I am writing to you to share with you my huge disappointment in the service I received from Downtown Los Angeles Toyota today. Now, I work for an agency that employs close to 800 employees and our annual budget surpasses $60 million so my expectations on the standard of customer service and service delivery may exceed your company’s expectations, but at the very basic level, there are somethings that should be expected at any place providing a service.
Today I brought in my care because it was making an unusual sound. When I arrived at 7:30, one of your female service techs was visibly upset at her male co-worker who attended me because although I was third in line to be attended to, he completed walked past the two cars in front of me who were still waiting to be attended. She called him out on it in front of me and he brushed her off. She again repeated to him why she was upset and felt that it was not right for the other customers waiting and he again dismissed her and told her to handle it if she was so upset about it. I was appalled that he treated her in such a manner and equally upset that unprofessional displayed occurred.
I did receive exceptional attention from the tech who was providing free tire assessment and recommended to me that I needed to get my two front tires changed and also recommended an alignment. This was not the primary reason I came in, but I thought it was a reasonable price and thought the tire warranty was a great perk and the convenience of getting it done while my car was already at your site was an additional bonus. I arrived at my scheduled appointment time of 7:30am. And both of the service techs who attended me in the drive way asked why I had brought in my vehicle and I told them it was it was because of the noise I heard and they both acknowledge that they could hear it and one said, “It sounds like the pump.”
At 12: 30, I received a call from Toni Hernandez, who was not the same service consultant I met with in the morning, and he notified me that my car was ready for pick up. I said to him, “Great, but what is the dialogistic on the car? I brought in for a noise it was making, what was it?” He then in a fast paced manner read through what I can only assume was listed on the invoice or in your database and said that after the alignment was completed they did not hear any noise out of the ordinary. He continued to say should the noise continue I would need to schedule an appointment for a test drive with the shop foreman.
I came back to pick up my car at 3pm and I waited in line in the customer service desk to be served. There were others in line and after paid I went to get my car. From the time I arrived to the time I got into my care it was 3:50pm. Unfortunately, I had to have my kids dropped off at your site because I did not have anyone to watch them after 3pm. When I got in the car, I heard the sound again but not as loud. Since I had just pulled out of the drive way I had to go back to the service line and meanwhile I had to call the service line to tell them that I was not going to leave until I had someone check it again. The service manager came out and said his team was professional and they do their job right. Which obviously, he felt a certain way, because I never once had questioned the professionalism of his team, I was questioning what was going on with my car. He said he would have the shop foreman come out and assist me but it would be at the most 20 minutes. The foreman did not come to my car until 4:50pm! He sat in the car with me and acknowledge he heard something, he then asked me to open the hood of my trunk. When he lifted the trunk he immediately, signed me to join him and he said, “It’s your water pump.” He said he would check to see if he had the part to replace it and if so I would need to leave my car overnight and I would get set up with a rental.
He checked with the team inside to see if a rental was available and it was. I had to go back inside and wait another 20 minutes at the customer service desk to get someone to process the rental request. He was paged three times and when he arrived, he arrived without wearing a facial mask and then took another 10 minutes to make copies and enter data. Additionally, when he finally arrived, the woman who was working at the customer service desk asked him why he took so long and his response was, “I was busy.” (This response confirmed to me that there is a culture of disrespect of women and it accepted behavior). It was rude and uncalled for him to respond is such a manner.
Moving forward, after I had already taken all my stuff from my car and a child’s car seat we walked to the rental and as we were inspecting the outside of it, I asked, “Are these cars cleaned and disinfected?” And he said yes, however when he opened the car door it was evident by the brown dirt inside and on the side doors that it was not cleaned out or even inspected prior to offering it to a customer.
He asked if I could wait five to ten minutes so he could get me another rental, that was at 5:20pm. He asked me to wait in the customer lounge. I was so frustrated at that point, I went to Chris, the Service Supervisor, who when I approached him, he had a blank expression. He proceeds to ask me my name and pulled up my record then began to read off to me the services I had completed. Which even infuriated me more then I already was for several reasons:
1. I did not need him to summarize what I had on the invoice and service report. I can read;
2. I know what I came in for, so I do not need someone to mansplain to me;
3. He also mentioned I needed to get my brakes checked, I don’t need him to tell me what I need to do, he needed to tell me what he was going to do to rectify the situation or at least offer apologies.
He did not apologize and he did not provide any resolution. He continued to read what was on the computer. So I told him, I did not need him to read, I needed him to act and walked away. I then called for a ride myself and by the time my ride arrived at 6:00pm I received a call from the same gentleman who was to get back to me with the alternate rental car. He said he was ready. Well I am glad he was ready, but I was ready at 3pm. By that time, I did not have it in me to maintain my composure. I had exhausted my patience. I was rude, I could not believe that he not once had the common sense to even call to say that he was going to be delayed, that I was going to take longer than the 5 to 10 minutes he promised.
All this is to highlight how your team has failed to meet the standards below that you have listed on your website:
• Committed to providing the care and expert service that our guests come to trust.
• Our Toyota-trained technicians have spent thousands of hours understanding each and every Toyota vehicle and use only Genuine Toyota parts to service and repair your Toyota.
Additionally, it is clear that no one completed the multi-point inspection that was listed both on the invoice and on the RO. Because if they had, s/he would have made the same assessment upon lifting the hood that it was the water pump all along.
It is evident that your mechanics did not bother to review as it is not a profitable service to complete if it falls under the warranty. They get paid per parts and service for actual client expenditures, so it was not important to them to address my primary concern.
Should I have not insisted that I have a secondary review, should have the water pump erupted, it would have caused additional engine damage like cracked cylinder heads, pushed head gaskets, or burnt pistons which would have not been covered by the warranty. I do not know how many other persons have experienced this level of disregard at Downtown Toyota, but it is clear that:
1. Staff do not know how to provide customer service and do not work in excellence and with integrity.
2. There is a culture of disrespecting women who work there.
3. Management is not coaching, mentoring or providing support to staff to ensure that their direct reports are holding the core values of Toyota or of the Shammas Group.
My hope is that with this letter, there is a change in the customer’s experience and the level of service that is provided.