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Old 8th October 2020, 19:24   #61
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

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Originally Posted by cy_auto_enthu View Post
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
How much time, effort, money, comfort and education are required to understand / learn the simple fact : One does not need anything else apart from the what has been mentioned / recommended in vehicle's service manual.

People should learn to say a "No" and be firm on this.

Next time, be firm (=not rude) / ask follow-up questions and see how advisor's manipulation mechanism starts falling apart gradually.

Last edited by MunnabhaiMBBS : 8th October 2020 at 19:37.
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Old 8th October 2020, 19:30   #62
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

What an eyeopening thread!

I am sharing my experience here to encourage others to not trust the service advisor blindly when they suggest changing parts.

Incident One:

In November 2019, I gave my 2006 Innova for its regular annual service at 2,20,000 Kms to the newly opened Patni Toyota Dealership here in Nagpur.

It was a regular service with no other complaints. An hour or so after dropping of the car, I get a call from the SA who informs me that the brake pads on the front and rear are shot and need to be replaced. He INSISTED that I must get them changed at once as they may not even last the next 500 Kms. Also, he mentioned that the underbody is rusted out in places and ought to get an underbody coating too.
The way the SA was trying to scare me into immediately giving him the green signal for the brake pad replacement made me suspicious, so, I went to the workshop to have a look at the old pads.
Here are the pictures:
Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons-img_20191101_113132.jpg
This is a new brake shoe for reference.


Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons-img_20191101_113126.jpg
This is the rear brake shoe on my car which had hardly any wear on it.


Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons-img_20191101_112911.jpg

Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons-img_20191101_112916.jpg
The front brake pads were barely 50 % worn.

I gladly declined the brake pads for Rs.13,000/-+ GST and I am happy to report that as of now with 2,31,000 Km on the Odometer the brakes are just fine.


And the rust mentioned by the SA was just some minor surface corrosion on the front chassis cross members where the paint had scraped off. So, I declined that too.


Now, here is the real kicker! They were so busy pushing unnecessary replacements to inflate the bill that they actually missed a genuine problem which had just cropped up. If you look closely at the above picture of the rear right brake, you can see a little bit of an oil leak starting on the backing plate which is clearly visible. Today that leak has developed into a proper dripping leak and will be handled by GRACE TOYOTA's workshop .
Name:  Screenshot 20201008 184656.jpg
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Incident Two:

Around the end of May 2020, I gave my Fortuner to Patni Toyota for a regular service despite the experience in the previous service solely because the other Toyota Dealership is quiet far away.

This was also a regular service at 1,30,000Kms. Again, in an hour or so, I get a call from the SA who informs me that my bake pads are shot and need immediate replacement.

Here are the pictures :

Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons-img_20200528_145830.jpg
Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons-img_20200528_145835.jpg
Once again, the rear brake shoes have plenty of life left in them.


Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons-img_20200528_145454.jpg
And once again, the front brake pads do not warrant an immediate replacement as well.

And, this time as well they missed another thing which, according to me, should have been picked up by a company's authorized workshop. The dust boot on the bottom left piston of the left brake caliper has failed, exposing the oil seals to the elements. This will cause them to fail and leak brake fluid sooner than their expected life. I only noticed this afterwards, so, I will get this fixed on the next service at GRACE TOYOTA .
Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons-img_20200528_145530.jpg
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Old 8th October 2020, 20:15   #63
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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.
I've personally seen one such horror story, would like to share it now. Had one friend who used to get his RE 350's spares and accessories replaced with parts from other bikes at the service center, this is possible because one of the personnel at service center is his friend, feeling sorry for the innocent owners whose bike's parts were replaced with faulty ones. The moment I learnt this, lost respect for my friend, still feeling angst while remembering it now after a long time. What irks me the most is they do all these things without an iota of guilt.

Last edited by wheelguy : 8th October 2020 at 20:35.
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Old 8th October 2020, 20:48   #64
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

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Originally Posted by aargee View Post

After instilling the fear, he knows what he needs to say exactly - no problem sir, you can change it later; anyway you're driving within the city
Has any of these or more happened to any of you? Yes? If no, wait a while...
Oh yeah. This is one of their fav. lines, I guess.


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Originally Posted by acarun.vel View Post

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.
.

These SAs are clever. They use "creative" use of the small niggles /issues which you mention during the ritual noting down of issues.

My experience with prerana motors, near kudulu gate, bangalore few years back also was similar. For a regular 30K Km service for my vista, they gave me a quote for 28k. Items they tried to include : Powersteering assembly (was kaput according to them!), front and rear shocks , Complete removal of AC and refilling of gas, additives, cabin cleaning, special cabin treatment (God knows what this means, the idiot SA could not explain properly also what this was all about!), etc. etc.

The reasons ? When I gave the car, I mentioned:
1) there was a slight difficulty when turning the steering wheel to the extreme right
2) the A/C blow was slightly less effective from the left most vent
3) There was a thudding sound when I go over potholes.

When the SA told the quote over the phone, I told him not to do any further work till I reach there. He tried to give the usual "scare scenarios" route also. I told him to just do the normal service and what was included in the service guidelines by TATA. I firmly shot down all additives, fuel cleaning, cabin treatment, etc. Final service bill came to less than 2k.

And BTW, the issues which I reported ? I took it to a neighboring FNG and asked him to check out.

for issue #1 (difficulty in turning at the extreme right) there was a bit of rubber washer like thing which had broken off and which was causing this difficulty

for issue #2 (AC blow less in the left vent) - some gooky substance was blocking the left vent

For issue #3 (Thudding sound from the rear) - the lock assembly of the boot door was a bit loose and it required a bit of tightening

The cost ? total of a nice princely sum of Rs.300/- I gave the mechanic Rs.500 and he also was very happy! and for this the SA was giving me quote of 28k!

Last edited by haria : 8th October 2020 at 20:51.
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Old 8th October 2020, 22:22   #65
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

This is how it worked with my local dealership.

Open the job card. The service advisor obtains job card from receptionist.

He takes pen from collared shirt pocket and writes few things.

He asks owner to accompany for car inspection.

He continues to inspect the scratches, dents, fuel mark, etc.

He asks for problem. If the car is new or have everything good, he explains job card.

Now Basic servicing is printed on job card.
It has engine oil, oil filter, air filter change mentioned.

He explains pen scribbled stuff; injector cleaning, engine flush and AC disinfection(if summer is coming or monsoon is approaching)

An estimate is given. A common man trusts the SA and SA pockets the trust.
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Old 8th October 2020, 23:07   #66
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

I have to admit that I have been fleeced "n" number of times with my Dzire at Maruti authorized workshops. Last year due to horrible noise from suspension went to one of the MAAS and spent around 28K! Alas! My suspension issues were still not resolved.
Yes my car is old - 2011 make but has hardly done 55 K Kms.
This time took the option of Wheels Wisdom and was happy with the experience. The SA who took the car was trying to push back on the services I had asked for citing those are not really needed. Also he found out the issues on the suspension, shared the photos, videos and also asked me if I can come over to the workshop (a Bosch one) to check one in person before I approve the replacement.
I made a visit, saw the parts and approved the change. It did cost me another 20K but finally my suspension issues got resolved!
It was a different experience after dealing with the authorized workshop SAs for 10 years.
Anyways this is little off topic but felt can quote this experience.
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Old 8th October 2020, 23:50   #67
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

I worked as a Service Advisor in a dealership of a major automobile brand from 2005-07. Though it was a long time ago, some things are still the same. In those days service advisors had peanuts as salary and earning was majorly through incentives which one earnt. I used to be one of the best performing advisor and had also ranked 1 in Western Region in a company certification. The targets were tough and lots of deductions were there in incentives. I had left the job because of one such deduction. However, things are much better now. Advisors earn decent salary and can make huge incentives if the dealer is good. In our days one advisor used to open at least 15 job cards. There were four of us and average load in that workshop was of around 60 cars daily. The load used to be much higher on Saturdays or if one of advisor was absent. I spoke with a few advisors recently and nowadays it's 7-8 job cards that is standard. They could not believe their ears when I said we handled 15 cars daily. Also, in those days there were no WhatsApp or camera phones so communication used to be bit more difficult.

Now, below is the list of things for which we were paid incentives. I have also put targets, costing, incentives etc. Please note these rates are of period 2005-07

Annual Maintenance Contract : It used to cost Rs. 3000 plus taxes for the most popular hatchback. Customers got 4 labour free services in a year plus two times oil and oil filter change. In those days oil change interval was every six months. Now it looks quite a good deal to the customers as one paid service with oil change costed around Rs. 1500. They were getting four services for Rs. 3000. But they didn't realize that when their car came to the workshop 4 times a year, it gave us more opportunity to sell them other stuffs. Labour and parts for any other work was billed additionally. We had a target of 20 new AMCs in a month. We got incentive of Rs. 150 per AMC if we completed our target and zero if we missed it even by one unit. We targeted customers on their last free service, customers who came for paid service or fourth service of their existing AMCs. These AMCs were given by the dealership and were only valid at workshops of the said dealer. Sometime later dealer started adding Rs. 150 consumable charges extra for every service whether paid or AMC. This I thought was pretty unfair to those who took AMCs. We tried to reason with the management, but they didn't listen. I think it's now a standard. It started somewhere in 2006.

Engine Decarbonisation : This has to be the biggest fraud in automobile industry. Once 30,000 kms crossed for a car, we recommended customers to do Decarbonisation. It used to be a bottle of liquid provided by Wurth. Had to be added in the engine while being connected to a machine. It was supposed to clean the interiors of engine, thereby increasing life of engine, give better pickup, mileage and what not. I genuinely believed initially that it was something good for the car. However, after 7-8 months realised that it was pretty useless. It used to cost around Rs. 1700 for Decarbonisation and we had a target of 15 in a month. We got around Rs. 100 incentive per Decarbonisation if target achieved and zero if target wasn't achieved.

Interior and Exterior Polish : Dealer had a tie up with 3M. Interior polish coster around Rs. 800, exterior polish costed around Rs. 2000 while package costed around Rs. 2500. 3M guys used to do a good job to be honest and minor scratches used to disappear as well. However, after buying my own car, I never found the need to polish the car ever. We had target of 10 polishes in a month. Package was counted as two. Got incentive of Rs. 100 per polish off course only after achieving the target.

Anti rust coating : This was done by Dinitrol and costed Rs. 2000. Anti rust coating was done on under body, engine bay and boot area. It was recommended to be done on your car in coastal city like Mumbai. However, I had seen many cars getting rusted even after this coating. I stopped selling it unless customer asked for it themselves. We had a target of 10 per month and got Rs. 100 incentive per anti rust coating. No incentive if target missed.

Wheel Alignment/Wheel Balancing : I remember ours was one of the rare dealerships which gave incentives for WA/WB. We got Rs. 50 per wheel alignment and Rs. 50 per wheel balancing of 5 tyres. I was an expert in selling it and convinced every customer to do it after 10,000 kms. Target was 20 WA and 20 WB for month. Zero incentives if one missed the target.

Extended Warranty : This is something which every customer should buy. It gives peace of mind till 4 or 5 years to the customer. I have seen work of even lakh rupees not being charged to the customer because their car was under extended warranty. In those days however not many people used to go for it. We used to target the customers who used to come for first free service. Many times it was already sold to customer by sales folks. Target was 5 per month. We got Rs. 150 per extended warranty from the dealer in target was achieved, nothing if target was not achieved. We also got Rs. 150 per extended warranty from the OEM irrespective of the target achieved. We got a cheque on our name directly from OEM after a month or two.

PU coating : Another useless thing which looked very elegant. Plastic coating of the engine bay which made the engine look sparkling clean and shiny. It was said that it also prevented rat bite but I had seen a few cars with rat bite cases even after PU coating so it went out of my sales pitch. Costed around Rs. 800 with Rs. 50 incentives to us. Off course, no incentive if target of 15 not achieved.

Number etching : Now this was a rage during our time. Etching of the car registration number on all 6 glasses of the car. It was a good idea. In case your car was stolen, thieves can easily put a fake number plate but with registration embossed on the glass, they would get caught if they try to sell it. Changing all six glasses was too big a trouble. So, thieves might also avoid stealing such cars. I don't know why this thing is not done anymore. It was easiest to sell. Costed Rs. 300 for all 6 glasses. We were paid Rs. 20 incentive and had a target of 50 in a month. Also, we were paid Rs. 20 per case unofficially by the vendor in cash after end of the month making it Rs. 40 on a Rs. 300 job. Highest commission percentage.

Labor: Other than the value added services above, paid labor plus paid service per advisor should be Rs. One lakh per month. We got a huge sum of Rs. 500 for achieving this target!

There were incentives on selling tyres and convincing customers to fit LPG kit. There were no targets but were paid for every deal. I rarely bothered.

I was lucky that during my time the dealership didn't sell useless stuff like Engine flushing, radiator flushing, oil additives and other such stuff. However, friends working in other dealership used to say that these things were pretty easy to sell and they got huge incentives. Still don't know why our dealership was letting go off this business opportunity. Maybe there was a bad experience in recent past.

Now, things which I hated about my dealership management.

1. Whatever incentive service advisor would make, they would get 80% of it. The rest 20% was distributed as incentive to the back office staff like customer care executives, receptionist, spare parts executive, billing executive, cashier etc. So whatever amount I have written above, we got 80% of that amount for practical purposes.

2. You would get zero incentive even if you miss your target by one unit. So if I do 49 number etching instead of 50, I don't get a single paisa for that 49! The four of us had a bro code of helping each other complete their targets during month end.

3. This new rule was something which was started 2-3 before I left the dealership. It was most likely the reason for me leaving. For every target advisor was not able to achieve there would be 2% deduction from the incentives! For example if you did 14 Decarbonisation instead of 15, you would obviously not paid for these 14 but also lose 2% amount from your total kitty. I found this rule to be really exploitive and started looking for a new job once it got implemented!

Sorry for the long post. Just remembered my old days after seeing this chart!
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Old 9th October 2020, 00:23   #68
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Sorry for the long post. Just remembered my old days after seeing this chart!
What a post! Your write up deserves a thread by itself.
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Old 9th October 2020, 00:29   #69
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

I have experienced AC disinfectant scam while I gave my Polo GT Tsi for its 3rd service at EVM Volkswagen Trivandrum. It was the day before Christmas, 24th December 2019, if I am not wrong. The car was delivered at their workshop and I was informed that the approximate service charges would be Rs 13,000 for the routine third service.
Since I previously had a not-so-pleasant experience at the dealership, I decided to review the bill before taking delivery of the car. Since I was busy the day the car was ready, I asked my driver to go and pick up the car and asked him to send images of the bill to me before taking delivery.

He sent me the images of the bill and I found that the dealer had charged me Rs 990 or so for AC disinfectant service. I was furious to find this on my bill as I had not approved something like this. Immediately called the service advisor and enquired as to why this was done without my permission.
He tried to justify their actions informing that this was necessary. I challenged them. Asked them to show me where I can find this on the VW document titled ‘Volkswagen Maintenance Labour Operations’ that provides the list of necessary work that needs to be done during every service.

After several minutes of arguments, I had to give them an ultimatum that neither my car nor my driver would leave their premises unless the driver was handed back the AC disinfectant charges. Upon seeing that I was not ready to let this go, they handed over the money.

Unfortunately, I will have to put up with their dealership since my car is still under warranty and I don't wish to compromise it (DSG gearbox) by giving it for service elsewhere.
I wonder how many customers are getting fleeced like this every day.

Last edited by raman.aries : 9th October 2020 at 00:29. Reason: Paragraph spacing
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Old 9th October 2020, 00:35   #70
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

Was told by a Honda ASS for my Honda Amaze that it is compulsory to do Wheel alignment and Balancing At the dealership so that it can go on official record and if there is any issue ever in steering column or such Honda has record of it.
Finally after much argument got offered 50% discount on those services and got them done at the ASS just for convenience sakes, and to get them of my back.
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Old 9th October 2020, 00:51   #71
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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
First of all, I would like to give a big thanks to GTO for creating this important and much needed thread.
I think this would be a case of sheer incompetence at best and a clear cut case of Fraud at worse. You were lucky to have noticed the issue, else the long term damage could have been huge.

Mod Note : Please quote ONLY the relevant bits of a post. Quoting a full, long post inconveniences our mobile readers. Thanks!

Last edited by Sheel : 9th October 2020 at 10:15. Reason: Mod note attached.
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Old 9th October 2020, 01:32   #72
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

Its the system that has forced them to hard sell Extra Add-ons.
Normal Salary of a SA in 2-Wheeler is 7-8k (Yearly increment is generally Max 500) & In 4 -Wheeler 12-13k (Salary increments are generally (500-1500max annually)

Their only chance to earn a decent living is to hard sell the add-ons & maximize the ticket size. This system is in my understanding due to the lack of work ethics in India, If the same SA was given 22-23K Salary without any incentivization , He will in all probability be doing the Bare minimum & the workshop wont be profitable.

I advise everyone to always accompany your vehicle for service, if you can't take out 1-2 days a year for regular service, then you are yourself giving them the opportunity to milk you. Ever Wondered why almost all dealerships offer Complimentary pick-up & drop of your vehicle.

Also most of the Dealerships are running a tight line these days & very few are there who are decently profitable and its all in their right to maximize the profits from you, Its on us to decide what needs to be done & what not. Always go prepared with the Scheduled maintenance items as per your ODO from the Owner manual. I have seen SA skimping on the mandatory/Critical Preventive maintenance items & pushing for Extra addons, because the vehicle owner is adamant on capping his service expense to 6k etc. Also the OEM is in all its right to reject your warranty claim if the necessary preventive maintenance hasn't been done as per the OEM schedule.

P.S: I work for a Automobile major in India & My Job role involves maximizing the Dealer Profitability, Especially the Workshop business & most of the time I help dealers make the incentive model for SA & other staff.

P.P.S: At my Last service of My 2009 Fortuner, The SA comes back after he had already informed me that my car will be ready for delivery in3 0 mins after washing & tells me the Radiator is leaking coolant heavily, The Vehicle was absolutely perfect when I drove there & upon taking out the Radiator they couldn't explain how such a major damage(All the cores had a leak in a line indicating impact) come up in a few hours as the radiator as in perfect condition same morning. I am an Industry insider & a couple of phone calls later I could have had the Dealer pay for the Brand new radiator. But I know that all these instances the money is deducted from the SA & other staff involved & if I can afford that item It ain't really a wise thing to push the burden on the Service staff when its not 100% sure that they damaged the component. Imagine the ugly situation if I had chose to use Pick up & drop & receive a call that suddenly my radiator is leaking. I know most of the SA are there to maximize the ticket size ,But they are smart enough to judge when the customer has done his homework & will Advise you genuinely!
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Old 9th October 2020, 01:39   #73
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

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Was told by a Honda ASS for my Honda Amaze that it is compulsory to do Wheel alignment and Balancing At the dealership so that it can go on official record and if there is any issue ever in steering column or such Honda has record of it.
Finally after much argument got offered 50% discount on those services and got them done at the ASS just for convenience sakes, and to get them of my back.
They are correct. Incorrect wheel alignment can cause damage to steering or suspension components. If the alignment has been refused to be done at authorised dealership after being recommended and if a failure/damage happens subsequently, they are well within their rights to refuse warranty for that part.
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Old 9th October 2020, 08:39   #74
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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
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....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'm sorry to say this my friend, but you got royally screwed by the dealer. Had it been a genuine mistake, it'd be somewhat okay if they accepted it and didn't charge you for the oil the second time. I know a mechanic who (mistakingly?) missed an oil change on my freind's Esteen, but he was apologetic and this was quickly rectified free of cost at the Maruti service center. Charging you again for the oil is blasphemy IMHO.

It'd help everyone if you can name and shame the dealer, but I respect it if you don't want to.

Last edited by landcruiser123 : 9th October 2020 at 08:41.
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Old 9th October 2020, 09:02   #75
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Default Re: Incentives that service advisors receive for upselling you unnecessary add-ons

The brake pad replacement is a commonly adopted fleecing technique even for two wheelers.

Yesterday I was at Royal Enfield service center for my bullet service. The question asked by the service guy, after removing the brake pad - "Sir, when was this replaced last.."? I said, well, why don't you take a look at it physically and tell me if it is really due by the looks of it rather than when it was replaced last. He kept quiet and said we will then replace it next time sir.
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