A free "stand in" loaner from the dealership

I have mixed emotions.  Sorry and perturbed (to have been dealt this hand); combined with a bit of consternation (at feeling forced to—once again—gripe and complain like an ornery ass-hat) and pleased as a swine wallowing in his own ordure (at my current vehicular status).  I eliminated names to protect the guilty and the innocent.

Smart Center Portland General Manager,

          I ordered a 2014 smart cabriolet in February.  At the time, I was informed it would be built in April and delivered in late May.  As the months passed, I was informed of the status of my vehicle, its VIN number, when it would arrive in the port of LA, and when it was expected to get to Portland.

          On 23 May I received a quick note relating that since it was a 2015 model year that it was uncertain when it would be released and that I would be kept updated.

          I wrote back expressing my huge concern; I was expecting my 2014's soon arrival and was now worried it might not be the model I wanted.

          This was your salesman's reply:

"The only difference between the 2014 and 2015 Smart is a digit in the VIN.  If its not the car I promised then you will have your deposit refunded no questions asked.  I will let you know when Smart trucks the car North to us."

          No acknowledgement that I ordered the current model year—not next year's—and no explanation. 

          Is this how all customer's are treated?  If I had ordered an expensive Mercedes and the next model year arrived instead, would I have been provided full explanations or would I also just be encouraged to request a refund?

          I want to understand this mix-up.  Is it only mine or an entire shipment?  Does this happen routinely when new model years come out or is it the first?  Was the mistake made when the order was submitted or on the factory's end?  What is your best educated guess on arrival?

          I don't intend to wait until September.  I ordered a convertible in February so that I could enjoy the top down this summer. 

          I do not want to have any more dealings with that salesman; he should focus his derisive 140 character messages on young tweeters and not on people who've already bought a car or three in the past.


Veach Glines

Mr. Glines,

          I apologize for my salesman's seemingly emotionless, flippant, curt and non-helpful email message.

          I have reviewed the order and determined that indeed your order was originally processed as a model year 2014 but was switched by the factory due to the changeover from one model year to the next.  I am working with the smart brand people, now, to see when we might be able to get the vehicle from the port.  I will let you know as soon as I hear from them.

          Until I can get a definitive answer, I would like to offer you a Smart convertible to drive.  Although it will not be the car you ordered, I am hoping that it would be a satisfactory short term solution.

          Per your request, I removed the salesman from your file and added a new salesman.  I have cc’d him on this message and will make sure he connects with you right away to update you and make arrangements for alternate transportation. 

Thank you,

General Manager

Yesterday I met with the General Manager who gave me a 2013 smart cabriolet to use until my 2014 2015 arrives or they locate one in stock somewhere.  Thank you smart center of Portland.

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