OUR EXPERIENCE IN THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT
We bought our first new car from CH Hyundai in 2015 and have been coming here for service ever since. We lost that car after the hail storm in Calgary last summer of 2020 and my wife now drives a 2014 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid that we purchased from one of our neighbours as she offered us a good price. About two years ago, I had given CH Hyundai a five-star review; however, I'm sad to say that our experience with them has just changed after taking our Sonata to them for service. I wish this website could give us the option of rating the staff individually and not as a whole, because there are certainly some great employees here that work hard and try to help you out, but it looks like their hands are tied by their unprofessional management team. I hope my review is helpful to those like me who don't have experience with cars and don't know much (or anything at all) about car parts. This is extensive, but I can't find a shorter way to explain our frustration with our experience in the service department.
Let me start by giving five stars to Angel, Clinton and Nathan (the technician) in Service. They really tried to help, but unfortunately the solution was not up to them. I am copying and pasting the email I sent to Mr Jordon Romeril, the General Manager, in order to try to make my story as clear as possible. It is worth mentioning that up to this date, 7 days after I sent the email and one day after we picked up the car, I have not yet received a response from him, not even to say "sorry for the inconvenience" or "we will do what we can to help". As far as I know, the least a manger can do when receiving any message from a customer is to REPLY, so that tells us a lot about how much they care. Every customer should be treated equal, whether they are coming to buy a $60,000 car or bringing their old car to them for service. We brought it to them for a reason, it means we are trusting their certified technicians, it means we chose them before many others.
Here is our email to the General Manager:
"Dear Mr Romeril,
I am emailing you in regards of a very difficult situation I am dealing with in your Service Department at Country Hills Hyundai. Our car, a 2014 Sonata Hybrid is currently at your location due to a problem they had originally found on December 31st, 2020 when I brought it in for service. Unfortunately, a number of inconvenient things have happened since then and I feel like I should contact you directly regarding these issues to find a solution to our situation. I appreciate your time to review my email.
Ever since we bought our first car in Canada in 2015, a brand new 2016 Hyundai Elantra, we had a very good experience at your dealership with Xavier Navarrete, and after that, a great experience with Angel Infante in the Service Department, staff like them, and Sam and Azeem have been super helpful to us. That was the main reason we have always come back to you. However, the last experience has not been that pleasant and I would like to explain why, in a chronological order:
1. I brought our Sonata Hybrid last December 31st in the morning, expecting just to do a regular maintenance service, and also to check if the hybrid battery was working properly, as we never had a hybrid vehicle before and I noticed the battery would never show a 100% charge, but max between 50 to 75%. They said that was normal and there was no problem with the battery. They recommended a $320 service with Synthetic oil as the vehicle was over 156,000 km. I said yes to the service. The advisor who originally took our order in was Ashley.
2. I got a call in the evening that day from a gentleman named Clinton (I assumed Ashley had left for the day), who explained to me they found a problem with the driver side control arm and ball joint, which had some play that didn't make the car safe to be driven and the part needed to be replaced. He said that they didn't have it in stock and it needed to be ordered. He said the price was over $800 for the OEM one, but he could try to find an aftermarket one, which would have to be on the next day because at that time the other suppliers were closed. I said OK.
3. On that same evening I called Auto Value and Napa, both of which were still open (the opposite of what I was told). Auto Value did not have the part and they suggested I called Napa. Napa said their 16th Ave location had the aftermarket part in stock and the price was just over $600.
4. I decided to not call Clinton on the same evening and wait for his call on the next day, as I was told they closed at 6:00 pm. The next morning, I received a call from Ashley saying that they could get the aftermarket part for $800+, and that the OEM would have to be ordered in. I said to her that I had called Napa the previous evening and they gave me a price of $639. She said she would check and call me back. After a few minutes she called me back saying that the OEM part was actually the one that Napa had in stock and the price was lower than the aftermarket one; she gave me a price of over $680 (I can't remember the exact amount), but also said that Napa was closed and the car would have to wait until Monday. Being confused about the price and whether the part was aftermarket or not, I tried calling Napa to confirm if they were actually closed. It happened that they were OPEN until 3:00 pm on that day! They confirmed they had the part, they confirmed the price of $639 and they said it was NOT OEM, because they only sold aftermarket parts. So I called Ashley again and respectfully said that they were actually open and confirmed their price that was lower than the one Hyundai was giving me. She didn't sound too happy and said "let me transfer you to the parts department, because I just say what I am told". When I spoke with the parts department, they said "oh well, we can match that price", and I asked them if they could call Napa to confirm the part and if they could get it from them. The parts salesman said that they did have it, but they were short staff and they wouldn't be able to bring it on that same day, so my car would have to wait until Monday unless I was able to pick it up and bring it to the dealership before 1:00 pm. This was all before 11 am.
5. I called Napa and asked them to put the part aside for me because I was coming to pick it up. Since my wife had driven the other car to her work that day, I had to pay an Uber to go pick it up, drive to Napa on 16th Ave and then to Country Hills Hyundai to bring the part. The main reason I did this was to be able to have the car ready on that day. On Monday Jan 4th both my wife and I would be working and it would be much more inconvenient to have only one car by then. When I brought the part they said they couldn't promise to have the car ready and it might have to wait until Saturday. Kay (*correction, it was Deep, not Kay*) the service manager told me that he guaranteed the car would be done by Saturday if it wasn't possible to have it done on December 31.
6. Later that day at around 4:00 pm I was happy to receive a call from Ashley saying that they were working on the car and it would be about 30 more minutes, so I could head over there to pick it up. I was just getting home with my wife and my 3-year old, so we drove down to the dealership right away. Unfortunately, the half hour became about a two-hour wait because the technician (Nathan) had replaced the part but couldn't get the alignment done or the steering wheel centered. They couldn't figure out why and they gave me the car, and Clinton told me to wait for his call on Monday to bring it back. He said it was safe to drive it. That evening I paid over $500 at the dealership, plus the amount I spent on the part, a total of over $1,100.
7. I waited for Clinton to call me on Monday, but after waiting for a while I called and left a message for him and for Angel (I normally deal with Angel, but he happened to be on vacation the week I brought the car in). A few minutes later, Clinton told me he was still doing some research and he wasn't sure what the problem was, so he asked me to bring the car in to take some measurements of some parts and figure out if the car had any part previously replaced that wasn't the right one. I had bought this car from its only previous owner back in August 2020, a nice lady who is our neighbour. The only damage record in the front of the car was a cosmetic damage from 2019 on the front right side that was repaired for under $2,000. We confirmed this by calling the shop that did the repair after the lady sent me a picture of her receipt. They told Clinton they had actually done an alignment at that time and it was spot on.
8. I came to drop off the car today at 10:00 am and about an hour after the shuttle was giving me a ride to my work. Just after leaving the dealership, I received a call from Clinton saying he had just been yelled at by his manager because he didn't charge me for the alignment on December 31st, so they wanted me to pre-authorize 2 hours of work for "diagnostics" at $150 per hour or they would not even take the car in. I said that charging me for the alignment wouldn't have been fair at all, because the alignment DID NOT get done and I had to come back anyways to get the problem fixed, let alone I would authorize two hours of work ($300) if they didn't even know what the problem was. The parts department had confirmed the part with Napa which I went to pick up, brought it to the dealership, and paid for an installation that now made the car be in a worse condition than before with an off centered steering wheel. I also said, I would just pre-authorize one hour, but I was really hoping the problem would be fixed without any further charges, as this was an uncompleted work I had paid for on December 31st - the installation of the part that I was told was necessary to be replaced.
9. Later after 5:00 pm today, I received another call from Clinton saying that they found that the installed part was about half of an inch different in length than the original one, that I had to talk to Napa and ask for the right one and then pay again to have the first one replaced with this one, this on top of the "diagnostics fee". I said that is totally not right, I am not a mechanic, I don't know about car parts, all I know is that I picked up a part that had been confirmed to be the right one for my car, I assumed the Hyundai dealership has brand-certified technicians that are experts and would not install the wrong part on a vehicle just because it is the one the customer brought. I called Napa to ask them about another part and they said that was the only one they had listed for Hybrid models, and the other ones were all for non-hybrid Sonatas. They said that I could bring the one I bought to be returned as a "warranty defect", but they did not have a second option to try. After this I could not talk to Clinton again because he was gone at 6:00 pm.
I plan to return to the dealership early tomorrow morning (Jan 7) to find a fair solution to my problem. I am sending this lengthy email to explain my situation beforehand and to kindly ask for a fair solution. I apologize for my lengthy email, but it is the only way I can explain everything in detail. I hope you understand my frustration. In the first place, I was being lied to when they said Napa was closed, and they gave me higher prices and inaccurate information about the parts (saying the cheapest one was OEM when Napa only sells aftermarket). Secondly, they installed a part to the car without even confirming it was the right one, and what's even worse, they want to charge me for a second installation of the right one (hoping that I can get it for a fair price and it can be received soon if nobody has it in town). Things have to be fair, I do appreciate very much the time that Nathan and Clinton took last Dec 31st trying to align the car, but I think it is totally unfair that the service manager says I should have been charged for an alignment that was not completed. All I feel is that they just want to keep charging me for something they are not even 100% sure how to fix. I came to the dealership instead of finding some private mechanic out there because you are supposed to have the certified technicians and I always felt safer coming to you guys. I have had great experiences with Xavier, Sam, Angel, Azeem, and even Clinton was patient and respectful, but this experience has totally changed everything. I am not going to be paying for something I am unfairly charged for, I am expecting and hoping that you can offer me a fair and good solution to my problem. Please let me know what you can do.
I don't like to be writing good or bad reviews online until I know I have been heard by the right people, so I will wait for a prompt solution. Please let me know if you have any questions.
I am also cc'ing Xavier on this email as I am not sure if I got your correct email address. Xavier - when you see this email, would you kindly confirm that the GM has received it?
Thank you for your time to review my case and thank you for your consideration."
Yesterday, January 12th, we finally got the right part installed and drove the car out of the dealership. Angel and Clinton offered us 2 oil changes and a full detail for free to be done any time; Gerry, the parts manager discounted about $60 off the price of the part. Angel took quite some time to apologize to me and to my wife for the inconvenience, which is much appreciated and to explain a few things about the car. After the whole situation we still had to pay for a second installation of the part and a "diagnostics fee" for them to just find out that the part they installed was the wrong one. All of this could have been avoided if they had just said "sir, we advise that you let us get the part directly because if anything goes wrong with it you will have to spend more money". We had not idea that picking up the part ourselves could cause so much trouble, but if they had only said that to us! We would have saved close to $300 plus the extra time we had to spend! In conclusion, I honestly think that the management here should be carefully reviewed, it looks like some of the staff like Angel have a better sense of customer service and honesty than the actual managers. When I came to talk to Deep the service manager, he never even said "sorry" about anything, he said "I feel I don't want to work on your car anymore", "you come to us with a car you didn't buy from us..." Does that mean that we have to buy the car from you to be treated better in the service department? His response was more arrogant than that of someone who could try to understand the customer. The whole thing just showed us they did not care if we had to pay more. They could have probably sent someone to Napa to pickup the part on Dec 31st, but maybe they didn't want to... at this point we just don't know what to believe because there seems to be a serious lack of transparency since the time they said the suppliers were closed when they were actually open.
If you read this whole review, I hope it is helpful for you and again, if you do decide to go to CH Hyundai for service, talk to Angel or Clinton, but if you have to deal with somebody else, make sure you ask them to be clear and honest about everything before they do anything to your car.