Dealership Deficiency


I love my 2006 Honda Pilot. It’s roomy, reliable and paid for! The perfect car for me. Recently I received an over-sized postcard in the mail notifying me of a recall. Apparently the air bag inflator was faulty and, by federal law, it needed to be replaced. Due to shear dread, it took me a while to drag my ass to the dealership where I purchased the vehicle (pre-owned) over 5 years ago. It didn’t take long for me to remember why I dreaded it.

I was on time for my 7:15AM appointment, got greeted immediately and was directed inside to speak with my service advisor. He was pleasant but obviously preoccupied. When I asked how long it would take he told me 2 hours which seemed reasonable. I brought my laptop to get some stuff done while I waited.

In the waiting area the water and coffee are free. They have free Wi-Fi and several USB outlets for the customer’s convenience. I got lost in what I was doing when my phone notified me of an incoming text. I’d been there for just under two hours. The text informed me that they were finishing up on my airbag inflator. Their estimated time was close to perfect–apparently this wasn’t their first air bag inflator installation.

As a courtesy, in their text, they let me know my aging vehicle was in need of additional repairs. It listed twelve different issues to the tune of
$5,350.80 — strike up the band! Everything from spark plugs to shocks to a “left side axle slinging grease”. I get the courtesy and I appreciate knowing my car needs some love. The information was fine, it’s the delivery that sucked.

I read through the laundry list of repairs one more time. Holding back the vomit, I made fast tracks to the service advisor’s desk. I politely asked him to explain the issues in more detail and to help me understand which items were most critical.

Obviously not fully present, he started reading the document to me. (like I couldn’t read it myself?) I gave him a chance to explain which of the repairs were most critical but it became obvious that wasn’t going to happen. I had a few sarcastic comments rush through my brain that fortunately got stuck in the filter between my brain and my mouth. It was his nonchalance and I don’t care attitude that got me steaming. About three issues in, I told him to forget it and he seemed okay with that. I wanted to ask for his supervisor but I was convinced that would be a complete waste of time. I drove away having had another crappy service experience at the Honda dealership.

I suppose this is just one more story about lousy service at a car dealership. I honestly don’t get it. I don’t know about others, but I’m not prepared to drop $5k for car repairs all at one time. It would be nice if the service advisor had suggested a plan on getting these items fixed over time. How hard would it be to identify the critical issues and those that aren’t so critical just so the customer knows what to address first? I also think it’s deplorable when a “service” person is blatantly going through the motions. He was simply trying to appease me so that he could move on to providing someone else with mediocre service.

To make matters worse, when I got home I received another text from the dealership this time asking me to rate the service. All they wanted was a 1,2,3,4 or 5 rating. I assumed they would appreciate a comment which I provided. That was more than a week ago. I haven’t heard from them since.

This is my second lousy experience at this particular dealership. Remember I opened this blog expressing my love for my Pilot? Honda builds quality cars however there are plenty of others who do the same. I’ll be due to purchase another car within the next couple of years. There was never a doubt it would be a Honda until now.

About Culturedude

President of The Jeff and Bryce Fan Club, head cheerleader for my wife, Susan, lucky devoted brother of Beth and Barbara, perennial pal of the Bunko Squad, passionate customer service advocate, forever loyal fan of the Yankees, Packers, Buckeyes and Wildcats. favorite pastimes: writing, public speaking, golf, cartooning, reading, playing and blogging!
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1 Response to Dealership Deficiency

  1. Todd Cook says:

    I’m afraid other dealerships won’t be much different on the service side. It’s sad that the service model hasn’t changed much in decades. Dealerships still rely on service as a critical profit center. It’s best to find an amazing Japanese repair center locally and avoid the dealerships completely when it comes to sales and service. Don’t give up on Honda. We buy Japanese: Honda, Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, Acura so we can indeed avoid the suggested repair fixes. I’ve never taken the advice of a service technician regardless of how severe and of course magically anther 10,000 miles roll onto the Odometer with no issues.

    Liked by 1 person

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