It's always been a given in most business transactions that customers can return an item within a certain amount of time if they find they are unhappy with it. It makes sense to provide refunds for small items like toys or clothing, and is usually restricted to exchanges for larger items like furniture, mattresses, and appliances.
But it's pretty much been out of the question for such a large purchase as a car - until now. General Motors announced today that it will offer a Satisfaction Guarantee to eligible buyers of new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles that will allow customers to return their vehicle to their dealer between 31 and 60 days of purchase and receive a refund of the purchase price for the vehicle.
As part of its new campaign to put the customer first and help earn the company additional consumer confidence, this new Satisfaction Guarantee bolsters GM's existing coverage, which already includes a transferrable100,000-mile/five-year (whichever comes first) limited powertrain warranty, roadside assistance, and courtesy transportation.
The announcement is part of a larger "May the Best Car Win" marketing campaign that demonstrates GM's confidence in its vehicles when compared head-to-head with the most competitive vehicles in each vehicle segment.
And if nothing else, it's a great way to get consumers onto Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac lots, instead of those of the import competitors. "We think if consumers give us a fair chance and look at the facts on the things that matter most to them, like design, fuel economy, warranty and safety, our vehicles are the best choices - that's what makes an offer like this possible," said Bob Lutz, GM vice chairman, Marketing and Communications. After all, the best way to change a common perception is make people to take a look at the alternatives.
The Satisfaction Guarantee program begins next week and runs through November 30, and covers the vehicle purchase price and sales tax, but not other add-ons like accessories, negative equity on a trade-in or other fees. Of course, other restrictions apply. The offer covers 2009 and 2010 Model Year Chevys, Buicks, GMCs and Cadillacs (except medium duty trucks) and allows customers (one per household) to return their vehicle between 31 and 60 days with less than 4,000 miles if they are unhappy with their purchase.
"We're putting our money down that if people buy one of our vehicles and don't absolutely love it, we'll take it back. We will stand behind them both in the short-term and over the long haul," Lutz said.
Combined with its online buying partnership with eBay in California (which has been extended through September 30), this also seems like a good way to bolster sales in the wake of the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) program now that the Government is not subsidizing new car purchases. What are the chances that a buyer would actually RETURN the vehicle? Additional information will be available beginning Monday, September 14, online at www.Chevy.com/guarantee, www.Buick.com/guarantee, www.Cadillac.com/guarantee, and GMC.com/guarantee. The guarantee sites won't be live until monday, but I'd imagine they're gonna be full of fine print and legalese explaining what reasons do or don't qualify as legitimate grievances.
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