This dealer looks super-swanky from the street....gorgeous lighting, beautiful water features...impressive at first look. But when I checked into the service department, this dealer is like a ghost town --- just a row of empty cars.
There was no one there to take my car.
Another yellow flag.
There were no customers in sight when I went inside...and I arrived early in the afternoon!
BIG Red flag.
There were two girls sitting at the reception desk talking to each other. They didn't acknowledge me until I said something.
Forget the red flag...that's just rude and unacceptable.
One girl told me to go back outside and someone should be at my car. (yes, they SHOULD be, but they weren't.)
OK, so back outside I went. There was a guy darting around my car and taking notes on his clipboard. As I approached him, he never looked up, but asked why I brought the car in. He told me to go inside and meet with the service advisor, and disappeared. OK, so I'm supposed to guess where this service advisor was located....?
The guy in service was pleasant, articulate and clean cut.
He told me that it would take about 20 minutes to fix and directed me to the lounge.
Another green flag.
So off I went to their ultra-swanky lounge...fully outfitted with leather furniture in several small groupings with a large LCD tv in each, computer access so you can check your business, a boutique -- just in case you're in need of (yet another) hawaiian shirt and a full-on coffee bar that's like Starbuck's on steroids.
But the girl working behind the counter could have cared less.
Red flag. Too bad -- they had a lot of perishables to sell...and that stuff gets stale....fast.
Another red flag--note to self....check the baked goods at Newport Beach Lexus for freshness.
There were probably even more high end distractions, but I was too focused on getting666 my car back in the 20 minutes it was promised to me to even care to investigate. An hour passed.
I went back to service to ask how they were doing. They told me I'd be called when it was ready and to go sit in the lounge. Seriously?
Red flag for 'reprimand factor'.
Thirty more minutes passed...I went back to service again and asked what the delay was -- they told me it was being checked. Another 30 minutes passed.....and another.....my day had slipped away.
Jeeze...Betsy Ross never saw this many red flags.
In the final analysis, they said I had a nail in one of my tires (really? they never showed it to me) and patched it. That was it -- 2 1/2 hours to patch a tire....with only one other person in the lounge waiting when i got there. I was charged $25 for the privilege of warming their leather couch and watching Oprah on the LCD, while writing, returning calls and canceling all the appointments I had scheduled for my afternoon.
Giant Red flag.
They did wash the car....nice of them, but that's what Lexus does.
When I got in the car, I found someone had sat on a bottle of oil I had in a bag on the passenger seat and leaked out.
HUGE red flag. Why would anyone sit on a bag, appointment book and other items on a seat in someone else's car when they don't know what's in them?
I left totally steamed. No one kept me informed, or showed any regard or respect for my time and schedule or personal property.
But wait! -- there's more.....
3 days later, the 'low tire pressure' light came on again. I was an hour away, and no where near a Lexus dealer, but I called Newport and spoke with the same preppy service rep. He asked where I was and googled gas stations along my route and told me to have them put air in my tire so I could make it back to the dealer safely.
Sidebar: I wondered what world he lived in where a gas station still employed gas station attendants who will put air in tires? After all, this is California, the Golden Shaft state.
As I was driving, he also suggested that I buy a new tire when I got to the deale to the tune of $350-$500, as it's a high performance tire. r (BTW, this was a new tire that they patched!)
I pulled into a gas station -- the girl who worked there told me she wasn't allowed to help me. Shocking. I asked a customer to help me. Done.
3 days later, the low tire pressure light came on AGAIN.
The dealer was closed, so I asked a customer at my local gas station to put air in the tire for me.
3 days later, rinse later repeat....And I was over it. It was an hour before the dealer closed, so off I went.....again -- a ghost town. Again, no one was there to take my car.....the girl at reception pointed for me to go to service where there was one girl with a very surly attitude, who ordered me to sit here and then go sit there in various cubicles, but not the one she was sitting in and never once suggesting I wait in the lounge.
Big red flag.
But she did defend her position as being the ONLY person working. I didn't ask, and it's their staffing issue. For the love of God, I just need someone to fix my tire!
Another red flag.
In the end, they had my car for 35 minutes and told me they had previously patched the tire and there was nothing else they could do for me. They didn't even wash my car.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
The silver lining.....
The other day I was in South Orange County, so I visited South County Lexus in Mission Viejo......A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE, and happily so. As I pulled in, the service department was bustling...everyone looked happy -- even the customers.
BIG Green flag.
I barely shut off the engine when a service rep met me at my car door and asked what he could do to help me.
Another Green flag.
He checked me in, I told him my story and he asked me if I wanted something to drink. He walked me to the lounge area and retrieved a bottle of water from the fridge for me. He said they would check on it and come to get me. He didn't tell me where to go or ask me where I'd be....he just did his job.
Big GREEN flag.
There were customers everywhere. I cruised the show room, where the sales people smiled and asked who I was there to see.
You'd think this was the happiest place on earth! No matter where you looked, there were happy people everywhere. The place was packed!
Giant Green flag.
In just a few minutes, the service rep came and found me in the show room.
He asked me to come with him, and introduced me to the technician who was working on my car. He checked the tire, put it in water to see where the leak was...
and it wasn't where the patch was. He showed me the tire, the patch and where the leak was.
GIANT GREEN flag for Mission Viejo......Another Red flag for Newport Lexus.
He fixed it, said they'd like to monitor it and will follow up with me in a few days. It was like a doctor's appointment for a child!
Another Green flag.
They also detailed my car!
Big happy green flag!
Lexus is fully computerized....it doesn't matter where you buy or service your car...they all know the history. The tire is under warranty and Newport Lexus completely mishandled my problem.
***THERE AREN'T ENOUGH RED FLAGS IN ORANGE COUNTY FOR NEWPORT LEXUS***
South County Lexus has a smaller, less schmansy version of the high end distractions that Newport Lexus features, but I'm not going there to shop...or eat...or watch TV. I'm going there to get my car fixed. And I expect that it will be fixed the right way the first time.
Yes, South County Lexus is a schlepp for me, but it's well worth the trip to be greeted by professionals who take their business seriously while making the customer experience easy and effortless. And I feel appreciated by them.
HUGE GREEN FLAGS!!
I give SOUTH COUNTY LEXUS a big shout out and my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! as well as a boat load of green flags. I've learned my lesson and I will NOT be returning to Newport Lexus....even though it's a stone's throw from my home.
PS....I told my story to South County and someone there told me that 4 former Newport Beach Lexus customers had come in THAT DAY for the same reason....they didn't like the way they were (mis) treated.
And that would explain the 'ghost town' feel when you drive into Newport Lexus. Not everything that glitters is gold.
Review about: Lexus.