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Why I hate dealership service departments

 
  #21  
Old 05-02-2019, 11:29 PM
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stu46h Well said. Simply put, affirmative action is a completely illogical disaster. It artificially elevates the less competent and likewise suppresses the more competent. I will leave this with a quote - "there is no greater inequality than trying to make unequal things equal."
 
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  #22  
Old 05-03-2019, 09:25 AM
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I agree.
They shouldn't be hired first just because they're women.
If a truly Level Playing Field is the goal, then Everyone should have to play the same game by the same rules.

However.
IF everyone IS playing the same game by the same rules and doing the same work, then Everyone should be PAID the same no matter the gender.
(';')
 
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  #23  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by SinF View Post
Today I was talking about engine recall (of non-Jaguar car) to the dealer. I thought, while you are there, service my brakes too. I was told this requires Service B and quoted $450. What?! To take out pads, clean it out, grease pins, and sliders?!

I think I will be doing spite brake job myself this weekend. These days I prefer others to do the work, but considering the job will take me 45 minutes at most, this exceeds my billable rate.

These 'packages' have become particularly common in the last 20 years or so and are primarily the result of modern cars A) being more durable and reliable and B) having greatly reduced service intervals and serviceable items. Bluntly, far fewer opportunities for the service department to make a profit......while, at the same time, dealer principals depending ever increasingly on service department profits to shore-up the dealership's overall profit structure. The 'packages'....often containing lots of fluff....are a way to gain some of it back.

Having spent 30 years working in dealership service and parts departments, 23 of them in management, I can relate to what everyone here is saying. I'm guessing that I've hired, fired, and trained more technicians, service advisors, warranty administrators, lot attendants, cashiers, etc that most anyone here has ever met. As the saying goes, "I could write a book". But, I'll spare everyone and just make a couple remarks.

First, and without trying to excuse the poor service and incompetence that I know does exist, I'd like to remind everyone that there are two sides to every story. Always.

Second.....

I got out of the business 11 years ago. For a variety if reasons I would never go back. It's a very difficult business. Running a shop servicing 600-800 cars a month is a challenge. But, what follows very briefly encapsulates the main reason for my departure.

The last dealer I worked for (for 15 years) was a great place and the over-riding philosophy, for most of that time, was good work, fair prices, fair policies, and keep the customer coming back for service 3-4 times a year, year-after-year. Trust, loyalty, good service. Customer retention. It worked.

Eventually, towards the end, that philosophy was replaced by "Get every dime you can squeeze out of every customer, every time they come in". I use quotation marks because that's an exact quote from the dealer principal to his management staff.

This I could not abide. It was the absolute antithesis of what I had spent so many years building. We parted ways.

I'll leave it at that.

Cheers
DD
 

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  #24  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by AJ16er View Post
stu46h Well said. Simply put, affirmative action is a completely illogical disaster. It artificially elevates the less competent and likewise suppresses the more competent.
Affirmative action certainly creates the opening to elevate the less competent and suppress the more competent. I think we'd all agree that this does occur. But, I don't think it should be regarded as the only, inevitable result.

Life isn't always fair. Absolute equality is not possible. Still, I believe we can and should address blatant inequalities whenever we can. Reducing inequality, when we can, is not the same as expecting absolute equality.

The problem, of course, comes in the form of eliminating one unfairness only to replace it with another unfairness

Cheers
DD
 
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  #25  
Old 05-03-2019, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug View Post
Affirmative action certainly creates the opening to elevate the less competent and suppress the more competent. I think we'd all agree that this does occur. But, I don't think it should be regarded as the only, inevitable result.

Life isn't always fair. Absolute equality is not possible. Still, I believe we can and should address blatant inequalities whenever we can. Reducing inequality, when we can, is not the same as expecting absolute equality.

The problem, of course, comes in the form of eliminating one unfairness only to replace it with another unfairness

Cheers
DD
AA does more than merely create an opening. It blatantly prefers certain groups over others because the purveyors of the equality ideology deem that any inequality is the product of an ism - be it "racism" or "sexism." When in reality it is just genetic capability or lack of it manifesting itself.

An example is the Harvard admissions criteria. They have higher standards for Asian applicants and lower ones for blacks. If everyone is equal like liberalism teaches then why have different standards? Seems like quite a contradiction. They are fighting a battle with nature to make reality fit their ideology rather than have their ideology fit reality. Such battles can only lead to terrible consequences and are ultimately futile.
 
  #26  
Old 05-03-2019, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by AJ16er View Post
AA does more than merely create an opening. It blatantly prefers certain groups over others because the purveyors of the equality ideology deem that any inequality is the product of an ism - be it "racism" or "sexism." When in reality it is just genetic capability or lack of it manifesting itself.
I think you (conveniently?) missed the part where I said "I think we'd all agree that this does occur" and "The problem, of course, comes in the form of eliminating one unfairness only to replace it with another unfairness"

Without going into the weeds, I'm fundamentally in agreement with you. Like life itself, Affirmative Action isn't necessarily fair or right.



[
If everyone is equal like liberalism teaches then why have different standards?


Exactly, except I'm not aware of any liberal espousing the idea that "everyone is equal". To the contrary, more commonly liberals point out that people are not equal, and attempt to reduce the inequality. And sometimes it backfires. The problem with any program, idea, group, movement....whatever...is that it can (and often does) became as bad as that which it proclaims to oppose.

Still, there are inequalities that exist that can be fixed. There's nothing wrong with that. Failure on some fronts doesn't mean we give up the effort.

Cheers
DD
 
  #27  
Old 05-03-2019, 09:56 PM
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I'm not sure I can consider it progress when in the last several decades we exchanged a society where white men were given preference above all others for a society where all others are given preference over white men. Sounds like payback more than equality.
Some think that the pendulum needs to swing the other way to correct an inequity of the past, but I think that logic is flawed and I compare it to chasing ghosts.
How far does the pendulum need to swing the other way and for how long? Who gets to decide? How do we measure it?
And the biggest question, how do we know when the "debt has been repaid"?
It's just impossible to define and therefore an exercise in futility. But some use this to play with our tax dollars so they love it.
A Camden, NJ official once said that all the money that the state pours into the city hasn't helped the citizens, but don't stop sending the money. What???!!!
 
  #28  
Old 05-03-2019, 09:57 PM
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I guess we ran out of dealership stories and moved to social issues.
 
  #29  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by stu46h View Post
I'm not sure I can consider it progress when in the last several decades we exchanged a society where white men were given preference above all others for a society where all others are given preference over white men. Sounds like payback more than equality.
Some think that the pendulum needs to swing the other way to correct an inequity of the past, but I think that logic is flawed and I compare it to chasing ghosts.
How far does the pendulum need to swing the other way and for how long? Who gets to decide? How do we measure it?
And the biggest question, how do we know when the "debt has been repaid"?
!
I see nothing but pendulum swinging for some time to come. It appears the country is in love with it.

Cheers
DD
 
  #30  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by stu46h View Post
I guess we ran out of dealership stories and moved to social issues.
I have dozens, maybe hundreds. I just don't have the strength to tell them . And some would be about the customers who were liars, cheaters, and deceivers....and might not get a good reception here !

Cheers
DD
 
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  #31  
Old 05-04-2019, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug View Post
These 'packages' have become particularly common in the last 20 years or so and are primarily the result of modern cars A) being more durable and reliable and B) having greatly reduced service intervals and serviceable items. Bluntly, far fewer opportunities for the service department to make a profit......while, at the same time, dealer principals depending ever increasingly on service department profits to shore-up the dealership's overall profit structure. The 'packages'....often containing lots of fluff....are a way to gain some of it back.

Having spent 30 years working in dealership service and parts departments, 23 of them in management, I can relate to what everyone here is saying. I'm guessing that I've hired, fired, and trained more technicians, service advisors, warranty administrators, lot attendants, cashiers, etc that most anyone here has ever met. As the saying goes, "I could write a book". But, I'll spare everyone and just make a couple remarks.

First, and without trying to excuse the poor service and incompetence that I know does exist, I'd like to remind everyone that there are two sides to every story. Always.

Second.....

I got out of the business 11 years ago. For a variety if reasons I would never go back. It's a very difficult business. Running a shop servicing 600-800 cars a month is a challenge. But, what follows very briefly encapsulates the main reason for my departure.

The last dealer I worked for (for 15 years) was a great place and the over-riding philosophy, for most of that time, was good work, fair prices, fair policies, and keep the customer coming back for service 3-4 times a year, year-after-year. Trust, loyalty, good service. Customer retention. It worked.

Eventually, towards the end, that philosophy was replaced by "Get every dime you can squeeze out of every customer, every time they come in". I use quotation marks because that's an exact quote from the dealer principal to his management staff.

This I could not abide. It was the absolute antithesis of what I had spent so many years building. We parted ways.

I'll leave it at that.

Cheers
DD
Doug, I think you and I live parallel lives.
32 years in the dealership, 27 in management, been out for 10. Good and bad stories from both sides of the counter.
Makes it very hard to be a customer today.

Don't miss it a bit and I'm healthier and happier now!!
 
  #32  
Old 05-04-2019, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by RudyF6 View Post
Doug, I think you and I live parallel lives.
32 years in the dealership, 27 in management, been out for 10. Good and bad stories from both sides of the counter.
Makes it very hard to be a customer today.

Don't miss it a bit and I'm healthier and happier now!!
Yup!

I could never go back to that life and, even if I wanted to, it's doubtful that any dealer would take me !

Lucky me, I landed a dream job: I the caretaker of a family-owned collection of classic cars.

Cheers
DD.
 
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  #33  
Old 05-04-2019, 08:44 AM
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I'm sure that there are customers who are a pain in the *** in many ways, but in my experiences the work is flawed and they flat out lied to me.
They do crappy work on my cars or I bring the car in for one problem and they don't even address it.
I spent my career maintaining airplanes, not cars, and I can relate to what the service department is doing. I was a mechanic in a one man station, doing everything including maintaining my stock. I spent 27 years in management working with the mechanics or utility employees who maintained their stock. I needed to make sure that parts were in stock for scheduled work on airplanes just like they (should) do for cars.
If you say that you have the parts for an appointment, you need to have the parts for the appointment or at least contact the customer and reschedule. That's basic courtesy.
In fact, I don't think they even payed attention enough to realize the parts problem until I was standing in front of them. Awful customer service and poor management.
In my career you were just supposed to have parts available at all times and if you didn't you weren't maintaining your stock properly and that went against your numbers which reduced your annual raise, and it went on a report that went nationwide so everyone knew about it. And that included every gasket and O-ring, nut and bolt.
Did the service manager get a reduced raise because he didn't have the part for my appointment? I'd bet not.
I have no sympathy for this behavior.
Doug, If you have a few entertaining stories, feel free to post them. As long as no animals are hurt I can't see anyone being offended.
 
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  #34  
Old 05-04-2019, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by stu46h View Post
In fact, I don't think they even payed attention enough to realize the parts problem until I was standing in front of them. Awful customer service and poor management.
The parts manager and I worked out a very simple system of notifying the service desk if there was a shortage of normally stocked, fast-moving parts. Running out of stock of parts for a recall was especially embarrassing.

A couple times, if parts department dropped the ball, I had the responsible parts guy come up to the service desk so he could feel what's it like to get your face melted by an understandably irate customer. Heh heh, I'd sometimes do the same when a salesman made some crazy promise to a customer without checking with us first.

Ours was a large, high volume operation, typically about 120 employees all told. About 50-55 employees in service, parts, and body shop. It was essential, not optional, for to have a reliable, effective process for everything. Sometimes smaller operations think they can 'wing it'. But, usually, they can't.

We were fortunate that our dealer allowed us virtual carte blanche in running our departments, hiring staff, etc. Not true in many dealers where management is hamstrung at every turn.

Having a well-seasoned, long-term staff is a real plus. If you see different faces at the service desk every time you visit, well, that's not a good sign at all. Service Advisor burn-out is a very real thing. High turnover is a sure sign that the staff is poorly selected and/or isn't getting the support they need. If the person at the service desk has been there 5-10-15 years it's probably a well run, well supported service department.

More later

Cheers
DD
 
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  #35  
Old 05-04-2019, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug View Post
Having a well-seasoned, long-term staff is a real plus. If you see different faces at the service desk every time you visit, well, that's not a good sign at all. Service Advisor burn-out is a very real thing. High turnover is a sure sign that the staff is poorly selected and/or isn't getting the support they need. If the person at the service desk has been there 5-10-15 years it's probably a well run, well supported service department.
DD
This ^^^^^ is where we were fortunate - I was parts mgr - 32 years, service mgr - 33, shop foreman 40, 2 of 3 advisors at 10+ and we all communicated well. Hell, we had several techs 25+ years! I don't know how they do it that long.

Unfortunately, we succumbed to a greedy 3rd generation owner in '09...... was actually a blessing.
I might have still been working there!
 
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  #36  
Old 05-04-2019, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug View Post
Lucky me, I landed a dream job: I the caretaker of a family-owned collection of classic cars.
I met a couple of guys who do that when I inquired about a 1985 Cartech Toyota Supra that was offered for sale. I was given the address of a non-descript warehouse screened by eight foot tall hedges all around in a posh section of uptown Dallas and told to push the microphone button on a security gate when I arrived. Once inside, there were Ferraris, Porsches, a Duesenberg, vintage hot rods and open wheel race cars. In the corner was something odd, a plain looking white Ford Granada with factory hubcaps but as I rounded the back I swear it one slick tire across the entire width of the car (the worlds most extreme "sleeper"). It was a very diverse collection. The place was air conditioned with a glossy epoxy floor and kept absolutely spotless. Had a separate room with a fully equipped machine shop that a lot of commercial machine shops would be jealous of. Of interest to me tho, the guy had driven in the Formula Atlantic series and so had an affinity for Toyota vehicles of the 1980s. The owner had two full-time employees working for him who maintained the collection, traveled with him to support his racing hobby and worked on current restoration and customization projects. Both had been working there for decades. I told them I thought they were the luckiest people in the world as I thought they just had the coolest jobs. I'd dearly love to ditch the office and be able to do something like that but my automotive experience is all just hobby-related. I couldn't compete with an experienced automotive technician.
 
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Old 05-04-2019, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by RudyF6 View Post
This ^^^^^ is where we were fortunate - I was parts mgr - 32 years, service mgr - 33, shop foreman 40, 2 of 3 advisors at 10+ and we all communicated well. Hell, we had several techs 25+ years! I don't know how they do it that long.
+1

Assemble an experienced team and, wow, what a difference.

I started off in Parts Department and that's really what I enjoyed most, by far. Hired on a a shipping clerk. The Parts Counterman, then Service Advisor, then Parts Manager, then Service Manager, then Fixed Ops Director. The early days were fun. Later, not so much.

Unfortunately, we succumbed to a greedy 3rd generation owner in '09...... was actually a blessing.
I might have still been working there!
Exactly. Having a major "here's how things ought to be" disagreement with the dealer was the best thing that ever happened to me. But we parted well. He did a lot for me and I did a lot for him. But we reached the point where we couldn't help each other any longer.

Cheers
DD
 
  #38  
Old 05-04-2019, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by pdupler View Post
I met a couple of guys who do that when I inquired about a 1985 Cartech Toyota Supra that was offered for sale. I was given the address of a non-descript warehouse screened by eight foot tall hedges all around in a posh section of uptown Dallas and told to push the microphone button on a security gate when I arrived. Once inside, there were Ferraris, Porsches, a Duesenberg, vintage hot rods and open wheel race cars.
Sounds familiar

We're working on a 120,000 square foot museum, hopefully opening by the end of this year

Cheers
DD
 
  #39  
Old 05-04-2019, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by doug View Post
these 'packages' have become particularly common in the last 20 years or so and are primarily the result of modern cars a) being more durable and reliable and b) having greatly reduced service intervals and serviceable items. Bluntly, far fewer opportunities for the service department to make a profit......while, at the same time, dealer principals depending ever increasingly on service department profits to shore-up the dealership's overall profit structure. The 'packages'....often containing lots of fluff....are a way to gain some of it back.

Having spent 30 years working in dealership service and parts departments, 23 of them in management, i can relate to what everyone here is saying. I'm guessing that i've hired, fired, and trained more technicians, service advisors, warranty administrators, lot attendants, cashiers, etc that most anyone here has ever met. As the saying goes, "i could write a book". But, i'll spare everyone and just make a couple remarks.

First, and without trying to excuse the poor service and incompetence that i know does exist, i'd like to remind everyone that there are two sides to every story. Always.

Second.....

I got out of the business 11 years ago. For a variety if reasons i would never go back. It's a very difficult business. Running a shop servicing 600-800 cars a month is a challenge. But, what follows very briefly encapsulates the main reason for my departure.

The last dealer i worked for (for 15 years) was a great place and the over-riding philosophy, for most of that time, was good work, fair prices, fair policies, and keep the customer coming back for service 3-4 times a year, year-after-year. Trust, loyalty, good service. Customer retention. It worked.

Eventually, towards the end, that philosophy was replaced by "get every dime you can squeeze out of every customer, every time they come in". I use quotation marks because that's an exact quote from the dealer principal to his management staff.

This i could not abide. It was the absolute antithesis of what i had spent so many years building. We parted ways.

I'll leave it at that.

Cheers
dd
and now we're seeing new hires paid what i started at 22 years ago or less. Then they start doing the gravy work that us older seasoned techs that can diagnose rely on to make up for the crap we loose our asses on. (most warranty work) this greatly increases profits to the dealership if the labor cost is much much lower on this type work. Very short sighted though because youre not training people to do the hard stuff when they should be doing just that. Sadly you start seeing a lot of long term employees not moving to other shops but getting out of the industry all together. As word gets around many younger people are choosing different paths other than automotive technology. And every year the technology is getting more and more compicated. Most cars really require a specialist that really knows the cars just like when you go to a specialist doctor.
But then imo i think the country as a whole is vacating life long careers paths. Personally i have 4 different myself. Sales, service, management and none was automotive related until jaguar. But all that experinace before made me a much better employee and tech as a result. But i keep saying.. Only a few moe years and i can retire.
 
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Old 05-04-2019, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug View Post
Sounds familiar

We're working on a 120,000 square foot museum, hopefully opening by the end of this year

Cheers
DD
I hope you have success. I was reading recently about how a whole bunch of automotive museums have been shutting down because the attendance is down to nothing and the endowments aren't there anymore. We lost our Pate Museum of Transportation a few years ago. But museums in general are struggling as people don't seem to be interested in the past anymore. I've been to a bunch of automotive museums myself. I was hoping to get up your way to see the LeMay collections this summer.

Originally Posted by Brutal View Post
Sadly you start seeing a lot of long term employees not moving to other shops but getting out of the industry all together.
My cousin was a Honda tech for 25 years, much of it in supervisory role and recently went to work for Goodyear doing tire plant maintenance which is sort of still in the auto industry, but different enough to count among those bailing out.
 

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