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This is a discussion on How to check VON number? within the Everyday Impreza Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; It makes a lot of unnecessary work for a lot of already overworked people along the way, and the mass ...

  1. #16
    ClubWRX.net Vendor rexxx0486's Avatar
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    It makes a lot of unnecessary work for a lot of already overworked people along the way, and the mass effect is that Subaru has to devote more resources to dealing with impatient people that could be spent on getting you your car faster. Not to mention the lack of concise information is bound to drive you nuts. Sorry to be blunt but I hate "where's my car" calls halfway through the expected order time. If your car is late I will bust my ass trying to get you info on its whereabouts, but there's no need for it before then. I do agree that there should be a tracking number that works though.
    Last edited by rexxx0486; 09-11-2012 at 02:31 PM.
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  3. #17
    Administrator RayfieldsWRX's Avatar
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    Sorry, but I'm the kind of person that might make that call. I've learned through experience that many companies do not follow through and let you know when something's gone wrong or is running behind. I feel no remorse at all about calling someone that's supposed to be in customer service and getting a "status update" for something that will cost me many thousands of dollars. I actually did this on Monday...called the guy in Cali that's building my buggy project engine to see how things were going. Guess what? He's behind his quoted schedule by a week or so. He didn't call me...I had to call him. It's all good, but it's helpful info for me in planning my next few weekends. I've also noticed, over the years, that by becoming the "squeaky wheel", my order will get a bit more attention than others. Psychology at work, right?

    I work in a position that has some customer-facing elements to it...in fact, I wind up with a number of the "pissed-off customer" calls. It can certainly be a challenge sometimes to put yourself in their place...but it goes with the territory.
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  4. #18
    and the Funky Bunch Calvinball's Avatar
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    Meh, that's what they have customer service reps for. Perhaps having extra calls about order status might necesitate extra reps, but the flip side is that good customer service can generate more business, so it evens out.
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    Re: How to check VON number?

    Exactly. And overworked? I hardly feel sympathy for the customer service reps whose sole job description is to answer the phone and who exist on a steady diet of 9-5s, 5 days a week.

    Some of us work a whole hell of a lot more than that and juggle very busy personal and professional schedules with inordinate amounts of travel. Having an expensive purchase arrive early can cause just as much logistical problems as having it arrive late as plans have to made in advance.

    Mind you, I don't call every day, but forgive me for not shedding a lot of tears for the 'overworked' customer service folk. After all, they have had to put up with me for a cumulative total of 4 minutes spread over the 2 phone calls I have made in the last 4 weeks.

    Not at all too much to ask considering the 100k+ I have spent on Subarus in the last 3 years.


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  6. #20
    Registered User Aggie Subaru's Avatar
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    Totally agree with the previous 3 responses! I have 0 sympathy. I just purchased a car from the dealer, why shouldn't the dealer work for me until the car gets here?? And by "work", I mean getting on the computer for 12 seconds to look up my order. I have spent around $85k on Subaru over the past 3 months, (some I am getting back in trade), so, ya, take my phone calls as they come.

  7. #21
    Administrator RayfieldsWRX's Avatar
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    Exactly. And overworked? I hardly feel sympathy for the customer service reps whose sole job description is to answer the phone and who exist on a steady diet of 9-5s, 5 days a week.
    Eh, I won't go that far with it. Customer service can be quite stressful at times. If enough, demanding, hostile people call or confront you in a day, it does take a toll on your well-being.
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  8. #22
    Registered User Aggie Subaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayfieldsWRX View Post
    Eh, I won't go that far with it. Customer service can be quite stressful at times. If enough, demanding, hostile people call or confront you in a day, it does take a toll on your well-being.

    I agree with this totally, but I do my best to try and not add to their stress. I am super nice over the phone and am on and off.

    "Hey John, just wanted to check the status of my car............wait.................ok thanks so much! Bye."

  9. #23
    and the Funky Bunch Calvinball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayfieldsWRX View Post
    Eh, I won't go that far with it. Customer service can be quite stressful at times. If enough, demanding, hostile people call or confront you in a day, it does take a toll on your well-being.
    Having done my fair share of customer service, and being someone that often gets unsolicited compliments for their patience, and definitely agree with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie Subaru View Post
    Totally agree with the previous 3 responses! I have 0 sympathy. I just purchased a car from the dealer, why shouldn't the dealer work for me until the car gets here?? And by "work", I mean getting on the computer for 12 seconds to look up my order. I have spent around $85k on Subaru over the past 3 months, (some I am getting back in trade), so, ya, take my phone calls as they come.
    I got the impression when I was in the "ordered but where is it?" stage that:

    1. Subaru just doesn't have the infrastructure to adequately answer these questions (e.g. a tracking system of UPS sophistication)

    and 2. that there definitely was no clear policy on how these questions should be answered amongst the customer service reps. (i.e. how much info to give the customer, how/when to notify of status changes, etc)
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  10. #24
    Registered User Aggie Subaru's Avatar
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    I have heard that they can tell you things like, "on assembly line", "on boat", "on train", "on truck"... I would be fine with this... I think this is plenty information to tell you what you need to know.

    I just ordered my car this past weekend and I plan to make my first call after 1 month. This will just be in an effort to see if things are early by any chance. If not I will probably call every 2 weeks after that. I make no plans on bombarding them with calls.

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    Re: How to check VON number?

    Quote Originally Posted by RayfieldsWRX View Post
    Eh, I won't go that far with it. Customer service can be quite stressful at times. If enough, demanding, hostile people call or confront you in a day, it does take a toll on your well-being.
    I do more than my fair share of customer service and warranty work and yeah, it can be seriously taxing. It wasn't fair of me to lump the 1 minute 'do I have VIN' types of calls in with the irate customer calls.

    The former should be expected and embraced as it is an indication that people are jonesing for Subaru's cars!

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  12. #26
    ClubWRX.net Vendor rexxx0486's Avatar
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    Ok let me clarify a bit... I'm not talking about calling once or twice to check status, I can relate to that. I'm talking about calling 2 days after you place your order, and then a week later, and then 7 more times before your car comes in. I have had plenty of customers who called SOA 10+ times! at that point you are just frustrating yourself and most certainly using more company resources than you need to. Maybe that's not you guys, but I assure you, there are some who just seem to have nothing better to do than harass Subaru corporate and thier dealer daily. I'm talking well before there is any need to. Calvinball is dead on:
    "1. Subaru just doesn't have the infrastructure to adequately answer these questions (e.g. a tracking system of UPS sophistication)
    and 2. that there definitely was no clear policy on how these questions should be answered amongst the customer service reps. (i.e. how much info to give the customer, how/when to notify of status changes, etc)"
    I'd say if you want to check on your order that is fine, but wait till week 5-6 or they wont know anything anyway. I think 3 calls inside of 8 weeks is reasonable. More than that and your wheel is a bit too squeaky. If it's been longer than 8 weeks I think you should call as much as you want at that point, those are the orders I would like to see the manpower devoted to.
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  13. #27
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    I think the real issue stems from the fact that other manufacturers are much better at updating purchases of cars that are 'ordered' than Subaru. This is obviously a thing that Subaru is rather bad at right now, and it could, over time, deter customers.

    My personal situation is that I ordered the car on July 14th, and 8 weeks later, when I call my dealer and SNA, I get the standard "we have no means of checking on that for you". That's not really acceptable for a large corporation on what I would call 'special or specific orders'.

    For instance, I was constantly updated via email when I ordered my MS3. Admittedly, the dates were eventually wrong, but it was, in my opinion, a mark of good customer service (i.e. it showed mazda 'cared', even though we know none of these corporations really do). Furthermore, calling the desire to know how something that I ordered is coming along 'childish' is rather arrogant sounding, (remind me never to buy from you if that's your opinion of good customer service). I have organized my life & plans around certain dates that were given to me, and a phone call or two (or 3 or even 50) is acceptable to verify that things are still on track. Furthermore, if you buy something, you have the right to know how and where it is coming along - particularly when it's my money you have upfront (and therefore developing interest on I'll never see).

    It's not just other car manufacturers that do this either. From an architectural/building point of view, when you order windows/doors/equipment and pay in full, the manufacturer is obligated to inform you of the status and location of your order and purchase (this has to do with insurance requirements, but it is still required by the manufacturer per law). Admittedly cars are a touch different (they are usually financed), but I don't think it is unreasonable or childish to think when you drop $30K+ on a car you could get automated emails 1 time per week with a generic update over an 8-week build cycle. That would take a person 15 seconds to set up for a client - my 5 person architectural firm can handle it for the 100s of projects we do per year, subaru can do it for their cars if they thought it was important. Subaru has somehow managed to do it for maintenance (customer driven, admittedly), so why not use this site already for build status so you can develop a 'life of' type of website?
    Last edited by TankerTruck; 09-14-2012 at 08:34 AM.

  14. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikr View Post
    Someone mentioned a Domino's pizza-like update system online....that would be so awesome. Jim-Jim is installing the door panel, John is installing the headlights.
    I can already hear the bitching this would cause... "They have been installing my bumpers for 3 days; do they need me to come out there and turn a wrench..."

  15. #29
    ClubWRX.net Vendor rexxx0486's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Californicater View Post
    I can already hear the bitching this would cause... "They have been installing my bumpers for 3 days; do they need me to come out there and turn a wrench..."
    Lol there are some guys who would just show up with thier tool box
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  16. #30
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    Maybe some checklist? Like 'order received (VON Number issued), on the line, on the road, on the boat, on the road, and at the dealer'? That's pretty simple, could be completely computerized, and would make many people rather happy.

    I personally think the FedEx thing might be a bit too much. Awesome! But too much.

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