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If you or a friend thinks that Vespa/Piaggio needs to improve their service, please leave a comment or complete this Poll:

This story started from the beginning when I wanted the matching Top Box for my Vespa 300 that is color matched and has the passenger backrest in the same beautiful leather as my seat. I was required to pay in full (about $ 600.00) to place the order back when I purchased my Vespa. To be exact, it was the first week in June 2012. Yes, I am specifying the year because I am still not certain if I will receive it in 2012.

They said it would take a few weeks. After mid-July I started to get anxious and more over, I could not even get an estimated delivery date from the dealer or from Vespa North America.

Additionally, I had an issue with the writing on the cover and they had said they would replace it (See my Story About the Cover).

After many phone calls to Vespa (Piaggio) North America, I was at my wits end! Seriously, over two and a half months and they still could not provide a delivery date. I thought business in Europe was suffering and that all sales would be important.

Simultaneously with this issue and the cover, my speedometer seized and snapped the speedometer cable after 2700 kilometers. I was going on vacation July 28 to August 4, 2012. Therefore, I decided to leave the GTV-300 at the dealer in Ottawa to perform 5000 Km maintenance and add some balancing beads to the tires while looking at the speedometer issue.

They had to order the speedometer. They ordered it on August 2, 2012 but only received it August 15, 2012 and I only got my Vespa back to ride on August 16, 2012. Really, folks, I spent 2-weeks out of the summer without my Vespa. For people in Italy, that represents about 10 % of the riding season in Canada!

One could ask why. The answer is that they are cutting costs dramatically and only distribute their parts from a warehouse in Georgia while their customer service people are in New York. They do not ship parts to dealers as they order them but choose to wait until they have sufficient orders of parts to consolidate the order and save money on the transportation. They will ship the order for many dealers then trans-load and re-distribute the orders within Canada. Delivery really depending when a dealer places an order and how close the distribution center is to wrapping up a consolidated shipment.

What is worse is their decision to have the Customer Service People in New York while their warehouse is in Georgia. My experience (and I have a lot in this area) is that customer service should be in running distance of the warehouse so that they can always verify locations and status of product that they are promising to a customer. Furthermore, if the issue is of utmost importance, they can circumvent the system to expedite a particular product with the intention of providing 100 % customer satisfaction.

Imagine a dealer tracking their parts and everyone is relying on an inventory entry in a computer system. My experience is that often the inaccuracies of a particular status is not current. That is why having the Customer Service people within running distance of the parts is important.

By August 14, 2012, I still had no confirmed delivery date so I decided to rattle some chains and send a letter to the CEO of Piaggio in Italy with a copy to my dealer and Piaggio North America.

Letter to Piaggio

Today is August 30 2012. I was told earlier this week that the top boxes were shipped last week and the dealer confirmed this because they are invoiced when the products are shipped. Now, this is a funny scenario when you think about it. I had to pay full price in June to the dealer who only receives an invoice this week for the product. That is quite a bit of cash flow for a dealer to manage without perhaps spending some of it and then running into financial issues later on. However, I am sure they must have this all figured out and to a science.

It is my Birthday on September 1 and it is a long weekend (Labour Day). Therefore, we are planning a trip to Picton, Ontario to take the Vespa to the beach. The weather promises to be sunny and hot. It is quite a long drive and Chantal was looking forward to having the backrest and the top box for our trip. Furthermore, I thought that after all of the waiting that it would ironically show up on my Birthday.

I kept phoning the dealer this week asking if they received it. At this point, I hesitate each time I call because I am approaching a point where they probably do not want to hear my voice. Late this afternoon, Vespa North America informed me that they finally obtained the tracking number from Georgia that confirmed the shipment to arrive at Canada Customs next week.

My wife will have to start packing bag to strap on the back. The main problem with the bag is that we hesitate to leave it on the Vespa when we stop at a shopping center or something like that. We are afraid that someone could easily un-hook the straps and steal the bag. We therefore lug the heavy bag through the shopping each time. With a locking top box, this would not be required.

I guess I will just have to wait another week. June 2, 2012 to September 8, 2012 to deliver an order that was paid in full in advance. The dealers had told me that other customers had ordered the box in February and are much more patient than I am. They apparently have a better understanding of how Vespa “The Italians” function.

In fact, someone told me “It is summer time and Italians are all on short summer hours and long vacations enjoying the sun, beach, wine, and food. They are certainly not focused on your top box!”

As of today:

Top Box Ordered June 2, 2012 – Not Received but promised for next week

Cover: Complained June 20, 2012. Piaggio Promised to replace it but I have not yet received it or a confirmation of when I will.

If you or a friend thinks that Vespa/Piaggio needs to improve their service, please leave a comment or complete this Poll: