Nice car, great styling, bad customer service
Biggest problem was with alternator belt squealing. Went to a Mazda car dealership, and was told I needed a new alternator.
Checked with another local garage who said the alternator was fine. Went online and found that a squealing alternator belt is a common problem on the Mazda 2000 Protege. It is remedied by installing an Original Manufacturer Equipment (OEM) alternator belt.
Ordered an OEM alternator belt from the dealership. Asked for good will from dealership due to their misdiagnosis. I asked them to install the belt for free, including the cost of the belt. After all, had I listened to them, I would have paid $500 for a new alternator. Dealership refused any good will.
Asked what if I paid for the belt, would they install it for free ($25 worth of labour)? Dealer refused that, too. Wrote Mazda Canada President and CEO, Mr. Donald Romano in December 2007 and January 2008. No direct replies from him. I guess he doesn't like talking to customers. His clerks in Customer Relations just parroted "there is nothing we can do."
Finally decided to book an automotive service appointment at the dealership for 8:00 am on Jan 4, 2008 to install the belt anyway, but dealership did not have the alternator belt (!) even though I went several days before the appointment, and confirmed that it had arrived. Service advisor said he must have given it to someone else or maybe it was hanging around too long and was sent back. As a result, I was yet again screwed over by Mazda.
Am now embroiled in major meltdown with the dealership and Mazda Canada. Also contacted the Senior VP for Public and Govt Affairs at Mazda's headquarters for North American Operations. His name is Mr. Jay Amestoy and his office is in Irvine, California, USA. Nice guy, but, like some corporate executives, is ineffective with getting things done for customers, but probably still wants to sell lots of cars. He would not help. In fact he told me he knew Mr. Romano and thought he was a nice guy. Ah, the old boys' network is alive and well. Will never buy a Mazda again.
Am getting ready to contact local media and provincial radio talk show to vent on this issue. Arrrrgggh!
Oh...and you will never believe this (sit down for a moment, please) : on Jan 9, 2008, I got a call from Mazda Canada's manager of Customer Relations (he is actually called "Manger of Customer Insights and Research" -- I swear, I am not kidding, that is his actual title).
After a battle royale on the phone on Jan 9, I gave up trying to communicate with him and asked him for the contact info for the regional district manager for Parts and Service for Mazda Canada in Atlantic Canada. His reply? Get this:
He said the district manager's office is located in the district manager's private residence in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, but Mazda Canada doesn't give out the phone or fax number for the district office! I am not kidding. Can you believe that??? Mazda Canada can't even afford an office for the guy.
If the district manager has to hide in his basement, Mazda must be getting a whole lot of complaints, don't you think?
When the poor guy goes out, he probably has to wear a raglan, sun glasses, and a wide-brimmed hat, and keep looking over his shoulder on his way to buy a quart of milk at the corner store...
Quality parts and good customer service are of paramount importance to me. Once I am screwed over by a car manufacturer like Mazda, I never go back. I got so fed up with Mazda Canada that I emailed my complaint to a national TV consumer show called "Marketplace" at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Toronto, Ontario. I hope they do a TV show on Mazda Canada!
In my opinion, even the President and CEO, Mr. Donald Romano, is afraid to leave the board room to help his customers. So much for his degree from Pepperdine University in the USA. I'd say it's time for him to zoom, zoom back to university to learn some basic respect for his customers.
Over all the car performs reasonably well. Seems peppy and comfortable. However, as I have stated, once I get bad customer service for the Mazda dealer and Mazda Canada, and my blood boils, I lose trust in the manufacturer. They just lost a $ 30,000 sale they could have gotten from me for a new Mazda.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 10th January, 2008