Bad dealer (parts counter) report, terrible employee conduct (Robert Motors Toronto)

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Jfet, Jul 5, 2004.

  1. Jfet

    Jfet Guest

    Hi all,

    I required a duplicate key made for my 1987 Volvo 760GLE which is a one owner car since

    I ordered the key because the dealer did not have a key punching machine, and no one
    locally grinds dealer blanks because they are made from metal-not brass(plated) the reason
    they don't cut these keys is because it wears the grinder, usually these are notched with
    a machine. The price of $15 Cnd includes the rubber Volvo key and cut to the vehicle's
    VIN, a blank costs the same. (I double checked the VIN, the parts person didn't

    Anyhow, I picked up the key today, and it didn't work. When I purchased the key in the
    first place, I was NOT told that the key has a 50-50 chance of working. Instead, when I
    picked up the key, I was told that it may not work. Well, they were right!!! It didn't
    work, it opened the driver's door, but would not turn the cylinder in the ignition, trunk
    lock or glove box lock. All the cylinders in the car are original, one key operates all
    locks and have never been changed for any reason.

    So, the dealer told me that I am SOL literally, and in a condescending manner to boot, the
    parts manager said "You're car is too old". I questioned their practice of not informing
    the customer that a $15 key may not work, and he stated that I was told - (if I was, I
    would have bought an Ilco rubber key which looks identical except it doesn't say Volvo!,
    and it is only $5 Cnd cut at Lock Mart <- best source for aftermarket keys and for rare
    cars as well). I spoke with the dealership manager, and he basically said I am out of
    luck. For $15 I am walking out an unhappy customer, in fact, I was PISSED OFF.... We've
    bought 3 cars from their freakin' dealership!!!!!!!!! This 760, an 850 and a V70!!! And
    we are due for yet another. BTW: they won't make a 2nd key for you in case the first one
    doesn't work, bottom line............ They said Volvo Canada "laser" cut this key for me
    (you can clearly see the notch marks from the hand notcher, lasers don't leave that kind
    of mark and distortion).

    As I was leaving the dealership totally unsatisfied, one of the sales persons came up to
    me and from his own wallet gave me the $15 and I thanked him, his 10 second approach made
    me happy, BUT........ the manager continued to argue with me AFTER I was satisfied, this
    time I turned away and continued walking to my car, my lovely 760.... he followed!!!!!
    still provoking me. I told him thank you, and that I'd never come here again.

    I actually work in a field where I support hundreds of customers (for a distribution
    company) and both by nature and because of my job, I know what it takes to make someone
    satisfied, they could have either given me another key and guarantee it works or just do
    the simplest thing and refund the money. No where on the invoice does it say no refunds
    or guarantees that cut keys work.

    That was Robert Motors in Etobicoke on Dundas (Toronto, ON)

    I love Volvo cars, now I have to find another dealership to replace our 850 and eventually
    the 760 (most likely Unionville Volvo or Volvo Villa)

    Thanks for listening to my rant........ as a paying customer, I think it's only fair to
    get a key that works (especially at $15 each!)
    Jfet, Jul 5, 2004
  2. Jfet

    Randy G. Guest

    I don't know about CDN law, but if this were in the US you would be
    due a refund or replacement unless the policy is clearly stated on the
    invoice or clearly posted in teh area where you purchased the key.

    Be aware that there are various vehicles that use steel keys (and not
    brass) and that there are reputable locksmiths out there who can cut
    them. I had to have one cut for my 1979 BMW motorcycle (steel folding
    key) and it works prefectly in all the locks.

    That salesman who refunded your money may deserve your business, but
    find another dealer for your parts and service and be sure this one
    knows about it.

    I don't think the poliscy on keys is bad (necessarily), but you should
    have been told before ordering and, like you, I have done work in the
    customer service field, and that is no way to treat a customer,
    regardless of how much bisiness you have done there.

    __ __
    Randy & \ \/ /alerie's
    '93 960 Estate
    Randy G., Jul 6, 2004
  3. Jfet

    Rob Guenther Guest

    I have heard bad things about Robert Motors from my father (used to live in
    Toronto, bought a 1972 140 from them) and other people... Well in 1974 he
    wanted the new 240, lets put it this way... Another dealer made the sale, I
    believe it was Mc Millan and Saunders in Mississauga, we've been going back
    ever since. He's never had problems with them, my mom's never had problems,
    and now that it's my job to have cars serviced for the family, i've never
    had a problem.

    I'll definately be looking at the new S40 in maybe one or so years, and
    it'll be from them if I get it (it's either that or the new Golf coming
    out... basically, i'll see what I can afford at the time).

    You should have got a key that works, as far as the laser cut story - your
    car is too old to have a laser cut key I would think... Sounds like bullshit
    to me. - At least you didn't order a new remote key tho, those run up a
    hefty price tag if you lose it.
    Rob Guenther, Jul 6, 2004
  4. Jfet

    Jfet Guest

    Hi Randy,

    Cnd law is the same as US as far as stipulations. See, the problem is, there is NOTHING
    posted on the cash register, only on the invoice, BUT....... you get the invoice after you

    The only thing that it says is no refunds on special orders..... ok fine, but it doesn't
    say that if a part/key doesn't work, you can't get a replacement....

    I've called other dealerships, and they offer replacements if the key doesn't work, they
    also have a key cutter on site as this dealer didn't.

    Yes, I'd buy from that salesperson because he showed that he is a gentleman. I am going
    to contact him and thank him for his conduct.. first rate. In fact, I do that in my line
    of work, a customer who leaves upset can do more damage than good.

    BTW: reputable locksmiths will punch steel keys, but not grind them.... the grinding
    wheels are expensive, and when worn, they don't make accurate copies. Punchers work best,
    but mostly dealers have them.... AFAIK the closest next dealer is quite the distance from
    where I live, but it's gonna be worth the trip.
    Jfet, Jul 6, 2004
  5. ............. They said Volvo Canada "laser" cut this key for me
    To clear up a common misconception, 'laser' cut keys are milled, not
    really laser cut. It's just an expression.

    In an older car such as yours, it's common for the cylinders to wear at
    differing rates, which could be why your key fits only one door and not
    the other locks. All the more reason to go to a competent automotive
    locksmith who can possibly compensate for this wear, or suggest
    reasonable alternatives. A dealer who doesn't even cut the key himself
    is going to hard pressed to help you.

    Norman Koller, Jul 6, 2004
  6. Jfet

    Randy G. Guest

    Sue them! It would be worth it just to screw with them!
    A reasonable policy..
    GIve the guy your name and number so that if he moves to another
    dealership he can contact you.

    When I was the customer service manager at a store in So. Cal., I
    would ocassionally get an upset customer once in a while, and I took
    great pride when they shook my hand with a smile when they left. I
    have hurt that it takes three times more money to make a new customer
    than to keep an old one.
    I would have to believe that with the newer metals and compounds (like
    carbide, etc.) there has to be newer cutting wheels available to
    locksmiths than they used in the 1940's.
    __ __
    Randy & \ \/ /alerie's
    '93 960 Estate
    Randy G., Jul 6, 2004
  7. Jfet

    Jfet Guest

    Well, it would be an incorrect expression. I have metal laser cut to my specifications
    for my race car camber plates (prototyping, looks way better than trying to slot on my
    mill anyhow), and I mill out other parts at home (slotting, boring etc...). I could see
    the newer keys being milled, lasers don't make good milling machines, they make great
    cutting machines!!!

    that should be almost equally as worn, everyday- once to open the door, turn on car,
    second to lock door)

    Funny, I have an old GM van with twice the mileage, the lock cylinders are indeed worn,
    but when I've ordered GM replacement keys, they are punched on a table top machine
    directly from the VIN #. I've never had trouble with their key, it is however only a
    single sided key. (I like having the manufacturer's name on my keys, I also have a few
    Fiats with Sipea OE Fiat rubber keys)

    Thanks for the reply Norm, I still love my Volvo though, funny, they cut up my "old"
    Volvo, and yet the parking lot at Robert Motors is full of 240 Wagons, 740 variations, few
    760s, one 780, and an assortment of 900 series cars, which all belong to the mechanics and
    employees of the dealership!!! Very few own the newer series cars!!!

    Volvo made these things to last, I still can't believe how well my B280F is running at
    250K kms, so sweet, and never has had a valve adjustment! no valve noise!?!?! I've heard
    horror stories about the B28F though, but that is another thread....
    Jfet, Jul 6, 2004
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