With the Zenn, you are on your own.

Discussion in 'Start Your Journey Here' started by Jimmy, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. Jimmy

    Jimmy Well-Known Member

    As much as I enjoy my new Zenn electric vehicle, there is a down side.

    After buying my Zenn, I was very disappointed to discover that Zenn corporate rarely answers email inquiries. I have telephoned Zenn many times to ask a question, and am told that the person who might know the answer is "in a meeting", or "out of the office". I've also tried to leave voice mail, but they don't call back. I've even waited for over 2 weeks for a call back that never came, and my last 2 emails (one sent on 1/30/08 and another on 2/3/08) have not been answered.

    I complained about this to Zenn's vice president of marketing, but it didn't help.

    So a word of caution: If any of you are planning on buying a Zenn, you will get a nice neighborhood electric vehicle - but after the buy YOU WILL BE ON YOUR OWN. The paths of communication at Zenn just do not exist.
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Jimmy:

    ___I am sorry to hear of the communications problems. Have you contacted your dealer as maybe they can help move your request up the chain? It should not happen that way but boy, sometimes it can be like pulling teeth to get anything from a manufacturer if you are a consumer.

    ___With media access, communications with the Big 2.5, Toyota and Honda have been pretty good with replies usually within a day. Toyota in particular usually calls back within an hour or two when I have a question about sales data or even a specific parameter!

    ___If you want me to try, PM me and I will see what I can do?

    ___Good Luck

  3. Jimmy

    Jimmy Well-Known Member

    Yes, I've even tried contacting the president of the company. The results are pathetic. No responses whatsoever. It is beginning to look like Zenn is another one of those start-up companies that are sparsely staffed and with little in the way of customer relations experience.
  4. I am a Zenn dealer and I can tell you that you should receive full support from your local Zenn dealer. My family also owns a Honda dealership so i know quite a bit about the car business. I am a little puzzled by your question actually. I don't think i have ever heard of any of our Honda customers try to contact the CEO of Honda. Or, if you bought a Chevy, would you expect to get a hold of the CEO of GM? Should an an electric car company be any different? I work with Zenn staff daily and they are very easy to work with and very helpful. You might want to try going through your dealer first. They can probably get through to Zenn headquarters easier.
  5. Jimmy

    Jimmy Well-Known Member

    Well, early on ALL of my inquiries went to the dealer. Unfortunately my dealer's staff consists of 2 people - the manager and one other guy. Neither one of them is on site full time. Worse, both are often gone at the same time. So when I call, almost never is anyone there to answer the phone, much less give me the information I need. When I send the dealer an email inquiry, the email is hardly ever answered. In fact, in talking to the dealer the other day, I found that he had not even opened his email. His problem is, he's spread too thin and he has no staff. His Zenn dealership is in one town, and he has a used car business in another town

    So, then I began trying to get answers from Zenn's corporate offices by going to the Zenn web page, clicking on their CONTACT button, typing in my name, address, email address and telephone number - and finally typing my question. I did this about ten times (for 10 different questions), and got a grand total of 2 responses.

    So I am open to suggestions. How can I get in touch with a real person at Zenn? They rarely answer my correspondence. If I telephone them, no one is ever there who knows the answers to my questions. If I leave voice mail, the call is not returned.

    Now do you see why I went to the top man? I would do the same, were it any company, small or big, including giants like GM or Ford. I was left with no other choice. Sadly, that was a fruitless choice as well.

    As I said earlier, with Zenn the customer is on his own.
  6. lightfoot

    lightfoot Reformed speeder

    I'm in biotech and we're a small outfit of just 5 people. But we make a point of responding to e-mails and phone calls within 24 hours, usually much less. We even have our e-mail address set up so it automatically forwards to the three senior people, and the responses are cc'd to all three of us so we know it has been handled and can see what was said.

    Sometimes it can be annoying when someone asks a question which is explained in detail on our website but we still answer (often giving the web address and quoting from our web page).

    There is really zero excuse for not responding to customers.

    I have had the same lack-of-response experience with Scangauge.
  7. Jimmy

    Jimmy Well-Known Member

    Your organization is managed and operated in a business-like manner. In that way you EARN a good reputation, DESERVE success, and should have a GROWING customer base.
  8. Okay yes i do understand why you would like to speak with Zenn directly. That's a bummer your dealership can't seem to help you out. I run a two woman dealership myself, but we have regular hours and there is always at least one of us here. My email is open all day so I answer emails as they come in. I can help you get in touch with someone at Zenn if you want to email me at Taryn@EnvironmentalMotors.com i'll give you the email of my Zenn rep.
  9. Jimmy

    Jimmy Well-Known Member

    Thank you. I'll do that.
  10. zenncars

    zenncars New Member

    Hello everyone. I am Dennis Hancock, the Vice President of Sales & Marketing of ZENN Motor Company and I would like to take a moment to respond to this exchange. I find it very troubling to read this as I know I have personally exchanged notes with Jimmy in an extremely timely manner and have assured him there is nothing more important to our company than satisfied customers. I have subsequently learned that he has spent over four hours with his retailer at a trade show, has the dealer principal's personal email and his personal cell phone number. With all due respect, Jimmy is in better hands than anything I have every heard of from our EV competitors and I consistently hear that ZENN is the top of the pack. I have copied just a few samples from the numerous email exchanges I have had with Jimmy to ensure we are all working with facts.

    First of all, I recieved a personal email from Jimmy on Saturday, January 19 at 8:45 and I sent him the response below on SUNDAY morning, the very next day, (yes even on a weekend when our office is closed). Per the trail above, I don't know if anyone has a similar experience with Honda executives or even their local Lexus dealer on a Sunday!

    I also helped Jimmy solve some of his questions and dealt with his warranty registration and recieved a very complimentary email which I have also pasted below. All that said, it is clear that there is still a disconnect and I have just ask one of my Regional Sales Managers, Bill Williams, to follow-up with Jimmy this evening to ensure that he is getting any remaining questions and concerns that have not been brought to my attention addressed. We are thrilled to have Jimmy in the ZENN family and remain committed to his complete satisfaction as we do with all of our customers. I thank each of you who are taking the time to look at the ZENN through our great Retailer network across the U.S. I assure you all personally that you are in very good hands and that our future is very bright!

    Kind regards,
    Dennis Hancock
    Vice President, Sales & Marketing
    ZENN Motor Company

    From: Dennis Hancock
    To: Business
    Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2008 9:57 AM
    Subject: RE: The Zenn "Network"

    Good morning Jimmy. Thank you very much for your note and your support of ZENN Motor Company. I am thrilled to hear on one hand how positive things are going and of course concerned on the other that your perception is that you are not supported.

    We have made a very conscious effort as an organization to build a distribution model based on the establishment of a Retailer network. The things you describe in your note around support are expected (and contractually required) by our Retailer partners. We have a full-time staffed phone for example (including 100% coverage over the entire Christmas holiday break) but this is exclusively for our Retailers to be able to call in and troubleshoot any customer concerns. The goal of this was to provide better service with the knowledge that a Retailer can manage the network requirements in their respective market with a local high-touch emphasis. It sounds like you are not getting that support and I would like more details if you are ok with sharing. A ZENN Retailer for example has a mandatory parts sparing package to ensure prompt repairs for customer issues that may arise. I would be also interested in what questions you are not getting answered by your retailer that you feel are better answered by our office directly.

    As an aside, we are working towards establishing a ZENN Boutique that would allow customers to order ZENN merchandise (hats, shirts, and such) directly online.

    So I hope you better appreciate our servicing strategy. We are 100% committed to our customers and I would argue that there are very few companies where you get to exchange an email with a senior officer of the company on a Sunday morning! Not having a customer call center really gives each of us the hands on experience to learn more about our customer inputs and evolve our business.

    I hope you are following our news on ZENNcars.com – we have some very big plans and some really exciting investments ahead of us and failure is not an option!

    I do thank you for your note and your being a product ambassador for us.

    Please share with me a little more about your ZENN Retailer experience and any outstanding questions you have that have not been answered.

    Again, thank you very much for your business and taking the time to provide me directly with your feedback.

    Sincere regards,


    Dennis Hancock
    Vice President, Sales & Marketing
    ZENN Motor Company

    From: Business
    Sent: January 22, 2008 12:54 PM
    To: Dennis Hancock
    Subject: Re: Case Creation/Update: 3373 - Where is my Warranty Registration Certificate?

    Hello Mr. Hancock:

    Now that's what I call fast action. Thank you!. As you said earlier, where else can I get a high level executive to personally do something in behalf of a customer. Actually, ALL businesses should do the same. At least Zenn does.

    Also, thank you for the detailed explanation of warranty coverage, etc. in your previous email to me.

    I'll fax my warranty registration to you this afternoon.


    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2008
  11. Jimmy

    Jimmy Well-Known Member

    First of all, Mr. Hancock, in forums like this, participants do NOT reveal other peoples names and addresses. Your ignoring of this very common rule is an apparent attempt at intimidation and is appalling.

    Now, let’s get the facts clearly and briefly stated.

    When I initially became interested in the Zenn, I was very enthusiastic and had a lot of questions. When I called (or tried to call) the dealer, his telephone almost never answered. The same non-response also occurred with respect to email.

    Then I decided to contact the Zenn Motor Company directly. Zenn does not offer regular email access. You must go to their website, click on "Contact", then enter your name, email address, telephone number, and finally type up your message and click "submit". There is no onscreen message to tell you that the message was accepted, and there is no automated email message sent to you to let you know your message was received - so you just have to wait and hope Zenn will respond.

    Anyway, Zenn responded to very few of these messages, and when I did get a response, it was sometimes 10 days later or not answered at all.

    Then I decided to telephone Zenn. When a person answered, I would tell them the nature of my call - mostly technical questions - and would be switched over to the person with the necessary knowledge. Well, that person was almost never available. Typically he was "in a meeting" or "out of the office".

    My dealer is the only Zenn dealer in Ohio. The dealership staff consists of him and one other person. Neither the dealer, nor the other person, is there full time during regular business hours. In fact, the dealer also runs a used car lot in another town. There are times when the dealership is unoccupied during business hours. As I've mentioned before, my email has rarely been answered. That's exactly why I have had difficulty contacting the dealership, and why I began contacting the Zenn home office instead.

    So, out of desperation, I contacted the vice president of marketing at Zenn, Mr. Hancock, in order to ask him to smooth the paths of communication so that I would get some responses to my questions.

    Initially it looked like whatever Mr. Hancock did was effective. The very next day I received an email from an administrator which answered one of my questions. Then shortly after that I received a phone call from the Ohio Zenn dealer. I was elated, and thanked Mr. Hancock profusely.

    Unfortunately that was all just a temporary reprieve.

    The dealer promised me via email on January 22, 2008 that he would send me a quote for some parts of interest to me. Here it is, mid February, and no price quote yet. He also told me his business email address had a virus in it, and that was why he had not been answering my email. He gave me a different address to use. Email to it has not been answered either. I saw him here in Columbus one weekend, and told him about my black rubber seals that are coming loose (the one inch wide seals that are on the left edge and right edge of the roof). He sent me something totally wrong, a small tube of instant glue. It is ludicrous to expect instant glue to be a good adhesive for a rubber seal, especially a rubber seal that is 9 feet long! Instant glue should NEVER be used for this purpose.

    At about the same time questions sent to Zenn stopped being answered. I have had one response in the last 3 weeks. It was received on February 11, 2008, in response to a voice mail I had left 2 weeks before.
  12. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Jimmy, I'm sorry I've not been around -- I obscured your name in the offending post and would have done it quicker had I seen it before now. You are quite right to be indignant about this and it will not be tolerated in these forums.
  13. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    I want to make an apology to all members at CleanMPG.

    When this thread started, I considered some kind of involvement...if the subject was NOKIA phones - it would have been a no-brainer, but EVs, I did give the benefit of the doubt. Sadly, this thread got out of hand.
  14. Jimmy

    Jimmy Well-Known Member

    Thank you. I appreciate what you did.
  15. jsawvel

    jsawvel New Member

    Wow!, I can't believe the Vice President of Marketing is actually interested in this forum. Perhaps underground marketing works better than I thought. Anyway, interesting discussion.

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