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Why I hate dealership service departments

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Why I hate dealership service departments

 
  #41  
Old 05-04-2019, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by pdupler View Post
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.
Fortunately this museum is really just an extension of the family hobby, many years in the making. It isn't really a matter of endowments, attendance, and the ensuing struggle to keep the doors open. If nothing else they have a gorgeous setting to come look at all their babies . The plan, at the moment, is to be open a couple days a week during spring and summer and host club events from time-to-time.

It should be fun!

Cheers
DD
 
  #42  
Old 05-04-2019, 10:14 PM
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Brutal touched on something that is often overlooked but is very important.
If you keep giving your new people the easy work, when your senior people finally leave, and they will sooner or later, who is going to do the difficult work? That practice is not sustainable.
In the last year or two before I retired we got some good new young mechanics and I told them from day one that I was going to give them more work than the more senior guys because they needed the experience. I tried to mix the different types of work between the older and younger guys, often it depended on how big the fire was under my ***. It was nice to see the younger guys become more competent. It was good for everyone.
You have to get the young guys up the learning curve. You have to develop your people. You can't move up yourself if you haven't prepared someone to take your place.
One thing that pissed me off was when they told me that my raise was less because I make more than the new guy. I was like, yeah, I've been here for 25 years and he's been here for 25 months, so I had better make more than him. What's the problem that you're trying to solve? Frustrating.
Unfortunately, I see bad management all over the place. It's an epidemic. Poor organization, communication, and people skills. Problem solving and creative thinking are becoming extinct.
I've watched restaurants seat people with dogs and not know it. How does the hostess at Longhorn not notice that someone is carrying a dog (not a service animal)? If it bit her, would she then notice? If it was a bomb would she have noticed that? Would she have noticed if someone was on fire? Can I go out to a restaurant and not dine with dogs? Is that asking too much? Pretty soon, Alpo and Milk Bones will be on the menu with the ribeyes and sirloins. I asked to be seated on the other side of the restaurant.
My girlfriend works for the city and gets 5 weeks of vacation but has no formal timeline to have it approved. And she's in the union. Crappy union. I once had to cancel a vacation, reschedule my vacation at my job, cancel and reschedule lodging because her employer never responded to her vacation request for 5 months. Pathetic.
I'm glad I didn't book a cruise.
I'll stop the rant there. I could go on.....but I feel better now.
Good point, Brutal. Sorry I wandered.
 

Last edited by stu46h; 05-04-2019 at 10:20 PM.
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  #43  
Old 05-05-2019, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by stu46h View Post
Unfortunately, I see bad management all over the place. It's an epidemic. Poor organization, communication, and people skills.
I hear ya!

Add to that poor training of staffers who are face-to-face with the public.


Problem solving and creative thinking are becoming extinct.
In many cases I put that down to corporate policies and procedures that remove flexibility.

While we're all ranting, is anyone besides me thoroughly disgusted with staffers who are trained to have scripted conversations with customers? It's like dealing with a robot. The right words are spoken, sure, but in an obviously and deeply insincere manner.

A few weeks ago I spoke with my insurance company and was absolutely gobsmacked the person wasn't following a script. A real, actual, human conversation. I was so delighted that I spent an extra 15 minutes on the phone tracking down the manager to voice my satisfaction.


Cheers
DD
 
  #44  
Old 05-05-2019, 12:12 PM
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'Your call is important to us.'
Love that.
 
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  #45  
Old 05-06-2019, 09:07 AM
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LOL from car dealership page on fb. Declined
 
  #46  
Old 05-06-2019, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by LnrB View Post
....Our local labor rate, advertised on the front door is $80/hour labor......
Here it's $120/hr.
 
  #47  
Old 05-06-2019, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by LnrB View Post
That's only $10/minute, $60/hour labor.
Not bad!
Our local labor rate, advertised on the front door is $80/hour labor.
(';')
No no, $10/min is $600/hr. Hard to believe that!
 
  #48  
Old 05-06-2019, 10:03 PM
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Saw this and it was obviously $1 minute.......
 
  #49  
Old 05-07-2019, 09:29 AM
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All right you guys! I admit Math was never my strongest point.
(';')
 
  #50  
Old 05-30-2019, 12:20 PM
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Doug.. pick out your top 2 stories and tell us. I'd like to hear them! Maybe one about a bad customer and one where a customer was wronged.

In the last 30yrs that I've used dealerships.. I've only used them maybe 10 times max. (I do all my own work if at all possible) And in those times I'd say 2/3rds of those times I was either grossly overcharged, request ignored, or had to deal with "mechanics" who didn't know how to fix the problem.

One story I have against a dealership... in the 80s I worked at a Ford dealerships body shop. One night a drunk ran off the road an plowed into about 3-4 *new* cars we had along the property frontage. One of them was a bare bones ranger std cab. It was hit so hard the front frame rails were folded sideways. I personally saw a tech strip the truck down, heat up the rails and pull them back to straight, straighten the whole frame, re-assemble, BONDO 1/2" thick to reform some areas on the LF fender that he couldn't pull back into shape, and replace other parts that were not fixable. There was paint over spray on the dash when they were finish!! They completed the "repair" and we transported it off to another dealership that was owned by the parent corp.

It became a joke around the shop and as we would get transfers in from sister dealerships the guys would "inspect" the cars looking for damage.
We also sold Yugo's... wow those things were pure junk.
 

Last edited by wydopnthrtl; 05-30-2019 at 12:34 PM.
  #51  
Old 05-30-2019, 01:00 PM
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My story: Bought a new Mercedes that included 50K miles warranty and all service including fluids/filters/wipers etc. I replaced the brake pads within 6 months because I couldn't stand the dust At first year service about 15K miles the service advisor called me and said the brake pads needed replacement. I declined and when I went to pick up the car he pitched me again for the brake pads. I had him go out and look at the pads with me. He did, and was really embarrassed and said "normally at 15K on this model they are ready for replacement". So I said .... its' obvious no one looked at them and don't do that to me again or I'll be talking to your GM. I want you to annotate in your files that I'm a picky customer and don't bull **** me. He did and subsequent services were excellent.
 
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  #52  
Old 05-31-2019, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by mleskovar View Post
.... its' obvious no one looked at them....
I think that is more human nature than car repair. Same happens in other industries like engineering, medical, law, ect.... Even people with letters after their name are lazy and don't do due diligence.

What really irks me is when they are questioned and then turn to anger or bullying to try and avoid the work or embarrassment of admitting they were lazy.
 
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  #53  
Old 05-31-2019, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by wydopnthrtl View Post
I think that is more human nature than car repair. Same happens in other industries like engineering, medical, law, ect.... Even people with letters after their name are lazy and don't do due diligence.

What really irks me is when they are questioned and then turn to anger or bullying to try and avoid the work or embarrassment of admitting they were lazy.
The sign of a true Jerk!
(';')
 
  #54  
Old 06-01-2019, 09:30 AM
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In another thread a female jag owner said the dealer charged her $750 to replace the fan control module. You can buy the part on Amazon for $21, and it literally takes 5 minutes to change it. For that the dealer charged her $750!

I make videos and post them on YouTube. The most popular one shows how to fix the air conditioner on a Volkswagen by changing a fuse. Numerous people have commented that the dealer was going to charge them $800, $1000, or even $1500 to fix their AC. And it was nothing but a fuse.
 
  #55  
Old 06-01-2019, 11:38 AM
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Way to go LnrB. I have been married twice to great ladies. Both of the ladies were very helpful when I was building my airplane. And my present wife is still helpful in any maintenance or modifications.

Take Care Kid
 
  #56  
Old 06-01-2019, 11:40 AM
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When I was growing up it was trendy, and sometimes necessary due to lack of funds, to fix your own car. Few do that today and are easy targets for service advisors. I also believe few automobile mechanics today are good diagnosticians as they are forced to rely on computer readouts. No failure stored? Can't/won't help unless it's on your dime and then they'll easter egg at your expense.
 
  #57  
Old 06-01-2019, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by mleskovar View Post
I also believe few automobile mechanics today are good diagnosticians as they are forced to rely on computer readouts. No failure stored? Can't/won't help unless it's on your dime and then they'll easter egg at your expense.
Yes and no.

"In the old days" a lot of great mechanics relied on experience and intuition....and that's not a criticism by any means. The nature of the technology and problems allowed that. Nowadays, not so much. Of course, experience still comes into play for some issues.....differentiating a wheel bearing noise from an pinion bearing noise, let's say. But with sophisticated electronics there's near total reliance on what the on-board diagnostic system tell you.

And, as often as not, stored fail records only provide the starting point of rooting out the problem. Heck, on my old XJR some of the diagnostic trees for diagnosing xxx-trouble code had a dozen or more branches. One fail code....details long forgotten...had 47 (yes, 47!) additional diagnostic steps leading to the cure. A lot of people think "the computer tells them what to fix"......and that's overly broad conclusion.

In my experience technicians often fall into traps, for example.....

- Incomplete diagnosis. Not incorrect. Incomplete. This creates huge problems for service advisors.
- A tendency to think that all problems have a complicated solution; reluctance to cover the basics first.
- Too much reliance on pattern diagnostics. "XXX-repair fixed the last 3 cars so it'll fix this one, too". Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

The auto repair industry also falls into traps. in some cases consumers themselves helped create them. More on that later, perhaps

Cheers
DD
 
  #58  
Old 06-01-2019, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Reverend Sam View Post
In another thread a female jag owner said the dealer charged her $750 to replace the fan control module. You can buy the part on Amazon for $21, and it literally takes 5 minutes to change it. For that the dealer charged her $750!

Free enterprise and 'whatever the market will bear' often supplants what's fair and ethical. If a repair shop consistently has a driveway full of customers every morning then, from a purely business perspective, there's little reason to reduce pricing. If they can't fill the shop, or customers never return after one visit, well...that's a problem. You can shear a sheep a hundred times but you can only skin him once.

I make videos and post them on YouTube. The most popular one shows how to fix the air conditioner on a Volkswagen by changing a fuse. Numerous people have commented that the dealer was going to charge them $800, $1000, or even $1500 to fix their AC. And it was nothing but a fuse.
Some shops are dishonest scammers, plain and simple.

But a week's pay says that at least some of those instances involve a customer asking what the failure could be and what it might cost to repair. This is then relayed to the neighbor or brother-in-law as ".....they're gonna charge me $1500 to fix my air conditioner....". The car never actually darkened the doorway to the shop.

Cheers
DD
 
  #59  
Old 06-02-2019, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mleskovar View Post
No failure stored? Can't/won't help unless it's on your dime and then they'll easter egg at your expense.

Well, yeah, if the OBD system gives no clue as to where to begin the diagnosis, yeah, the easter egg hunt begins....at xxx-hourly rate. The bill gets big in a hurry. And sometimes you still don't find the egg.

Most mechanics don't like going down that path. But sometimes you have to.

Cheers
DD
 
  #60  
Old 06-02-2019, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug View Post
Well, yeah, if the OBD system gives no clue as to where to begin the diagnosis, yeah, the easter egg hunt begins....at xxx-hourly rate. The bill gets big in a hurry. And sometimes you still don't find the egg. ....Most mechanics don't like going down that path. But sometimes you have to......
It's more than just simple OBD codes. Sometimes the system/car specific diagnostic computer doesn't show much less pinpoint it either and even under warranty they won't guess at parts. Right now we're going through a failure on my wife's BMW that's under warranty and they wouldn't even look at it without a stored code. I had her take a picture of the failure (screen cycling radio stations and navigation on its' own) when it happened and now they'll look at it. This is where many of today's mechanics fail. I'm not being critical of them it's just the way they're trained by the dealers today. Also, they don't get paid under warranty without an attached code that leads them to a part failure.
 

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