Can I get a table for two? Your Infiniti might provide the answer
Infiniti just announced its latest marketing gimmick: free access to a personal concierge.
How did the Yankees do last night? Could you reserve me a table for two at Smith & Wollensky's for 7 p.m.? And, what time is my meeting today with John Junior's teacher?
Whether you are scatterbrained, lazy or just too overwhelmed by your busy life to sweat the small stuff, help is here in the form of Infiniti's "Anything, Anytime, Anywhere" service.
It's called Infiniti Personal Assistant or IPA.
It's a 24-hour concierge service that, like roadside assistance, is included in the retail price of every new Infiniti vehicle.
The Japanese automaker kicked off a full rollout of the program on July 11 after a nine-month test in four major cities.
IPA is part of what the carmaker calls the Infiniti Total Ownership Experience.
It's free for the first four years of ownership.
Access to a team of live bodies is 24/7, primarily through the owner's cell phone, either in the car through the Bluetooth hands-free system or away from the car.
Access can also be achieved via email, texting or other online portals.
The trained personal assistant on the other end can answer questions and perform tasks on a wide range of topics, such as directory assistance, driving directions, city guides, weather, dining options and reservations, movie times and reviews, stock market updates, sports scores and stats, and even consumer product reviews and prices.
Infiniti owners can also add a second "companion" phone number to the service for $199 per year.
Once the free four-year introductory period expires, Infiniti owners can renew the subscription on an annual basis for that same $199.
If an owner trades in or sells a qualifying Infiniti before the end of the complimentary four-year period, however, the service cannot be transferred to the new owner.
That seemed odd to me, so I contacted Infiniti to find out why.
I was told that Infiniti views the IPA as a gift to the initial buyer of its vehicles as a welcome to the brand. And because it is a gift, it's not transferable, though some IPA options are available if you buy a preowned Infiniti from a franchised dealer.
I don't know if this will actually help Infiniti sell some cars, but it can't hurt.
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