"Did not listen to a word I said"
I went to this dealership trying to figure out if I wanted a Forester or Outback. I told them this specifically. I also told them I wanted new. I also told them I was not going to be purchasing that day.
All Mike wanted to do was make a quick deal. He showed me the Forester and kept pushing lease on me. I would like to re-iterate I wanted to buy. Then I reminded him I wanted to look at an outback. He showed me a 2016 outback. Basically it was the biggest waste of time for me and for them because they did not choose to listen to a word I said.
Employees Worked With
"Most Dishonest and Incompetent Service Dept"
This dealership is dishonest, but I'm going to start off with the positive: It does sufficient sales volume that allows it to offer some pretty good deals. If you are going to buy a car from them run, don't walk, and insist on dealing only with Maria Cerceda. She is good people, and either hasn't read, or chooses to ignore, the manual saying that lying and deception is an acceptable practice. Maria knows Subaru products, and she has the patience of Job. I even trusted her to deliver my new car (I don't let anyone drive my car).
Maria also had the good sense to honor my request not to subject me to the high pressure sales tactics the finance department will place on you to buy various after market products. Google these products before you buy them and you'll understand why they have to be sold, rather than customers asking for them.
Unfortunately, a car is ultimately only as good as the service support it receives, and you can't trust Subaru Santa Monica's service department. Here are some examples:
Nearly a year ago I took my car in for a routine oil change and tire inspection. As I'm a perfectionist and rigidly adhere to the tire specs Subaru recommends --35 psi in the front; 33 psi in the rear - I asked that my tire pressure be left alone because I didn't trust the tech to do it correctly. After picking up the car, I headed to the gas station to readjust the tire pressures, as the front and rear tires should have been reversed. They weren't. There also was another sign the tires hadn't been rotated, despite the work order saying it had.
At the time, SSM had a newly hired service rep named Chris Woodson. Chris is a southern gentleman who is honest and takes pride in his work. He could have lied and said the tech mistakenly adjusted the tires after rotating them. Instead, he told me to bring the car in and he'd investigate.
Long story short: my tires weren't rotated because one of the screws was jammed and needed a special instrument. The tech was too lazy to go get it, so he just marked the work order saying the work was completed. Chris, a mechanic himself, personally rotated my tires and invited me to watch him do it.
Chris lasted at SSM less than a year, and while I have no first hand-knowledge or evidence about why, my guess it had to do with the fact that his professionalism and Boy Scout honesty was a bad cultural fit. He was quite a loyal employee: He asked me to take down a negative review of my experience, despite the fact that it praised him mightily. As a favor to him, I did.
I took my Subaru in today for another oil change and tire rotation. Unlike my older model, my 2018 Subaru gives a very accurate reading of the tire pressure. So, I let the assistant manager I spoke with know that I expected my tire pressure to be properly adjusted. When I picked up the car, he told me that he personally made the adjustments, assuring me they were dead-on accurate. The photo below shows the reading within two minutes of me pulling out; one front tire was overinflated by two pounds and both back tires overinflated by three pounds.
There's more: While waiting for my car I noticed a tech on multiple occasions smash a car's tires while trying to align them on the service bay. I was taken aback by his ineptness and carelessness, but also with the force he hit the bay. It seemed to me the force could have knocked out the alignment. Regardless, I wouldn't want that guy touching my car. It's hardly surprising that a customer's vehicle was damaged last week at the shop.
For reasons unknown to me, someone decided to reset the opening of my rear latch so that I’d have to open it manually. I discovered this when I had my dog in the car – he panicked when I had trouble opening it and jumped under the rear door and onto the street. Had a car been coming the other way, he would have been killed. Some clown also changed my lighting setting to manual from automatic, which I didn’t immediately realize when I was driving at night.
Other signs of disregard: I asked that my license plates be put on the car. I mistakenly expected they would take off the temporary sticker, but they couldn't be bothered. They also were too lazy to remove some tree sap on my car as part of their free car wash. Admittedly, not the end of the world, but it reflects a work ethic that says, "I really don't give a xxxx."
I'm not alone. My neighbor had a more serious issue with SSM's service department a few years ago. She also regarded Chris as a savior.
I love and trust Subaru; they quickly resolved an issue for me when I bought my first Outback. I'm sending them this review and will update it if, and when, I get a response. I can't imagine that a company known for its commitment to safety and reliability wants a team of dishonest and disinterested amateurs servicing its awesome vehicles.
"So happy with my Forester"
I had such a pleasant experience at Subaru of Santa Monica! I came in to get a sense of what I wanted and did a test drive with Sang Lee. He was extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and didn’t make me feel pressured in the slightest. Despite having leased Subarus from other dealers in the past, I decided Sang was my guy. He got me an amazing deal on my dream car. Thanks, Sang Lee and Subaru of Santa Monica!
Employees Worked With