Kia Motors price gouging and ignoring their Twitter channel?

Are You Ignoring Your Twitter Channel?

Kia Motors, their twitter channel, a $40 part + cross boarder price gouging.

In a frustration last week I tweeted out to Kia Motors their Twitter handle is @Kia_Motors because of an issue I am having.The resulting experience was the Twitter equivalent of being on hold for 30 minutes while a nice recorded voice reminds me every five minutes that my call is important to the company whose phone line I’m wasting my time on.

Here is the situation:

I needed new tires for my Kia Sedona minivan. When I went to my local tire store (not a Kia dealership) 2 of the 4 tire pressure sensors had to be replaced because the metal stem valves corroded and seized in our harsh Canadian winters.

Turns out the part I needed is quite expensive $199 for each tire turns this into a $400 + labour. The reality is the tire pressure sensor works just fine (we tested this at the dealership) all I need is a new metal stem that pokes through the wheel that inflates the tire. Should be simple. My guess is 2 new stems $5.00 each and I am on my way.

Well wouldn’t you know? The stems are not sold separately. It comes as a complete package. WTF? #FAIL.

While I was trying to sort this all out with Kia Canada on the phone, they asked to put me on hold for a moment. As I waited for them to come back on the line I took that moment to call a Kia dealership in Buffalo New York to see if they sold the part separately. Low and behold the complete sensor package with stem was available from them for only $74 versus the $199 Canadian and the real part I needed, the stem valve was sold as a separate item for $40 each.

Kia Canada came back online to tell me that Kia Canada has the right to charge whatever they want. Have a nice day.


At this point I am thinking if you ever need a minivan go see:

Michael Rootenber @ Sisley for Honda

(800) 916-0921

Eli Tamam @ Downsview Chrysler

Bus: (416) 635-1399

That is when I began to think about my lack of social grace and my strong social media skills.

Maybe Kia is on Twitter?

I went to Twitter and did a quick search to find @Kia_Motors (the right company).

Turns out they are quite impressed with the fact that they now have 1000 followers.

I am so happy they are embracing this new medium and celebrating their milestones accordingly!

I guess the real question is how they are handling the channel?

Here are the start of my tweets to them:

Now maybe I was a little rude or should have just asked for help, but I thought I did ask for help when I was on the phone with Kia Canada the people who could have done something.

Guess what, my tweets fell on blind eyes. Not even a “Hey eMail Guide we are here to listen”.

Their next big tweet was this charmer:

I am thinking to myself who cares about their 1000 followers when this customer is about to get raped and pillaged?

No official response from the channel in X days.

So I tweet again:

Maybe my tweet got lost in the conversation.

Still hoping for a response and reading:

Maybe I am tweeting the wrong person?

OK here is my next tweet, let us read between the tweets now:

I guess when you tweet the right person’s name you get some grease.

Yesterday I got this tweet back:

To which I responded with:

Now I am no rocket surgeon, but I would think that if a company is trying to embrace a new channel they would at the very least respond to negative tweets
quicker than they would respond to positive ones.

I will let you know how the saga goes and update this post once I have resolution or drive to Buffalo to get my tire pressure sensors fixed.

Can’t wait to see the expression on the US Customs Agent when I tell him I am going to Buffalo to get my car repaired because Kia in Canada wants to charge me $400 + labour when the repair should only cost $80 + labour.

BTW…the tire place I mentioned in the beginning told me they would install the sensors for me free of charge since they replaced the tires.

Takeaway: Don’t ignore your Twitter channel. Someone who is tweeting you might have more followers than you or more importantly, they might be your customer.

Have you had customer service experiences such as this one?

Share your comments!

Jeff Ginsberg
Jeff Ginsberg

After 10 years of email marketing…this website is my personal way of giving back to a noisy, fragmented industry driven by commoditized CPM rates. If you are a part of the email marketing industry or an email marketer by heart I invite you to participate in this project and become a contributor/author to The Email Guide Blog.


Meet the author:

Jeff Ginsberg

Jeff Ginsberg

20+ year email marketing veteran who wants to help NewBees BEEcome eMail Marketing Ninjas. Want to contribute to our blog? We are always looking for eMail Marketing Ninjas to come share their knowledge and help NewBees create and send better eMail messages.

Connect with: Jeff Ginsberg

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