News: Care By Volvo Is Off To A Messy Start

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The Care by Volvo subscription service sounded like a hell of a deal. Pay $600 a month and you’d get not only a brand-new Volvo XC40, but everything from insurance to basic maintenance thrown in with it. No down payments, no extra fees. And it should be a deal—but multiple would-be subscribers say their promised cars haven’t shown up.

Six months after the details were ironed out, many people who ordered months ago are still waiting. There are some reports of happy and satisfied customers, but more often than not, we’ve been seeing complaints from forum users and people who reached out to Jalopnik directly.

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“We ordered in early Feb and they gave us a delivery date of April 13, then April 26, and now nothing,” Care by Volvo customer Cameron Balch wrote in an email.

“The cars are built and waiting to be delivered, but the holdup is apparently with the paperwork and contracts.”

Additionally, “The wait is killing me,” forum poster krcossin wrote on SwedeSpeed. “Communication has been poor,” reddit user mikecyim wrote. “I’m about to get a 96 Camry and drive it until it explodes,” SwedeSpeed member blazn420 said, seemingly out of desperation.

It really should be quite simple. Pay the $600 a month (or $700 a month, if you want a few extra bells and whistles), and in return, you get the aforementioned Volvo XC40, everything from tires to brakes and even wiper blades, and insurance provided by Liberty Mutual.

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We were sort of astounded when we first heard that Liberty Mutual would be providing insurance to a wide swath of people at the same flat rate, but supposedly all the i’s were dotted and all the t’s were crossed on the program when we spoke to Liberty Mutual and Volvo back in December:

Liberty Mutual still reserves the right to reject a driver for the Care by Volvo program, Liberty Mutual spokesperson April Scoville told me over the phone. And while she couldn’t get into specifics over who would be rejected (though you probably won’t get a chance to enter the program if you’ve got, say, 12 DUIs in the past six months) or if you could find yourself ejected from the program after crashing your Volvo for the seventh time in two days, citing the nature of varying personal cases and state-by-state laws, she did say that the huge variable costs are actually entirely eaten by Volvo.

In other words, Liberty Mutual is charging its usual insurance rates, and then Volvo is the one passing the flat fee onto you. So if Volvo ends up with a bunch of MANIACS on their hands, they could find themselves losing money hand-over-fist on this whole setup.

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But that’s not the case as the program heads into its launch phase. Orders placed months ago are still unfulfilled. Cars are stuck in port, just past customs, but not in the hands of customers. There’s been vague finger-pointing at Liberty Mutual from Volvo’s “concierges,” who are supposed to be guiding customers through the new subscription process.

Fellow SwedeSpeed poster dipsea said that the car had made it into the United States from its factory in Belgium, but then, nothing:

This is the latest I received from the concierge. She sent an email previously letting me know my car was in the port but can’t be delivered due to the paperwork.

04/30/2018 01:43 PM

Hi dpsea,

Unfortunately we have not been provided with an estimate on when the paperwork will be finalized for the Care by Volvo application process to begin. I do apologize for this inconvenience. As soon as I receive an update on the paperwork, I will be contacting you.

Reddit user BeachDog123 said that their XC40 had been delayed multiple times:

Is anyone else having issues with the care by volvo program? I haven’t heard anything from them, so I decided to check in last month and found out the my order was delayed. Checked in the next three weeks in a row and found out it had been pushed back each time. The main issue is that I’m having to reach out to them to find this out. At this point I’m supposed to take delivery next week, but still haven’t heard anything or done the credit/driving history check.

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“Just spoke to my concierge;” wrote KVL on SwedeSpeed. “Production moved up two weeks to mid-May and delivery to mid-July. He also stated that Volvo had not sorted out the insurance issues with Liberty Mutual as of yet.”

Some sort of paperwork issue appeared to be a common thread. “Some people’s orders have been delayed by two months (mine has been a month), and Volvo is not giving answers to consumers or giving us ETAs,” another Jalopnik reader who wished to remain anonymous emailed us. “Our cars are being indefinitely held at a port in New Jersey because of ‘legality issues’ with the Care by Volvo subscription service.”

Care by Volvo, in short, “turned out to be worse than the conventional way and is actually a horrible non-transparent process,” the reader added, saying that Volvo’s concierge service was not responding to emails or calls.

An email to Liberty Mutual was not been returned as of this writing.

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for Volvo said that it was still working to get cars to Care by Volvo subscribers:

Care by Volvo has been very popular and Volvo Concierge is in constant 1-1 contact with each customer regarding their delivery program. When we announced Care by Volvo in November we shared our goal of delivering the first cars in Spring 2018 and that goal remains. We are offering personal assistance to customers transitioning from a traditional lease to a subscription, including temporary transportation.

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The spokesperson went on to say, however, that the situation had “nothing to do with Liberty Mutual.”

But if the problems are not resolved soon, it may be too late for many customers in the program.

Just yesterday, forum user callmevolvomaybe said that they were still having trouble, having ordered a Volvo XC40 R-Design back in January with a delivery date of April 30th.

““My” car cleared customs over 2 weeks ago,” they wrote. “Getting replies from my “concierge” is like pulling teeth. The lack of communication is astounding.”

They continued:

I will give it a couple of weeks and then bail. I needed a 2nd car in March, but this was going to be such a perfect fit, I decided to to just rent a car when I need one for the couple of months. If it happens, it’ll be my first Volvo. If it doesn’t.... I’ll probably buy a Q3.

Do you know what’s going on with Care by Volvo? Are you a customer of the program, and do you want to tell us how it’s going? Contact us.

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