Memo to GM Australia – THIS is customer service

How about this for a stark contrast to the difficult experience Tony R had with Saab Oz in getting a delivery date for his 2008 Saab 9-3.

Part 1 – I rake Subaru over the coals for what I (still) believe to a deceptive advertisement placed in a magazine here in Australia.

Part 2 – Subaru respond with their side of the story. I don’t agree with it, but if a statutory authority hauled them over the coals they’d likely have a technically correct defence.

Part 3 – I get this via email from Subaru:

Dear Steven,

I understand you have been in contact with our Customer Relations Team about some concerns you have regarding one of our recent ads promoting safety. We would like to offer you the opportunity to drive a Subaru for a week however don’t know where you live and just how possible (or attractive to you) this offer would logistically be.

If you are interested in driving a Subaru for a week, would you please advise your phonenumber by email and we’ll be in touch to make the arrangements. I note that you have asked not to be contacted about marketing, email and SMS material so I hope you’ll forgive this contact but I just wanted to give you the opportunity (absolutely no obligation) to experience a Subaru for yourself, I note you are a loyal Saab fan but feel sure you would enjoy the experience of driving a Subaru.

We will require you to sign a standard vehicle loan form with your details but this is only for the purposes of knowing where the car is and in who’s care.

I look forward to hearing from you either way and thanks for your time.

I’ll be in touch.

Remember, Subaru don’t know me as someone with a website or anything like that. To them, I’m just Joe Citizen who likes Saabs and has a beef. In that light, this seems like extraordinarily good customer service.

Australia is Subaru’s third biggest market worldwide. I’m beginning to see why.

The only question remaining is which Subaru should I ask for?

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25 Comments

  1. Dammit Swade, that shoulda been my loaner. Hmmm I’m gonna have to start being a serial-letter-writing-whinger, hang on I already am, but this takes things to a new level.

    Anyway, looking forward to the WRX/Viggen comparo.

  2. Forget the Forester too bland IMHO

    If they give you gas money, get the Tribeca (a Tribeca vs. 9-7x comparo would be interesting)

    Legacy (Liberty in Aus. i believe)- honestly to me it is the best vehicle Subaru offers. Looks hot! gotta get the Liberty in 2.5GT spec.B form (vs. the 9-3/5, this car is a hard bargain, even gives Alfa a run for its money)

    or of course, a WRX STi would make a hell of a loaner :). makes for good comparo vs. Viggen and Turbo-X.

    but of course it is your decision =]. its up to you. but you have my ‘official’ vote for a Liberty 2.5GT spec.B.

    i smell a poll coming. 😉

  3. I would suggest an Impreza hatch- it would make for an interesting comparison vs. the Viggen (in WRX STi form) or just as a comparison against the old Saab hatchbacks. (in 2.5i or WRX form)

    Anything with a turbo would be a good choice, too.

    I’d skip the Tribeca.

  4. Holy crap on a stick STi.

    I HATED the previous generation WRX because every idiot in my neighborhood bought one because of the ridiculous wing and hood scoop and those damn gold wheels. The new one, though, is totally awesome.

  5. Well, if you want more of this just blow your trumpets to the A Teutonic brand and you’ll see what they’ll do for you to win you over. Quite frankly it’s tempting and the thoughts some times go around my head every now and then. Honestly and as per all my endless rhetoric’s, unless Saab lifts its game in the marketing department and weather we have 2 or even 5 model line ups, we’ll continue to lag behind our competitors despite the innovation and quality of our vehicles. This is another item to forget for 07 that was missed in Swade’s infamous list. We are better of under GM but my God, the mishandling of the brand and business is sometimes overwhelming. Really, they should give it to someone who cares !!!

  6. Swade, you know my number, just send it to them and i’ll work out which one i’ll have…

    ps – take a note of the fuel consumption, they are thirsty vehicles

    pps – how good is the snow here in Wyoming!!!

  7. Still waiting for a response from Saab I assume?

    This episode – along with the onstar/bluetooth debacle noted earlier -demonstrates just how out of touch GM is with its customers.

  8. “We are better of under GM but my God, the mishandling of the brand and business is sometimes overwhelming. Really, they should give it to someone who cares !!!”

    lol. i know. but now that Porsche is “occupied”, then who would really “buy” such a broken thing? maybe PSA Peugot Citroen on a good day…

  9. The differences in responses is striking. I have days when I wonder whether Saab actually wants us as customers. This is one of those.

  10. Yeah, I agree with all of you. Sometimes I also wonder if my passion will last forever. I am holding on to changing my vehicle as if I don’t do so soon, my tax will increase. The passion calls for a Turbo X but when will it be ready to be picked up ??? I was horrified by the stories we’ve had where customers have been left out hanging waiting for months to get their cars. So, when my time runs out, what am I going to drive then ??? An A or a B ??? Just the thought is painful.

  11. Liberty 3.0 B Spec
    Liberty 2.5GT
    WRX STi.

    Toss a coin or rock paper scissors. They’re all good although the new Impreza is a bit cheap feeling on the inside. The liberty’s are crackers.

    Subaru. Saab from Japan.

  12. I have a friend who is waiting for parts for her Subaru”Outback”. Her vehicle was damaged by hail 6-8 weeks ago and was promised that the car would be ready by Christmas.To cut the story short she has found Subaru less than helpful with back up of spare parts and repeated phone calls to Subaru Australia have fallen on deaf ears.A car is only as good as the back up service. I think customer relations needs to talk to spare parts division.

  13. Go for either the Legacy GT or the WRX (whatever they’re called in Australia).

    I’ve driven the Legacy GT and frankly it drove better than any Saab I’ve driven. The new WRX hatch is more what I think Saab should be though, maybe you should try that.

  14. Definitely the new WRX (Sti?) hatch. Then you can give feedback to the Saab honchos how the 9-1 should be.

    (no sarcasm intended)

  15. Swade,

    On second thoughts go the Tribeca and find out how the 9-6X could have been. It’s even got most of the Saab panels now!

    What ever you drive, remain objective and don’t be swayed (swade?) by it’s newness compared to the Vig or 900.

  16. Getting a WRX STi might be difficult since a new STi is coming in 08. Dealerships may have cleared their 07s already.

    The WRX wagon, overall, is just too plain to be asking for a loaner. I would personally opt for a Liberty 2.5GT.

    Just be careful not to fall in love with the boxer engine though.

  17. “Ask them for a 9-2x Aero.” -Bernard

    Haaaa! I agree! Why not get the “most dependable Saab in history“?

    You could wrestle them down to the floor until they give up the location of the remaining ’06 9-2x stockpile. I’d want in on that!

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