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It Deserves Better Service - 2015 Dodge Viper GT Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 9,857
edited November 2015 in Dodge
imageIt Deserves Better Service - 2015 Dodge Viper GT Long-Term Road Test

Our service experiences with the 2015 Dodge Viper GT are unimpressive so far. It deserves more.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • daryleasondaryleason TexasPosts: 501
    I've got to disagree with you on the whole "It's a Viper, so it should be special" line of thinking. That's a euphemism for "It's me, so I think I should be special." It's a Chrysler/Dodge/Ram/Jeep Dealership. They sell everything from stripped down Darts to the Viper. While the Viper might be prestigious, the company moves a lot more of the Darts than it does Vipers. Telling customers that the level of service they receive is dependent on the cost of their car will be a killer for brand loyalty. First come, first served makes sense. Granted, it's a Chrysler product, so odds are, they should probably have a larger staff for the Service Department.
    As for the first dealership's scheduling, I'd have asked to speak to the manager. If they were just dropping it off, they were going to keep it for two days, and then you were going to get it back, there's no reason why it would have mattered what time you dropped it off. Someone screwed up somewhere down the line.
    Chrysler's Service Quality has gotten dinged though, rightfully so, for their service lately. I know a friend of mine has a Ram 2500 Laramie with the Extended Service Plan. It's been nothing but a headache for him dealing with the ESP anytime he's had a warranty claim.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,869
    I agree 100% the level of service must math the level of the market the vehicle is positioned at. Viper is positioned and sold as a luxury item performance vehicle. Red carpet service is expected.
    Major league sports understands and delivers tiers of service based on the buyers willingness to pay. Go to a Bears game and pay for an entry level ticket you have commensurate experience, pay for a luxury box suite and you have a commensurate level of service. Of course, everyone is at the same stadium and sees the same game.
    FCA can do better.
  • 5vzfe5vzfe Posts: 161
    I like the idea of an exotic car with a non-premium badge. It allows the automaker to showcase their potential without a fancy badge to give any presumptions about how the vehicle should be. So the Dodge Vioer getting serviced a a dealer is interesting - should it be treated better since it's more expensive and special relative to the other vehicles in the bay - or should it just get lumped in with the other cars that have the brand logo? I think a little of both - it's very different than anything else dodge sells, so that should give it special attention, but it's also not a luxury dealership (despite how incredibly expensive Rams and other full size trucks can become once optioned - good lord)
  • daryleasondaryleason TexasPosts: 501
    edited November 2015
    @5vzfe : I agree with what you're getting at. So why don't we curve the viewpoint a little. Let's say that Chrysler (or whatever their name is right now) says "Buying the Viper includes an expedited service policy standard". FCA could offer an "expedited service package" for all of their models, but make it standard on the higher end vehicles. The analogy about the stadium tickets that @moparbad mentioned almost could be applied, except for one thing. The tickets are a receipt of a service that you purchased. The Viper is a product that you purchased. Not a guarantee of being treated special by the dealership or anyone else. The blowback on thinking that just because the Viper or one of FCA's other higher-end priced cars should jump the line could be significant. Upset one viper owner, and the fall-out won't be nearly as bad as consistently bumping every other car because they aren't the premium models. Car dealerships, in general, already get nailed on their price gouging (self-inflicted, but still there) when it comes to the Service Department. And the length of the wait gets them too, as this article referred to. Couple that with someone going "Hey, I dropped off my Avenger for a Service Call, they told me it'd take a day, but I found out they bumped me for a Viper and one of those Luxo-trucks that the posers drive, so now it'll be three days" and fifty people will chime in about how FCA doesn't care about the customers that are their bread and butter.
  • Meeting the higher service expectations of people who've bought a $100k (in 2015 money) automobile is a key reason why the Japanese Big Three created new brand marquees in the 80s for their luxury cars. Toyota, for example, knew they weren't going to lure many Mercedes S class buyers into a Lexus LS if they forced them to wait in line with Corolla drivers.
  • Glenn E Thomas messed up my Wrangler big time. It needed three visits with them to repair/replace the defective cylinder head that the 2012 and on V6 is notorious for. 1st visit - replace the head. Ok. Took it home. Leaking oil everywhere - the 'tech' had started to remove the wrong head, then forgot to tighten that down before removing the correct head.
    2nd visit - to fix what they messed up in the first visit. Took it home. Coolant leak.
    3rd visit - to fix the coolant leak they had created. Returned it with a vibration behind the dash that they cannot hear.. Gave up on that dealership.

    Be thankful your problem is with a receptionist eating french fries.
  • I don't think they are implying that they should get preferential treatment but were referring to the overall lack of knowledge dealers have about the Viper. Yes it is a FCA product like the Dart but the Dart is not the flagship of the brand. The flag represents the best vehicle the company can build. All of their best put into one package. And it, and the owner who paid for it, should be treated with the respect that comes with it. Lexus service is, of course, far better than what you would get at a Toyota dealer; but when a Lexus LFA shows up for service everything is taken to another level. Even bringing out the service manual and several technicians just to do an oil change.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Posts: 1,021
    At least (as far as we know) the tech wasn't looking for the engine in the trunk.
  • ek900ek900 Posts: 39
    I have to say, it's not just Viper owners who feel like you do. We have a 2015 Dodge Journey and love the car. It's perfectly sized for us and well designed. But with this car, and the Jeep we had before this, we just dreaded any need to go to the dealer for service. Getting an appointment was an exercise in itself, and there is simply nothing confidence-inspiring about the quality of service or customer care provided.

    FCA has a lot of more compelling products these days. They need to work to get service up to that level.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,869
    Finding FCA dealers that hire techs with IQs greater than room temperature can be a challenge...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,452
    Consumers won't pay the prices that would have to be charged to have engineers working as technicians and besides even they would have to tolerate being treated as the above comment suggests.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,869
    I don't believe that it requires an engineering degree to ascertain that a Viper has a front mounted engine- or to determine that a hatch strut mount can be repaired without cutting a fist-sized hole in the internal sheetmetal.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

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