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jross

Michigan - Ann Arbor - Sesi Lincoln Mercury Volvo

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Tmcwhaite

Rating: 10

Comments: i was really surprised to see such a poor rating of sesi from michaels carr. i have been there several times with 2 different volvos and have had nothing but exemplary service on each occasion. their technical staff is unrivaled in terms of experience & knowledge. i have been to every volvo dealer in michigan: sesi is tops---bar none.

Michael Carr

Rating: 1

Comments: Following is a letter I recently sent to Volvo customer service concerning SESI: I am contacting you to report a series of very unsatisfactory maintenance services that I recently experienced at my local Volvo dealer. Over the past 27 years, my family has owned numerous Volvos, including three 240 station wagons, a 240 sedan, and three 850 sedans. Needless to say, we've had relationships with many Volvo dealers and service centers. As I take great pride in owning a Volvo and have always been satisfied with interactions at your dealerships, I feel it is important that you are aware of these problems so that they may be resolved within your organization. I currently drive a 1995 Volvo 850 Turbo with an odometer reading of approximately 125,000 miles. On June 12, 2001, I noticed a burning odor and a faint white smoke rising past the windshield. Upon investigation, I was surprised to discover that my Volvo was low approximately three quarts of oil. I replaced the oil and took my vehicle to SESI Lincoln-Mercury-Volvo (2100 Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI 48103) to have the oil loss and burning smell investigated. I explained the problem and asked that the car be evaluated. As I was planning on scheduling a complete brake inspection anyway, I took the opportunity to have this inspection performed while the vehicle was in the shop. Later that day, SESI contacted me by telephone and reported that the car had a cracked cylinder head, which caused the loss of oil and resulted in the burning odor and smoke, and that the rear brake pads were in need of being replaced. The estimated cost was a total of $2,500 for both the cylinder head and brake pad replacements. I agreed to the repairs and retrieved the car seven days later. My invoice indicated a charge of $2,514.22 for the cylinder head and $127.50 for the rear brake pad replacement. On August 12, 2001, I returned to SESI for a scheduled routine oil change ($39.96), to be performed while I waited. After about an hour, I was told that the mechanics had changed the oil in the wrong car and that my scheduled oil change had not yet been performed. I waited another hour and was then told that the oil change was completed and the car was ready. I proceeded across town to return to work, stopping once along the way. Upon starting my vehicle, I noticed that the service light had not been reset. I returned to the dealership to have the light reset and requested a written checklist of the maintenance activities that accompany an oil change. The service manager told me that he had no such written list but verbally explained that the activities included "oil, filter, lube, all fluids, tire pressure, etc." Upon receipt of my vehicle, I proceeded across town, once again, to my workplace. While driving, I discovered that the windshield wiper fluid was completely empty. When I arrived at my workplace, I immediately checked the tire pressures and found them to be 30 lbs on all tires (hot), while the fuel filler door specifies 36 lbs when cold. To avoid another trip across town, I purchased a gallon of windshield wiper fluid and filled the tires myself. The following day, I again detected the burning odor and white smoke I had reported to SESI about two months earlier and paid $2,500.00 to have repaired. Upon closer inspection, I found the smoke to be coming from behind the front right tire. Now suspicious of the local Volvo dealer's quality of maintenance, I took the car to a small repair shop (Muffler Man, located at 2890 Jackson Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48103), whose mechanics uncovered a problem that the SESI mechanics, who had supposedly performed a complete brake system inspection, were unable to find--a simple torn dust boot inside the front right caliper, which was collecting dirt and causing the pad to rub against the rotor, heating it up and creating the burning odor and white smoke. They replaced the front calipers, rotors, and brake pads while I waited. I was then very surprised when the Muffler Man mechanics suggested I should also have the rear brake pads replaced! This was amazing to me since I had just paid SESI almost $130 to replace them only two months earlier! The Muffler Man mechanics pointed out the worn rear brake pads, and I personally measured their thickness to be about that of two pennies. On August 30, 2001, I returned to SESI and brought these issues to their attention. Service Manager Kevin Wood admitted that the rear brake pads had not been replaced and agreed to refund the $127.50 previously paid for the repair. I also made them aware of the shortcomings I discovered with the oil change and they refunded the $39.95 I had paid for it as well. I am quite disappointed by the services provided by my local Volvo dealership. Their performance is at best disorganized and at worst borders on illegal. Not only did they charge me for services they did not perform, but they compromised the safety of my family. Needless to say, I will not be returning to SESI Lincoln-Mercury-Volvo and will advise my friends to avoid their services as well.

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Tmcwhaite

Rating: 10

Comments: i was really surprised to see such a poor rating of sesi from michaels carr. i have been there several times with 2 different volvos and have had nothing but exemplary service on each occasion. their technical staff is unrivaled in terms of experience & knowledge. i have been to every volvo dealer in michigan: sesi is tops---bar none.

Ditto, we've been taking our 3 volvos there for years. They do great work. The shuttle service is excellent, very flexible. One of the staff even takes our cars over there for us (he lives in the area).

A year ago, my 850 radio was misbehaving and had completely drained the battery over night. We had the car towed to the dealership to be checked out. The tow truck guy left the car in neutral and forgot to engage the handbrake (it's a Manual 850). So when he released teh car off the tow, it rolled down the ramp into the side of an employees car. The other car had about $800 worth of damage, mine needed a new rear bumper and some bodywork done around the tail light housing and trim. The tow company was being a real pain in the jerk, not paying for the damages etc. SESI threatened to drop them if they didn't pay up. SESI fixed my car within a week and paid for all the damages. 6 months after the accident they were still trying to get money from the tow company. AFter the tow company FINALLY paid up, SESI dropped them.

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Rating: 0 (worst customer service anywhere, service director Chris Balderrama is a lying conman)

Comments:

The repair on my Volvo XC90 V8 was not done using Volvo OEM parts, and I was lied to many times by service director Chris Balderrama. After taking my XC90 to SESI for tie rod end replacement, I noticed that my steering rack boot was only held on by one small plastic zip tie, and a large but loose zip tie. My original Volvo OEM metal clamps were thrown away. Two service managers who worked for Chris Balderrama told me that they will re-do the work using the correct Volvo metal clamps without any further labor charges. After arriving back at SESI for the 3rd time when the part was finally ready, a service manager assured me that I would not be re-charged for labor. However, after more waiting, the service director Chris Balderrama tells me that I will be charged for a realignment. He would not honor what I had been told by his service managers. He also told me that Volvo authorizes him to use plastic zip ties in lieu of the OEM metal clamps. When requested to see service procedures stating that a plastic zip tie can substitute Volvo's metal clamps, he said he did not have it. Chris Balderrama also said that the non-OEM plastic zip ties were stronger than Volvo's metal clamps. Chris Balderrama said that he will not perform the work his service managers agreed to perform and that there was nothing wrong with his substitution of a plastic zip tie for an OEM metal clamp. At this point, after having wasted many trips and many hours, and been lied to repeatedly like I'm an idiot, I yelled some profanities at Chris Balderrama. Chris Balderrama said for me to never come back to SESI again and threatened to call the police when in reality he fraudulently charged me for improper work not done using OEM Volvo parts. I checked the Volvo factory service manual (VIDA 2010d) and it clearly states for clamps, and not plastic ties, to be used; the part numbers for the proper clamps are clearly given in the service manual as well. I will be taking action to recover my $800 repair bill as well as reporting their fraudulent activities to VCNA and the BBB.

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Thanks for your comments Yue -

If you're in the Ann Arbor area, there are a number of us who can help out if you need it in the future.

Or, let me know if you want another shop recommendation (feel free to PM) - I've got a great place in Ann Arbor that's pricey on the labor but does good work.

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