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Why don't dealers want to make money?

I am absolutely beside myself with how much dealerships get away with and how people have just come to accept it. When's the last time you heard the term 'car salesmen' and immediately you thought of all the good things about your dealership? Ha, me? never. And after doing some research on here and on I see that I'm not alone. I've probably read through 200 reviews on that site and another 50 or so threads here(yeah, I'm that bored and my job is that slow right now :)) that I know I'm not alone....which while comforting, is also pretty freightening.

I've had my car dinged, scratched and torn whilst at "my" dealer, and that was just at my 15,000 check up. They denied all three accounts until I showed them the pictures I took before it went in and the day I picked it backup.

Why did dealerships get such a bad rap? Gee, tough one. To spend $25,000, $40,000 $80,000 dollars on a CAR to only be treated like you just did THEM a favor...uhg

In case you want to read specifics:

Sorry for the ranting, I just dont understand how a dealership can stay in business with these types of stunts...imagine if your company treated customers like dealerships do :(

Thanks for listening.


  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    who photograph their cars before and after service and go on internet sites to call people names are a pleasure to deal with as a service advisor.

    No thanks. I'll pass.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,121
    I pulled up Honda and the state I'm in. It only showed about a third of the dealers and there was zero rating on any of them.

    Is this good or bad?
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    of what I said before - I used to manage a tire store. A guy came in for a tire rotation on his new(er) Saab and after dropping off, he was picking up. His wife was paying for the service and he kenlt down and started looking under the car.

    I asked if she thought everything was alright. She replied, without shame, "he marked the tires with grease pen to make sure you people did your jobs".

    My technician had noted the grease pen marks and had cleaned them off - he also cleaned (very well), the back side of the wheels (not something most owners can do without a major effort).

    The guy stormed in, mad, and demanded to know what happened to his marks.

    I told him we cleaned them off, not realizing that was his way of trying to catch us not doing our jobs.

    I refunded the $16.00 for the tire rotation and asked him to never come back again. My people work hard, are honest, and don't need to deal with people like that.
  • Imagine the "pleasure" of the customer who is forced to take such measures to insure he doesn't get one pulled over his head. And perhaps imagine why he'd have to take such measures. :(

    Sorry to out you, wasn't my intention. I know not all dealers/service shops are bad, I think it's just my kharma =/
  • blh7068blh7068 Posts: 375
    "Imagine the "pleasure" of the customer who is forced to take such measures to insure he doesn't get one pulled over his head"

    "forced" to take such measures? Please, he wasnt forced into anything.

    It sounds like that guy went to that place with his mind already made up that the job wouldnt be done properly.
  • btdtbtdt Posts: 1
    It means you must not have sold any cars. I checked our 18 stores & we have not sold any either.
    They did however have a listing for my previous dealer I left 4 years ago. Unfortunately, they went out of business 3 years ago.
    I'm betting you have found a way, in spite of this missing data, to exceed expectations & make money doing it. I know we have.
  • As a customer, I'm not taking my vehicle to any place that I would even consider having to take pictures prior to service.

    That's what a good relationship with an independent mechanic can do for you. Life is too short for that kind of BS.
  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    Exactly. If someone had such a bad experience previously that they thought it necessary to take photos, why in the world would they be back there?

    IMO, the type of person that takes "before" photos is just looking for a fight wherever they go.
  • spektrespektre Posts: 80
    when the dealer damages your car and tells you he didn't, you have zero recourse.

    Guess you've never been burned like that before?

    It's called risk mitigation - it's actually a very smart thing to do. Doesn't hurt anyone except a sleazy business.

    Sometimes you have very few choices as to where to take your car for service. And who's to say he's taking the car back to a business that burned him before - that would be stupid - more than likely he's just trying to prevent getting screwed again.
  • blh7068blh7068 Posts: 375
    Risk mitigation? Please. Its easy enough to check with BBB about a particular business concerning thier history than taking drastic measures to quell the paranoid mind of "They'll screw this up and not tell me".
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    way it to just ask around and ask folks who've dealt with the business.

    Go to the service department on a Monday or Friday and see how many people have issues with the place - are there a lot of "comebacks"? Are people having to argue with the service advisors?

    Does anyone freak out over their bill being higher than they were told?.

    10 minutes in the place as a fly on the wall can tell you a lot.

    So many folks are into this top-secret research instead of just doing 10 minutes worth of personal homework.
  • C'mon people how can you be so hard on dealerships? Save import stores and independent used car dealerships, there's no place where you could be treated better.

    There are all kinds of issues that arise with cars after the sale. Some of them are legitmate and some frivoulous. No matter which yours is, when you go into the dealership, they try to fix it. Initially, the dealership will do their best to fix it. They will go out of their way to please us.

    It's crazy to think that a scratch that may or may not have been noticed on your car during a service was put there intentionally. The fact is that the scratch was probably there when you brought it in. You only noticed when you picked it up because now your scrutinizing your vehicle. You probably only wash it once a month or less.

    My opinion is that car dealerships are credible and outstanding examples of successful businesses and business practices.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    While I would never take a picture of my car prior to service, I must admit that checking the tires is something I've taken a look at myself. I don't mark them or anything; but, if I notice the brake dust is still heavier on the front wheels than it is on the rear wheels after a rotation, I would ask questions as well. I've never had any problems, though. Although, one time about 10 years ago, I had my Ford Ranger returned a whole quart low on oil after an oil change--so, ever since then I make it a point to lift the hood and check the dip stick after I get home. Heck, about one year ago my drain plug was not tightened and I had a slow leak develop under the car in my garage. I also check under the car the next morning after service now--just to be on the safe side. But, I would not take pictures or mark wheels--that's a little much.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    I noticed that almost all activity revolves around BMW dealerships. Wonder why that is?
  • They have a guy walked around the car to mark all the scratch marks, dents on a paper and give it to me to sign to show what kind of condition the car is in when I bring it in.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    smart dealer - I'm sure they've been burned over the scrape that magically appeared during service but actually happened at home, involving junior's bicycle, the day before.

    Been there, done that. In fact, I overheard a conversation at Home Depot the next weekend about how the guy pulled one over on the dealer - he told the whole story to his buddy while we were all (3 of us) in the tool section.

    I introduced myself after he finished his story, then talked to our comptroller the next Monday and billed him for the repair.
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Posts: 398
    Well, while I don't mark my tires prior to rotation (and sometimes I'll forget to perform this service all together, but that's another story) I can see how someone may be anal about their tires. It doesn't mean they suspect the dealer of cheating - more likely they want to make absolutely sure the dealer didn't make a mistake while rotating the tires. As we all know mistakes happen in the best of businesses.

    Now, why someone will care so much about their tires is beyond me. Same with oil changes - I've seen discussions where people will spend a lot of time, energy and money in taking oil samples, sending them for analysis, interpreting the results and what not. I guess a simple oil change is just not enough for some people.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    will certainly save you money and improve safety, but I've never analyzed oil and don't see the point, unless I was a chemical engineer and bored.
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Posts: 398
    driftracer said: Rotating tires will certainly save you money and improve safety

    Yes. Quite. However is it that important if the shop swapped the front and rear tires but failed to cross them left to right, or whatever they actually do? There is always a small chance they won't be rotated exactly right, but it probably makes very little difference in the long run.

    My point was that if someone wants to be absolutely sure the tires were rotated correctly, there's nothing wrong with marking the wheels. You can blame them for being anal but that's about it.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    there was no specification, just a tire rotation.

    Only in recent years have the tire gurus recommended cross-swapping radials during rotation. The tires on his Saab were directional and could not be cross-rotated.

    You mark the wheels if you think you're going to be lied to - I don't lie to my customers; never have, never will.

    I was offended, I was also offended for my shop guys who work hard. I asked him not to come back. My shop, my choice.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ..... I Can't say where they get there figures, but just about any BMW dealer will cut em' loose for $900/$1,900 over FAC .. 02's with 7/9/11k, $80ish new, barely creeping over that $50,0 marker on the trade side .. getcha some of that ... :)

            I also noticed they show MSRP for the Acura RSX with leather, great little car's, but dealers will cut em' from the herd for $200/$400 over .. good vehicles, well built, but not selling ...

  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Posts: 398
    driftracer - you may be right about this guy. And it certainly is your choice. But it is also possible he was just trying to double-check the work not because he thought you would cheat him, but he was trying to avoid/catch any mistake.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    is what I was there for - I'm sorry, I simply didn't/don't have to do business with people who set me up. It's belittling, and I just don't have to deal with the condescending attitude.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,629
    "I introduced myself after he finished his story, then talked to our comptroller the next Monday and billed him for the repair"

    You are my hero.
    I'm impressed the dealership followed through with it. Nobody needs customers like that.

    I'll say this, though: When I take my car in for warranty work, I expect the runaround and I'm rarely disappointed. Had a new Prizm and the steering was "ratchety". I complained and they rotated the tires. I KNEW that wasn't it but I let them go through with it anyway, it's part of the drill. When the problem persisted, they were perfectly happy to swap in another steering rack for me. $15 well spent on my part for the rotation; everybody happy.
    Except: I learned later that the "problem" was really a "feature" of that model... all Corollas/Prizms I've driven are like that, just more or less pronounced. But dangit, I didn't know that -- and neither did they. Oops.
    Another day in automotive service.

  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    there are many more average or below average technicians than great ones.

    Many don't even make an effort. I've seen it - it's a bummer. (I'm talking about new car dealership technicians, not private shop guys)

    Many folks look up a TSB, do what it says, never do a real diagnosis, and ship the car so they can do a used car prep/inspection or a brake job or alignment and make some real money.

    It's a true bummer that we have more "parts installers" than technicians/mechanics nowadays.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,629
    I like independents, because they live and die by the quality of their work.
    Unfortunately, they also sometimes live by the quote, and a lot of guys have "low" prices and have to get by with slipshod work to make a buck in the end.

    I never second-guess my mechanics on their estimates, and sometimes I'll come back and they'll say, well book was 3 hours but I found a way to do it in 90 minutes, so you got off easier today. Also, they know when to use OEM and when aftermarket, they know what mainenance to do, what to skip, and when a check is in order. Dealership guys have a bigger arsenal, but a lot less flexibility.

    In any case, a bit of mutual trust goes a long way. -M
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
  • Wow, you really have an issue with imports, don't you? 42% of new cars sold in the US are from import brands, so they have to be doing something right...
  • jr

    That question is loaded. I don't think we want to talk about patriotism. I do, you don't.
  • Wait, you're saying that buying an import is UNPATRIOTIC? Wow, those folks in Ohio who built my Accord might tend to disagree with you, not to mention be a bit offended, much the same as the Chrysler employees who build cars in the US for a foreign manufacturer would be. It's much more patriotic to buy a Ford built in Canada, right?
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