GM to Customer Complaint of CUE Part I & II: Major Update
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**Cadillac User Experience (CUE)** Discussion, GM to Customer Complaint of CUE Part I & II: Major Update in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; I have always wanted to own a Cadillac. I look at the Cadillac brand as the absolute pinnacle of what ...
  1. #1
    NJRonbo is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    GM to Customer Complaint of CUE: "There is Nothing We Can Do For You"

    I have always wanted to own a Cadillac. I look at the Cadillac brand as the absolute pinnacle of what the General Motors company is able to manufacture. This is my third vehicle I have leased in the last 5 years, and I have continued to stay with the brand because I find their vehicles to provide that signature "ride" and luxury that one would expect.

    In November of last year, as my 2010 SRX lease was about to expire, I already had my mind set on leasing a 2013 vehicle. I had done my research, and the thing I was more excited about than anything else was this new, revolutionary tech product called CUE. Being a huge gadget freak who needs to be the first to own everything new in tech, I wanted the new SRX solely for that CUE technology. In fact, when I went to the dealership and said I was interested in the 2013 SRX, the dealer talked endlessly about how fantastic the CUE system was. No doubt, dealers had been properly trained to make CUE the main focal point when trying to sell these vehicles.

    I couldn't believe how fast my level of excitement sank as I plugged in my iPod and found that every time I selected a favorite song, it played another. The way CUE handled playlists was atrocious.

    Then, I was amazed to discover that upon trying to make a phone call, shortly after entering the vehicle, that I kept getting "the device is still attempting to initialize" response from the CUE system.

    Of course, now all of us know that the biggest problems the CUE system faces are all caused by some engineer's bright idea that none of the information from your phone or iPod should be permanently stored in its database. Every time you enter and leave the vehicle, the CUE system has to reindex itself and re-upload the same information over and over again. This is why you can't make a phone call in the first 5-10 minutes of your drive. This is why if you have an iPod with thousands upon thousands of songs, it can never upload it all fast enough for you to be able to play the song you want.

    Who looked at this kind of functionality and thought it was workable? Even worse, how the hell did Cadillac green light these systems to be installed in their vehicles?


    Before I get to the meat of this story, I have to give credit to the CUE team. Not only have reps participated on this forum, but I have their direct phone number and have been invited to call them anytime that I have concerns.

    The problem is, as much assurance as we have received that they are looking to fix these issues, I don't think there has been a clear roadmap of what is going to be fixed in the update due this March (which was originally supposed to be due in January). If you look at the latest press release that GM has issued, you may think that a major fix is on the way -- and you would be right. But exactly what is being fixed? I see nothing about iPod incompatibility nor the fact that you can't make a phone call as soon as you get into the vehicle. I talk to a CUE rep on the phone and I am told that perhaps these problems can't be fixed without the addition of a hard drive, and another CUE rep talks about flash storage capability. In other words, the stories change pending on who you approach at CUE.

    Still, I give the CUE team a huge amount of kudos. At least they are trying. I can't seem to say the same for GM Executives....


    I decided to write a letter -- an actual typewritten letter that you put a stamp on -- to Daniel Akerson (Chief Executive Officer) and Robert Ferguson (GM VP of Cadillac). I questioned how the CUE system, with all its bugs, was ever approved for placement in their company's flagship line of vehicles. Not an unfair question to ask, given the fact that people who buy a Cadillac expect the very best from the brand. You just don't throw in some cool-looking dashboard entertainment system without making certain that people who pay good money for a product have to spend their initial months of ownership coming to a forum like this and complaining about how it doesn't work.

    And you know what? I wasn't expecting that my letter would actually be read by Mr. Akerson or Mr. Ferguson. But I did expect that I would get some sort of professional, concerned response from the team that stands behind the Cadillac brand.

    Well, the response did come in the form of a phone call. I hate to sit here and insult the people that are hired to deal with consumer complaints at Cadillac, but I felt as if I was dealing with someone who had no right to be in that position. The individual that called me seemed to be the kind of person I would talk to if I were calling the complaint line at my local Target store. I am certain the woman I spoke with was nice, but it was very apparent to me that she was uninformed, and was simply someone who was working in a call center so far beneath the Executive level.

    After pouring out my heart in a letter about being unhappy with the CUE system and that Cadillac should be ashamed for putting it in their flagship brand, the response I got was, "There is nothing we can do for you." When I asked if my complaint had even reached the Executive level, the response was something like, "Well, your letter did reach the Executive offices." Really? And they had someone like you contact me to say "There is nothing we can do for you?"

    Actually, after repeatedly voicing my disgust for the response, I was given some sort of compensation on service. It was a nice gesture that I would not have gotten without the objections I raised, but I am afraid the entire experience has left me somewhat "cold."


    Listen, there may be some of you who think I am making too much of this in light of the fact that the CUE team is trying.

    My continued frustration is that the answers to exactly what has been fixed and what has not, is still not clear. Now three months into the ownership of my SRX, I still can't make a phone call and I don't even use my iPod, because I can't.

    Listen.....perhaps some of you can relate to what I am about to say....

    One of the places I find the most solitude is in my Cadillac. As I drive to and from work, I immensely enjoy the ride beneath me. It is my time to relax, enjoy the drive, make a phone call or two, and enjoy the large collection of music I own on the vehicle's sound system. The most pleasurable part of my day is often the time I spend in my SRX.

    But you know what? I can't listen to the music I want because the CUE system can't properly play music from iPods with large libraries. I can't make a business call without having to wait 5-10 minutes for the vehicle to initialize. This is not the kind of problems that customers who pay a premium for a vehicle like this should have to deal with. Furthermore, I would hope for more direct answers from the CUE team as to whether these problems will definitely be fixed. Lastly, the one thing you don't want to hear when you bring the complaint all the way to the top of the GM Executive chain is, "There is nothing we can do for you."

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  3. #2
    inspectorudy is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: GM to Customer Complaint of CUE: "There is Nothing We Can Do For You"

    As I see it there are three viable options that you/we have. 1. wait and see what the "Big Fix" in March will do for our cars. Sell your car and take the loss. Take the time and money to start a class action law suit against GM and Cadillac. This particular problem is not like other "Lemon" problems because it is a lemon for everyone who owns a CUE car. I hate law suits and have never been a part of one so that is out for me. I like my SRX and will not sell it at a loss and except for the Yougo level CUE system I think it is a very well engineered car. That leaves me with the "Big Fix" option which I am not holding my breath over but hope it will correct some of the issues we all are experiencing. I am getting better at the voice thing but it is still cumbersome and frustrating to use. Like I said in another post I use my favorites bars more than any other icon on the screen and find it really clumsy to use the flip and flick method of searching. I always thought that computers were supposed to make things easier not more complicated. The designers of this system seem to have forgotten what the goal was for the system in the first place. On any late model car you can plug an Ipod/Ipad, USB device or SD card and play your media back or use your phone via blue tooth without a lot of trouble. What were they thinking? Did not one single engineer have a music device with over 1000 songs on it? Did he not ever attempt to play it? I'm sticking around and I like my car but I think CUE has a long way to go for the average person to embrace it and use it like his/her PC or laptop.

  4. #3
    pkadanec is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: GM to Customer Complaint of CUE: "There is Nothing We Can Do For You"

    This is my 2 cents... I have a 2013 XTS and have experienced many of the same issues that you have with your SRX and QUE. One of my previous vehicles was a 2009 CTS Premium. I had multiple issues with this vehicle. To make a long story short, because i was in a loaner more that i was in my vehicle for the first 6 months, I ended up 'Lemon Law'ing" the vehicle. I was so incensed with my original dealership, as I felt that while they had tried somewhat, they had not done all they could. So when it came time to select my replacement vehicle, i chose a 2010 SRX and a new dealer. This dealership "McKenney Cadillac in Charlotte NC) has gone out of their way (in fact i have purchased 2 additional vehicles from them). I have had my share of issues with the other vehicles, I assure you. They one constant is, that the dealership, and more specifically the service department, NEVER LET IT GET TO THE POINT THAT YOU ARE AT! While there is most likely nothing that can be done about CUE until the update arrives (and maybe even after that), i am confident that my dealer has my back. They will go out of their way to not let me get so pissed off that i am writing letters to the CEO of GM. Do not get me wring, I am sure your letter was brilliant ( I assume so from the details in your post), but it all comes down to how well your dealer takes care of these types of issues. Keep us posted on any response you get from GM. Keep fighting!

  5. #4
    NJRonbo is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: GM to Customer Complaint of CUE: "There is Nothing We Can Do For You"

    They will go out of their way to not let me get so pissed off that i am writing letters to the CEO of GM
    pkadenec,

    I appreciate your advice as well as that of inspectorudy.

    At this point, my frustrations extend far beyond that of just CUE. I cannot believe (or maybe I should in this day and age) that when I send typewritten first-class letters to the executives of a company like GM, the response I receive is in the form of what seems to be a third-tier call center staffed with uninformed high-school graduates.

    At the very least, I had hoped that I would have gotten a call from someone who was clearly an Executive with the company, and who showed some sort of sympathy for the situation that CUE owners like myself are now dealing with.

    Having already gone to the top and gotten the kind of response that I have, I don't think I am going to get anywhere complaining to the dealership. I don't quite know how to fight this yet, and I suppose I have to sit and wait until the CUE team issues an update first. I am just not particularly optimistic everything is going to be fixed as already, there aren't clear answers coming from their reps as to what will and won't be fixed in this next update.

  6. #5
    slepr is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: GM to Customer Complaint of CUE: "There is Nothing We Can Do For You"

    It seems to me that, in essence, CUE users are beta testing new software. It appears that real world use wasn't adequately tested prior to release. I feel that the CUE team will correct the problems with updates just like every other software manufacturer must do in order to keep current with everyones hardware. For me, I use a Windows Phone 8 and have not had music playback issues with CUE. I do have the requisite long delay for initialization required to make calls. My uneducated suggestion would be to allow us to upload phone, MP3 player, SD, USB stick data to a physical memory space in the CUE hardware. If we change something on those devices then have a method to invoke a re-sync at our discretion. That would eliminate this constant intialization that has to occur every time we start the vehicle. I keep a 32GB usb stick plugged in 24/7 and because of this indexing requirement it is hit or miss whether the stick will be recognized forcing me to open the cubby and remove and resinsert the stick to have it recogized by CUE. Right now I am anxiously awaiting the major update around the corner.

  7. #6
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    Cadillac_Fan is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: GM to Customer Complaint of CUE: "There is Nothing We Can Do For You"

    Quote Originally Posted by slepr View Post
    It seems to me that, in essence, CUE users are beta testing new software. It appears that real world use wasn't adequately tested prior to release.
    Nailed it. Unfortunately, consumers (especially luxury car buyers) do not enjoy the insult of being $60,000 guinea pigs/lab rats. Given what I have read, I am reconsidering my XTS purchase this year. The way NJRonbo has been treated is disgraceful and shameful, if not alarming, as a new Cadillac owner.

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    cullama213 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: GM to Customer Complaint of CUE: "There is Nothing We Can Do For You"

    I have never had to wait to make a call... What kind of phone do you have, if you don't mind me asking?

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    NJRonbo is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: GM to Customer Complaint of CUE: "There is Nothing We Can Do For You"

    I have a Galaxy Note II (Android)

    However, I have about 500 contacts in the database which is probably the reason why it takes forever for me to make a call. CUE is too busy trying to reupload those contacts every time I enter the vehicle.

  10. #9
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    st4422 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    I have an iPhone 4S with 250 contacts and don't have a problem making a call immediately after starting the car. Maybe it is phone related.

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    NJRonbo is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: GM to Customer Complaint of CUE: "There is Nothing We Can Do For You"

    That's good to know, actually. I know my phone pairs immediately when starting the vehicle, but it continues to "initialize" for several minutes before I can place my first phone call. If I get out of the vehicle the process starts all over again from the beginning.

  12. #11
    cullama213 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: GM to Customer Complaint of CUE: "There is Nothing We Can Do For You"

    Quote Originally Posted by NJRonbo View Post
    I have a Galaxy Note II (Android)

    However, I have about 500 contacts in the database which is probably the reason why it takes forever for me to make a call. CUE is too busy trying to reupload those contacts every time I enter the vehicle.
    I bet it has to do with your contact count... I might have 100 contacts, which is probably why I am not having an issue...

    Sorry man... I feel your pain with the iPod though...

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    NJRonbo is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: GM to Customer Complaint of CUE: "There is Nothing We Can Do For You"

    Actually, I think I am going to have something further to report back here shortly. I am not done with this issue, and I think I have found a means of reaching someone who may be influential at Cadillac.

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    slepr is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: GM to Customer Complaint of CUE: "There is Nothing We Can Do For You"

    Guess I should clarify what I meant when I said I had to wait to make a call. I can make a manual call immediately, however if I want to use the voice search for a contact on my phone to make the call I must wait for the initialization process to occur. Having a large number of contacts seems to be what causes the delay since CUE is trying to index them each and every time the phone pairs.

  15. #14
    pkadanec is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: GM to Customer Complaint of CUE: "There is Nothing We Can Do For You"

    NJRonbo, I would still not discount the pull that the dealers have with GM. Keep pushing them to engage their GM rep's. Just another front to keep the pressure on them to resolve the issues!

  16. #15
    NJRonbo is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: GM to Customer Complaint of CUE: "There is Nothing We Can Do For You"

    NJRonbo, I would still not discount the pull that the dealers have with GM. Keep pushing them to engage their GM rep's. Just another front to keep the pressure on them to resolve the issues!
    I absolutely will, I promise. Thank You.

    First I need to see how this new development works out. I'll be back in touch shortly.

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