Dealer VS Small shop - Jeep Compass Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-19-2011, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Dealer VS Small shop

I just want to share a bit of an experience I had today.

I bought my first Compass (2007 North Edition) in Feb of this year. So in total I've had it for about 6 months. For the past few months I've been hearing a sort of creaking, tension sound when braking. I also noticed that the car would sometimes hesitate to start and would shutter in very cold weather (I live in Ontario, Canada) until it warmed up. I figured it could just be cold weather so I left it alone.

It's now August and the same things still happen. There are even times when I go to start the car and it feels like the engine has turned over, but it really hasn't and a lightning bolt icon appears on the dash until I turn the key to off and then start it again. As well, getting up to speed from a red light or a stop sign sometimes seemed sluggish. The engine would be revving high (4-5K) and I'd be struggling to pass 45KM/H for quite a while.

Anyhow, I took it in this morning for these issues (plus a regular oil change) to the dealer from where I bought the car. Here is what they quote:

Grinding noise - Front brakes need to be replaced. They're worn down to the 'squealers' (metal tabs that make noise for the purpose of letting you know it's time to replace the brakes). Needs new rotors and pads. Price: $450 plus taxes and labour costs.

Loose Control arm ball joint (not even something I had addressed in my original inspection request) - Needs: Replacement. Cost: $505.65 plus taxes and labour costs.

Labour: ~$300, and then taxes for another $200-ish.

Took it for another quote to a small auto shop. For the same exact work, minus the branded parts (Chrysler OEM vs Napa [or whatever]) was going to be a TOTAL (parts, labour and taxes incl.) of $480.

I called the dealership back with this information and after a lengthy conversation with the used car and services managers they told me they'll use a lesser quality brake (a brake is a brake when you use your vehicle less than 2 hours per week, IMO) for $250 installed and they'll do the ball joint for free because they feel that that shouldn't have happened on a car that was purchased this recently.

So my initial quote of $1400+ went down to $250 within 3 hours.

I also got the dealership to put new computer software into the computer of the Compass, which they said solves a LOT of power issues (no power when starting from red light / stop sign, some fuel mileage issues, etc). That cost $100.

So, all this is to say that I will likely never bring my car to a stealership again. After this one time, that is. Ridiculously over priced with a TON of hidden margins (it seems).

Hope this helps someone else, in some way, shape or form. Don't settle for one quote. Lesson: Always shop around.


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post #2 of 11 Old 08-19-2011, 07:11 PM
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Well done, true enough. You have to know your prices and when you take it in for an oil change they do look around for failed suspension components etc.

Jeep Compass 2009
4x4, 2.4L, CVT
North Edition
heated seats, TPMS
General Altimax RT43 P225/65R17
Yellow Fog Lamps
CLASS III Curtis Hitch
SOLD @ 153,000km Oct. 2018 THE END !!
Belleville, Ontario, Canada

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post #3 of 11 Old 08-21-2011, 12:46 PM
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Not all dealerships are bad. I'm fortunate to have a great dealer in my area (Hunter's Chrysler in Waverly, Ohio). Their repair prices are about 10% - 15% higher than the local independent shops and chains like Midas and you may have to wait a few days longer since it is a small dealer, but their work is guaranteed and they treat you right. They will even work on my old collector cars which most shops won't touch.

Here's a recent story--I took my 86 Gran Fury to a large independent shop last year to get rid of the spark control computer and put in an MSD box -cost me $130. Car ran better, but not fully right and within a year I had the same problems I had before the switch. Took it back and they "fixed" it for $120 and it ran okay for a week and then I had big-time electrical problems. I took it then to Hunter's and they found that the indie shop had reversed several wires that ruined the MSD box and the ignition coil. Hunter's repaired everything for $225 and the car runs better than when it was new. Had I taken it to them first I would have saved a lot of money and aggravation.
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-21-2011, 03:44 PM
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I have to agree, all dealerships aren't bad. Since my selling dealership closed, I have two to choose from, one closer to home (20 minute drive) and I go there just for routine maintenance/oil changes and the like. The other is an hour from me, but when it comes to warranty work or anything serious (and I hope I'm not jinxing myself here lol), I take it there. Bottom line though, being an educated consumer and taking that info to them, they know they can't hit ya like they would another unsuspecting person. Of course, a dozen donuts once in a while doesn't hurt, either, my dealer service dept. loves me lol. Just glad they worked with you and got it repaired correctly without it costing a fortune!

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post #5 of 11 Old 01-13-2012, 02:49 PM
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I am on the side that not all dealerships are bad. I used to work for a few when I was younger washing/detailing/etc their cars. If the customer service rep is being a jerk or uncooperative that is probably not the whole for the company. I have always found that if you can get them see you as a person and not as a burden they seem to work much better with you.
For instance I bought my compass in September of last year, now the sales man told me that there was UConnect installed in the car so I wouldn't have to worry about a handsfree setup for cell use in the SUV. Later when I was trying to setup this feature I came to the conclusion that the software/hardware was never installed. I called up the dealership (Hanigan Automotive in Ontario, OR) to find out what they could do. After talking with them for a bit they offered to install the UConnect free of charge. Free = Win!
Then after I got down there had them work on it for a few hours they humbly came back and told me they did not order the correct part so they couldn't completely install it. I was a little frustrated but they also threw in the iPod hardware free of charge (I was going to pay extra for them to install that). So they told me that everything was wired up I just had to replace a modulator and it would work perfectly. They UPSed me the part and it installed in less than 10 minutes.
They call me every couple of months since I bought the SUV to see how everything is going and if I needed anything.
So I will stick with customer service is a two-way street.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-13-2012, 03:03 PM
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A good dealer with good tech and serious service manager who's got your back is everything. Especially when you're enduring design/reliability issues. They will make sure the shop guys (haven't seen a lady in mine yet) check and service it thoroughly and not brush it off because they did not see or notice something.

I have found a really good dealer about a 40min drive for me nowhere near me but its worth it in the long run. Bob Bannerman Motors in Scarb. Ont., They work the problem using all resources and skilled staff. If they can't fix it then its engineering fault and make not should there be a post warranty issue.

100% if you find and make the effort and if in doubt talk to the service manager on the phone before going down and test the mentality and response. The shop people are driven my the manager and if you're not happy the manager is going after the tech to find out what happening and did not happen.

Jeep Compass 2009
4x4, 2.4L, CVT
North Edition
heated seats, TPMS
General Altimax RT43 P225/65R17
Yellow Fog Lamps
CLASS III Curtis Hitch
SOLD @ 153,000km Oct. 2018 THE END !!
Belleville, Ontario, Canada

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post #7 of 11 Old 01-13-2012, 04:37 PM
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glad to see people sticking up for us before i even chime in!

yes, dealerships cost more. do you know why they cost more? it's not going to be the reason that you think (you think i'm going to say quality of the labor/parts. while this fact is true, it's not why it's more expensive). the reason is because the small shops base their costs off of what dealerships quote, so no matter what a dealer quotes parts/labor at, the aftermarket is ALWAYS going to be less. that's the nature of the beast. you lower one price, the other goes down to compete.

now, in your scenario, let me break down what the "stealership" did (btw, careful throwing out insults around here, some of us that work at stealerships are genuinely here to help ). you called and got a price for work. they looked up what the labor for the work was, and the cost of the parts. they quoted you a price. you then got your price from the shop which is almost guaranteed to be less for the reason i stated above. you then called the dealer back and gave that info to them, and talked to the right people.

now, what you said and what they heard were two different things. they heard, "look, i have a shop that can do this price, and if you don't do it i'll go somewhere else for all of my business" (you may or may not have said that, but that's what they heard). so what then happened was the service manager started looking for ways to cut costs. did you tell them at first you wanted less than OEM quality brakes? no? then they're going assume OEM parts (they have to). now they know that you are okay with using a lesser quality brake pad/rotor. cost cut #1. the two managers then probably talked with each other, in turn getting them to authorize your control arm ball joint repair under warranty, something that it normally wouldn't be. he went the extra mile. cost cut #2.

so when you look at what they actually did for you, they are not a "stealership" as you put it. they actually went the extra mile to make you happy, and to do the right thing. they were not trying to pull one over on you from the beginning, but they did not have all of the info. had they said right off the bat that the ball joints would be covered, the writer could have gotten in deep trouble, maybe even fired. they should not be covered, you got special permission to do that. they also did not know that you wanted aftermarket brakes. another cost cut. they did everything the right way from the start, and even went above and beyond to make sure you were satisfied in hopes that you continue to do business there. IMO, they certainly deserve your continued patronage, and do not deserve to be belittled online in this way (even if you didn't name them). when you break it down as to exactly what happened, they were actually extremely helpful. you need to look at the big picture.
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-14-2012, 01:08 PM
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IRS said:

Quote:
(btw, careful throwing out insults around here,
No comments !!!!!!

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post #9 of 11 Old 01-14-2012, 01:23 PM
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IRS said:



No comments !!!!!!
isn't "no comment" a comment
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-14-2012, 04:30 PM
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I did not read anything anyone woudl take offense with. Maybe the COLD Montreal temp are getting to someone. LOL I heard the high today was going to be -17C in Montreal.

No question there are good dealers and good managers. I have run into a few manager who shall I say are in the wrong business and technologically challenged lacking the required understanding of the vehicles and electronics.

Unfortunately for us customers its reality and hunt around and find a good one. IRS... likely is associated with a good one.

Jeep Compass 2009
4x4, 2.4L, CVT
North Edition
heated seats, TPMS
General Altimax RT43 P225/65R17
Yellow Fog Lamps
CLASS III Curtis Hitch
SOLD @ 153,000km Oct. 2018 THE END !!
Belleville, Ontario, Canada

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post #11 of 11 Old 01-14-2012, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by tripplec View Post
Unfortunately for us customers its reality and hunt around and find a good one. IRS... likely is associated with a good one.
i don't disagree that there are bad people in my industry, they're there in every industry. but the dealer the OP was talking about isn't one of the bad ones. they did everything they could to make him happy, and did it the right way. they did nothing wrong at the beginning.
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