The only thing I take seriously is my Freedom. And Bacon.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Free Cookies In Service Shop? Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

I sincerely wish I didn’t have to tell you that I almost had to shell out almost 800.00 in order for my car to pass inspection. I sincerely wish I didn’t have to tell you that is appears that a local dealership mislead me and almost robbed me of 600.00.
I am happy to tell you that I was able to find an honest service department that saved me that 600.00! (that’s 12 tanks of gas! Pre-Obama it would have been 23 tanks of gas!).  
The offending dealership? Kia of Warrington.
First, let me say we have a KIA and love it. The sales guy at KIA in Warrington was wonderful. I took my 2003 Grand Am to KIA for the State/Emissions test because when we bought from KIA, we were told that the State inspection would be free for ANY car in the family. It seemed an awesome deal at the time!
The pros about the KIA service center in Warrington? Free cookies in the waiting room! Free coffee! Spacious and comfortable – big T.V.
And all the employees were extremely nice.
Then one of the service advisors explained that my car needed almost 800.00 worth of work in order for it to pass state inspection. It passed emissions.   
Lucky for me, I have a family member who then looked at my car – he agreed that it needed all the repairs suggested by KIA, except for one. He was able to make the repairs.
We then took the car to the Pep Boys service center on County Line Road in Chalfont. The waiting area is not plush. There are no free cookies. There is free WIFI and a soda vending machine!
But I soon discovered there is something far more priceless – honesty.
The service repairmen, Matt, called me into the garage. My car was on the lift and he explained that my family member did indeed make the needed repairs, but when he fixed the offending brake, he should have also replaced the other. However; he did agree with my family member that one of the suggested repairs that KIA had added to the tally was not necessary at all.
Matt explained that dealerships and corporations try to “upsell” services or repairs that aren’t necessary; they are in business to make money.
Matt, however, didn’t treat me as a deposit slip for his company’s bank account – he treated me like a person trying to make ends meet, and though I may not know much about cars, I deserve to be respected and treated honestly.
In all the years I’ve taken cars to have them inspected or serviced or repaired, I’ve never had a service technician actually show me what was wrong and he also advised me of what I might need down the road and what would be a waste of time and money.  
Sure, Matt could have tried to sell me into buying a repair I didn’t need – and it would have added to Pep Boys bank account. But what Matt sold me on was the value of honesty – and I’ll forever be their cheerleader and recommend anyone who values honesty and savings take their cars to the Pep Boys on County Line Road in Chalfont.
The emissions test cost almost 60.00 at KIA – I spent about 100.00 for parts, and the state inspection cost about 30.00 at Pep Boys. But even if I hadn’t had a family member make the repairs – there was still that “repair” that KIA told me I needed which would have cost me 200.00+ labor.
What I learned? There are still auto service technicians who view drivers as people, not as checkbooks. And a free cookie is never free – somewhere, somehow, there is someone who paid 600.00 for your complimentary treat.