Dealer Servicing/Warranty ? - shuggie
My experiences are actually based on the purchase of a motorcycle, not a car but I am sure is valid for both.

Over the past few years I have purchased a couple of bikes from the franchised dealer and diligently upheld every service schedule requirement in the book. Initially i did this to maintain my warranty and more or less took the extortionate costs for parts and mainly labour on the chin. I continued to use the same place after the warranty ran out thinking that it was the best thing for my pride and joy. I am also at the stage in life now where I can't be bothered doing routine tasks on working vehicles myself.

There were however a couple of occaisions where I was less than happy with the service, one being where the bill was added up incorrectly and surprisingly not in my favour. The other where I got a call to say that at the end of the working day they had found a spacer on the wheel balancing machine, were trying track down the owner and thought it may be mine ! It was as it turns out.

I decided to take the bike to an independant guy after a while, paid a fraction of the costs, got better service and the machine actually feels better each time he works on it, which was not an impression I ever got after it left the dealers place. I spoke to some mates about it and one of them, who seems to buy new cars/bikes on a very regular basis, says that he never takes them back to the franchised dealer for service but rather takes the chance that the vehicle will be OK in the warranty period anyway and they generally have been. Any problems he has had he says he still manages to get sorted anyway.

So was I being naieve in doing what I thought was the right thing? I did actually speak to the owner of the franchise as he was wondering where I was taking the bike as I hadn't be seen for a while. I spoke to him about the costs and was told that they have high costs in furnishing workshops and sending people on courses etc to meet the manufacturers requirements and so on. (That kind of stuck in my throat when the trained technicians couldn't re-assemble a back wheel properly.) Well I am sorry but I don't accept that as a reason to be 35-40% more expensive in labour costs than a private concern. Surely setting up the facilitiy properly is a cost of doing business and for just how long do you keep on over pricing customers?

There is a large percentage of people who will just keep on going back to the dealer who are like I was in thinking that it is the easiest and best thing. I would now advise all to look around and think about it, especially after that warranty period is actually up.
Dealer Servicing/Warranty ? - P 2501
I definately think it is better to find a good independent after the warranty has expired. It is a good idea to look around at the different private garages in your area and see which outfit you think best suits you, and then get a good relationship going with the mechanic. They are invariably cheaper than dealers but they will use the same parts and fit them just the same way.
Dealer Servicing/Warranty ? - flatfour
Independants are ok but, as my local independant told me, he could do the intermediate service, but not the major as he did not have the software, or reference books to give the relevent info required to decode info from his computer. Is this the death nell of the independant?

 

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