" from the Service department. They cannot deny you service especially if it's a warranty-related issue.

Were you considering other vehicles?
I like your way of thinking! This is a real possibility. Thank you for taking time to share these thoughts.

No, I was not considering other vehicles while working on the order for the RX450h. I have since. And I have learned that other dealers are a delight to work with in comparison.

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Old 05-22-14, 03:27 AM   #14
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corrado, thanks for pointing that out. Can't argue with taking a nice road trip in a new 450h The best part is the deal can be done through e-mail and phone calls. No traveling around required. And we know how remote the possibility of requiring warranty repair is. The local dealer may be your only option but they are separate like corrado pointed out. Now you do get the first two services free. Again, the local dealer will be the place to go. But do it with a big grin on your face

See, I told you you wouldn't get off so easy
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Old 05-22-14, 05:37 AM   #15
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Allan, I'm hoping that you can find a way to buy the Lexus somewhere else where you'll be treated with the respect and dignity your need and deserve. This information may help you. You only need to use Lexus for Warranty Repair! Using them for routine service is purely your choice. I've been using Toyota for several years now and they treat me very well. They have the very same oil and the prices for routine service are approximately 1/3 to 1/2 what Lexus charges. I'd bet you have more than one or two Toyota stores around you to choose from. But for warranty then yes, you'd have to use a Lexus facility.

Hope that helps you.
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Old 05-22-14, 05:37 AM
 
 
 
 
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