Mar. 1st, 2014 06:29 pm
octothorpe: (neo)
[personal profile] octothorpe
Warning: First World White Boy Problems

As those who follow me on G+ know, I got a letter from the Audi folks the other day. It seems my MY2014 RS5 will be pushed to a MY2015 RS5, which means I won't receive it until July at the earliest. I'm pretty frustrated about this, as I ordered it in December 2013. The dealer had allocation by December 31st, but it never got out of Factory Order Bank. The steps in the process are basically: allocation (the window the dealer has to order specific cars from the factory), factory order bank (the factory acknowledging the order), production order bank (build date/building the car), shipping (on the boat/in port/customs), dealer stock (physically at the dealer for prep/customer pickup). Obviously the delayed time is a problem.

What's a larger problem is the MY2015s haven't been announced yet. The dealers don't have their option books, and there have been no leaks of what they'll change from MY2014 to MY2015. There were subtle differences between MY2013 and MY2014, but no platform switch. MY2015 is a total unknown. year over year, they often tweak trim options and sometimes mechanical features. It's possible (although still unlikely) that MY2015 will bring about the new B9 platform for the Audi 4 and 5 series. This means a total revamp of the body, and an entirely new engine. They will get rid of the high revving naturally aspirated V8 and replace it with a forced-induction V6. Nice, but a large factor in my buying decision was that V8. The other HUGE factor was the sexy-as-fuck body. Simply, the car is a classic. Some of the pulled-out-of-the-arse renderings I've seen of the B9 platform RS5 are simply not good.

In the end, I had the dealer keep the order in the system. They will announce the MY2015 cars in late March/April timeframe, and then I'll know more. I do reserve the right to cancel my order. I can probably leverage something out of the deal if I wish to keep it.

In other news, my frustration with the Kimpton Hotel chain's InTouch loyalty programme continues. They are all good folks, and they truly want to help to do the right thing. However, the company puts in so many obstacles that prevent their employees from achieving this, you really have to wonder why I bother being loyal to them at all. To wit, every time I've attempted to redeem my rewards nights, I've had to jump through a jillion hoops along with the person on the other end of the phone. It's never a simple transaction like "hey, I'm booking 5 nights, 2 of which will be rewards nights". Oh, no. Each reward night type (there are at least two) has to be a separate transaction/reservation, and separate from normal paid nights. I now have three separate reservations for a five night stay. Of course, this triggered minimum stay requirements, and it also triggered pricing changes, all of which had to be reconciled. On top of this, I've had to deal with rewards nights simply disappearing, as they have insanely short expiry dates. Even airlines are better at this. Loyalty is a two-way street. If they're not loyal to me as a customer, why am I loyal to them?

Date: 2014-03-02 12:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am not familiar with the Kimpton program, but I have friends who do frequent travel who rave about Marriott and Hilton programs. Continued best wishes on the auto travails...

Date: 2014-03-02 05:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've lost track of what you're up to, since I am on LJ and FB exclusively. I've missed hearing from you ... that's my first world problem:) I'd like to participate and respond, but I know nothing about Audi's or the Kimpton Hotels.


Date: 2014-03-02 07:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was raised in the hotel industry; in fact, I lived in Chicago's Knickerbocker Hotel until I was six years old...just like Eloise.

I've gone through a number of hotel loyalty programs. Used to be a big Starwood booster 'cause I worked at one of its predecessor chains (Western International Hotels, which went on to become Westin), but they made it so fucking difficult to redeem nights (very strict rationining of available free nights in cities I travelled to frequently, such as Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, and even Chicago) that I threw my hands in the air and went with Marriott as my #1 choice, and Hilton as my #2.

They don't have the most exciting or chic properties, but I can book my damn award nights online, without having to resort to manual/human intervention, and they generally have plenty of available room nights in all of the cities to which I travel.

(FWIW, my preferred business travel chain is Residence Inns, because the suites have a full kitchen and the properties provide a reasonable breakfast.)

I also like Hyatt--especially their Hyatt Place properties--but they're rather thinly spread.

Date: 2014-03-02 12:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've decided not to make the jump to G+ despite, or rather because i have G-mail as my basic social e-mail, and of course use Google for searching--too many eggs in one basket security-wise from me, and I'm winding down my presence on the Internet. My sympathies on your travails.

Date: 2014-03-02 06:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I experienced a similar, but more successful, process years ago ordering my M3. The curse, I think, is that in demand vehicles like the RSS hand all the cards to the manufacturer. They know that if you won't take the slot, somebody else will. One must bite the bullet and wait. Sad, really.

Date: 2014-03-02 10:12 pm (UTC)
ext_173199: (Honda Logo)
From: [identity profile]
Sorry about the mess around your new car; here's hoping they don't change the look or anything else important to you. I thought I had a rough time getting my current car - couldn't find what I wanted on my own, and the auto broker I finally resorted to using claimed there were only two Honda Fits in blue with a manual transmission on the entire west coast, and thus I had to drive down to Rancho Santa Margarita to get my new car. ;)

Date: 2014-03-03 02:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I always wind up buying a unicorn as well. I also buy new (well, except the jag, but it was made before I was born), so I can usually wait it out for them to make it (in the case of Honda/Acura) or have them make it specifically for me (german mfgrs). Either way, there's a lot of waiting involved =)

Date: 2014-03-02 10:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have noticed a wide disparity between what the car manufacturer says on their website and what's actually true. The options on the Lexus IS, for example, changed daily for a while. There used to be five different options packages; then there were three, then four, now there are two. When I test drove a car, I found options that I didn't know about (trust me, I had that website memorized) in combinations that hadn't been advertised.

When I bought the Audi, I found a little bit of that, but I think a lot of it has to do with the poorly controlled terminology they use. For example, they go on and on about Courtesy Keys and then talk about Smart Keys. They're the same thing.

Presumably, because you're dealing with a dealership, you have access to real information. The bigger is issue is how they could give you a manufacturing date and then swap it later. Shouldn't it be inviolable? I would be very frustrated with this process. I've heard of worse stories with BMW, but that doesn't make this problem any better.

As for the hotel: good luck. Loyalty programs that are hard to use aren't, in fact, loyalty programs: they are punishment for having believed them. With all the good intent in the world, if their system makes it onerous to you, I can't imagine that it's a good system. I know you'll write letters when you need to. This might be a good topic to write to them about.

Date: 2014-03-03 02:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I've socially engineered my salesman to fork over their internal book for options/pricing/etc. It's interesting to see where their bigger markup items are. Mostly, it's what you'd think, but there are some that were surprising.

One thing though… they never gave me a manufacturing date. I was stuck in FOB, which meant there was an order and request to build, but not a proper production order (POB milestone). This means no build date.

And yes, Letters Have Been Written. I also happened to CC the woman who was head of their Loyalty programme the last time I Sent A Letter in 2010. It hasn't bounced, so she must still work there.

Date: 2014-03-02 11:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I forgot to mention that I got a letter at our PS home yesterday from Audi. It appears that they didn't calculate the sales tax properly and I owe another $440. Grrrr.

Date: 2014-03-03 02:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hmm… considering you've got the contract signed, isn't that tough shit on them?

Date: 2014-03-03 02:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's what I think, too. However, my counselor advises me otherwise.

Date: 2014-03-03 08:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The days of the highest performing naturally aspirated engines are coming to a close in favor of boosted variations in smaller displacements. That whole fuel efficiency and emission thing, of course. Given a choice between a NA V8 and a boosted V6 of similar performance, I'd take the 8. Nothing else sounds as good (well, mebbe a V12...), and try as they might, there will always be a bit of turbo lag. Now, if there's a blower involved, that could change things.

I'm surprised they are shoving you later in the build schedule and hanging you with a newer car. If the year-to-year change was minor, I'd probably ride it through and hope for continuing improvements. If indeed you are getting a completely redesigned car, the suspense would kill me, for one, and if I had my heart set on a particular design, I'd be a bit more than miffed. Keep us posted on the big changes when you hear of them. With so much else going on around here, my dealings with cars isn't dreaming of the new stuff as much as it is patching up old ones. Automotive endeavors have taken a back seat to a lot of other pressing matters too.

I hope you won't be disappointed.

Date: 2014-03-03 03:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I had no idea the process took that long. I endless fiddle with manufacturer's online configurators.

My impression was there was a cut-off date whereupon the current model year would change to the next. Order before, and you're golden.
Those kinds of delays are crazy.

Speaking of automotive unicorns, sometimes I wish I'd kept my '07 Mazda 5, plebeian as it might have seemed.
I learned from the Mazda 24/7 forum I ended up with one of 2, count 'em...2, Plum Mica metallic, manual-transmission, Touring edition Mazda 5's ever brought to North America. I kinda like that.

Date: 2014-03-04 03:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The Audi Exclusive programme is just that, exclusive. They actually break the assembly line in order to make them. If I merely had a configuration, they would have made it. I ordered a colour that doesn't actually come as an option on the RS5. Had I gone with a Daytona Grey, or Phantom Black Pearl, it would have been made, and I would have received the car within 4-6 weeks.

Now July ::sad panda::

Date: 2014-05-10 09:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Let me hug you. It won't make it all better, but it will encourage me rather a lot.

Date: 2014-05-11 05:09 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-06-07 03:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Happy Birthday!!!!!!


octothorpe: (Default)

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags