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September 11th, 2008

Good Dealer Experience

Guess what? I had a good experience at our car dealer today! I took the car in for a simple oil change (and all those other little courtesy things they do) and was out 40 minutes later. Not bad!

I think I’ve been lucky in that the dealers I’ve taken our cars to over the years have been friendly, they haven’t overcharged by large amounts like dealers are expected to do, and have generally been honest and thorough in their work.

I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Where do you get your car taken care of these days? Dealer? Chain shop? Tiny mom and pop shop? Your driveway?

Posted in Cars

jk September 11, 2008, 5:49 pm

40 minutes? That’s outstanding.

I go to my VW dealer since things are under warranty, and because I’ve trusted them for over 20 years. Some of the guys behind the desk have been there for more than 10 years, and the techs have been there for much longer.

One time I went to a mom & pop shop because I thought I’d get a better deal, but they made a misdiagnosis that cost me $500 for something I didn’t need!

Before I bought the Ugly Jetta in 2006, I considered an Acura, and was really concerned about meeting the service guys. I couldn’t imagine leaving my car in the hands of someone I didn’t know. (I have grown to love the Jetta, best car I have ever owned.)

COD September 11, 2008, 6:41 pm

Mom & Pop shop in Fburg. Been going there for 6 years now without a problem.

Steve A September 11, 2008, 11:31 pm

Having been on both sides of the fence, it’s more about can you trust the folks to do the job right. You know Cartalk has a site with honest mechanics listed at http://cartalk.com/content/mechx/

I work at a dealership as a service advisor. When I got out of restaurants I thought I was getting a cushy inside, leave-me-the-hell-alone job and I’ll do all sorts of paperwork. Well, I didn’t know I was going to be the service guy, parts guy, warranty submission guy, cashier, greeter, etc.

You’ll get good service from both indies and dealers. Develop a relationship and you’ll see. For those of you who only go to dealers for warranty issue, you may find this hard to believe, but we actually *do* work hard and dilligantly with folks out of warranty who do routine maintance with us to cover issues under warranty.

I can honestly say I’ve gone way out of my way for several folks and covered problems for them for free or EXTREMELY reduced (labor only) prices.

Ciao,

jk September 12, 2008, 1:28 am

Oh Steve, I believe your job is ANYthing but cushy! Yes, you are definitely the face of that part of the dealership.

Do you get along with the salespeople? I have noticed animosity over the years, almost like there’s a class system in place.

At least you don’t go home smelling like food.

yay for the new Captchas that I can read!!!

Aanen September 12, 2008, 11:43 am

If it’s simple things like brakes, oil, filters, topping off fluids etc, I do it myself. For major repairs, I take it to the dealership.

Steve A September 13, 2008, 12:03 am

JK,

As to whether I get along with the sales force; yes and no. There are some sales people who’ve been there for a long time. I know I can count on them to work for the best interest of the dealership; not just them, not just me, but us all.

As for others, well, they’re there to make a buck. They may not be there next week, next month or next year.

Sure, I’ve had my run ins with the salesmen/women. They think nothing of saying “Sure, come on in” to their customers. I’m caught with my pants down when these folks drive up and I’ve got a full schedule on the books. Yes, I try my damnedest to help them out. But what usually happens is I have them make an appointment telling them, “We like to make sure we’ve allocated the resources to help you.” Then I point out the folks who are there waiting and mention they made their appointments so we could help them with THEIR problems.

Emergencies are dealt with as fast as we can. We also know that folks traveling don’t necessarily have the luxury of coming back. We have to do what needs to get done.

We’ve only got 2 technicians and 3 bays. I try to keep the bays and guys occupied from 7:30am-5:30pm and allow for their lunches too.

Ciao,

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