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Old 8th October 2020, 13:35   #46
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

The manufacturers do mention a schedule of tasks, parts & fluids replacement and periodic maintenance in the owner's manual. So, as the owner of the car, it is my responsibility to have a look at it before I visit the ASS and agree on the job card.

It's a known fact that dealers make more money on service than sales. Therefore, it is but obvious that the service advisors are given incentives to 'sell'. There is nothing wrong in that. Where the trouble begins is when engine flushes and decarbonization get recommended to low milage cars. Where it hurts most is with unsuspecting customers who do not know too much about cars getting scammed by greedy Service Advisors

I won't hesitate to compare this with a few errant doctors recommending you unnecessary and expensive tests / medicinal procedures or a nutorious Banker / Financial Advisor making you invest in schemes which are not appropriate for you. The commission model works in exactly the same way in all the cases. We can't generalise all doctors and bankers as cheats because of this.
(Note: No offence meant to any profession. Above example is to point out only the errants)

Just how we practice caution while dealing with Doctor's recommendation or Investments :

1. Never go by face value and relationship / rapport with the dealer or ASS Staff.

2. Understanding the difference between the tasks that "must be done", "good to get it done" & "Unnecessary".

3. Never agree on something unless you are aware of the price of the same service available outside (without voiding the warranty)

4. Plan your car servicing in advance. Never leave it for last moment and rush to get your car serviced the moment you have visited the ASS. If the job card seems dubiously expensive, don't agree/walk away/negotiate.

5. Not all ASS are cheats. Have found Maruti ASSs largely friendly and honest with low to nil push for upselling. Have had a chance to visit workshops in 7 different cities over last 20+ years and had only one bad experience so far with Sai Service Lower Parel. Never visited them again. Found Honda ASS to be particularly money oriented. They love to sell the warranties and AMCs by trying to prove that Honda cars are extremely unreliable and warrant change of parts frequently . . One particular SA Mr. Michael from Regent Honda Thane recommended me changing the entire EPS box and Steering Rack to resolve a knocking sound with an estimate of INR 1.25L. He said that he can hook a 2 year extended warranty on my 5 yrs old Jazz for INR 40K and get the job done under it with basic labour cost only to be bourne by me. He said the same problem surfaces in every Honda car within every 10k kms and he is benefitting me through the extended warranty to resolve this issue in future as well. Had got the problem resolved at an FNG for INR 4.5k. The issue never surfaced over the last 4 years and 50k+ kms later.

6. Not all FNGs are skilled. Some have the potential to spoil your car to a point from where there is no return to normal. (Learnt it the hard way. R.I.P. my Wagon R)

The dealer provides you service and expects to make money in return. He hires employees who work for him to earn a living. They will recommend you jobs which may or may not be completely unnecessary. As long as the recommendations are as per the schedule or circumstance warrant the task, it's fair . Else, look elsewhere.
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Old 8th October 2020, 14:02   #47
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

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Originally Posted by topse View Post

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.

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.
I am really surprised that you feel the ASS has supported you in all possible ways. Lets look at the main points:
  • They did not perform engine oil flushing & change during the service & lied to you that it is done
  • They performed additional interior cleaning worth 2.9K which you did not ask for
  • They lied to you about engine oil turning black in 1 day
  • They made you pay for additional 4 litres engine oil even though they had not changed it in the first instance and charged you for it already!

As a resolution what did they offer? 10% discount on 2.9K interior cleaning (which you did not even ask for in the first place) & 10% discount on the 4 litres oil? Thats what I could gather from the post, unless there is something you have not mentioned in the post. I feel this is really a joke of a resolution after their big mistake!

Do name the service center.
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Old 8th October 2020, 14:23   #48
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

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Originally Posted by ruzbehxyz View Post
Absolutely. Some service centres try to rope in interior detailing costing 2000 odd rupees. The biggest gimmick I feel is AC cleaning / sanitizing, which can cost anyway between 700 to 2000 rupees. What they are doing is just spraying a 3M or equivalent spray in the AC vents. When the customer enters he gets a good fragrance and is satisfied. On most occasions they don't even use the full can, which is anyway not sufficient for a big car. Better buy your own spray can and DIY.
Another gimmick is the wheel alignment. This should be done at a good tyre shop.
In other words, interior detailing should be done at 3M or equivalent stores and wheel alignment at a good tyre shop.
Have you ever tried to ask for tyre prices at an ASS? That's where the real mark ups are. You will get quotes for JK Tyres & Apollos higher than their Continental/Michelin equivalents available at Tyre retailers. Wheel Alignment & Balancing is charged extra. Same is the case with batteries.
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Old 8th October 2020, 14:51   #49
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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.
+1. I always stay with my car during routine service (A Saturday well spent). Once, the SM, asked me to leave and I raised a complaint in their routine feedback call and after which he never argues and almost everyone in the center knows that I stay with my car until the service is done. The only time my car is left unattended by me is during insurance claim(s).
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Old 8th October 2020, 14:56   #50
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

I can understand these incentive schemes with regular brands. But why do these big German car makers up sell during servicing? They have hefty margins in labour anyway.
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Old 8th October 2020, 15:15   #51
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

Thanks for this thread. Even I had a similar experience at TATA ASS recently where our Tiago had gone for rear bumper, tailgate and tail light replacement due to an accident.

The Body Shop person accepted the car and completed the job in 10 Days. The Service advisor completed the minor service task and just handed over the car.
Unfortunately I couldn't go and dad had gone to collect. The service bill was 3k. The repair bill was 1k (repair covered under insurance). No check was offered. Literally, he just asked to pay and leave. Dad was a bit underwhelmed and left. When the car came home, I noticed the rear camera wasn't fitted. I called the Body shop guy and he informed it was in the glove box. Found it. I asked him why wasn't it refitted or wasn't informed that it's not fitted. To which he replied that accessories aren't their scope of work.
I argued that why would you not inform atleast and it fell on deaf ears. I told him that the accessory was a TATA original product and was installed during delivery of the car. He said then I had to get it fitted at the showroom.

I made another trip to the showroom and found the accessory. Got the job done and paid him 200 bucks (because he did a good job). I told the showroom person I won't be paying for this service as it was the SC job to refit original accessories. Since the showroom guy saw I wasn't happy with SC, he waived off their charges.

MORAL
A Service advisor will try to avoid all jobs, if he realizes that you know his tricks and will try to wash off his hands. We need to be alert and we are on our own.
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Old 8th October 2020, 15:28   #52
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

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Originally Posted by R_Gowardhan View Post
Have you ever tried to ask for tyre prices at an ASS? That's where the real mark ups are. You will get quotes for JK Tyres & Apollos higher than their Continental/Michelin equivalents available at Tyre retailers. Wheel Alignment & Balancing is charged extra. Same is the case with batteries.
I once went to pick up a friend's Polo (they took 5 HOURS to clean it). The year was 2012 I believe. A Vento has come in for accidental repair. The tyre quote was 18k/tyre. My i10s 4 tyres cost 14k in total in 2020.
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Old 8th October 2020, 15:35   #53
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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
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.

Attachment 2064244
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedrolourenco View Post
That's exactly what I did for the Alto first service. Brought down the estimate of almost 3K to a little under 1K.
Spot on! It's as simple as getting the manufacturer recommended standard operations alone done. Many (if not all) of the ASCs have the standard operations displayed in the lounge or elsewhere and standing right in front of this, you get free advise from SA's on those fancy treatments!
Once, I was told up front by a VW ASC to change the alternator for a sluggish start I reported on the car which was not in use for a month. Apparently, the battery was almost discharged
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Old 8th October 2020, 15:53   #54
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

Hahaha, things brings back fond memories. But these are learning experiences which helps one in the longer run.

I was referrered to Team -BHP way back in 2006, by my friendly neighbor hood garage owner, when Vitesse had charged me Re. 16,000/- for an Oil change and regular service. I had to escalate, flight go right up to the owners for my money back.

I guess these tricks are played everywhere, in 2018 when I had a blowout on my z4, Gargash Enterprises the Dealer for BMW's quoted me AED 12500/- for the 4 types and the Wheel alignment.

As the blow out had happened late at night in Abu Dhabi, the cost of flat bed was also charged to my account separately. Not to mention that I had to pay another 250 AED for Taxi from AUH to DXB.

Locally, the same tyres were available for AED 1200/- at 1/10th the price.

I guess larger the Brand, the more the margins are.
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Old 8th October 2020, 16:12   #55
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

Recently I went to MASS for 40000Km service. The SA quoted
- labour charges for coolant change. Caught him there and gave an earful after which the labour charge was removed since coolant change is part of 40000km service and PMS labour charge already includes the same.
- Covid Car sanitization (300/-) (told him to remove that)
- Covid AC disinfection charges (350/-) (told him to remove that)
- engine flush (even I was not sure whether to go ahead since the SA tried to convince a lot but finally denied)
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Old 8th October 2020, 16:28   #56
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

I have had this experience even at a NEXA service center, who otherwise claim to deliver a premium, no-nonsense exerience!

On another accasion, I found half a dozen pouches of windshield cleaning fluid in my boot. Of course, while I did put them to use, I never asked them to ensure I have 6 months stock available.

Anyway, the best was to deal with this is to go by the book and insist on only the recommended services and changes.

While I know this is besides the point, aren't the incentives way too low for what the service centre/provider makes!?
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Old 8th October 2020, 16:50   #57
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

MASS Kolkata tried to full a fast one on me as well. I categorically specified the problems to be taken care off but i was charged with AC Vent cleaning and Interior cleaning in my final bil. I told them, I didnt authorize so I wont pay for these two services. They were removed from the final bill so quickly ,made me wonder if they were done in the first place.
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Old 8th October 2020, 17:20   #58
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

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Originally Posted by MunnabhaiMBBS View Post
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!
I would politely disagree as there are a lot of car buyers who cannot be expected to know what some of these treatments are and what impact they would have on their vehicle. it is very easy to be scared. owning a car should not mean knowing every detail and an advisor is supposed to help you get that done.
when even the supporting justification is wrong how much can a common man learn and manage
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Old 8th October 2020, 17:39   #59
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

I don't mind the service stations offering extras. And I don't mind if they get paid for selling them.

I do mind if extras get pushed as standard, and I do mind when they are of zero value, like this AC-clean thing. And I do mind if the car documentation does not have the service items clearly listed for each service, so we have no way of knowing what is an extra and what is not, even with engine stuff. I think my VW manual has no such listing now. Apart from being made aware that most annual services need consist of basic essentials, we also need to be informed that at certain age/mileages some fairly major work needs to be done, eg timing belt.

We, especially Team-BHPers, should be informed buyers. But, for instance, I don't know what is the frequency at which my brake fluid should be changed, and when it is OK to just check the level.
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Old 8th October 2020, 18:44   #60
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

Enlightening thread and very relevant.

I have a question on related but slightly different aspect.

What about SA saying xyz part is either gone bad, or will go back in certain amount of further running and not changing can lead to unwanted incidents or even accidents. Now if this is related to some issue I am already facing (e.g. rubbery brakes), I would be certainly inclined to give away and replace the part.

But how can one judge the stated requirement to change the parts better? Before I sold my 9 yr old diesel Logan, I think I was paying anywhere between 10-30k for routine services with some parts changed every time. I attributed it to old age, but what could I do to really check if that part required a replacement (I read the advice above about reading service manual).

Thanks in advance.
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