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Brought my Ridgeline in for A1 service and NYS inspection the other day. Made an appointment online the day before for 10:00 AM. The morning of 10/08/2015, I headed out on my way to the dealership stopping at a hand car wash first. Towel dried my Ridgeline and drove to Middletown (NY) Honda.

Pulled in. An "advisor" came up to me in which I stated I my name and that I had an appointment. Obviously they do not have or look at this information. Instead, lean on your vehicle and get the VIN number. He then tells me I need a NYS inspection in which I replied, yes, I know. Made an appointment online indicating that. I said I want a oil change and inspection.

So, after standing around during the write up instead of them not having this done prior to appointment unlike other dealerships I have dealt with in the past, I go sit and wait. And wait...

One and half hours later, my vehicle is done. Get the generic B.S. and get my Ridgeline. Upon getting in, I notice it had been "washed." I open the drivers door and see a large area of grime. Shake my head and get in. Drive to another parking lot and decided to take a better look. That is when I noticed another large area of grime on the front fender. Pop the hood, red battery safety cover was not re-installed properly. Took my detailer spray and towel and cleaned the mess and Ridge once again.

Being no spring chicken and having dealt with dealers and poor service in the past, I decided to go home and deal with it another way.

When I got an e-mail with link to a very brief survey, I checked the appropriate boxes and submitted it. Noted a direct e-mail link and decided to forward an e-mail with quote survey comments and pictures.

----------------------------------------------------

Mr. Craig ******,

I sent a e-mail directed Website based reply but will also send the same note along with images. Do as you will with this.

“10:00 AM appointment on 10/08/2015. Took 1 1/2 hours for an oil change and NYS inspection. Brought in a freshly washed Honda Ridgeline and was returned one with excessive grease and grime on door sill and passenger front fender. Thank you for "washing" my vehicle only to leave water spots and the grime placed on my auto by Middletown Honda during servicing. Also thank you for testing my battery. Would have been nice if the "tech" properly replaced the red safety back on the terminal. Was asked during write up if I wanted my tires rotated. Declined and glad I did as surely my sport wheels would have been damaged. Pictures with a similar e-mail will be sent to Craig ******. Sad to say Jiffy Lube was never that sloppy. Nor was Toyota or Hyundai.”







To date, have not received a reply. :act064:
 

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The labor was likely done by someone who is paid less than burger flipping non-human automation robots at your local McD. Dealers are independent businesses and have no obligation to the manufacturer to keep you happy as they are large operators and can be flipped over to the next major brand or sold or bought out into an even larger scheme.

The only way you could possibly avoid this is to actually walk (prior to start of event) with a service dept manager around your car and in a brief discussion point out 1) car was just washed this morning, kindly return it to me in same condition and 2) open the hood and point out, again, kindly return it in same order.

You could have also asked for the SM to visually inspect it or at least called to his/her attention before leaving as they would have likely made it right plus offered you something in return for the trouble. They do not make more money by driving customers away *BUT* will maximize profit any way they can to keep owners in the black.
 

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Very few independent new car dealerships remain. Most have been sucked up by huge chain dealerships that sell multiple vehicle brands. They care less about your satisfaction, all they want is your money. After dealing with and independent dealership since 1981 I now sadly have a multi owner dealership. The first thing they did was double the cost of the routine service. I dread trying to trade vehicles with them.
 
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Sorry for your experience, some dealership service departments are better than others. The irritations you've noted would be minor to me and I see you just took care of them yourself.

My rules of thumb are: never go to a dealership for parts (mine jacks the price up between 3x and 6x what I pay on-line, even for OEM. Never go to a dealership for service (quality usually good, but expensive). Do it yourself or find a local service shop that meets your quality/price matrix.

Oh, and lastly, wash/clean after maintenance, not before.
 
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My local H dealer has made relatively minor mistakes that they have even admitted before I noticed it, like not using my own oil. And offered to replace it free along with another filter. But typically they are very careful and have never noticed anything negative when I left them to wash it.

But even at that, I prefer to DIY or use one of two local mechs I trust more.

Yeah, that is not a good experience but pales compared to Jiffy stories I've heard including stripped drain plugs and busted heads do to not siphoning off air when changing coolant, etc. etc. I will take a poor car wash in trade any day!
 

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I wouldn't worry about MINOR things like this. Save the rants for more important things like: was the oil properly filled, how about the tires, are they the correct pressure.
 

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Generally I agree with the sentiment that this isn't a big deal.

But. I most assuredly understand.

It is representative of a trend in nearly all consumer service oriented businesses toward lower quality and lack of attention to detail. Many Honda dealers (and most car dealers) are an excellent example of this trend, including the closest Honda dealer to me. Most of the time I have to tell them what is wrong with my vehicle. I have not had a "good" experience with the local Honda service department since they were bought out by a multi-dealer outfit about 8 years ago. In nearly every single case, I had to point out a problem with my vehicle they caused that did not exist when I brought it in. In some cases I have had to re-do work that was done wrong. The one time I pointed this out to the service advisor, I was given a coupon for a free oil change. Really?

Which is why about 15 years ago I decided to do all my own fluid changes, and about 8 years ago to do all my own service work except warranty, and recalls. I am happy to say that to date, with about 50k miles on my 2012 RL that I have spent exactly ZERO at the dealer except for purchasing the truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oh, and lastly, wash/clean after maintenance, not before.
Actually, I prefer to go over the vehicle before so I know exactly what is what making it easier to see issues such as mentioned.

How in the hell can you say they are minor, if my vehicle was left like that I would have raised so much hell they would have probably put me jail.
15 years ago, I would have had the police called. Been there, done that because most dealerships are all smiles when you are buying but the opposite when you complain.

Yeah, that is not a good experience but pales compared to Jiffy stories I've heard including stripped drain plugs and busted heads do to not siphoning off air when changing coolant, etc. etc. I will take a poor car wash in trade any day!
Oh, I never said Jiffy Lube was great and would / never have used them for more than oil changes and inspections.

I wouldn't worry about MINOR things like this. Save the rants for more important things like: was the oil properly filled, how about the tires, are they the correct pressure.
What is minor to YOU and what is minor to ME may be two different animals. Then again, I use to own several show vehicles in the past. Trucks and cars along with a Harley that sold instantly due to it's prestine condition.

The point here is, Honda service in MY case THIS time was less than satisfactory according to ME. Does that make this a RANT? Not to me. Trust me. I could have gone further and mentioned that the running board now has scuff marks. The rocker panel now has a scratch. Then the issues with calling Middletown Honda and getting no answers simply trying to make an appointment. But, I didn't.

This is the same dealership that I was at before I purchased a Ridgeline elsewhere where I saw a "lot" employee moving cars around. Dead starts and burnouts with each car during winter months. I witness this with three cars being moved around. Perhaps you wouldn't care about this if it was YOUR car. I certainly would.

Back to topic at hand. Customer brings his 30K vehicle to Honda, the experts for a simple oil change and state inspection. Waits 1.5 hours and in return, paid to have poor service with dealer provided blemishes. Forbid if this was a real service issue. Was going to have them install a trailer harness. Not now.

Probably the fist and last Honda I own as two out of two dealers to date have screwed me in one fashion or another.
 

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I hate reading things like this, but these are among the reasons I avoid dealers (and virtually every other service provider) like the plague if at all possible. Just this weekend, I had another run-in with my dealer. I explained the story in this thread, but basically I went home and changed my own oil, filter, VTM-4 fluid, rotated my tires, and topped off my washer fluid. What I gave up by leaving was a free [automated and half-assed] wash job. What I gained was the satisfaction of knowing it was all done to perfection using genuine "Honda" oil and an A01 filter (the dealer uses A02 filters and bulk oil of unknown quality).

I had a water heater replaced under warranty a few months ago. The hillbillies that did the work dented some trim and drywall and left behind some dirt. Like most plumbing companies, they are small and independently owned, so there's really nobody to complain to and even if they agreed to repair what they defaced they'd probably do even more damage, so I just let it go and fixed it myself.

My grandfather was a well-liked, independent auto mechanic in the 50s-80s. He was honest, fair, skilled and genuinely cared about his customers. He literally had an emotional attachment to automobiles - he couldn't stand to see one abused or in a state of disrepair. Every vehicle he serviced was returned to its owner properly repaired and cleaner than when it arrived. I grew up around that which is one of the reasons I treat my vehicles properly and expect and demand the same if others are working on it. Unfortunately, his breed is only a page in a history book now. I'm sure there are still a few around like him, but I can almost guarantee there is no franchised car dealership that would come close.
 

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Sloppy car washes are minor to me too. Damage is something else entirely. Most service providers are not equal to a reputable indie shop.

Considering that even the best large chains and dealershlips operate under a huge overhead, pressures from the sales dept, and with a fair number of insufficiently experienced techs and mechs, it is not surprising. In fact, it is more surprising that the best do as well as they do. But on any given day it can be a tossup.
 

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whether it 's dealers plumbers etc, people now do not believe in customer service, I just went to get tires switched on my wifes Subaru yesterday, I had an appointment to have this done, I guess because I didn't but new tires from them I had to wait almost 3 hours for the shop to change over 4 tires from summer to winter tires. The one guy working on the car seemed like he took a drink of coffee after every lug nut removed. I work in a service industry and see the lack of customer service in my business, it's sad but it seems to be the sign of the times.
 

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I'm proud of the small company I work for. There are several competitors that make the same products we do - some of them less expensive and/or more advanced, but we've managed to survive since 1957 where many others have failed. Some of the reasons are:

1) We don't hassle over stuff. The customer is always right even when they're wrong.
2) We don't use voicemail or "automated attendants" even though our system is capable of doing so and there would be some advantages. When you call during business hours, you will always get a live person at our office - not some call center in India.
3) We actually realize that repeat customers are our livelihood and express a genuine interest in helping people.
4) As risky as it may be, we have the attitude of "trust the customer until proven otherwise" as opposed to starting off in defense mode.
5) Owners and managers treat employees with respect, honesty, and fairness. Happy employees who truly appreciate their job mean less turnover and an attitude that trickles down to customers. I can't think of anyone here who dreads coming to work.

In short, we're still that "old school" small business who is customer-focused - a dying breed for sure. I go out of my way to help customers. I want people to be happy. I have a self-serving interest in that I love hearing compliments from customers.
 

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This stinks, but it happens. You need to CALL them, not email them, and explain to them in no uncertain terms, that they need to clean your vehicle for you, make things right and, if it happens again, you will go elsewhere.
 

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Very few independent new car dealerships remain. Most have been sucked up by huge chain dealerships that sell multiple vehicle brands. They care less about your satisfaction, all they want is your money. After dealing with and independent dealership since 1981 I now sadly have a multi owner dealership. The first thing they did was double the cost of the routine service. I dread trying to trade vehicles with them.
Here in Ontario multi-line dealers are rare. Yes some dealers are in an auto mall however each dealer is independent.

Sometimes you have to go a distance to find a dealership that is good, ALL
the time. And i might add just because a dealership has this award or that award from head office doesn't always ensure you'll get good service.
 

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Here in Ontario multi-line dealers are rare. Yes some dealers are in an auto mall however each dealer is independent.

Sometimes you have to go a distance to find a dealership that is good, ALL
the time. And i might add just because a dealership has this award or that award from head office doesn't always ensure you'll get good service.
When I was young(er) I got p$$d off at a Ford dealer sales mgr. for not making good on having the paint touched up on the hood of a used car my g/f at the time had purchased.
He started to turn different shades of red and expounding how they stand behind their cars and satisfy their customers..then proceeded to sweep his arm around the room to show off his awards.
I told him those are plastic anyway, give me a break. I thought he was going to bust a gasket so I walked out leaving him huffing and puffing.
i left in a hurry, the alcohol on his breath was starting to make me nauseous.
 
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