La meccanica delle emozioni
This car is the replacement for the 2010 Volvo XC70 that I crashed. The decision to buy an Alfa Romeo was all a bit sudden. I've been a lifelong fan of European sports cars, Alfa Romeo included. However, I wasn't planning on car shopping the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, s0 I wasn't really sure what I was looking for at first. But then my wife said get something new that makes me happy. So there you go. The Alfa Romeo slogan, "La meccanica delle emozioni," literally means "The mechanics of emotion." The Italians either have a twisted sense of humor or a fundamental lack of self-awareness or both! Just exactly what emotions will be felt remain to be seen. I'm sure there will be ups and downs with this car, but I'm positively optimistic. This is Alfa Romeo's first volume production car for the USA since they left the market in 1995. It was named Motor Trend's 2018 Car of the Year and evo Car of the Year, Best Sports Saloon, so it's got bona fides. Wish me good luck!
2017/07/13 THU - Manufactured by Alfa Romeo Automobiles S.p.A. at the Cassino Assembly Plant, located in the town of Piedimonte San Germano, 3km from Cassino, in the province of Frosinone, Italy.
2017/??/?? - Vehicle exported from Italy
2017/??/?? - Vehicle imported to Baltimore, Maryland.
2017/11/09 THU (16 mi) - Virginia safety inspection performed.
2017/12/27 WED (47 mi) - Sold to first owner by Safford Alfa Romeo of Vienna, Virginia by Salesman K. Ibrahim and Finance Director J. Poling. During new car delivery process scratches on the driver side corner of rear bumper cover were discovered. As all paperwork had already been signed, Salesman K. Ibrahim did not want to modify the "We Owe" document. He provided verbal assurance that I could come back at my convenience and they would repair the scratches and make it look as good as new. He also said that his Sales Manager B. Hailstone was aware of the situation and agreed to take care of the issue free of charge. I photo documented scratches.
2017/12/30 SAT - Email received from Salesmen K. Ibrahim "Introduction To Our Service Department At Safford Fiat Of Tysons Corner." I sent an email reply to Salesman K. Ibrahim to inquire about making arrangements for repairing the scratches on the bumper cover among other things. No response.
2018/01/04 THU - Email sent to Salesmen K. Ibrahim, Sales Manager B. Hailstone and General Manager I. Javed expressing my disappointment at not receiving a timely response to my 2017/12/30 email. I requested the dealership not email me further if they cannot be bothered to provide me with the courtesy of a reply to my email messages. Hours later I received a second copy of the same form email from Salesmen K. Ibrahim "Introduction To Our Service Department At Safford Fiat Of Tysons Corner." No response to the issues raised in my previous two messages. Attempted to reach Salesman K. Ibrahim via telephone. There was no answer and he did not setup a voicemail box to receive messages.
2018/01/08 MON (450 mi) - Attempted to reach Salesman K. Ibrahim via telephone. There was no answer and he did not setup a voicemail box to receive messages. Called back again and asked to speak to Sales Manager B. Hailstone. I was told he was unavailable. I was connected to Pre-Owned Car Manager R. Zybala and left a message with him to give to Salesman K. Ibrahim asking for a return phone call. No response from Salesman K. Ibrahim. I cold called dealer Service Advisor M. Binns and left a voicemail message. Service Advisor M. Binns returned my phone call and I was able to schedule an appointment to get the scratches repaired on 2018/01/10.
2018/01/10 WED (585 mi) - Car was brought back to selling dealer for repair of scratches to rear bumper cover. Service Advisor M. Binns asked for "We Owe" document to authorize repair of scratches. I told him that I was not provided with one and that he would have to speak to sales department to straighten things out. Sales Advisor M. Binns agreed to proceed with repair. On-premise detailer hand washed car and used polishing machine to buff scratches out. Scratches still visible at certain angles under certain lighting conditions, but 90% improvement. Repair is not like new condition but is satisfactory. My car was looking so good I photo documented it outside of service facility. I did not notice the condition at that time, but as soon as I returned home from the dealership, I noticed a paint blemish (discoloration) on trunk lid. I photo documented the paint blemish. Called Service Advisor M. Binns on telephone and left voicemail message to notify him about the condition and asked him for a call back to discuss repair options. Upon review of photos taken earlier that afternoon outside of service facility I could see the blemish. Once you see it you cannot unsee it.
2018/01/11 THU (594 mi) - Sent email to Service Advisor M. Binns along with photo documentation of paint blemish. He replied via email that vehicle would need to be brought back to dealership for them to see it in person and that I needed to schedule a service appointment to do so as all paint related warranty claims need pre-approval from the manufacturer. That same day I called Service Advisor M. Binns to schedule appointment but he was not available. I spoke with Service Manager B. Huff about paint blemish and scheduled a service appointment for 2018/01/12 for inspection and documentation for warranty claim pre-approval. Received telephone call from Alfa Romeo Premium Care customer service representative congratulating me on the purchase of my new car.
2018/01/12 FRI (722 mi) - Vehicle brought to selling dealer for service inspection of paint blemish. Service Manager B. Huff agreed there was a discoloration in the paint. Service & Collision Manager J. Taylor asked permission to take vehicle to dealer owned body shop located off-premises to get professional opinion of their painter. When he returned with vehicle, J. Taylor indicated the painter felt it was a factory defect as the issue was under the clear coat and could not be repaired by cleaning or polishing. Service Manager B. Huff photo documented the paint blemish and said that he would submit the warranty claim pre-approval request to the manufacturer and that he should receive a response within a few days.
2018/01/15 MON (800 mi) - Received telephone call from Service Manager B. Huff indicating manufacturer had agreed to repair the paint blemish on the trunk under warranty free of charge. I scheduled an appointment to drop the car off on 2018/01/22 early in the morning on my way to work.
2018/01/22 MON (1,094 mi) - Called Service Manager B. Huff and left voicemail message to reschedule the vehicle drop-off for later that same day as I had a conflict early in the morning. Dropped the car off around 12 noon and received a ride from dealership to nearby Enterprise rental car agency as this dealership has no customer loaner cars. I was informed by Enterprise agent that Alfa Romeo policy for rental cars provided under warranty claim process requires they provide FCA vehicle if one is available. My choices were a Dodge Caravan or a Jeep Patriot. Both options are disappointing. I chose the Jeep.
2018/01/24 WED - Received voicemail from Alfa Romeo Premium Care informing me that dealership was washing my vehicle, the paint job has been completed and that they would check it out and do a quality check to make sure that the blemish was correctly repaired and that since they dealer was already at the car wash stage of the repair I should expect a phone call later today or perhaps tomorrow advising me that the vehicle is ready for pick up.
2018/01/25 THU - Called Service Manager B. Huff and left voicemail message requesting a status update. Received a telephone call back but I was unavailable to answer. B. Huff left me a voicemail message indicating the car had been painted and that they still had to install the trunk badges/ emblems and that the car won't be ready for pick up today, but should be ready for pick up tomorrow.
2018/01/26 FRI - Received telephone call from Service Manager B. Huff informing me that my car was ready for pick up. When I arrived at the dealership I could see my car in the parking lot and immediately identified several apparent quality issues with the repaint. Spoke with Service Advisor M. Binns and expressed my dissatisfaction with the apparent flaws in the refinish: clear coat chipping and peeling away in left corner of trunk, dry buffing compound residue all along edges of trunk, around tail lamp assemblies, across the center of the Alfa Romeo badge, wear to the upper left hand corner of trunk mounted tail lamp assembly near damaged clearcoat (appears to be from buffing machine), swirl marks across trunk and rear fenders. I told Service Advisor M. Binns I could not accept the car back in that condition as the quality of work was unacceptable. Service Advisor M. Binns told me to keep the rental car and he would contact the Body Shop Manager and get back to me with an update on how they plan to address my concerns.
2018/01/29 MON - Received voicemail message from Service Advisor M. Binns that dealer has begun rework on the trunk lid to address quality issues. Said car has been prepared for paint, badges/ emblems have been removed and it will be repainted tomorrow and completed on Wednesday and to call him or email him with any questions.
2018/01/30 TUE - Sent email message to Service Advisor M. Binns reiterating my disappointment about the poor quality paint job the dealer wanted me to accept on 2018/01/26 FRI and my expectations for their 2nd repair attempt that is estimated to be completed on 2018/02/01 WED. Received telephone call from Alfa Romeo Premium Care asking if I'd had a chance to pick up my car at the dealership yet. Customer service representative expressed disappointment that she hadn't received an update from the dealership yet. So I filled her in on the saga so far. She apologized and said she would contact the dealership to inquire about the situation.
2018/01/31 WED - Received email from Service Advisor M. Binns that said he has received confirmation from the body shop that the repainting has been completed and that detail guy has started washing the vehicle in preparation for quality inspection. Received telephone call from Alfa Romeo Premium Care informing me that once again the paint job (2nd refinish attempt) did not meet the dealership's quality standards and that it was going back into the body shop for a 3rd refinish attempt. She said she would call me on Friday with an update. Then I received an email message from Service Advisor M. Binns saying that the car did not pass QC today and they are working on it again today and he will follow up with me again tomorrow 2018/02/01 THU. Additionally, I called Mopar Vehicle Protection for assistance in explaining my ALFA ROMEO PREMIUM CARE - 39 MONTHS service contract as it did not appear to cover all of the items that Finance Director J. Poling sold to me. The Mopar Vehicle Protection customer service representative confirmed that my service contract did not include all scheduled maintenance and rental car coverage, which is contrary to what was sold to me. She indicated I had to contact Finance Director J. Poling for further assistance. Unfortunately, Finance Director J. Poling used all electronic documents during the sales process and gave me no paperwork that would allow me to confirm the details of what he showed me on the tabletop computer screen was the same plan that I actually received.
2018/02/01 THU - I called Finance Director J. Poling to discuss my concerns with the Mopar Vehicle Protection plan provisions I received. He said that he would contact his corporate representatives to understand why the plan provisions I received do not represent the plan features that he sees through his dealer-only interface. I sent him an email containing my plan provisions and a screenshot of what it looks like when I log into www.mopar.com and view my Mopar Vehicle Protection plan details so that he could compare and contrast them with what he understands should be included in the ALFAPROT39 plan that I purchased. Finance Director J. Poling called me back and left a voicemail message talking about plan exclusions for maintenance related only to tire/wheel balancing and mounting hardware.
2018/02/02 FRI - I called Service Manager B. Huff and left a voicemail message requesting a status update. I called Alfa Romeo Premium Care customer service and asked for an update on my case. They had no update on estimated completion date of warranty repairs and could provide no details on why there has been continued delay. They also said all they can do is reiterate to me whatever the dealer tells them and they have no ability to raise issues with anyone at FCA like a District Service Manager. I expressed my disappointment that the only way to elevate concerns to corporate beyond the customer service representative was through the dealership themselves. I called Service Advisor M. Binns and asked for a status update. He said he didn't have an update but would contact the body shop and get back to me in a few minutes with a status update. He did not.
2018/02/03 SAT - I visited the dealer unannounced and spoke with Service Advisor M. Binns. I asked to see my car in person to check on status of work being performed. I expressed my disappointment at the body shop's repeated failed repair attempts and the apparent the lack of urgency to repair my car promptly and correctly as no one was working on my car that day. I told him that if I was Service & Collision Manager J. Taylor I would expect my employees to work overtime to correct their mistakes. Service Advisor M. Binns expressed hope that the car would be completed on 2018/02/05 MON. I also spoke with Finance Director J. Poling to follow up on his voicemail message from 2018/02/01 THU. I told him that plan exclusions are not the same as plan provisions and that I need to see something in writing that indicates coverage options in detail. He logged into the Mopar Vehicle Protection plan website for dealers and showed me what he sees when he looks up information for the ALFAPROT39 plan. I told him that none of that information is conveyed to me, the customer. He said he understands my concerns but has not yet heard back from his corporate representative yet. I also gave him the CliffNotes version of my saga at the service department with the scratched bumper repair and the factory paint blemish on the trunk lid. He said he'd mention it to all the dealer managers at the weekly Monday morning managers meeting.
2018/02/05 MON - Received email from Service Advisor M. Binns, "Everything on your vehicle is complete. Now we are doing a final cleaning, installing decals, and will be ready for pick up tomorrow mid day."
2018/02/06 TUE (1,097 mi) - Received email from Service Advisor M. Binns, "Your vehicle is complete and ready for pick up!" Also received voicemail message indicating the same. Upon arrival at dealership I inspected the vehicle and was dissatisfied with the quality of the warranty repair. I was promised 2-3 days turnaround. Instead, it took the dealer more than 2 weeks and they repainted my trunk 3 TIMES! and it's still not perfect. There is flaking clearcoat along the left edge of the trunk lid and the Q4 badge was installed in the wrong location. Basically, I traded one problem for another. The dealer had the gall to tell me that the paint job comes with a lifetime warranty. What good is that if they can't even get it right the first 3 times!? The situation has deteriorated to the point where I decided to cut my losses and accept the sub-standard warranty repair in order to get my car back. 2+ weeks in a Jeep Patriot rental car had me calling mercy. At least I got a free BIC disposable cigarette lighter out of the deal that some dealership employee left behind in my car.
2018/02/07 WED - Received email and voicemail message from Alfa Romeo Premium Care customer service representative Dayanara inquiring about my satisfaction with the repair. She said she would leave my case open until 2018/02/12 MON so that I have time to provide feedback if necessary.
2018/02/12 MON - Emailed back and forth with Alfa Romeo Premium Care customer service representative Dayanara about my dissatisfaction with the warranty repair that Safford Alfa Romeo of Vienna attempted to perform. She asked me if she can help in any way assisting in getting me to a different dealership and she offered me two $100 promotional codes to purchase merchandise at the Alfa Romeo Store www.shopalfaromeousa.com. I thanked her for the promotional codes and asked her for assistance in getting my car to Alfa Romeo of Washington DC (Sterling VA) dealer to perform the warranty repair on my trunk lid paint finish that Safford was unable to complete to a satisfactory level.
2018/02/13 TUE - Alfa Romeo Premium Care customer service representative Dayanara sent me an email message saying that she reached out to Alfa Romeo of Washington DC (Sterling VA) as I had requested and set up a provisional appointment with Service Advisor J. Pollack. She said their next availability will be sometime within the next week or two. I was advised that I was on the list for the next available Alfa Romeo Giulia loaner vehicle that way I do not have to worry about any hassles with a rental. Dayanara provided them my phone number and she said they will be calling me directly to set up the exact appointment date and time. Dayanara said she explained to Service Advisor J. Pollack what happened with the previous dealership and they are more than happy to assist me. With the exact appointment date TBD she said she will have to close out the case and whenever I have the date set I can give her a call directly and she would gladly continue to assist me.
2018/02/ - I spoke with Alfa Romeo of Washington DC (Sterling VA) Service Advisor J. Pollack on the telephone and reiterated what had occurred at the previous dealership. He said he understood and would be happy to assist me. He gave an indication that there was two customers ahead of me in line waiting for the loaner car and that he would keep me apprised of the situation.
2018/03/ - I called Alfa Romeo of Washington DC (Sterling VA) Service Advisor J. Pollack on the telephone to inquire about the status of the loaner car availability so we could schedule the warranty repairs for my trunk lid paint.
2018/03/28 WED (3,113 mi) - Upon leaving my work parking garage the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) lower pressure warning illuminated on the Instrument Panel Display indicating my right (passenger) rear tire had only 10psi. I immediately turned around and returned to my work parking garage to inflate the tire. Pumped it up to 50psi and continue on my trip to visit family in Delaware. On my way there I called Johnson Alfa Romeo of Annapolis to ask if they could assist me with a tire replacement as I suspected I had a puncture. Service Advisor D. Orr said he would do some research and call me back. Meanwhile, I continued to monitor the affected tire's inflation pressure on the Infotainment screen. I was just minutes away from the dealership when Service Advisor D. Orr called me back to tell me they did not have a replacement tire in stock but they could get one the next day. I asked them if they could take a quick look at it to see if the root cause of the air leak was something evident. They agreed and identified a large screw had punctured the tire. By this time the tire pressure had fallen to 32psi. I bought an 12V tire inflation pump and inflated the tire to 50psi again and continued on my journey to Delaware, monitoring the affected tire's inflation pressure on the Infotainment screen the whole time.
2018/03/29 THU (3,293 mi) - I received a telephone call from Johnson Alfa Romeo of Annapolis Service Advisor D. Orr indicating my replacement tire had arrived. I scheduled an appointment to have the tire installed the same day at 3pm. By this time the tire pressure had fallen to 28psi. I pumped the tire to 50psi again and embarked on my journey to Johnson Alfa Romeo of Annapolis where they replaced my tire.
2018/04/09 MON - Received telephone call from Alfa Romeo of Washington DC (Sterling VA) Service Advisor J. Pollack informing me that a loaner car is available. I called him back and scheduled an appointment to drop my car off for repair and retrieve the loaner car at 8am the next day.
2018/04/10 TUE - Dropped my car off at Alfa Romeo of Washington DC (Sterling VA) for warranty repair to trunk lid paint and also hood latch release mechanism needed adjustment as hood was very difficult to open. Picked up 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia loaner car.
2018/04/13 FRI - Received telephone call from Alfa Romeo of Washington DC (Sterling VA) Service Advisor J. Pollack informing me that FCA Warranty Administration had denied the warranty claim for the rework of my trunk lid paint. He asked me if I had been in touch recently with Alfa Romeo Premium Care customer service. I told him no but forwarded him my last email communications with Alfa Romeo Premium Care customer service representative Dayanara including her direct dial telephone number.
2018/04/16 MON - Received telephone call from Alfa Romeo of Washington DC (Sterling VA) Service Advisor J. Pollack informing me that he had called and left a message with Alfa Romeo Premium Care customer service representative Dayanara on 2018/04/13 FRI but that he had not heard back from her yet. I told him that I had not communicated with her either. I then called Alfa Romeo Premium Care customer service representative Dayanara and left a message expressing my concern. She called me back and we had a conversation about the status of the warranty claim and the possibility that I might have to go back to Safford Alfa Romeo of Vienna to address the unsatisfactory warranty repair. I told her that was very displeasing and that I did not want to go do business with them ever again and that the improper warranty repair was just one of several reasons why I was dissatisfied with Safford Alfa Romeo of Vienna. She said she understood and agreed with me that would not be a satisfactory resolution. She said that her boss was in a meeting but she would attempt to speak with him today to formulate a resolution.
Number of visits to service department for warranty issues: 6 (2018/01/12 FRI, 2018/01/22 MON, 2018/01/26 FRI, 2018/02/03 SAT, 2018/02/06 TUE, 2018/04/10 TUE)
Number of visits to service department for non-warranty issues: 3 (2018/01/10 WED, 2018/03/28 WED, 2018/03/29 THU)
Days out of service for warranty issues (not including Sundays): 23 (2018/01/10 WED, 2018/01/12 FRI, 2018/01/22 MON, 2018/01/23 TUE, 2018/01/24 WED, 2018/01/25 THU, 2018/01/26 FRI, 2018/01/27 SAT, 2018/01/29 MON, 2018/01/30 TUE, 2018/01/31 WED, 2018/02/01 THU, 2018/02/02 FRI, 2018/02/03 SAT, 2018/02/05 MON, 2018/02/06 TUE, 2018/04/10 TUE, 2018/04/11 WED, 2018/04/12 THU, 2018/04/13 FRI, 2018/04/14 SAT, 2018/04/16 MON, 2018/04/17 TUE)
Days out of service for non-warranty issues (not including Sundays): 3 (2018/01/10 WED, 2018/03/28 WED, 2018/03/29 THU)