the dealers guide to scams..... - concrete

Last night in the local pub, this old chestnut came up again. The screen washer top up at services. A friend was charge £7.50 for a top up with a nearly empty bottle left in the footwell for 'free'. He reckons that this VAG dealer carries out a minimum of 10 services per day. At £7.50 a throw that is at least £18500 per annum. For washer fluid!!!! Money for old clog irons in my book. I told him I used to fill mine just before servicing and photograph it, then get the offending item removed from the final bill on the grounds they could not possibly have topped it up. It was quite a game as the service manager knew exactly what was coming after each service. But he was powerless to stop the system from automatically charging for the item, and had to put through a manual refund each time.

I wonder how many other small items are used to scam punters? You only need a couple more like this one to pay for the managers annual salary. Very sneeky pool!!!

Cheers Concrete

the dealers guide to scams..... - Avant

Many thanks for the reminder. Fortunately mine is on 3 years' free servicing: I wonder if the dealer gets away with charging Volvo for washer fluid.

the dealers guide to scams..... - John F

Many thanks for the reminder. Fortunately mine is on 3 years' free servicing.........

Avant, I guess you know perfectly well that the price of your 'free' services is built into what you paid them for the car. I wonder what that was....and how much the car has depreciated over the past three years. A percentage of that figure will account for your servicing costs!

the dealers guide to scams..... - Dogfuzz

I was charged £1.49 screen wash in a rip off plastic sachet last week when i had my car serviced

What irritated me was that I had just bought a double litre of concentrated s/w for £2.50 in a PoundShop the previous week--lovely stuff!

the dealers guide to scams..... - 72 dudes

I had just bought a double litre of concentrated s/w for £2.50 in a PoundShop the previous week--lovely stuff!

You was robbed mate! :-)

the dealers guide to scams..... - Dogfuzz

...and while i am moaning--what are Environemental charges for £3.50, Contamination remover £14.50 and Sundries at £6.15. I suppose i should have asked but being british I didn't want to make a fuss. A neat £28.98 inc VAT added for WHAT?

Edited by Doubleug on 16/11/2017 at 16:30

the dealers guide to scams..... - Engineer Andy

To be honest, I've never liked the way dealerships/garages treat consumables, especially when your car is being serviced at a fixed price (fault repairs aside). As such, all consumables, whether they be items due for complete replacement (oil, filters, plugs, etc) or those needing topping up or applying selectively (screen washer fluid, lubricating spray), then somehwere along the line certain items in the first group are going to be upped in price if the level of the second group of items is low, just to reach the 'fixed' price.

In that regard, when I have my Mazda3 in for service (the same was said for my old Micra over 10 years ago), I deliberately DO NOT replace the washer fluid, but generally make a mental note of all fluid levels and odometer reading just in case someone at the garage is in the mood to rip me off.

Fortunately this hasn't happened so far, though they (both) have on more than one occasion forgotten to carry out the 'complementary' wash and vac, and one recent occasion (unfortunately I noticed this months later, so too late) when after the wash and vac, the driver's side car mat screw had been removed (presumably when they removed the mat for cleaning and forgot to put it back) and one of the roof line clips had disappeared (probably due to it being pressure washed off by mistake). Unlikely to get any joy come this year's service (parts for an 12yo car like that probably aren't indivdually stored on the premises and are probably only available in a complete set), but you never know!

the dealers guide to scams..... - hillman

This thread would be better named, "The punters guide to dealer scams".

My favourite is what happened to me many moons ago when I had my first Vauxhall serviced in Zambia. I looked at the invoice and it included a bottle of brake fluid. I was very careful about levels of of these kinds of things, still am, and questioned it. The manager went away and returned with the explanation that the mechanic had used the brake fluid to silence squeaks from the rubber mounts of the anti roll bars.

One of my work-mates told me that he had wandered into the service area to see the mechanic servicing a car by dabbing grease nipples with a blob of grease on the end of a stick. He stayed around until the owner of the car arrived and told him.

His own car was a front wheel drive Citroen when Citroens were almost alone in having front wheel drive. His invoice included a pint of heavy oil used for topping up the non-existent back axle.

the dealers guide to scams..... - CK91437

I wonder how many other small items are used to scam punters? You only need a couple more like this one to pay for the managers annual salary. Very sneeky pool!!!

Cheers Concrete

Affectionately known as "Main s******s" :)

- No fault found.

the dealers guide to scams..... - expat

Pennywise, pound foolish. The dealer sneaks in little items and antagonises the customer, who goes elsewhere when he gets the next service and also buys his next car elsewhere. The customer tells all his mates and the dealer's reputation takes a nosedive. I go to a small country dealership where I am a long standing customer. I have dealt with them for twenty years and bought two new cars from them. They have always treated me very well and never cheated me. I always recommend all my friends to go to them.

the dealers guide to scams..... - SteVee

My indie charges for screenwash - also on the bill are items like 'sump washer'.

No complaint from me though - I know he goes over the car fully, and replaces minor parts such as the plastic pipe to the rear screenwash which mice had eaten through. I know he replaces the sump washer on each oil change and it appears as a billable item to show that it has been changed. I would be worried if things appeared on the bill and I think it didn't corrspond to any work or new parts.

I hope he continues to make a profit and stays in business.

Didn't someone on here post a problem with the BMW washers because they'd used the wrong screenwash - and it cost serious money to put right ?

the dealers guide to scams..... - John F

My indie charges for screenwash - also on the bill are items like 'sump washer'.

No complaint from me though - I know he goes over the car fully,......

This is duplicated at the MoT, when mechanics do their utmost to find something wrong. Why pay for a 'service' which is mainly just checks? I have never in the past 50yrs taken any of our cars for a 'service', preferring to do it myself - carefully. Must have saved enough by now to buy a new car! Anyway, what garage does anything during their so-called 'service' to prolong the life of brake pipes, discs, suspension subframes, springs etc? Do any attend to tiny rust patches to prevent them spreading? The average age of our three cars is 22yrs - TR7 38, Focus 17, Audi 12. All work fine, none has had a major repair bill more than a hundred or two - probably what some people pay for a 'service'!

Only foolish motoring journalists (or those in the industry's pocket) try to convince the public that cars are built to only last ten years or so - and must have a 'service' every year, whatever the mileage. Sadly, many believe them. Still, it's all grist to the mill of the economy....

the dealers guide to scams..... - concrete

My indie charges for screenwash - also on the bill are items like 'sump washer'.

No complaint from me though - I know he goes over the car fully, and replaces minor parts such as the plastic pipe to the rear screenwash which mice had eaten through. I know he replaces the sump washer on each oil change and it appears as a billable item to show that it has been changed. I would be worried if things appeared on the bill and I think it didn't corrspond to any work or new parts.

I hope he continues to make a profit and stays in business.

Didn't someone on here post a problem with the BMW washers because they'd used the wrong screenwash - and it cost serious money to put right ?

No problem with the dealer making a profit, only a fair profit. No need to bill for for either non existant work or overly expensive consumables. We all know the price of oil, screenwash etc etc, so why the ridiculous mark up? My point was the accounts system that produces the invoice automatically printed and charge for screenwash whether any was used or not. A bit sneaky that. Multiply that lots of other consumable items using the same trick and it mounts up to many thousands for nowt!!!! Not on my service please.

Cheers Concrete

the dealers guide to scams..... - Engineer Andy

Pennywise, pound foolish. The dealer sneaks in little items and antagonises the customer, who goes elsewhere when he gets the next service and also buys his next car elsewhere. The customer tells all his mates and the dealer's reputation takes a nosedive. I go to a small country dealership where I am a long standing customer. I have dealt with them for twenty years and bought two new cars from them. They have always treated me very well and never cheated me. I always recommend all my friends to go to them.

Yep - the best businesses don't need advertising - their happy clients are more than willing to do it free of charge! Same goes for them as employers. A shame that an increasing number of businesses these days seem to care far more about attracting new clients (often at the expense of existing ones by offering better terms/discounts) than doing a great job to keep the existing ones happy (loyalty SHOULD be rewarded) so that they can spread the word so that potential clients come to them rather than the other way around!

Oh well!

the dealers guide to scams..... - Andrew-T

<< - the best businesses don't need advertising - their happy clients are more than willing to do it free of charge! >>

Quite so. I have just had my 'forecourt' tarmac completely replaced after seeing a similar job done on my neighbour's. It's quite large (about 180 sq.yds) and he quoted £4500 for a complete job. I offered 4 grand, which was immediately accepted, and the work was done within a week and looks fine. We got on well with his crew of three and watched them do a professional job, which wasn't that simple as nothing bigger than a large transit can get through our gate.

I don't expect to need his services again, but if any friends do, I shall tell them.

the dealers guide to scams..... - barney100

Quite agree, once you smell a rat even though you can't prove it you don't go back. I had a headlight replaced because they said the ajustment screw had broken, really? I picked an SLK up after a bit of work they did and the dashboard looked like Blackpool illuminations. Nothing we did sir....threat of legal action got a 'goodwill' fix.

the dealers guide to scams..... - Bianconeri

Pennywise, pound foolish. The dealer sneaks in little items and antagonises the customer, who goes elsewhere when he gets the next service and also buys his next car elsewhere. The customer tells all his mates and the dealer's reputation takes a nosedive. I go to a small country dealership where I am a long standing customer. I have dealt with them for twenty years and bought two new cars from them. They have always treated me very well and never cheated me. I always recommend all my friends to go to them.

A little homily. Back in 2005 a VW dealer misled my father in law over replacing wipers in his 12 month old Polo. My wife tried to get this resolved but was patronised beyond belief. As FD of our company she recommded to the CEO (me) that we drop VAG from the Company’s approved vehicle list. So we did and a whole year later the dealer principal finally asked me why we weren’t buying cars from them........ My KIA came from a small, family-run dealer where service has not gone out of fashion. They are 1/2 hour from me. A more local dealer is part of a chain and just wanted to talk about leasing, PCP, GAP and all sorts of irrelevant nonsense rather than sell a car. I just helped a family member to siurce a new C’eed. Guess who got the business?
the dealers guide to scams..... - barney100

I got this charge once after ensuring the bottle was full before I took the car in. They said they it wa the wrong strength so were obliged to change it.......

the dealers guide to scams..... - CK91437

I got this charge once after ensuring the bottle was full before I took the car in. They said they it wa the wrong strength so were obliged to change it.......

Do you still take your custom there?

the dealers guide to scams..... - bathtub tom

I've been charged for windscreen washer fluid and when I queried it (as I knew the bottle was full when it went in), was told it was to replace the fluid used when checking the operation and aim of the washers.

I've also been billed for a new key fob battery on a two-year-old car.

the dealers guide to scams..... - SkodaIan

I was billed once for a can of spray lube, which I presume the dealer had used on things like the door hinges, locks etc. I think they charged about £10 for it, plus VAT.

The remainder of the can (i.e. almost all of it) was then left for me in the boot of the car in a small carrier bag. On the bag, along with the dealer's logo and phone number were the words 'We used some of this product on your car at the service today, please find the rest provided free for your own use with our compliments"

The spray lube was so rubbish I ended up throwing it away as it wasn't even worth using on door hinges in the house etc.

I never did go to that dealer again....

Edited by SkodaIan on 21/11/2017 at 12:24

the dealers guide to scams..... - Bianconeri

I was billed once for a can of spray lube, which I presume the dealer had used on things like the door hinges, locks etc. I think they charged about £10 for it, plus VAT.

The remainder of the can (i.e. almost all of it) was then left for me in the boot of the car in a small carrier bag. On the bag, along with the dealer's logo and phone number were the words 'We used some of this product on your car at the service today, please find the rest provided free for your own use with our compliments"

The spray lube was so rubbish I ended up throwing it away as it wasn't even worth using on door hinges in the house etc.

I never did go to that dealer again....

“free with our compliments” - something you’ve paid for ?
 

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