I want to start by saying that I have never gone to this extent, which is to say to write to a website such as yours (Consumer Affairs) but I have to share my story with someone other than my wife who is tired of hearing about it.
My story starts with me purchasing a 2009 Cadillac CTS AWD from a local dealership in early April 2012. During the paperwork portion (not 7-10 days earlier) I learned the car was involved in a "minor" accident in 2010. I was reassured by the salesmen that the car is under full warranty which made me feel better so I proceeded with the purchase of the car.
Shortly after I purchased the car I started to hear a rattling sound in the engine area as well as a creaking sound in and around the front passenger door area. I also started to hear a "whooshing" sound in the steering wheel when I drove the car for a longer period of time. The car also started a little rough which left me bouncing a bit when I warm up the car in the morning.
Well as anyone would do who, I took my car back to the dealership to try and fix these problems (mostly the rattling sound). After bringing it twice to the dealership, they told me to take it to an Authorized GM/Cadillac Dealership since they specialize in servicing cars like mine. The problem is that the nearest authorized dealership (Cole Cadillac - Bluefield, WV) is 45 minutes away from me but I agreed to take it there. I took it there not once, not twice, not even three times but FOUR TIMES!!!. Obviously my frustration levels grew each trip because Cole never could fix the problem.
On around June or July of 2012 I finally contacted General Motors Customer Service department to inform them of my issue and to see what they (GM) could do to help me with this mess. Remember - my car is still under full warranty.
I was put in contact with a person named Eric who is some type of "service specialist". Eric was apparently assigned to my case. Eric, and all of the other four or five people turned out to be no help at all! They kept telling me that I needed to take my car back to Cole to get another diagnosis of my car. I reluctantly agreed to take my car back to the dealership for the third and fourth time (four times total). Each time the rattling noise wasn't fixed! On the fourth time (at Cole) that told me that they found the reason for the rattle and it was due to the minor accident from 2010. Cole wanted to charge me $150 for some strap that had apparently broke and was never fixed in 2010. I really don't believe that or it is hard to believe that it took Cole 4 TIMES to find this problem.
When I picked up my car FOR THE 4TH TIME I drove 45 minutes home to find that YES YOU GUESSED IT....it still wasn't fixed! At this time you can imagine how frustrated I was to be messing around with this.
After calling Cole and letting them know that they didn't fix the car, they told me that I would have to take the car to another dealership because they just couldn't fix it. Remember...that is the same message I heard from the dealership I purchase the car from.
I called my "service specialist" - Eric with GM and Eric told me that I needed to take the car to another Authorized GM/Cadillac Dealership which is 1.5 hours away to get another opinion. I told Eric that I was not going to do that and that he (GM) had to go to plan B or C. Apparently GM has two options that may work for me. One is a "Customer Trade" program and second is a "Discount" program. No one at GM (Eric or the other people I talked to) would tell me the details to these programs.
Through the process I tried to go up the flag pole with different levels of management in hopes of finding someone competent and willing to help me out of this mess. I never found one! In fact, I was told multiple times that "there is no one beyond me who can help you". Can you believe this? Eric must be the President of GM. If that is the case, I can see why we had to bail them out!!!
Seriously...I could not get above this "Service Specialist" level and everyone told me that I had to take my car back for a 5TH TIME to diagnose the car AGAIN! I asked everyone I talked to at GM..."How many times do I need to get my car diagnosed before you recognize that you can't fix my car?" Their response was "we don't deal in hypothetical". I can feel my blood pressure rising just writing this!
My message to Mr. Kurt McNeil - Vice President of Cadillac Sales and Service: Mr. McNeil, I am a 42 year old professional who earns well over $100,000 per year. I am your demographic for Cadillac. The new advertising for the XTS or ATS shows people my age in the commercials enjoying your new cars. Up till recently I was planning on being a loyal Cadillac customer. I chose Cadillac as a luxurious yet sporty car that fit my needs. What's worse is that I want to support General Motors which is a United States based company. I'm the guy that still gets emotional when I hear the Star Spangled Banner. I LOVE this country and want to do what I can to help. Your policies and staff are so inflexible to your customers. Your statement in your warranty packet about how Cadillac strives to provide excellent service is a bunch of *** I don't know of an organization where customers can only talk to one level of customer service agent. I see where Cadillac recently received an award for customer service. I wonder how and the heck you earned that! Reading my story...do you think you earned that award? I understand I am only one person, but I have a hard time believing that I am the only Cadillac owner that is disappointed as I am with your customer service department and policies. The fact that I am looking for a website such as this to voice my opinion is enough to tell you that I AM NOT BEING HEARD!!!
It gives me no pleasure to tell those who read this to find another car manufacturer. Don't buy GM or Cadillac. Save your money, your time and your sanity.