An open letter to Dodge

Discussion in 'SRT Hellcat General Discussions' started by LongbowDriver, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. LongbowDriver

    LongbowDriver Senior Hellcat Member

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    Yo, Dodge, how's it going? LBD here. We need to have a talk.

    You guys have made an incredible vehicle. I want to state that up front, to baseline this conversation. The Hellcat twins are a masterpiece, a crown jewel of American Muscle and a sonnet to the possibilities of Detriot steel. I am certain that the Helljeep and Hellmagnum and Helldart and Hellrango and Hellavan or whatever the hell else is coming next will be the triumph of their respective weight class, and how could they be anything but? This is a magical time, made possible by an engine that is a magnum opus of internal combustion engineering. Well done, Dodge.

    Now, let's get to the process by which a prospective customer might go about acquiring one of these fine carriages.

    Seriously, that was a question, it isn't rhetorical. How the Cat do I order one of these Hells? You've got this lovely marketing machine smashing along at full speed, implying that anyone with the money (or a bank willing to leverage them up to their eyeballs) can just pop in down to Jack Wagon's South Sleazeball Dodge at the Vonhell Auto Mall off of exit six and throw down an order, but your customers who have been gullible enough to try that route can tell you how foolish they feel.

    Those who are motivated enough to join a forum like this and put in some research time soon learn that the preferred method is to make personal friends with owners and general managers, to thus acquire a spot on the extremely perplexing allocation lists that are generated seemingly at random in the hopes of having made the right friends - the sort of friends who might eventually be allowed to place an order once Corporate has finished throwing all their darts at the massive wall map of the U.S. in their lobby. Damn, John, check this out - New Brockton, Alabama is getting twenty five automatics!

    Except wait, let's ask the folks who got a VON on 17 August how that's working out. Dodge has cancelled all the orders, you say? Every dealer has a different story about when the system will come back online, you say? Nobody actually knows feces from Shinola, you say? This sounds like an amazing plan.

    Then there's my predicament. I'm not in the U.S., my dear Dodge, and I had no say in the timing of it. But I'm still chomping at the bit to give you half the value of a nice house in Tennessee for one of your cars, so I'm willing to do a bit of legwork to get one.

    My commute over to see my friendly local Military Autosource representative is a four-mile drive down a lovely sandblasted stretch of asphalt which is dialed in by 107mm rockets, homemade mortars, recoilless rifles, and sniper fire for most of the stretch (see photo 1 below). The clever little SOBs that live on the hill overlooking us love to wait until they see a white Land Cruiser making the journey before they hang a few rounds, too, so that's cute. Few weeks back we had a civilian contractor in a pickup get waxed by a direct hit from a rocket on this road (what are the odds?!), meaning there's nothing like a quick Mad Max trip down Rocket Road to get the blood pumping.

    Now, to keep up with the goings-on in the beleaguered MAS Dodge order system, it is in my best interests to make the trip as often as possible, since missing the start of availability might mean no Hellcat at all. Imagine my delight upon arriving every morning for two weeks straight to hear that no, MAS has not been given any allocations, and no, they have no idea when orders will be taken, and no, they have no clue if they'll even be getting any, and no, they have not the slightest inkling of why they are hearing less than dealerships back in the states, and yes, it would be much wiser to just put in an order for the Rousch Warrior Mustang instead...

    To put it simply, my frustrating Dodge friends, your customer-corporate interface is so screwed up that it has crossed the line into disrespect for your clients. Worse, you are taking this dump directly upon some of your most passionate, loyal fans of the brand - and it looks for all the world like you a.) don't even know what sort of effect this is having and b.) don't care enough to even find out, let alone fix the problem.

    You have lifelong Mopar diehards who are bailing to buy Corvettes. Guys who have been in fistfights just to defend your name at the track. You have servicemembers who are literally getting shot at just trying to find out HOW to order! Here's a true story, gents: I know a Soldier who earned his Combat Action Badge (awarded to non-infantry Army personnel who take fire from the enemy) after the bus he was in took rounds while trying to travel to MAS to find out how in the name of God you actually get to buy one of these things (not me, by the way, but only because I already had mine or you'd have two CABs going out for that crap). He was not placing his order, not paying for his order - but just trying to get a shred of information out of the monolithic jackup that is your purchasing process.

    Reference photo two, below. I had a notion of parking my someday-to-be Hellcat between the two aircraft some day, taking another photo like it, and blasting it across the Internet with a caption like "when your daily driver kicks as much ass as your gunship" across the bottom in impact font. Facebook, forums, Instagram, Twitter, you name it, just proud of my amazing ride. Show the beautiful girl off to the world as the Alpha Beast she is. The great news for Tesla or BMW is that they'll probably have a P85D or M-series parked there instead, because they're not going to dick me around for months and I'm just about out of time (this order is happening before I return stateside) and patience.

    Look, Dodge. None of us here are asking for special treatment. I haven't seen a single instance of that on these or other forums. We just want the most basic part of the buyer/seller transaction to work. The part where we are able to go pay money for your thing, and then you build and give us said thing in exchange for our currency. But we can't, because your system is so frigging broken that the process breaks down right there at step Zero. Astounding.

    Now, let me be clear: I don't give a damn about rolling through an active war zone to order a car... Once. That's a cost of doing business that I fully accept and am willing to deal with because my job kicks ass. But when myself and a few guys I care deeply about are faced with the choice between no car or rolling through Murder Alley twenty times for the sole reason that your procedures are royally hosed, that's a problem. When a guy who has loved your cars for six decades goes to order one with his retirement money and gets kicked in the junk for two years running, that's a problem. When one person has had four different VONs over thirteen months get cancelled on him, that's a problem. When your leading third-party experts on Mopar performance start advocating Ford platforms over yours, that's a problem. When you announce an order date that half your dealers aren't aware of, then screw up the orders so bad that they all get cancelled, and then fail to let anyone know what went wrong or when it will be fixed, that's a problem. Maybe you can see a trend here...?

    I guess my question is: should myself and the others here who love your cars continue to make your problems our problems just for the privilege of handing you half a mortgage? And... why?

    Sorry about the wall of text.

    -LBD-

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  2. Smog Dog

    Smog Dog Silver Member

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    Wow! I hope you get your Cat. I feel your frustration as I feel it for others on this forum. Thanks for your service...
     
  3. Immo

    Immo Moparpalooza

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    Thank you for your service.
     
  4. Tazman

    Tazman Silver Member

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    Unfortunately, your open letter will fall upon deaf ears.
     
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  5. LongbowDriver

    LongbowDriver Senior Hellcat Member

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    I have an unfortunate feeling that you are correct. But I would be negligent in my position as an admirer of the brand if I didn't at least attempt to do my part to ring the alarm bells.

    Very much appreciated, friend. But trust me when I say that in this case, my situation is only a convenient tool to illustrate just how screwed up this whole process is, on behalf of all prospective Dodge customers.
     
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  6. Redboots

    Redboots Silver Member

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    Sorry, you have exceeded the attention span of anyone in Dodge management.
     
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  7. Dances With Empties

    Dances With Empties Gold Member

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    I said the same thing to my Harley dealer when I was trying to get a lousy t-shirt out of Kandahar!!!:D


    He said: "We don't have a dealer there?..." I said "Yeah... That's what made it even friggen harder!!!"



    No corporate sympathy for the waifs............... :(
     
  8. Immo

    Immo Moparpalooza

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    I have a dealer that can help. Sending you a PM.
     
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  9. LongbowDriver

    LongbowDriver Senior Hellcat Member

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    Heh! Well, they have one now, down inside the main PX by the boardwalk, but I'm told their employees keep strange and unpredictable hours, so it's probably still like there's no one there...
     
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  10. Paladin06

    Paladin06 Have Guns Will Travel Staff Member Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member

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    Hang in there my brother. It's like finding a good woman to be your soul mate for life and, once you find her you will forget about all the others. So hang in there, keep the faith and most of all keep your powder dry.

    ENM - HGWT.
     
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  11. B5 Blue

    B5 Blue Platinum Member

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  12. Red Harley

    Red Harley Silver Member Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member HCC Charter Member HCC National Secretary

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    I pray you get your Hellcat. God bless you and Thank You for your service! Come home safe and if you are ever in our area give us a shout. Stantonville, Tn
     
  13. cole3986

    cole3986 Gold Member

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    I agree with Immo, thank you for your service. I am sorry you have to deal with BS from over there, it is bad enough stateside.
     
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  14. Immo

    Immo Moparpalooza

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    I hooked him up with a dealership that can help him out.
     
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  15. 4510

    4510 SRT Hellcat Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    That was pure GENIUS!

    Hope you manage to land a Cat.
     

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