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  #1  
Old 04-13-2010, 11:20 AM
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Angry "Stealerships"

I'm just about fed up with everyone assuming that all dealer service departmentsare staffed with criminals. For starters, if that were the case, myself and the other techs that volunteer our time and advice wouldn't be here sharing knowledge and experience. Most people have no clue what expenses are involved in servicing newer vehicles with the latest technology and options that the public wants in order to drive vehicle sales.

Ranting aside, I feel compelled to share the story of the Caravan I'm currently working on. The customer is an older lady who bought her van here and has loyally had her services performed here for the last four years. Yesterday she came in complaining of excessive oil consumption between oil changes. She's religious about having it changed every 3K and since we service it, we know it hasn't been neglected or not properly filled during the last change. I drained what was left in the crank case (less than 2 quarts) and did a cursory inspection for leaks. While I found some seepage, none of the leaks explained that much consumption. I pulled the plugs and found evidence of oil burning in the cylinders even there was no visible smoke when the engine was running. I then performed a leak down test to verify the rings were ok and then pulled the cylinder heads and tore them down. Not surprisingly, I found hardened valve seals. What I didn't expect to find was the exhaust valves starting to burn and pit. Remember, the customer is an older lady who doesn't get on the throttle much to get those valves rotating at higher engine speeds.

Here's the part of the story that matters - the van is over 4k miles out of warranty. Period. We are in no way (legally or otherwise) required to perform any diagnostics or repairs without payment at our full labor rate. BUT, since this lady is a loyal and valued customer, we are going to replace the heads and related parts under the goodwill program. The most this will cost her is $100 for the deductible and a few other parts such as new plugs and a thermostat.

This isn't an isolated incident by any means. Chrysler allows us so much money to goodwill repairs such as this every quarter and we usually go through every dime of it before the quarter ends. The bottom line is that it can certainly benefit you to be a regular customer. I can guarantee you the customer that only comes in for warranty work, especially the ones the bitch a lot while they're here, have little to no chance of ever getting a goodwill repair performed.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:29 AM
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I'd imagine that would be frusturating man. I appreciate all the help you give us, I mean, let's face it, nobody here is as educated with our trucks as you are. Your willing to post thorough diagrams to help us out, and normally people like us would have no access to such things.

I could see people freaking out over the price and such, but welcome to the real world. Car problems usually aren't cheap to fix.

Your story is a prime example of why dealerships are not "stealerships" You guys had every right to turn the old lady down till the payment was recieved, but you didn't. That's awesome man.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:40 AM
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Good to know! Props to your dealer for helping her out like that.

My family has used 5 different dealers, and we have stuck to the one that treats us the best. Fortunately its also the closest!

They have been absolutely awesome with service/warranty items, and our next vehicles will most likley be from them. (We ran into some weird stuff in the sales department several years ago and we tried out 4 other dealers since), for the most part, this dealer has been where most of the service has been done, and the only place that service has been done on our vans and my Caliber. They were a huge help with my clutch!

Unfortunately it took a bit of time to figure out which was the best dealer, but I won't neglect to recommend Lockwood Chrysler to anybody that asks me about them. There is even one salesperson there that has always said hi to me when ever I've been in the showroom drooling over the new cars...and he has done this for several years.

The service writers all know me (good or bad I'm not sure LOL), the service manager says hi to me when ever he sees me, and gave me an awesome deal on tires last spring for my car. And the parts department has been very, very helpful as well. And there is this one shuttle driver who remembers me and is always concerned when he sees me shortly after I was just there (probably because our '04 van was in for warranty so much)


Remerson, as you are on the "inside" - what are some general things that customers do that help them become "friends" of the service department? (where the service department is more likely to help them out)


Although you haven't helped me personally, big props for spending your time and helping all the people here!!!
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Last edited by UN4GTBL; 04-13-2010 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:47 AM
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Good on you Randy. Unfortunately as humans most of us have lost the ability to know and trust our judgement as a result we bitch, cry, become defensive and blame others. We also demand perfection and that is not possible. Yes, there are great people out there like you who know their trade and are only to willing to do their best and be helpful and do what they can under the circumstances. Seek and you will find.
God bless you Sir
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UN4GTBL View Post
Remerson, as you are on the "inside" - what are some general things that customers do that help them become "friends" of the service department?
Being a regular customer is the best way. I'm not saying you have to perform every single recommended service but you also don't want to be the customer that only comes in for warranty work. If you can, pick one service advisor and use them each visit so they become familiar with you and your vehicle. If the advisor isn't busy at the time the write up is performed, shoot the bull with them for a few minutes and get to know them on a friendly basis. Just treat the dealership employees like you would anyone else. The "Customer Complaints" thread I posted some time ago is a good guideline for what not to do. http://www.ramforumz.com/showthread....mer+complaints
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remerson228 View Post
Being a regular customer is the best way. I'm not saying you have to perform every single recommended service but you also don't want to be the customer that only comes in for warranty work. If you can, pick one service advisor and use them each visit so they become familiar with you and your vehicle. If the advisor isn't busy at the time the write up is performed, shoot the bull with them for a few minutes and get to know them on a friendly basis. Just treat the dealership employees like you would anyone else. The "Customer Complaints" thread I posted some time ago is a good guideline for what not to do. http://www.ramforumz.com/showthread....mer+complaints
How do dealers view maintenance (oil changes, tire rotations) that are done under the Chrysler service plans? (Bill is $0)

Is that like a "just comes in for warranty customer" or a "regular customer"

-just curious
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:48 PM
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I have now had my Ram for 14 months, for the first 4 1/2 months, the Ram was at the dealership so much that, the parts guy remembered my name & went out of his way to help me find things that i wanted & needed. Chrysler had not started making many of the parts & he would quietly inform me of other sources. He also called me when Chrysler started producing certain parts that he knew that i was still looking for.
The 3 shuttle drivers all know me buy site, even though i have only used that service once, they always take time to say hello & joke a bit about my seemingly taking up residence.
I have had 2 different service advisers/writers, the first one, (who was the guy the other advisers went to when they needed advice on a customers vehicle), I believe he was asked to leave, because he was giving away too many "freebies" to customers.
the second guy, the one that works with me now, is always courteous & he is also the new 'go to' guy, he went out of his way on one occasion, I wanted a locking tailgate w/ back up camera, the parts catalog doesn't tell exactly what parts are needed & I had spotted a new '09 Ram that had what i needed & let both the parts guy & my service writer know about it, the service writer went to the newer vehicle & took the tailgate apart & took several pictures of the assembly, the parts man came outside also, when the parts arrived, the service writer said the service department was real busy that day & he would try to squeeze me in, turns out, he went & installed the new parts himself, he even let me back into the NO GO zone to show me the new setup.
I can never complain about the service & friendliness that I have had with Carl Burger Dodge.
(except for the guy that sub contracts the alarm systems & even he took time to explain that system to me)
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Old 04-13-2010, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UN4GTBL View Post
How do dealers view maintenance (oil changes, tire rotations) that are done under the Chrysler service plans? (Bill is $0)

Is that like a "just comes in for warranty customer" or a "regular customer"

-just curious
You have to start somewhere and that's as good a place as any. The customers attitude plays a huge role in how they're treated in return. Sometimes we have delays and a little understanding goes a long way.

I also forgot to mention earlier that we are easily buttered up with the occasional box of doughnuts or bag of candy!
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Old 04-13-2010, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remerson228 View Post
You have to start somewhere and that's as good a place as any. The customers attitude plays a huge role in how they're treated in return. Sometimes we have delays and a little understanding goes a long way.

I also forgot to mention earlier that we are easily buttered up with the occasional box of doughnuts or bag of candy!
Thanks, just curious how it is viewed from somebody other than ME lol

Donuts have crossed my mind a couple times, but it seems that I'm always really rushed when I go in there...maybe at the end of the month when the car goes in i can arrange something
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Old 04-13-2010, 02:23 PM
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do yall not like the guy who comes in for every little noise
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