With all the news about the auto industry, I thought it appropriate to comment on why they are in such a tenuous position. The reasons are simple, failure to look ahead and poor customer service. Enough has been said about their failure over the past twenty years to plan for the long term. But what about customer service? I’d like to share an experience I had with GM.

A few years ago, I drove a Chevy Blazer. It was a fun to drive, except when something needed to be fixed – which tended to be quite often.  On one particular occasion, my fuel gauge went out and I took it to my trusted mechanic. After checking the car I was told… “No problem, the fuel sensor just needs to be changed and the part costs about $30”. Great… I thought. My mechanic then told me…. “Oh by the way, GM put the entire sensor in the fuel tank. So, we’re going to have to drop the fuel tank, empty it out, replace the sensor and then put the tank back on”. Total cost…. $700+! My mechanic suggested not having it done and just use my odometer as my fuel gauge.

I felt…. abused. My mechanic told me that part of the sensor (the part that usually breaks) could have been placed on the outside of the tank. Why then would someone at GM put the entire unit IN the fuel tank? I don’t know for sure… but what I thought was… it was a convenient way for them to make some money when it needed to be replaced. Unfortunately, this is not the excepetion. Ask your mechanic about how GM cars were designed, and you’ll get an earful. I hesistated to write about this, but found this to be a common problem for the Blazer that was well documented in user forums on the Internet.

Bottom line…. never, ever – try to take advantage of your customers. Give them the absolute best product you can, and don’t look to nickel and dime them on every little thing that you think you can get away with. Bad practices will catch up to you eventually. It did for GM, Ford and Chrysler!

All the best!
All the time!