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Old 8th October 2020, 10:47   #31
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

Once I visited Honda ASS for general maintenance of my Honda Amaze. They gave me an estimate of Rs. 8000/- just for oil filter, air filter, engine oil and washing. From that day I stopped going to ASS. Now I purchase spare parts from local spare parts shop or from boodmo and take my car to the local mechanic(he earlier worked at Honda ASS). Now my expenses are around Rs. 3500/- for air filter, oil filter and engine oil including labour which is Rs. 500/-.
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Old 8th October 2020, 10:47   #32
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
This is how all businesses work in a capitalist model.... Businessmen are in it to make profits....
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.
.
Erm.., don't ethics, morals, and fairness come into the picture at all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
Car owners need to be aware certainly of basics about their cars.
Unfortunately, it's a situation where goalposts keep changing all the time, and it's difficult to catch up for the normal Joe. It's "oil additives" once, it's "engine cleaning" another time, it's "engine flushing" another time, and so on. Sometimes it's not clear if there is an overlap - for example, doesn't brake cleaning come under the head of normal service charges? What is "rust lick spray"? You have to keep asking every time when a new heading comes up. And with this pandemic, nobody wants to spend too much of time face to face, where body language and intent can be easily read. And phone calls only go so far.

End of the day, they are always one step ahead of you, because it is their bread and butter, and they are into it 24x7. But for you, it's something that you need to take time away from your normal job.
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Old 8th October 2020, 11:06   #33
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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
"Glass polish treatment" that you don't need for 1300 rupees?
Yeah, I've had an "advisor" try to pull this one on me too. He was telling me to polish all glass surfaces, including the windows. "It will remove all the scratches", he said. I could not see any scratches on any of the glasses so i declined. And yet, when he gave me the job card to sign I saw that he had added the "Glass polishing" for Rs 900 inspite of me saying no to it! I just made him remove it. He had also added washing for Rs 1250. I asked him whether they were using mineral water for washing the cars.

The rule I follow during servicing is "If you don't know that a job is necessary, don't let them do it." Just stick to the basics. Make the "advisor" explain each and every item on the job card before giving your approval.

To quote Alastor Moody, "Constant vigilance!
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Old 8th October 2020, 11:10   #34
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

Frankly, I don’t see a problem with service advisors trying to up sell services to me. Each of these services probably adds something positive - and value is in the mind of the beholder. For me, the time spent on getting all possible work done at one go is worth more than the cost of a service, so as long as the dealer does a good job, I am happy to pay for value added services - knowing fully well they may be over priced or not essential. The only thing I do from outside is car detailing - which I get done periodically from 3M, since I feel they do a better job than my dealers.
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Old 8th October 2020, 11:14   #35
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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
He is offering add-ons which as an informed customer should take a decision on. I am not supporting any unfair or unethical practice but surely SA cannot be taken to cleaners for vigorously selling a product.

Again I am against any unethical practice here.
He or the dealership he is representing in that capacity, is cheating you. Why? Because they do not mention it as an add-on. They add it to the bill and from there on it your headache. In medicine we have a concept of "opt in" or "opt out" when it comes to a test/vaccine that is usually part of government healthcare program. "Opt in" is where the patient has to tell the doctor that he needs this to be done. "Opt out" is where he needs to tell that he doesn't need this from a list that is already predecided.

The same concept applies here. If the SA tells me about these add-ons, clearly mentioning that these aren't manufacture recommended or mandatory, then it isn't cheating. I have the choice to take them or not depending on the SA's sales pitch. But it is cheating when they make it sound that it is needed or manufacture recommended or mandatory.
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Old 8th October 2020, 11:16   #36
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

I too had my share of woes with Indus Maruti service center, Cochin.
With the branded entry of ecstar, an additional amount Rs. 150 to 250/- get added to a vehicle service bill.
They are added in the name of rust-buster/ cleaner/ lubricant-spray de-greaser etc. With more than 100 cars serviced here a day, this got to be a addictive scam.
In my initial ignorant days I had paid up to 18k for a 40k service even when I had taken 3 year service package for Rs. 12k.

From what I overheard, Maruti officials are heavily bribed by Indus guys every time they appear before Maruti to discuss unsettled/pending issues. So It's no wonder to cover up genuine cases that might otherwise be more money denting for the dealer.
I myself was advised to go for a replacement of power steering set costing about Rs. 32k when it partially started giving issues like loud sound.
I also witnessed several people with same complaints which was eventually silenced with Rs. 32k cost estimate.

Last edited by Sheel : 8th October 2020 at 15:53. Reason: payed = paid. Please capitalize wherever necessary. Thanks.
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Old 8th October 2020, 11:24   #37
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

Those saying that the customers have a right to say NO to the company service advisor with the assumption that the customer is liable to know everything about the car service and the servicing they're agreeing to get done in to-to, I'd like to know then whats the point of having experts at all!? i.e. if theres an incentive to make any customer do something irrespective of their loss, then we can safely assume that the expert would employ ALL the practical tactics to take the customer for a ride.

Consider what would happen if ALL doctors worked like this !? I know many DO, but there the practice is one often takes a second opinion and that insurance partly covers the cost of hospitalisation.

While maintenance can be done through AMCs with some brands. There HAS TO be an incentive to prevent misleading the customer.

Last edited by WorkingGuru : 8th October 2020 at 11:36.
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Old 8th October 2020, 11:43   #38
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

I do believe that Service advisor scare you into getting things serviced. My example: Get the engine bay waxed & polished it will stop rat entry

Luckily for me it was a LOL moment. One of my friends has a Swift. He didnt get a VW because of the "high" service cost. When I comapred told him my own service costs, he was shocked to find it at half of what he had spent. When i looked over the bills there were too many unwanted line items like interior cleaning, AC fumigation, etc.

To Automotive OEMS, these are the business models which are built for their channels. Toyota asks you to pay upfront for a no nonsense service and hence seems expensive buy (not that it is not).

Last edited by 1.2TSI7DSG : 8th October 2020 at 11:45.
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Old 8th October 2020, 11:58   #39
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

This is an interesting thread and I largely agree with the fact that we should not fall in the trap of getting unnecessary work done on our cars/bikes during service.

Speaking personally from my handling servcing for my 2 cars (2000 Honda City 1.5 EXI, pre-worshipped 2013 VW Jetta 2.0 TDi) and my wife's 20012 Honda Brio S(O). Picked up the Jetta in 2018; City and Brio with us since new

The City and Brio have always been serviced at the showroom (Whitefield Honda BLR) from which they were purchased, apart from 3 years and 2 years for the City and Brio respectively, when they were serviced at an FNG. The cars are now back to showroom for servicing since 2018.

The Jetta was serviced at KPR Mysore by its original owner and I have followed the same.

Our experience at Whitefield Honda has been excellent. I have been going there since 2000. The service advisors offer the usual AC cleaning, interior cleaning, external polish, but a polite no is sufficient to dissuade.

A couple of years back the City, just wasn't her usual self, pick up was poor and engine felt breathless. My FNG felt nothing was wrong.

I landed up at the showroom and showed the car and the service advisor stated the radiator needed to be replaced. I am highly sceptical when such things happen but he appeared really earnest and I said fine, pls change it.

Best decision I ever took ! With the new radiator , the City is back to her old self and the engine feels super smooth. It's a joy to take her out.

Another instance with my RHS power window motor, which they cleaned up the contact points instead of asking me to replace the entire motor assembly. Still working fine to date !

I could have got it into my head that the service advisor is a money grabbing creep and disregarded his advice but I have actually benefited from their adviceand supportin many cases. When we wanted to change the Brios shocks at 40,000 km , the service advisor actually refused and we pushed if for another 10,00 km before replacing them.

My service for the Jetta was in May last year and I was advised by previous owner and my brother, to change the timing belt as car was at 104000 km. The service advisor was absolutely insistent that it needed to be changed only at 120,000 km. But finally I asked him to have it replaced.

I was not asked to go in for any add ons or treatments for that service.

However, If either of my service advisors ask me for some add on treatments at this time to meet their targets, I would pick what was most useful to me and go ahead to help him/ her out.

Last edited by Redline6800 : 8th October 2020 at 12:10.
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Old 8th October 2020, 12:16   #40
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
"Opt in" is where the patient has to tell the doctor that he needs this to be done. "Opt out" is where he needs to tell that he doesn't need this from a list that is already predecided.

The same concept applies here. If the SA tells me about these add-ons, clearly mentioning that these aren't manufacture recommended or mandatory, then it isn't cheating. I have the choice to take them or not depending on the SA's sales pitch. But it is cheating when they make it sound that it is needed or manufacture recommended or mandatory.
Perfectly said, doctor!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post

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.
These "all possible ways" cannot include:
  • Pushing value added services as mandatory (trump card - do this otherwise you will lose warranty)
  • Not even telling about these to customer and directly billing

These are clearly unethical. It is correct that Customer has to be vigilant, but that does not mean that all the unscrupulous ways of service center are perfectly alright.
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Old 8th October 2020, 12:52   #41
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

For this one reason I would prefer to buy an EV next time, but my heart keeps saying buy the Thar 2020.

Just last week I got charged ₹14K.
All I said was my AC compressor seems to switch off exactly after 30 seconds and I have to go on a long drive.

Check the attached invoice.

Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons-ritz-service-sep-2020-1.png
Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons-ritz-service-sep-2020-2.png
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Old 8th October 2020, 13:02   #42
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

If we look at the dynamics of this conundrum, the SA's ethics, sales tactics, incentives are mere secondary variables that come into the picture to balance the equation, which is fundamentally more flawed. The whole issue of SAs fleecing customers has more to do with how cars are perceived in India and the underlying mentality for their purchase and upkeep.

The underlying problem is has been existing and will will do for years to come unless there is a paradigm shift; let me elaborate:

1. Nature of purchase: For a middle class family, cars are still regarded as an aspirational purchase and a first-time buyer would, in all probability, buy a car in the budget of <8L. The factors which a normal customer (the typical unassuming, non-car folks) would consider while purchasing a vehicle are i) space, ii) FE iii) availability of service centers nearby iv) average yearly cost of maintenance v) a bit about design vi) colours on offer! Technical specifications do not fare even in the consideration list

2. Nature of the product: A normal car buyer who is not exactly an aficionado, would have bare minimum knowledge about how cars function, what are the critical engine components, the normal service charges, typical functional know-hows, etc. Perhaps this is because of the overwhelming technicalities that a car comprises of, which deters a normal customer from delving into details. Customers would rather seek solace in being advised by an SA during the annual servicing, little knowing that these 'experts' are merrily acquiescing them into overpaying for charges which are not at all required.

Now, enter the variables: incentives, greed, over-selling, up-selling, commissions and such related terms. A couple of pertinent questions: When most car owners only care about how their vehicles drive and ferry them from point A to point B, would they be spared from the antics of the SAs (who are very well aware of the naivety of customers)? Would you expect the dealers to sit back and let go of such a tasty prey without milking the consumer surplus just for the sake of ethics? Never.

Till the time cars are perceived as overtly technical products, and owners refuse to be knowledgeable about basic information about their vehicles, the SAs and dealerships are going to have a celebration duping unsuspecting customers. And honestly, I can't blame the poor SAs for this; afterall they have a family to feed and these chaps who earn a meager 18-20k a month might feel that a customer who can afford a 6L Swift can easily pay 1-2k extra in a yearly service. They are doing a job and would abide by what their employer instructs them to do. It is all about perspective and self righteousness. Ethics in businesses has always been a misnomer and is a far-fetched subject.
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Old 8th October 2020, 13:05   #43
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

My family and freinds have been most insited upon using sythetic oil instead of the manufacturer recommended. In my town there are ASS of Maruti and Hyundai and both fleece customers with cliams like 50% increase in mileage and increased longetivity. I inform every one that it is note required and do not go with it.

The good thing for these same ASS is that no service advisors suggest injector cleaning, decorative treatments and other stuff as going to the ASS is rather avoided bassed on the assumption that they are significantly costly and further ripping them off will loose them existing customers.
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Old 8th October 2020, 13:11   #44
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

First of all, I would like to give a big thanks to GTO for creating this important and much needed thread.


Here is my story
:
I visited a FASS in Kerala during the last week of September this year for a 5th year servicing of my ecosport 1.5l diesel.
The service advisor during receiving the vehicle before servicing quoted me bill of approx 7K. I told him to do the normal interior, exterior cleaning which comes within servicing part as well. Also, I had requested the SA to do an engine flush before oil change, even though I knew Ford never recommends engine flushing, I just requested him as my vehicle was out of warranty, also I promised them that I was doing this on my own risk and I will not hold Ford responsible if there is any engine problem due to flushing. So he agreed to add the flushing fluid before oil change.

Next day during delivery I was shocked to see, the SA quoted me a bill of approx 11K. He had added Rs.2900/- for 3M GermKleen for interior cleaning only, which I never asked for. Also, I saw the flushing liquid bottle was kept in the rear seat unused. I suspected that the service guy hadn't changed the engine oil and filter as well. I asked them to do the flushing infront of me now. They said they will do it with another car's engine oil as they already added new oil. During draining the new engine oil infront of me the engine oil came all black, so my suspicion was right, they hadn't changed the engine oil even. I countered them, they said since it's a diesel vehicle the engine oil becomes black immediately after pouring. I am not sure about it though, other BHPians can shed some light on this engine color change matter. But I didn't buy that logic at that time. I told him to do flushing work with that oil and add another 4ltr of fresh oil again. I agreed to pay for that additional oil. They did, and it was total of 8ltr of engine oil, SA added that in the final invoice, even though not changing the oil and not doing the flushing work was a mistake from their part.
Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons-img_20201001_125341.jpg

Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons-img_20201001_125352.jpg
During draining the engine oil infront of me. Never understood, how come a newly filled engine oil in a diesel car becomes all black within a day.

I didn't agree with the total bill amount due to inflated cleaning bill, so then he gave me additional 10% discount on the 2.9k interior cleaning work and 10% on the 4ltr of additional engine oil. I paid the bill and came back home.

Two days later I removed the dipstick and checked the engine oil, but it hadn't turned black as the SA claimed. It was brown like new oil. So this proved that they hadn't changed the engine oil at first and had I not suspected I would have run my vehicle another 10k kms with that old engine oil again.

I felt like cheated. Immediately I sent a mail to ford customer care. Same day I got call from Ford, they listened to my problem carefully. They promised me additional interior cleaning work will be done as per my convenience next time for free.

Next day, I got a call from the service center, they apologized and promised me to resolve the matter ASAP. Received all assurance from Ford through mail and over phone. Ford had already instructed them to solve the matter with utmost urgency till customer satisfies.

I don't want to mention the FASS name here as it may hurt their reputation, also since they already have solved my problem with all possible support, cooperation and patiently working on to resolving the matter in a very prompt manner. I am happy now. Lots of thanks to Ford for keeping their commitment and providing good customer care support.

But I shared this my experience to help other BHPians, same purpose for which GTO has created this thread. So, you guys must stay conscious and inspect the vehicle as well as the invoice properly during delivery to eliminate many kinds of misquoted work done, sometimes no work done by the service advisors on your dear vehicle just to earn extra.

Last edited by topse : 8th October 2020 at 13:20. Reason: Typo
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Old 8th October 2020, 13:19   #45
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

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I don't want to mention the FASS name here as it may hurt their reputation, also since they already have solved my problem with all possible support, cooperation and patiently working on to resolving the matter in a very prompt manner. I am happy now. Lots of thanks to Ford for keeping their commitment and providing good customer care support.

But I shared this my experience to help other BHPians, same purpose for which GTO has created this thread. So, you guys must stay conscious and inspect the vehicle as well as the invoice properly during delivery to eliminate many kinds of misquoted work done, sometimes no work done by the service advisors on your dear vehicle just to earn extra.
You really should share the name of the dealership. Who knows how many other unsuspecting customers have been already cheated by the dealership. Also, what is to say that the same dealership wont go back to cheating unsuspecting customers in future?
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