Saturday, March 28, 2015

Dear Toyota (or how to screw your customer)

I have to say I use to like the new Prius we got.  Rides nice and gets great mileage. . .

All that ended today. . .

You see we managed to lose the keys to the damn car.  Now I admit losing them is my fault and I am willing to pay a reasonable amount to replace them. . . . the problem is it is a very unreasonable amount that I will have to pay to replace them.

This is a sign of bad engineering or bad customer service, not sure which but both speak very poorly about Toyota.

Now as an Engineer who is involved in new product launches we do an in depth evaluation of what can go wrong as I am sure you do. . . . somewhere in that list MUST have been the customer looses the keys to the car.

Now is where I begin to see the flaw in Toyota.

Knowing that folks would lose the keys you can take steps to make replacement easy on your customer giving them good support.  In a customer focused world I would take ID, my registration and the VIN to the dealer, prove I own it and you would PROGRAM a new key for me . . . for say $100 or so.  Face it circuit boards are cheap and so are these keys. . . I know I make PCBs. . . .

But no, you took the other road.  Instead you make it extremely hard to get a new key.  I will have to have the car towed to the dealer where they need to pull and replace some of the electronics in the car then program two new keys. . . . for about $1000.

What a rip off.  I now see how little you care about the customer in a most painful way.  To think I stretched my ability to get a car so I could buy yours makes me feel like a fool.

Guess that won't happen again.  So congrats to you, you got my money, and soon you will get more for the new keys.  But for this one sale you have given up future sales.  I won't buy another Toyota after this.  I will give someone else a try to see if they support their customers instead.  And I will advise my friends to do the same.


Margery said...

Would you mind saying what model of Prius this applied to? We just bought a 2014 PriusC in February..

JD said...

Prius V but I understand it is similar with any push to start car.