Have you ever taken your car in for one of the major “maintenance” jobs? 30,000, 60,000, 90,000 etc. Well, I have been doing this fairly regularly over the years and every time I’m due for one, I get angry. I can’t help it. It always happens the same way when I call to schedule:
- Me: Hi, I’d like to schedule an appointment for an oil change.
- Service: How many miles do you have on the vehicle?
- Me: 60,000
- Service: Oh, then you’ll also need the 60,000 mile maintenance, would you like to schedule that as well?
- Me: Well, what does that entail?
- Service: We change the oil, lubricate a few things, rotate the tires, give you some new spark plugs, check the belts, check the hoses, check air filters, check tire pressure, check johnson rods, check brake fluid, check the coffee level in our coffee mugs, check what time it is, check on how Johnny’s kid’s high school football game went last night….
- Me: Oh, well, you indicated you check a lot of things, anything you actually “do” besides the oil change?
- Service: Yes, we give you new spark plugs and rotate the tires. And, you need a record indicating you’ve gotten all of your maintenance done and your car checked regularly if you want to keep the warranty valid on your car. And we keep that here for you, nicely organized. Without this maintenance record, the manufacturer may not have to honor the warranty.
- Me: What?
- Service: And that will come to $542.
- Me: $542!?! Seriously? But an oil change, tire rotation, spark plug replacement is on special down the block for $49…I’d guess they could check on a few things too while they’re at it…
- Service: Actually, if you add up all that we do for a maintenance, it comes out pretty close to that total.
- Me: Ummm, pretty close?
- Service: Is there a day that works best for you?
- Me: I’ll have to…check.
(Taken nearly verbatim from an actual conversation with a dealership 20 minutes ago).