TL;DR : Buy an Alfa from somewhere else. Or don’t buy an Alfa.
Last year Poonam and I decided to switch things up a bit and look at the Alfa Romeo Guilia instead of the usual BMW route. It was mostly my idea and to be honest, I really love the car. It’s a great product with stylish design and we ended up picking it up from LA.
Fast forward a year, I took it to Alfa Romeo of San Diego for it’s 1 year servicing. A super mundane oil change, included under the standard FCA lease contract. I set up an appointment and took the car to Alfa Romeo of San Diego. When I showed up, the service guy claimed some clerical error (denied by the Alfa dealership in LA) and kept mentioning he was “doing me a favor” by servicing my Alfa. I ignore that the first few times but by the 4th “favor” time I’m like “favor or doing the job/conducting business?”. Joel Golliday (Service Director) jumps in and very rudely dropped my service papers from eye level to his desk saying I can just go away or pay for the service myself. He was rude, aggressive – completely unfit to interact with customers or handle situations. His rudeness clearly indicates some self-esteem issues so while I felt sorry for him, I glossed past that and we reached an agreement to have my oil change only after I apologized for not being grateful in accepting the huge favor bestowed upon me by the service guys. Yeah, over a $50-100 oil change, due to a claimed clerical error between FCA and the dealerships! Right? Anyway, at home, I told my wife we should avoid that dealership and possibly Alfa Romeo. We spoke about how vastly different customer service is between Alfa and BMW over dinner and continued with our busy lives. Some days later, Alfa Romeo (FCA) sent us a survey and we were honest in our review.
The end of it, right? Nopes! Guess who calls me up this morning, harassing me for an “explanation” for the review in an aggressive manner? Ta-da – it’s Joel “I got issues” Golliday! I told him the entire experience was dominated by his rude and aggressive behavior. I think the poor guy has a complete blind-spot to his behavioral issues as we ended the call with him telling me I’m no longer welcome to do business with them. Joel, buddy, a few words of wisdom. If someone presented you the best steak in the world, topped with shit, what are you going to remember of that presentation? The steak or the shit?
I really wouldn’t be bothered to leave a public yelp review or write on my blog but if you’re considering an Alfa Romeo (the Guilia is fun!) check out BMWs or try another Alfa dealership. Or get ready for some nasty customer service drama, when all you wanted was an oil change.
PS: Joel or anyone from Alfa Romeo of San Diego – please don’t contact me or my wife ever again. FCA North America, you guys are cool, thanks for making the Guilia such a fun car. But please work on your dealership etiquettes.