**Disclaimer: the below is written as a customer who has followed the normal protocol that any other GM customer would follow. **
As most know by now, I placed an order for a 2013 Cadillac ATS many weeks ago. In the time since I've learned exactly what works and what doesn't as it relates to GM customer service and their ability to communicate with the various constituents involved in the vehicle order process. For a company alleging to become more customer focused, I'm not seeing it - yet.
Timeline of Events
- September 24, 2012 - Dealer replaces stock ATS 2.0T order with my configuration.
- October 16, 2012 - Vehicle is produced at Lansing Grand River Assembly
- October 24, 2012 - Motor Trend reports that GM is issuing a "repair" for ATS's built with the optional manual transmission.
- November 5, 2012 - GM Customer Assistance Center and the dealer inform me "the car is on its way!"
- November 13, 2012 - GM informs dealer that the car is "at an intermediary point, hasn't been shipped, and is on hold." No solid ETA is provided.
- Cadillac Customer Service and GM CAC have both told me that they can't track an order. You have to call multiple times to get someone that will track it at CAC.
- I left a voicemail, per instructions, to a CAC rep that did track it. She never would return my call.
- Despite the dealer's efforts, GM has relayed virtually no information about my order/car to them.
- To date no one can tell me or the dealer where my car is. Not that it matters, it's just perplexing that no one seems to know.
- This isn't my problem - you can go here and here to find that all ATS manual owners are having this problem (lack of information).
I'm in no way, shape or form trying to undermine the complexity of vehicle manufacturing, or the added complexity of an ad-hock repair on produced units. My problem with this whole process is NOT the wait (it hasn't been that long), it's the seemingly total lack of communication on the part of the company to my dealer or myself. People who take the time to custom order a new vehicle (particularly an enthusiast focused car like a manual trans ATS) probably are informed enough to know that something is up with their order. They have the right to know what is going on with it and someone at GM should have the responsibility to convey this to the dealer network and/or customer.
Since going through this I've learned that most GM dealers wind up frustrated over order status. In fact, most have told me that they always end up being stuck between the customer and corporate in these cases because corporate won't divulge information about the order. This is a problem. In an era where everything is electronic and has a QR/bar/dot code, it seems perplexing that finding out information on a $47,000 car makes me and the dealer reminisce about the days in which there was no broadband Internet connectivity.
Again, I elected to order a car that was not out yet. I fully accept the wait time and even accept the ad-hock repair job. In fact, I'm grateful GM is doing that. However none of that excuses leaving customers in the dark when they've been told TWICE that the car has shipped. It doesn't excuse CAC reps saying they can't track the car or failing to return calls.
I believe GM is trying to enhance customer service, and they have in areas. However adding more CS without changing the fundamentals (LACK of communication), is just masking a problem.
The entire ATS 2.0T with manual fiasco has left many customers--myself included--with a substandard experience.