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Hi,

Apologies if this has been covered recently, I couldn't find a relevant thread.

I'm considering buying a 2012 Sorrento. My online research has turned up a lot of people very happy with the car, but concerningly also quite a number of people who, whether it's a Sorrento or another Kia model, have had "never buy another Kia" horror stories with servicing / warranty claims.

I've read a number of comments where the responsiveness of the Service team was unssatisfactory and when complaints were escalated they were dismissed with an absence of customer service. I'm not shy to kick up a fuss if something is sub-standard and/or the company isn't living up to their part of the bargain, but I'm concerned at the number of reviews where that approach has yielded no success (due to a reported lack of concern on the part of Kia) and owners were left with a car with a faulty part, or were stuck waiting extended periods for a needed part.

So my questions for the forum:
- Are these reviews representative of Kia warranty and servicing and should I be concerned about it when considering my first Kia?
- Are there any happy stories out there (particularly from Melbourne / Werribee / Geelong)?
- Are there any suggestions if I do bite the bullet and buy the Sorrento on how to minimise the risk of poor customer service?

Thanks in advance.

H
 

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It is an issue worth considering Heski. Whilst the design of the new range of Kia's is impressive, some of the finer points are less polished. My experience in purchasing a new Kia Sportage bordered on the bizarre. There appears to be a real disconnect between sales staff, ordering system, and delivery team. For example, when I decided to buy the sportage, Kia had to order the colour that I wanted. They took a deposit, and advised that it would take about 3 weeks for delivery. Then it was 4 weeks, then it was 6 weeks, then they tried to convince me to take the car on their lot, which was not the colour that I wanted.
After about 5 weeks I called the sales rep and he told me that the good news was that it would be delivered in 2 days time. One day later, the delivery rep called to say that the good news was that the car would be delivered in 5 days. I explained that the sales guy advised it would be delivered tomorrow, and she said she didnt know why he would say that..
Anyway, the car finally arrived, MINUS all of the optional extras I had ordered and paid for. The sales lady seemed oblivious that there were any extras on order, and I had to point them out on the receipt. So, I was advised to drop the car off the following week to have the window tinting and tow bar added. At close of business the following week I was informed that the tinting had been applied, but the wrong tow bar had been delivered and could not be attached, and that I would have to wait for the correct tow bar to be delivered, and drop off again for it to be attached.
I have had a couple of other issues with the car (noted in another thread), and just find the customer service a bit sloppy - even down to simple things like not writing the next service date on the windscreen sticker.
KIA should be a highly competitive car manufacturer. They have the design in the bag as the cars look amazing, and their prices is very attractive. Their Achilles heal though is in their customer services and post sales systems and processes.
Good luck
 

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Any dealer of any brand is a problem post service and if they aren't a problem then they are ripping you off with service charges anyway. Find a good, local reputible mechanic to service your car, don't fall for all the stories about needing the dealer computer, it is rubbish in all but a very small percentage of situations, a scan gauge tool will cover most needs. IF you ever hit the circumstance then go to the dealer.

With warranty claims put the fault description in writing & hand over with the keys, don't rely on the receptionist of the department to translate your report and then the service advisor to further translate to the mechanics.

If they knock back your warranty claim for whatever reason be prepared to tell them you will call them back, get in the car and front up at the dealership to inspect the reason why / the parts removed.

I had a dispute with Northern Motor Group Bundoora just last week, but that was my first and only warranty claim on a 3.5 year old car. They won the battle, I won the war as I went elsewhere to buy my new car on Saturday.

So far I am impressed with City Kia's attitude & setup. One thing that stands out is that instead of flashy showrooms with acres of glass and too many cars on the lot they operate out of an old factory / warehouse in Richmond (neat & tidy) and appear to place more emphasis on customer service & price than others. We had a couple of things go our way that did not need to, ie. they went the extra mile & gave us soem straight answers when we needed them - less of the Car Salesman BS than other dealers (of any brand) that I have dealt with.
 

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2004 Carnival, 2.5L KV6 / GV6 / K5 engine
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Dealers & service charges

Some good points Paul. Also this article gives some interesting insights into dealers & service. A quote:

"According to industry insiders and data compiled by audit firm Deloitte, new-car sales typically account for less than 5 per cent of a dealership’s profit, used car sales about 20 per cent, and finance and insurance estimated at 15 to 20 per cent.

That leaves the balance – greater than 50 per cent – coming from the workshop and parts counter."

So little wonder their service charges are high.

And this:

"The internet has been a boon to customers in this regard, with numerous forums dedicated to the best way to avoid being stung."

I can endorse this. Assistance we got on this forum (over on Sedona/Carnival) resulted in a dealer halving a $4k bill. The info provided clearly showed they were grossly overcharging for a repair to our Carnival.

So Heski (& AgeSportAU) I think there's a distinction to be made between the manufacturer and the dealer. And as Paul points out, Kia's dealer network is not much different from any other brand - you are likely to get this kind of rubbish with any brand. (Many more dealers carry multiple brands these days in any case). And manufacturers' oversight of dealers is not what it should be.

Information dissemination via forums like this can do a lot to mitigate some of the excesses.

Cheers,
Peter
 

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Kia Customer service

I have just picked up my new 2013 Sorento after a 3 month wait. After arriving in Perth just before christmas i was told they would rush it through and get it to me ASAP. After another month and daily phone calls and visits to the dealer and lots of excuses it finally arrived. I had a nudge bar fitted to the vehicle and to put the brackets on they hacked away at the grill and cut the ends off it and it looked terrible. Also they forgot to inform me that to fit the nudge bar the front parking sesnsors will not work, they just went ahead and removed them and then incorrectly wired them so they went off everytime you put the car in drive. I took it back to get it fixed and was told that the sensors were after market as the service department wern't aware they are now factory fitted on the platinum. The wiring issue has been fixed and the grill will be getting replaced once they order a new one but i am still not happy as i now have no front parking sensors and am trying to find out if there is another fix to this rather than just disable them.
 
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