Further Fun with Mazda Customer Support

Now I have a name to put to the idiocracy that is Mazda Customer Support: William Z.

Several weeks ago I sent my lemon law return letter to Mazda. A few days later William calls me. He wants to know of Mazda can offer anything as compensation, rather than going through the return process. I try to express just how frustrating this vehicle has been, and how much time I have wasted dealing with its problems; all of which he really isn't interested in. He just wants me to name him some number so he can move on to some other project. I tell him that I am not interested in compensation, I want a new car.

William tells me that there will be some delays, as this is the beginning of their holiday hours. He says that it will need to be escalated to someone else, and that to make things go smoother I should assemble some documentation that this new person will need: sales contract, payment history, loan info, registration, insurance.

During their vacation my car acts up again, and I leave an irate message on William's voicemail.

On Wednesday, January 2nd 2008, William leaves me a voicemail. The story has changed. Now it sounds like he is not escalating my issue until I provide the requested documentation.

Today, Thursday, January 3rd 2008, I call William. I tell him that I need clarification. I explain what he had told me before the holidays, and how it conflicts with what he left on my voicemail.

He apologizes for the confusion. That's all. No explanation of which is correct. I had to ask which of the two cases was true. Was he holding off escalating my issue until he had my documentation. Finally, like pulling teeth, he says that is the case.

I ask for his email address, and I tell him that I will be sending him a URL, username, and password for accessing the requested documentation. He gets hesitant, and says he is not sure that is OK. I point by point go over the documentation he requested, explain that it will be on the website, and I ask him how this is not OK. He is non-committal, says he will wait for my email and let me know if there are any problems. Getting real information out of this guy is nearly impossible; and I suspect he is the person who I talked to the first time I called Customer Support.

I sent him the URL via email, and I asked him to let me know when he had finished downloading the documentation. Then I watched my logs. He very promptly downloaded the documents, but a half hour later I still didn't have an email from the guy acknowledging receipt. (OK, 35 minutes later I finally get an email.)

My primary frustration is that it seems impossible to simply and easily find out the steps I need to do on my side. I get cryptic communication, flat out misdirection, and empty apologies when what I am asking for is clarification. I am starting to wonder if Mazda's preferred way of handing Lemon Law Returns is to frustrate the person until they sell the car on CraigsList.

-Chris
Unhappy owner of a 2007 Mazda RX-8 GT Lemon Edition

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7 Replies to “Further Fun with Mazda Customer Support”

  1. Have you tried contacting the California State Department of Consumer Affairs or whatever the equivalent agency is that administers the Lemon Law? Once they get involved things usually start moving pretty fast.

    Best of luck!

  2. I’ve read all the information on the Attorney General and Consumer Affairs websites. The gist seems to be that if the manufacturer doesn’t participate in one of the state approved arbitration programs that you need to hire a lawyer and take them to court. Mazda was not listed as an arbitration participant, but they recently got on board with the Better Business Bureau Auto Line arbitration program. I have filed a Lemon Law dispute with the BBB.

    -Chris

  3. Mazda is still jerking me around. I sent them all the required paperwork weeks ago, and have not heard a peep from them. I have filed an arbitration request with the BBB, and we’ll see how that goes.

    In the meantime, I think I’m going to take my car back into the dealership and make then fix all of the problems they introduced with their last failed repair attempt. After all, since the passenger airbag system is still malfunctioning I can’t drive the car if I am going anywhere with my wife. I might as well take it in and have Mazda keep paying for a rental. Every penny I cost them is yet another reason for them to deal with my request.

    -Chris

  4. Hello, I have a 2004 RX8 GT and its been a big dissapointment, I have taken that car to the dealer alot lately for the alternator went out, no i let it sit for 3 days and the car wont start and it not flooding like everybody thinks, if you find some good info on how to take the car back let mew know thanks

    Nelson

  5. I too am getting the jerk around from Mazda Corp (or their substandard rent-a-customer service center)…

    Jennifer at x1170 got my call last week after the dealer failed to repair a part under emissions warranty, giving me the run around about the diagnosis price, price of the part, price of the labor…typical things one deals with at a dealership. When I confronted the guy in service about the issue, his response? “Sorry, call 800-222-5500 and see what they’ll do for you.” That’s IT.

    So I call, get Jennifer and she seems helpful, knowledgeable, and efficient. I’m pleased…until I don’t receive her call that evening as promised.

    I wait a day. Call her again, leave a polite message asking is she’s found anything.

    No response.

    I wait 3 more days, call again, leave a semi-polite message this time asking WTF is going on, why haven’t I received a call back and could she PLEASE call me, even if it is to tell me Mazda isn’t going to cover the part. STILL nothing.

    So about 30 min ago I call – AGAIN. This time I go to the main line and speak to Glinda or Gilda, trying to find out what’s up with my case. I give her my case/file # and tell her who I’ve been working with and her response is, “Sorry, I will need to transfer you to Jennifer, she is your rep.” My immediate response is ARE YOU KIDDING ME? She’s been ignoring me for a week and a half. That’s the whole point of calling the main line, to circumvent the dead end!

    She then transfers me without warning. Wow.

    Miss Jennifer answers this time and it’s obvious she’s looking at my account for the first time since probably the initial call.

    She says, “Oh, I need to call the Regional Director of Service to find out what their response is, I’ll have to call you back on your cell phone.”

    Really, REALLY?! I of course tell her I want a call back regardless, even if it’s to tell me she has no information. And she says, “Sure, thank you for your time.” AND HANGS UP.

    I can tell this is going to be fun to sort out…

    Wish me luck.

    And GOOD LUCK to you and the lemony Mazda issue – WOW I hope it’s been addressed at this point!!

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