View Full Version : Contacting FDC staff

02-05-2003, 02:23 PM
I've been asked about how helpful/useful the FDC staff are or can be.

First off, I've emailed Alexandra several times and she's given me very good advice and useful information. She normally replies within 24 hrs (weekdays).

My last Email inquiry related to the possibility of having a metal front skid plate installed at the FDC to replace of the standard one on my XC70 MY2003. In this same inquiry I also asked in a wood/leather steering wheel could be added to replace the standard all leather one. Both of these items could not be added in my initial OSD order as I was told they couldn't be -- the metal skid plate wasn't listed in OSD options anywhere and the wood/leather steering wheel was no longer being offered as an option for XC70. Note that the primary reason given for not providing the wood/leather steering wheel related to me having ordered th Volvo Nav System.

My local sales person encouraged me to contact the FDC to see if this was the "bottom line".

I did so and Emailed Alexandra at the FDC indicating my OSD order number (and clearly stating my car had the Nav System) and was subsequently Emailed back by Anders Jenson (and it was also Cc-ed to Jason Borsh and other internal Volvo folks) saying that both could be done but they both must get onto my order by Feb 7th. I had to move quickly, right?

I called my sales person today and faxed the Email to him. He went to bat for me (as he's always done) but came back with disapointing news. The skid plate and the wood/steering wheel cannot be installed regardless of the FDC Email stating they could. Obviously some confusion here, right.

1. The metal front skid plate isn't recommended by Volvo for any of it's AWD vehicles! If I wanted to pursue this I could order one (part # 9451 784) but would have to sign a waiver form!

2. The wood/leather steering wheel simply cannot be installed -- period.

The information I had received from the FDC was incorrect.

My lesson here is that even though the FDC staff are very very helpful and obviously are very responsive to Email inquiries it unfortunately does appear that errorneous information can be issued -- at least this is my impression at this time.

Up to this point I was assuming the FDC statements were absolutely the last word from Volvo -- so beware is my advice and I say this simply to give you a heads up considering my recent experience.

I still consider FDC staff people to be an excellent source of information and look forward to meeting them.

As rkestner said -- it's the attitude that count towards OSD success stories.

02-05-2003, 02:37 PM
Please excuse the Title of this topic -- I was pasting in a Topic reference to "Favorite hang outs for dirt" in the other XC forum and somehow it ended up in my title which cannot be edited by me unfortunately -- maybe coastal can do this for me as the current title makes for very poor reading and may offend some people.

The topic title should read "Contacting FDC staff".

Again, please accept my apology for this mistake.

Low Tide
02-05-2003, 02:40 PM

I am shocked!  Well, curious anyway.  

I am happy you shared this info and I am interested what the official reason was for the response to the metal skid plate.  Why may I ask?  I think that we need to find a definative reason why Volvo does not recommend it for vehicles- especially those like the XC70 that will be driven off-road on occasion.  

Thanks for the quick post.  I will be waiting the next step of the thread as I am sure others will too.  Perhaps you should also list this info about the Metal Skid plate on the main forum too- a lot of interest since we started discussing its supposed function.

02-05-2003, 03:28 PM
Low Tide:

The only forthcoming explanation for why the metal front skid plate I mentioned shouldn't be installed on AWD Volvos is the Part Manual warning note -- "Not for AWD models" period. This is pretty clear to me that Volvo means in my case 'not for XC70'. At this point my local Volvo folks are simply indicating it's not possible per this statement.

Engineering-wise it could be related to engine cooling, airflow issues, unwanted structural stiffness added in engine bay because it's metal rather than plastic, the fact that metal expands more than plastic and could place more stress on the car's front frame components, falling on a mechanic's head would be more injurious than a plastic skid plate http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif -- geeeesh I don't know what else http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Then there's the safety issue -- could be that in a frontal collision the engine needs to go somewhere and punching down thru plastic offers less resistance than punching thru 4 mm of aluminium plate http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/huh2.gif  I'm an engineer and I tend to give engineers plenty of leeway on these things.

Don't get me wrong -- I'd love to know why this metal skid plate shouldn't be installed on AWD -- the key here is "AWD". For non AWD S60s and V70s it's no problem.

Low Tide
02-06-2003, 09:17 AM
See the posts in the main forum as well.  I also placed a photo of the plate "XC approved" in the gallery.

02-06-2003, 09:46 AM

Before I spring money for the wood steering wheel, can you find out why it can't be installed in your car? First FDC says yes. Then Jason says yes. And now your salesperson says no! Is there a technical or procedural reason for this? Isn't this a picture of a 2003 XC70 with a Nav system and a "Wood/Leather Steering Wheel"?

http://xc70.com/iB_html/uploads/post-1-18217-wheel.jpg http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/huh2.gif

02-06-2003, 11:33 AM
Thanks for that pic -- that wheel really looks hansome.

Where did you locate that picture ?

Does this picture represent part number 000319 (cost=USD$250) ? This is part number FDC provided me with the other day but I forgot to ask for a pic. The 000319 description is per FDC "Steering wheel wood".

My actions at this time is that I've asked FDC to have an XC70 MY2003 front skid plate (it doesn't replace the stock front plate that curves up onto the front bumper) and a wood/leather steering wheel on hand for me to purchase when I pickup my car. I've said I want prices in advance so I can budget my expenses and that I will want these two items installed at the FDC during my delivery process.

I've asked FDC yesterday for confirmation that this can be done and that the cost of USD $450 for bith items is correct.

02-06-2003, 12:13 PM
I've Emailed FDC asking if they would kindly send me a picture of the "Steering wheel wood" part number 000319.

02-06-2003, 12:30 PM
Hi Barry,
I am curious to see what you get, Steve's picture is of the European installed one, if that turns out to match your number, I will try to get one installed too.


02-06-2003, 02:04 PM
good stuff Barry.. fixed the title. Had me worried there for a sec, thought the database might have been getting corrupted.  http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif  http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/happy.gif

02-13-2003, 06:02 AM
may i go back to the original topic of the thread, comunication with the fdc?

barry, your original posting seems to imply given a choice between the fdc folks and the vcna folks, you would put your eggs in the vcna basket.  i take the opposite postion based on my experience.

except for the wonderful ladies on the 1-800 lines, my communications were directly with a great dealer and the simply outstanding folks at the fdc.  i had no contact directly with jason or the vcna folks.  i had two issues during the process-i originally ordered a car without sunroof and then changed my mind.  my dealer took care of everything, going through jason/vcna i expect.  i wanted the integrated rear seat cooler, an accessory to be installed at delivery.  i dealt directly with alexandra & hans (and anne-sophie) at fdc on this one.  their support was outstanding in every respect.  when we arrived at fdc and at turn in, the fdc folks went above and beyond any reasonable expectations to make our experience a postive one.

soooo...........   here's the report card:

          dealer:       A+
          vcna/jason  NA
          vcna/1-800  A
          fdc             A+  magna cum laude

i feel so strongly about the fdc folks, your topic has prompted me to send them a little something in the mail to help them through the very, very cold winter they are having after the wonderful summer of last year.

hope this is helpful to all.


02-13-2003, 07:00 AM

I believe something internally has happened when FDC Emailed me saying I could have the wood/leather steering wheel and the metal engine grate plate ordered via OSD so long as I put them on my OSD order by Feb 7th. I asked my dealership to add these two items on Feb 4th and VCNA/Jason (not sure who exactly) said it cannot be done -- especially the wood/leather steering wheel. In addition I was told by my dealership (presumably they were told this by VCNA) the FDC didn't know what they were saying.

I've Emailed FDC back saying all of the above and they have been suspiciously quiet now for over a week. Prior to this they would respond to me within 24 hrs.

There has to be some form of mis-communication between FDC and VCNA IMO at this time over some issues.

I have absolutely no quarrel with FDC and as you say, they are extremely polite and helpful.

I'm simply trying to get FDC setup and prepared for my visit as I want a few extra items installed while I'm there -- and VCNA appears to be getting in my way!

02-13-2003, 08:09 AM
Hi Barry,
I also tried to do the same and have gotten no response. All I can think of is that they want to give the dealer the business of adding accessories to the car, I was given resistance from the start on any item that the dealer could add afterwards.


Low Tide
02-13-2003, 08:32 AM
Barry, Kersti, et all-

Me Three. Little response other than a generic we will try, but cannot guarantee anything.  What do we really expect though.... they can't be responsible for things that happen here in the US.  My dealer HAD the time, but failed to get the items added before the FDC "deadline." Jason was of no help as relayed by my sales- either truthful or passing the blame, I do not know.  I think something is indeed amiss.  That being said, I do not really fret about it.  It will work out.  Period.  

I did attempt to get an agreement in writing from the dealer to install OSD requested options at OSD prices here in the US if the FDC was unable to accomadate. Off the records, things are very interesting. On the record, No dice- no way in any direction. I feel that beyond the issues of conflicting information, the salestaff tends to defer to Jason and VCNA for the final word- yet this word has not necessarily been consistent across even our small timeframe of the FEB/MAR OSD group.  You can't put the blame on any one part of the process though.  

So- maybe there is a perceptions that someone somewhere (VCNA is my best guess) is squeezing hard- what part I do not know, but it hurts Volvo. We are still potentially there most loyal and outwardly spoken customers. Pissing us off does nothing. I do not like it, and I suppose if you two continue to have the same issues, we will all have to voice our concerns at some point.  It would be best to improve the program to bring clarity.  So much about Volvo branding revolves around customer transparency.  To whom should concerns be voiced is the question? Its going to be interesting nonetheless.

02-13-2003, 09:00 AM
There comes a point where even the most loyal customer is not worth keeping when they end up costing Volvo money.  First, everyone who participated in the OSD program got a deal.  A really good deal vs. buying from dealer stock.  This is not including the travel benefits.  

If you think you are getting screwed over and mistreated call up your dealer and travel agent and get a quote on how much a similiar program would cost.  I think Volvo has been more than generous and you should considered giving them a break on all this front skid pad and wood steering wheel.

Enjoy your new ride.

02-13-2003, 09:03 AM
kersti/Low Tide, et al:

As time is starting to run out for me wrt to final payment (Feb 28th for me) I will now take a firmer stand with FDC/VCNA. I shall be Emailing FDC/Jason with something like

"In lieu of not obtaining response to my recent Emails sent to FDC I see little alternative but to cancel my order... I don't wish to take this stand but getting no timely responses to my OSD customer requests I feel I'm given no choice... As my final payment is due by Feb 28th I would request that my Email to FDC be responded to by no later than Feb 19th... etc, etc"

What do you all think? Will this approach be reasonable? Wiil this break the log jam in the FDC<->Customer communication snafu that is evident at this time?

I need some advice from you good sensible people.

Low Tide
02-13-2003, 09:21 AM
For the record, I do not WANT a wood steering wheel!  

BARRY!  I think that is pushing it a bit. If I were Jason, I'd cancel your order. The FDC has been very helpful to honor everything that is asked of them. Volvo has really tied to help you add EVERYTHING to the order that you wanted.  Its sort of the case of- oh, I want this too, and this, and this.... whether that be misinformed early or simply from better self-education, it looks the same to someone who doesn't know what you are thinking.  Look at it from the FDC perspective.  They do not know what you are being told by your dealer- they just are getting emails from you.  Alexandra's job is not to build you car or to order extra parts.  Right?  She is Volvo's pointperson to make us feel welcome at the FDC.  She is a Volvo diplomat.  The FDC is likely tied down by perfectly acceptable corporate policy. I think that EVERYTHING will WORK OUT when you are AT the FDC.

The only time that any of us really can complain legitimately is when the dealer/sales here made a misrepresentation of the OSD/TDS process. It is not the responsibility of the OSD offices in Sweden to fix dealer misinformation or misrepresentation. In all respects- it varies considerably by situation.

Personally, I remain happy with the way the experience is evolving. This is a process. Demanding anything from the FDC or OSD offices will get you nowhere.

(Thanks for the Kick up the ASS Bavioder- but I think its partly unjustified) If it wasn't good for Volvo, they wouldn't offer the program. The "deals" we have are relative to Volvo's costs. Period. VCNA is cut out. The sales managers at the dealerships are quite happy- I was told that they make more money on the OSD than they do on a straight sale. Not only that, but the time it takes to respond to us, communicate with the OSD offices, etc is a pain- but in the end they feel justly compensated. In reality, OSD is a "good deal" for everybody. From Volvo's standpoint it is a fantastic marketing opportunity. Period. From Sweden's standpoint, they get travellers/Volvo buyers- and during the low season package prices (Nov-Mar), they get visitors that they otherwise would not get. Period. Don't fault any of the OSD group for being persistent when we are told one thing or in some cases, not told at all....

Again, returning to the FDC issue Barry- it should be a non-issue. Their world is big, and you are only seeing it from one lens. Be careful. I respect their decisions knowing full well that the will do everything they can to serve their customers with the highest respect and attention to needs. Have confidence and RELAX. If you are worried about the car and the trip not being exactly what you want, you will be disappointed. I still want to know why you moved up your trip 2 weeks. That by itself probably caused a shift at the FDC. I'd be pissy about that if it were me handling your email requests. Remember- The #### thing is not going to fall apart if you do not get a wood steering wheel!!!! Repeat it. Its your new mantra. OM.....OOOOMMMMM!


02-13-2003, 09:32 AM
Barry, you are of course free to do whatever you think is right for you. I have already made my final payment and I am still very happy with the the OSD deal, I am just surprised at the lack of interest in allowing us to add options (usually very profitable) to our orders. But personally I think I will play it cool now and enjoy the OSD process, my new car and the trip.


Low Tide
02-13-2003, 09:44 AM
Without question I am happy and excited.  Barry, you still sound stressed, pissed, angry, perturbed, disgusted, and in a panic.  Over WHAT!  Kick yourself, you will feel better.  

I am not going to bitch about anything.  I agree completely with Kersti that options are profitable and attractive, but if they are not available or are too expensive at the FDC, then SO BE IT.  The car is done, its paid for, the trip plans made, what else could we ask for!  Let's not forget to thank Volvo for the opportunity and... then step back..... and gain some freeeeekin perspective on the experience.

02-13-2003, 09:51 AM
Low Tide:

Thanks for the advice -- and will comply.

The moving up my FDC date WAS a personal joke to you as you said you would buy up all the wood/leather steering wheels and leave me with nothing. I then joked with you saying I would get there before you by changing my FDC pickup date. I haven't done that and have not changed my pickup date of March 28th.

My only request to FDC at this point is a request that they have the metal engine grate plate and a wood/leather steering wheel put aside for me so that they can install them on March 28th. At first FDC said yes to this request and to get them on my OSD order by Feb 7th with Plate=$200 and Wood wheel=$250. Then VCNA/Jason stepped in and said NO -- FDC doesn't know what they're doing or don't understand things correctly wrt MY2003... etc.

I will leave things as they are, pay on Feb 28th, hope for a reply from FDC to my latest Email, be a good boy, have fun travelling over to Sweden with my son, enjoy the FDC experience, hopefully get the Plate and Wood wheel, have a great time touring Sweden/Norway and say to myself at the days end, that was good/enjoyable and a GREAT deal + give a BIG "thank you" to all.

I'm happy at this point.

Low Tide
02-13-2003, 10:20 AM
Oh OH.  Now what do I do with 137 wood steering wheels?   http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/blush.gif

02-13-2003, 10:39 AM

There is no need to get upset on a couple of small accessories considering how you saved over $7000 dollars on a great car plus free airfare to Europe. I am confident that you will get your accessories when you pick up your car in Sweden. Based on the feedback from other people picking up their car at FDC, it sounds like a rather trivial thing for them to add accessories after the car is built. More then likely they will have everything on hand and they won't have to special order parts like our local dealership. Also, once you see your wood steering wheel at the store, you can decide if its right for you. I read somewhere in the OSD website that that they encourage you to check out their store in the event that you want to add stuff. I also read somewhere that some of the items are much cheaper then in the state.

In regards to adding things to your OSD purchase, the wood steering wheel is not on the list. However, your steel plate is! Take everything in stride Barry. You will be the new owner of a XC70 in a month and that should be pretty exciting!

02-13-2003, 11:13 AM
Steve0923 is right it is really trivial to add accessories to your car at FDC.  When I went, I didn't order any accessories but when I got there, the fun began.  Also, you have two opportunities to add stuff, when you pick up and when you drop it off.  There is also a XC70 in the lobby which is loaded with accessories to check it out.

02-13-2003, 11:43 AM
I would also add my voice to the advice everone has been giving Barry.  My dealer tells me that FDC does have lots of goodies way below US prices, and that they also thrown in a few for free.   So, hang in there.  You will get what you want and more.    


02-13-2003, 02:41 PM
To All:

First, I really appreciate your feedback and good advice -- collectively it's invaluable.

Second, as bad as my posting may sound I really am very very happy with the OSD/FDC/VCNA program. I'm in no way upset at all and forgive me if my last post sounded sarcastic -- it was said with much sincerity.

Unfortunately, I'm a 'details' sort of person -- don't they say "the devil is in the details"  http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif  I tend to take things literally and have a hard time reading between the lines at times -- my wife help me with this.

This OSD program for the XC70 IS agreat deal and I'm pleased I have the opportunity to benefit from it.

I plan to now let things lay as they are (as you all have suggested) and hope FDC has received my Email and that things will just work out. If not, then OK, it still is a wonderful car purchase deal and as was said, the two accessory items (plate & wood wheel) is a trivial pursuit in the whole scheme of things.

Believe me, I'm a happy OSD customer and look forward to FDC, my tour of Sweden/Norway and my ownership of the XC70 -- can't wait for it to start unfolding  http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

P.S. I've sent no demanding Email to FDC/VCNA/Jason on any of the above. I stopped and ask for advice from you good people first. Based on your feedback I consider myself smart for having done so.  Sooooo, THANKS.

02-13-2003, 11:09 PM
I'm new to the forum, but have been enjoying it and finding it very helpful over the last week or so.  We'll be getting a silver/graphite XC70 with touring, premium, and a 3rd row on 3/27!  I too have been obsessing some about details - I'd like to upgrade the amp and speakers, are there 6 or 8 speakers in the 2003?, and of course the wood steering wheel looks great. Hopefully, some of this can be done in Sweden, but if not, its not make or break for a great car at a great price.  Its actually comforting that some many detail oriented people who thoroughly research a topic come to choose this car. So, Barry, might see you in Sweden, and I'll have them set aside a steering wheel for you as possible!

02-14-2003, 02:08 AM
Welcome, katekka!
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">- I&#39;d like to upgrade the amp and speakers, are there 6 or 8 speakers in the 2003?[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
It depends on the stereo package:
HU-403 has 6 speakers
HU-603 has 8 speakers
HU-803 has 9-13 speakers depending on configuration.

Even if you upgrade (HU-603) with the amp and speakers package, you will get 8 speakers. But the speakers have a different quality (high performance) compared to the original 8 standard speakers. http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif