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Old 7th October 2020, 12:33   #16
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

Even I was being 'recommended' Engine flushing on my 3yr old, 22k run Figo 1.5 Diesel. Asked the SA if this was a part of service recommendation by Ford, to which he said that it wasn't covered but this would help in increasing the performance of a diesel engine.

Politely declined the same though for the sake of convenience, got the Wheel alignment and balancing done at the dealership itself.

I was only able to pin point the Engine flushing add on as I had gone through the Ford Service promise cost estimate and had glanced though the Service manual. Pretty sure that most people will not do either.
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Old 7th October 2020, 13:22   #17
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

Its really important to pay good notice to the final detailed bill and be very attentive.

Last time, when I went to the VW showroom for a major service of my Vento, I asked the service advisor what was the approx quote. He quoted an approx (say X) value and the final bill came to lesser than the X value. I was relieved and paid the bill and left in a hurry.

Only when I came home I realised I had been charged for AC disinfection and all the jazz.. I had to go back to the showroom, and get the work order reversed and have a cash balance at the showroom.
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Old 7th October 2020, 13:31   #18
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
My recommendation to newbie car owners: Open up your owner's manual, go to the maintenance charts at the back, show it to your service advisor and tell him you ONLY want to do what is listed there.
Just to add to this, most manufacturers have a service cost calculator updated in their website. One can not only see what work/replacement needs to be carried out during scheduled service but the associated cost too. For example this is what Kia has in their website.

https://www.kia.com/in/service/servi...alculator.html

The most popular baits are under body coating that supposedly "protects" your car for next 20 years, radiator flushing that boosts engine performance, AC disinfectant work(probably virus killer activity in these times), then other detailing works. I'm not saying the above listed things are a hoax. But one needs to judge whether it's really needed to be done at a given point in time.
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Old 7th October 2020, 14:00   #19
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

As long as the service center / advisor doesn't mislead that these are mandatory services as per OEM's warranty stipulations, they are not crossing the line.

A few others have written about the business model aspect and why they have to do what they are doing. Targets are what drives ALL businesses. And the performance of each individual, group, site, territory, zone, country etc. is determined based on it. Please don't "villainify" it.

Also I am willing to bet, no matter where you are working (small proprietorship to large MNC), your sales people are doing the same things day in day out - which is bringing in additional margins for the organization and thereby your y-o-y salary increments.

Come on folks, be more sympathetic. However, as I said initially, any "upsell" being touted as being mandated by OEM should be immediately registered as a complaint.
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Old 7th October 2020, 14:44   #20
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

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Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
The kinds of horrors I've seen as an insider in car workshops ensures that I stand alongside my car whenever its being serviced or take it to a place I absolutely trust.
This is the most important thing to do when you get your car serviced.

I always used to and when I can not stand along, I take my driver with me, mention whatever needs to be done, approve / disapprove of any recommendation from workshop end and my driver or me stand besides and observe the work being carried out.

I do not leave my vehicles [2 wheel or 4] at the workshop unattended. No, never.
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Old 7th October 2020, 15:20   #21
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

I remember that once my SA at MASS told me that they are given a target of 20K for each day. What that means is that they have to bring in earnings of 20K each day, doesn't matter if they are fleecing their customers or just advising them genuinely.

When our car went for its first annual service in 2016, one of my dad's friend who used to get his car serviced from there, introduced us to our SA and asked him not to charge anything more than what is required. He obliged by saying, 'Are ye to apne ghar ki gaadi hai, koi extra charges nahi lagenge ispe.' And to date, it has been somewhat true. From the second service onwards he did try fleecing me by offering jobs such as Brake cleaning, etc, but I always denied all these jobs politely, which then he would remove from the estimate.

But once, during our third service, he wasn't there and some other SA was appointed to us. He was hell-bent on selling me accessories which I didn't require along with some unnecessary jobs in the estimate. He gave me an estimate of 12k where the only thing according to Maruti to change was the E.Oil and the Oil Filter. A lot of debates later the estimate came down to 4k. And in the end, when the final bill was printed, he was still trying to sell me Car care kit for 700, which when I denied, he started shouting at me, saying that do you even know how to properly wash your car?

I said, better than you. It was over then. I ended up paying 3k that day and when told my dad about this, he narrated the same incident to Maruti's feedback call. Within an hour the SA called me.

But others weren't as lucky. My cousin brother who bought Baleno last year ended up paying 1.5k for his 6-month service. They did some engine coating for that amount.

One tip that I can give you guys is that if you want, you can tip your SA after the service has been done to your expected levels. I give Rs.100-200 after each service to my SA. This helps in maintaining your relationships with your SA as well as can save you 2-6k which he might charge.
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Old 7th October 2020, 20:00   #22
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

Another point that I forgot to mention in my earlier post-

They give you an estimate before service which is usually higher than what they expect to be the final bill. Eventually if that is what indeed happens, there is a grin on the customer's face .

If that final amount includes unnecessary add-ons which they have somehow convinced the customer to agree, they have their cake and eat it too! .
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Old 7th October 2020, 22:14   #23
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

Adding my experience to the thread-

The thermostat gasket in my Ford Aspire Diesel had worn off and caused coolant leakage (a known issue).
Took the car to Ganges Ford workshop (Tangra), Kolkata and got it repaired under warranty.

But before beginning the work, when the SA was inspecting the car, he said "Sir AC is not working properly. It is about 60% weaker." Don't know how he did the math, but advised me I have to get an AC treatment + cleaning of cooling coil done worth about Rs. 3600 (my car had run only 30100 km).

I knew that AC is not performing at its best due to the low level of coolant available. But I didn't argue and politely declined. Just got the AC filter changed (it was necessary).

Anyways, the leakage issue got fixed, coolant topped-up (free of cost) and 3 months now and AC is as good as it gets.

Last edited by A.M. : 7th October 2020 at 22:16.
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Old 7th October 2020, 23:22   #24
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Anyone who visits Team-BHP is well aware of the upselling tactics of service advisors. But now, we can actually see how they receive commissions for the same. That radiator flush on your 1-year old car you don't need? Your service advisor won't hesitate to cheat you of 422 bucks to earn Rs 50 for himself. "Glass polish treatment" that you don't need for 1300 rupees? That's another 50 bucks in his pocket.
Would like to equate this class with Munimjis
alias Benefactors alias Accountants, who always get the blessings and remain in the shadow of their top bosses. They are also proven more street smart than the top bosses in most cases.
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Old 7th October 2020, 23:30   #25
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

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Originally Posted by vikrantj View Post
I really do not understand why people are saying that the SA is "cheating" people for earning a commission on it... but surely SA cannot be taken to cleaners for vigorously selling a product.

Again I am against any unethical practice here.
What if your bank starts opening accounts and credit cards like Wells Fargo did a few years ago? Wouldn't you be furious with your banker? Similar situation in this case. As most people (I'd guess sometime me & not all BHPians are) are not aware, they go by the recommendation of the SA.

I agree that the blame doesn't solely like on the SA, but rather on the whole chain of employees and managers who set and approve such wretched incentive systems.

Last edited by landcruiser123 : 7th October 2020 at 23:32.
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Old 8th October 2020, 00:30   #26
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

An ex dealership employee had once explained these rates in detail. Since then I always give some amount to the SA beforehand so that he doesn't fleece me for 5000 bucks for earning a 200Rs commission. Also this leaflet doesn't mention rates for tire, clutch, brake disc change recommendations. That is very well established too.
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Old 8th October 2020, 07:22   #27
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

I would not call “advising” a “cheating” by any means. Almost everyone working in “sales” receives commission.

Cheating would be:

- Customer asking for basic “X” and by providing the false information, the advisor pushing for costly “Y”.

- Customer asking for costly “Y” and the advisor providing basic “X” and charging for costly “Y”.

The customer always has the right of saying a firm “NO” to advisor’s recommendations.

Consumer awareness is the key!

Last edited by MunnabhaiMBBS : 8th October 2020 at 07:40.
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Old 8th October 2020, 09:57   #28
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

Yesterday, I gave my Verna CRDI for servicing. Though I always give it to the same SA every time, and he does a great job, he did sneak in a Rs.400 extra-something the last time.

This time, firmly told him that I don't want any of those engine flushing, oil additives, etc. I had zero issues to report, and zero niggles. The car was running butter smooth and perfectly fine, so told him to just do the basic service that Hyundai recommends officially.

Also told him that lots of complaints are coming in against Hyundai recently about charging extra - this thread being that reference to "lots", ofcourse .

Happy to report, that no extra charges were added. On the flip side though, the servicing still came to 12k, with nothing out of the ordinary.

In short, if you're polite and firm, they will usually not be upto their tricks. Whether they've really changed the billed parts, is another topic ofcourse, and we have no way to confirm that, other than standing beside them during the service.

Last edited by PearlJam : 8th October 2020 at 09:59.
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Old 8th October 2020, 10:28   #29
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

This "rate card" doesn't really come as a surprise at all. This is how all businesses work in a capitalist model. Businessmen are in it to make profits. Employees (service advisers) are in it to earn their salaries & incentives. If we consider this "cheating" - basically we are calling ALL sales professionals in all industries criminals. This is what they all do in one form or the other.

Customers need to be aware of things rather than enjoying spending money on the car without knowing what it is for. Its a universal truth that the unaware are gullible and generally end up spending more. These are afterall the people who bring liquid money into the economy for growth faster than it otherwise would. If everyone becomes too aware, we are looking at a recession.

Given the investments needed in setting up large businesses, these dealerships/service centers have no option but to find all possible ways to get fast returns on their investments & to find more avenues of add-on sales. A long time ago, the SAs at workshops turned into sales advisors from service advisers. Their technical knowledge generally tends to be next to negligible.

Car owners need to be aware certainly of basics about their cars. And articles/threads like this one on unsponsored media like TBHP go a long way in this education. I'd like to see a media-house publish something like this .

Last edited by Reinhard : 8th October 2020 at 10:32.
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Old 8th October 2020, 10:36   #30
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

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Originally Posted by vigneshkumar31 View Post
They take advantage of our busy schedules and inability to visit three points of service for three different jobs. And to think all these 'miscellaneous' jobs like tyre allignment would be wrapped into the time allotted for service maintenance itself is tempting to pass. So I'm guilty of getting the allignment done from TASS itself. Would've loved to go outside though.
Recently, I gave my Nexon XZ+ (D) for 30K service while my ODO was at ~28K. I had purchased extended warranty for an additional year. Now, I was told by SA, that, Wheel balancing & alignment will be done, as part of the service. When I told them that I would get it done outside, I was told that my warranty applicability for Suspension and Wheel assembly would hold valid, only if, I get wheel balancing & alignment done at a Tata ASS. I called up the customer care to enquire about the validity of the statement. They were incompetent and directed me back to the dealer. I posted this on their Twitter page and got response that I will be contacted for assistance. I got a call from a person who again belong to the same ASS and he repeated the same

Was shocked at this but somehow I made up my mind to get it done as I do a lot of highway trips monthly and didn't want to risk ending up with shoddy service from ASS.

While the final bill came, I was charged for Fuel Additive, Oil additive, Diesel Tune, Premium Interior Cleaning which were unwarranted and the SA went ahead and fleeced. I had to have some hard conversations and then I was told that all of the aforementioned additional services would be done "Free of Cost" during the next service. Knowing the integrity of these looters, I just kept the phone. Need to find a competent independent garage once the warranty expires. Tata makes good cars but never found ways to mend their ways of working, especially while it comes to managing dealerships.

My experience in the past with Ford & infact, Fiat & VW, was much better. I decided to insist them, as GTO said, to only do what is recommended in the manual.
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