This article arises from my very negative experience with a General Motors (GM) service department. Without boring you or frustrating myself by reciting the details, suffice it to say that my problem involved a failure of the gas sensors, which in turn, activated other dashboard sensors and lights, including the engine light. An investigation into the specifics of these encounters points to the conclusion that General Motors touts commitment to sustainability, but in reality, these largely are empty words.
After four visits to the dealership, which included pickups, drop-offs, securing rides home, only to have my dashboard still lit up with sensor lights, I did some research on GM, particularly relative to customer service. While surfing the Internet, I found annual reports issued by General Motors on “sustainability, conservation and protection” of the environment. Additionally, I noted numerous sites specifically for complaints about service at GM dealerships for poor service and treatment that was deemed less than respectable. By simply googling “complaints against GM,” I located a list of sites that would take forever to read completely.
So now I know that I am just one of many consumers who has been treated unfairly by General Motors. I decided to delve into the matter more, analyzing my personal experience, to get to the root of the problem. I came up with several observations.
First of all, General Motors operates largely on a flawed principle of sustainability. While the company pays some attention to environmental issues, its concerns are corporate driven policies that focus on the bottom line and largely externalize the human impact, namely, that of consumers, as a factor in its decisions. Consequently, the motives behind GM’s claims of sustainability seem to be to project a public appearance of being fashionable and to have mandatory bragging rights among its competitors.
As I do not want anyone to think that I am making unsubstantiated statements against General Motors, I submit the following specifics.
- General Motors has failed to institute practices and procedures to fairly accommodate consumers in need of service. I cannot understand why I had to drop my vehicle off at the dealership to “verify” that indeed I had the problem stated in the recall notices that I had received. It is not like this was the first experience the company had with recalls. There should be a process in place whereby an appointment is made to verify the recall problem while the customer waits and then to order parts at that time. I even tried to do this with my initial phone call. Although I was told by the customer service representative that the parts indeed were in the inventory, I was informed these parts would be ordered being ordered when I returned to the dealership for the presumed pickup of a repaired vehicle. This policy in and of itself shows General Motors’ lack of commitment to sustainability on several levels. The goal of sustainability programs is to reduce the carbon footprint. These repeated trips to the dealership, along with rides back and forth while the dealership has the vehicle are not environmentally conscious activities. Also, once again there is the issue of the negative human impact. Clearly, GM is not invested in strong sustainability, which considers people’s health, welfare and sense of wellness. These policies contribute to frustration, stress, inconvenience, loss of time from work and added expenses for fuel.
- General Motors totally ignores the consumer in the repair process. When I received a call finally stating that my vehicle had been repaired at a substantial cost to me, I inquired as to the exact resolution of each sensor light problem and was told that everything was fixed. When I arrived at the dealership to pick up my vehicle, I had to pay for it before it was brought out to me. I was not given the opportunity to verify that the repairs were made to my satisfaction before paying. To my surprise and disappointment, as soon as I looked inside the car with the technician standing there, the sensor lights were still brightly glowing. I was given a song and dance from the technician about how this was an intermittent problem that the mechanics had never observed.
It was then that a strange thing happened to me at the GM service department. I became enraged and frustrated and proceeded to do the Watusi. I now a convinced that this is part of General Motor’s sustainability program. If they treat you badly enough, you can reach a rage level that forces you to dance the Watusi or any other dance, thereby increasing the heart rate and blood flow. Also, there must be something to this theory because it is unimaginable that this company would be so inconsiderate of consumers, the very same taxpayers whose money provided the bailout that guaranteed the company’s existence today. While aerobic exercise is good for people, General Motors’ practices in terms of strong sustainability are extremely flawed. This company needs to revamp its policies and sincerely support the movement to live green, be green.