Cap'n Arbyte's



Local interest

Other sites

My Letter to Buick

Here's the complaint letter I've written to send to Buick in response to their screwing up my order again. I've redacted everything that might be personally identifiable.

Buick Customer Service:

I'm writing to you about my purchase of a new Buick LaCrosse. Unfortunately, this is the second time it has been necessary for me to write.

My first letter was the result of the factory not building the vehicle I ordered (#xxxxxx). It was not built due to production switching from 2005 to 2006 vehicles, despite the order being submitted approximately a month before the end of 2005 production. Reference case file number x-xxx-xxxxxx for more information.

Buick decided that a simple verbal apology was a sufficient resolution to my complaint. The people I spoke with are xxxx…xxxx.

I was not happy, but because I believed a LaCrosse is the vehicle I wanted, I re-ordered the vehicle as a 2006 (#xxxxxx). This vehicle was built (VIN# xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) and delivered in just 33 days. The swift build and delivery made me again wonder why a month wasn't enough time to build my 2005 order in the first place.

The 2006 vehicle delivered is not the vehicle I ordered.

I ordered the Driver Confidence Package (PCI), but the delivered vehicle did not contain one of the components of this package. The steering wheel controls for audio and temperature (UK3) were missing. In every other respect the vehicle matched my order. The paperwork accompanying the vehicle suggested that the factory was aware of this change. Both my salesman and I were disappointed that the factory made this change without any notification whatsoever, much less asking if it was an acceptable change.

It's not.

My salesman contacted Buick to ask what happened to my car. No immediate answer was available. Instead, he was given case file number x-xxx-xxxxxx and promised a return call in two business days. (I am writing this letter prior to that call; I haven't heard the excuse yet.)

Please ensure that the aforementioned case files are linked to each other and that this matter is escalated to the appropriate level of visibility. That these problems occur at all is evidence that your procedures are broken; that they both affected the same customer is insulting.

I still want a Buick LaCrosse. I've done a lot of research and believe it's better than the competition. It's a great car — if you can get one. I thought I could. I expected the factory to build it correctly, and you've managed to screw up both "build it" and "correctly." I've wasted three months learning that "build it correctly" is an unrealistic expectation for the world's largest car company to meet.

I will not simply try again through the same system that has already failed me twice. You have squandered my trust. I require a firm commitment from Buick that you will build it correctly. You must give me a reason to believe you when you claim "this time, it will be different." I want someone to be personally responsible for ensuring my vehicle is built correctly, and I want it in writing.

There's an incentive problem here. The factory doesn't have an incentive to get things right. If the factory doesn't build an order, that's fine because the customer will re-order. If the factory doesn't build an order correctly, that's fine because the customer might accept it anyway — or better, it might mean building an extra vehicle! The factory doesn't pay for its broken commitments or mistakes. Customers and dealerships do. This is wrong. The factory must be held responsible, or mistakes of this nature will continue.

I look forward to your written response. Make me an offer. Convince me that it's worth giving Buick a third chance for my business.

Tiny Island