A comparison of Infiniti dealers’ service for my FX35… lots of differences

The purpose of this post is to point out the different levels of service success in hopes that all can learn from these episodes… Visits to three Infiniti dealerships resulted in very different results for the same issue. I had plugged in an old charger into the cigarette lighter and blown the fuse for the center stack of the dashboard lighting (all the radio, cabin heating/cooling, and clock illumination failed to illuminate when I turned on the lights…

  1. I ran it by my local independent service technician when I was having some basic work done (about April 1, 2013)… He was unable to find a blown fuse… I believed the next step was to visit a dealership who would know where the two fuse boxes were hidden…
  2. I took it to Beshoff Infiniti in San Jose (not my regular dealer, but far closer, so I just dropped in one afternoon). After two hours, I had a freshly washed FX35, but the problem was unresolved. They suggested that I bring it in at a later date to do some electical diagnostics… Being a troubleshooter for computer systems and networking problems, the suggestion of unqualified ‘diagnostics’ is in the same category as giving them a signed, blank check…
  3. As I prepped for my impending move to the east coast, I put what seemed to be a small issue on the back burner. As I was making my coast to coast trip through New Mexico, I was stopped by one of New Mexico’s finest who suggested that I had no tail lights. Sure enough, the rear brake and turn signals lights we fine, but without them illuminated, my tail was completely dark. Not good. The Officer suggested that I use my emergency flashers until I got to my evening’s destination: Albuquerque. I did a quick search and located a motel near the local Garcia Infiniti and was the first Infiniti into the service department at 7:30am Thursday May 9. Tony greeted me and asked if I had an appointment. I told him that I had called and left a message the previous night, but did not have an appointment. I told him of the urgency of my cross country trip and suggested that I just wanted a quick check of the fuse that powers the tail lights. He told me that I could leave my FX, and stated that although the dealership normally had Saturday hours, that *this* Saturday the service department would be closed. That sounded like this ‘quick check’ was going to take the weekend… (and an unscheduled weekend in Albuquerque was not high on my list). I asked if a call from my Dealer (Bob Ricks at Frontier Infiniti) to his dealer would free up a little emergency triage. Tony looked at me like I had threatened him and suggested that a call between dealers would not change anything. Seeing that I was restricted to daylight driving because of my lack of tail lights, I left and headed to Dallas (my next stop).
  4. During the drive to Dallas I called Bob who suggested that the GM at Sewell Infiniti was a personal friend and that he would send an email to have Sewell expect me first thing the following morning. Indeed I was second in line at 8:00am on May 10th. When I asked the service advisor, Joseph, if he was aware of the email, he stated that he was not, but assured me that he would take care of my needs even without an appointment. Indeed, he listened and understood the urgency. He stated that they would do an $80 diagnostic and report back the findings. Shortly before 10:00am we spoke again and he had included the technician, Rusty who explained that they had indeed found and replaced the offending fuse, and had tested the fuse and found no immediate problem. He also stated that both the power for the center stack *and* for the tail lights *and running lights* were all powered by the same fuse… Damn, I had been driving around for weeks with no tail lights! By 10:30am I was already on the road headed east with my fuse problem behind me.

Having an automotive industry background, I really appreciate the focus, the precision, the sense of urgency and the impeccable customer service at Sewell Infiniti… Thank you Joseph and Rusty for getting me in and out successfully and in a hurry… and thank you Bob for suggesting I go to Sewell in Dallas and sending Rick an email announcing my arrival.

As for the experience at Beshoff and Garcia Infiniti, your service looks poor by comparison… being either unable or unwilling to service a customer with a burnt out fuse. You failed where others shined…

Please let me know what you think…  J

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