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Volvo Palo Alto

4180 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306

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Volvo Palo Alto
January 26, 2009

Maybe it's because I've never had a Volvo before, but it sure seems like every trip to Carlsen for my 2004 XC90 costs $1,000-plus. It doesn't matter whether I take it in for a "major" service or a "minor" service -- kaching! $1,000 out the door. Brake pads low? Kaching! Steering a bit off? Kaching! Audio system cutting in and out? Kaching-KACHING! Fancy ignition key folding mechanism breaks and it won't start the danged car anymore? Kaching! (That $175 "repair" was particularly galling; just give me a plain old key, damn it!) At one point they told me I needed to replace one of my stereo speakers. More than $200 and 24 hours later, it was doing the exact same thing it had been doing before they ever touched it. Their solution? Rewire the entire system -- for $500-plus more. No, thank you. How about giving me back my old speaker and reimbursing me for the fix that didn't work? Nothin' doin'. I wouldn't mind so much if I could get a loaner car every time I go in, but I can only get one for a major service -- and that's if I "reserve" the loaner at least two weeks in advance. I wouldn't mind so much if the WiFi they say they have in the waiting area actually worked, which it doesn't. And the sales guys near the waiting area make it seem like a HUGE inconvenience to reboot the WiFi router, even though there's not a sales customer in sight. Yeah, I'll be trying out an independent alternative next time. (San Mateo Independent Volvo does a great job!)

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