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Maybe it is endemic to Subaru dealers in the Nordics, but I have had nothing but trouble with the Roybil dealer in Arvika, Sweden. I am at a disadvantage perhaps because I don't speak Swedish very well (but I can read Swedish) and communication is thus hampered a bit. Perhaps because I am not used to the "standards of care" provided in Sweden, I am underwhelmed by what I got by taking my car to Roybil.
I was initially excited when I learned that the dealership in Arvika was expanding to include Subaru because the nearest Subaru specialist in the area was... well, not in the area. I would have to drive over an hour to get to the nearest one in Sweden or else go to the much more expensive Norwegian Subaru dealers for make-specific service. But the truth is, when I go to a dealer for service instead of just a random garage, I sort of expect that they know what they are doing... that they have a bit more investment in maintaining customer loyalty. I assume that they might be observant in doing their jobs and perhaps let you know what they see when they are doing regular service.
I had not taken my car in for regular service, I admit, for a variety of reasons (not least of which was the lack of nearby service centers). So when I did take the car in the first time to Roybil, I expected them to have some input on things that were wrong - but they did the basic service and sent me on my way. The next time I took the car in for service, it was also because the brakes were making a considerable amount of noise. By this time, the brake pads, shoes and calipers (the whole nine yards, really) were destroyed. The car was only about two years old at the time, and had not been driven much (by me - I can't speak for the previous owner) - this kind of damage should not have even been possible on a car that new.
My point is that the damage was so advanced and so catastrophic that it should have been at least partly visible to a technician, had s/he been paying attention when I took the car in for service the previous time. But not a word that there was something to pay attention to. They kept my car for more than a week to fix the brakes (and in the end they were not satisfactorily repaired - a month later, when I took the car in for the bi-annual inspection, one of the comments was that the brakes required too long a stopping distance) and changed my tires over to winter tires at the same time. They did not bother to look at the old summer tires to note and mention to me that they were nearly stripped in one case - they just threw them in the trunk of the car and let me be on my merry way.
I did not really expect them to do anything special other than be observant of issues that might be important or of safety value to me as their customer and mention them - it would take them no time at all, would provide a value-added service and would maybe add on more business/sales for them if they could be just a tiny bit proactive. Not to mention that the things they failed to notice in all the service appointments turned out to be serious matters that could have resulted in major safety compromises - but did they care?
No. When I filed complaints with them, they failed to respond at all. When I filed complaints with the Subaru Nordic, they kept referring to the fact that I had not maintained the car in line with the service requirements so my warranty was not valid - which is not the whole point of my complaint. I just want BASIC SERVICE when I pay for service. To me, basic service extends slightly beyond just changing the tires when you ask them to - it involves glancing at the tires taken off to see if they need to be replaced. Or looking at the car as a whole to see if anything is amiss since everything is connected.
With that "everything is connected" thing in mind, I am never taking my car to a Roybil dealership again, am never buying another car from one of the dealerships and am actually, after being a lifelong Subaru brand loyalist, never buying another Subaru - which is sad in a way because I generally liked them and what they stand for. But the (lack of) service received and rote, generic replies I received when trying to lodge constructive criticism left me cold. Thinking also of the fact that the dealership in Arvika is the nearest and only dealership convenient for service, it makes no sense to me to get another Subaru.
It would have taken so little to make me a satisfied service customer - and by extension, I would have bought my next car there and continued to patronize that dealership if only they had made the smallest of efforts.
REVISED REVIEW - Feb 15, 2013
While the ordering, waiting, cancellation experience was both disappointing and annoying, and the communication slow, once I placed a negative review on Trustpilot, Infurn was in contact in less than 24 hours to try to resolve the issue. Within three days, I had a refund in my bank account and thus can vouch positively for the follow-up customer service/damage control that Infurn has provided. I find it a shame that it has to come to this point to mobilize the service orientation of the company. Nevertheless, I am positively surprised by the rapid resolution to the matter.
ORIGINAL REVIEW - Feb 12, 2013
In early 2012, I ordered a set of chairs from Infurn. I thought that by ordering in March, I would have what I needed by November, certainly. I wanted the perfect chairs for my house, and really did not NEED them before the annual Thanksgiving dinner (the only time of year I have a need for a whole lot of chairs at one time). I played it safe, I thought, by ordering so far in advance.
Week after week, month after month, Infurn's website kept updating the status of the order so that the chairs' arrival would be further and further in the distant future. Finally when the week of Thanksgiving arrived, and I had had contact with their customer service in early November (and their only clueless reply was to say, "We had manufacturing problems; let's hope the chairs arrive this week as scheduled."), I still had no chairs, had to go out and buy some other chairs and still had no clue when the Infurn chairs might arrive.
At some point I finally just requested a refund because Infurn could neither deliver my chairs nor give me a solid date about when I might receive them when I inquired about a delivery date. They finally offered me a refund - which I accepted on 14 December 2012.
Naturally, in keeping with the low expectations I now have of Infurn, I have not received this refund -- and it has been eight weeks since the refund request was processed. I contacted them around January 28, 2013 and got the same lame excuse as before, "I will check why it has not arrived, the cancellation seems to have been processed. Let's hope the refund arrives this week." (Of course it did not arrive; I am still waiting, having contact them once again.)
This is no way to do business -- this "sit, wait, hope it happens" is not acceptable. It is not good or proactive customer service, it is bad communication, it is poor reputation management and very poor delivery on promises. Likewise, what kind of manufacturing and shipping is Infurn using that every single shipment seems to be delayed, of poor quality upon arrival or the container is mysteriously "destroyed" or the contents "badly damaged" to the point that one's order has to start over from scratch every single time a customer contacts customer service?
I am beyond disappointed on every level, and to add insult to injury, continue to receive all of Infurn's newsletters about product sales and special offers. How on earth does it make sense to offer 50% off all chairs, for example, when you cannot deliver chairs that are ordered? Perhaps it's all just a racket to part people from their money.
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