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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Squeaky Wheel

This episode is under general info. Over the last couple months, I’ve had the unfortunate experience of being the middle man between three different dealerships in the area, and customers with legitimate warranty issues. They were all different makes, so it may be just a hard line tactic here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’ll skip the boring details, and get right to the chase. Customer comes in to have late model vehicle checked out. I find their problem listed under legitimate warranty coverage. Customer gets run around at dealer, including the usual independent garage insults directed at me; which I take good-naturedly, because I’ve been in business longer than any of them. I talk the customer into using my diagnostic findings in a call to their particular vehicle manufacturer’s customer service hotline, listed in the owner’s manual. In all three cases, the manufacturers put in a call to the dealer with an order to fix under warranty.

I know there are unscrupulous people who buy a new car; and then expect the dealer to make good on everything, including stuff their own poor maintenance habits caused. That does not mean it’s okay to give everyone through the door the old heave-ho. If you read this, and you have a relatively new vehicle with warranty issues, keep the old adage in mind about the ‘squeaky wheel gets the grease’. Use the customer service hotline when there is a question. Anything to do with emission controls, by law, has at least a five year/50,000mile to ten year/100,000 mile warranty, depending on your location.

6 comments:

raine said...

Okay, now I just have to ask, out of curiosity...

What do you personally drive, Bernard?

BernardL said...

I drive a 1964 Buick Special, Raine. It's the kind of car even my less sociable East Oakland denizens don't bother keying. :)

Tempest Knight said...

Well, I'll follow your advice as soon as I buy a new car. Which it'd be in several years. Maybe when my current car turns 20. Hehehe! (Okay, my Nissan is 17 yrs old and only has 148K miles)

BernardL said...

They punish us for buying new vehicles, TK, with raised taxes, license fees, and insurance, so hanging on to paid off vehicles makes good sense. Plenty of time to dump the clunker if something catastrophic happens.

December/Stacia said...

Excellent advice. I wish I'd read this when my husband's Mustang was having its issues a few years back.

BernardL said...

It's unbelievable how short sighted some dealers are, D. I keep wondering if they think these people they're giving such a hard time to will ever buy a car from them again. Not to mention the myriad people the victims of their bad service will tell.