It has become a recurring debate as to which kind of service centre to choose for car servicing; an around-the-corner garage or an authorised service centres. While both have their pros and cons, below are some of the reasons why you should leave authorised service stations right now and never go back again.
From jacking up the bills to the unsatisfactory customer feedback to an increased propensity to delivering shoddy work, there are a lot of major issues with your car service centres for which they should be abandoned. Read on to know more.
5 ways Authorised Service Centres are Cheating you
Zero Transparency & Hidden Costs
The authorised service stations often work in grey and opt for unethical means to deceit services, including component replacement without customer’s consent, forgery in the diagnostics sheet to increase the services needed and much more. Several harassment complaints have been filed against these big centres for mishandling cars and manipulating customers. And this is not limited to just Maruti Suzuki and Tata but foreign companies such as Mercedes Benz and BMW too!
Our experts cross-examined various customer complaints and found some cheap tricks by authorised service centres to rob you and the results are appalling.
Here unnecessary services have been added to the job card to hike up the bill which later got scrapped off upon careful inspection and complaint by the customer.
One more example of the highly irrelevant additions done by one of the Maruti Suzuki car service centres.
Things to note here are:
- Synthetic oil change has been used instead of mineral oil (suggested by their own manuals), all at the cost of an ‘unsuspecting’ customer.
- Item number 9 in the parts section, Grease, calliper Assy is purely unnecessary and is required only when the brakes are being replaced.
- Items 2, 3 & 4 under the Labour section are useless additions too!
The copies of the receipt and labour rates attached here are both missing the TIN and Invoice number.
Also, the labour itself is costing more than the engine oil!
A Test of your Patience
With so many cars lined up for servicing, it might take longer than the estimated time for you to get your car back. Some customers have complained of time delays as high as 2.5-3 months for a one-month service estimate according to a report by Consumer Forum. Unless you have a spare vehicle to use in the meantime, you will have a hard time commuting.
No Customization options for your car
Authorised service centres have always stayed away from modifying car parts as per the owner’s performance requirements. Though some dealers have started employing this in their available services, serious customers still prefer the corner garages over it simply because they have more experienced staff for aftermarket parts and modifications. So, if you are looking for better cost-effective customization of your car, choose individual shops over dealerships.
You’re often just a number to ASCs
At big service stations, your car is just one amongst the hundreds that came for service. No personal relationship is established and you have no clue at all as to which mechanic is working on your car. Recommendations for the future are made by service advisors whose job is to get you to pay more, rather than suggesting actual service needs required in the future. Where a one-to-one relationship between the car owner and mechanic can help build confidence in both the service to be done and the vehicle itself, it is hardly realizable in authorised car service centres.
Corporate relationships weigh more than customer satisfaction for ASCs
Your car is one of the biggest investments you make and naturally, expect it to be serviced at a place where it is given more preference. All the dealership owners have to pay the vehicle manufacturers to work under their banner. Consequently, they become more answerable to them than their customers. In such a case, it becomes hard to trust these service stations for your car when they value their corporate ties more than your satisfaction.
An annual survey of Consumer Reports subscribers found that independents outscored dealership service once again for overall satisfaction, price, quality, courteousness of the staff, and work is completed when promised.
When the ASCs are looting you for all the wrong reasons, it’s time to shift to other options. With the scientific age taking over the conventional methods and everything going online now, Car servicing portals such as GoMechanic will prove to be very resourceful which gets your car serviced for you with no efforts at all.0