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So, I was happy with the sales staff when I bought my car back in July 2004, when it was Thomason Toyota. Then I found out that the "Toyota Platinum Care" warranty they sold me wasn't an actual Toyota, it was a third-party warranty by another company owned by the same corporate parent as the dealer. The only way to cancel the extended warranty was to call an 800 number, which went immediately to voice mail with "If you want to cancel your policy, please leave your name, address, and extended warranty number. It will be cancelled within 10 days." No mention of a refund anywhere. By the time I had found this out, the dealership itself had been sold off. The manager at the dealership itself was new since the change of ownership, said he heard about this, and had fired all the "finance managers" that were doing this. (Since they were getting more commission on the same-parent-company warranties than on the Toyota warranties.) So, that soured me on it, but since it was new ownership, I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Then came the service department. I had also purchased a pre-paid service plan, because I had done the math up front, and the cost was less than paying for each of the individual services through 60,000 miles (the duration of the plan,) not even taking inflation into account. The first couple services (when it was still under the old ownership with the sleazy sales department, although I hadn't discovered the bait-and-switch yet,) it was great. After the change in ownership, the sales department may have improved, but the service department went downhill. Among the complaints:

My parking brake rubber cover had fallen off. I got it to go back on, but it would fall off very easily. When I took it in for routine 5000 mile maintenance, I asked them to put it back on "the right way" or replace it. They didn't. It wasn't a huge deal, so I waited until the next 5000 mile maint. to complain. This time they not only didn't put it back on, they kept the old one. I had to bring it in a third time and raise a stink about the lack of my old part to get them to finally replace it.

Three times, they forgot to reset the 'service required' light.

I asked to have the windshield wiper blades replaced, front and back. They didn't, and the car sat for half an hour after the other service was done waiting for the complimentary car wash. I finally asked if my car was done, and they said "oh, is it still waiting?" And ran it through the wash. when I got in, I immediately noticed that the wiper blades hadn't been replaced (yet they were on my bill,) so I complained. They replaced the front but not the back; but did remove the charge for both.

Most recently was the last of the pre-paid services. They pulled out the engine and cabin air filters and showed them to me, suggesting that they be replaced. I said sure, they both looked bad. The engine air filter was only $20, not a big deal. But they wanted $90 to replace the cabin air filter. As it is a really simple part, I exclaimed "Woah! How much does that filter cost?" $30. So they wanted $90 for the labor of replacing it. I retorted with "So... What will you do if I say I don't want it replaced?" The reply was "We'll just shake the big debris off your old one and put it back in." My response: "So.... You have already committed to doing this labor. If I REFUSE the part, you will have done the exact same labor, only without charging me. If I pay $30 for the part, you will do the labor you were already going to do, but this time, charge me $60 for that labor. Is that what I'm hearing?" The clerk got a very confused look, and finally answered "I have never had anyone bring that up before. Interesting. You are completely correct." She seemed to have honestly never noticed this odd situation. But, of course, would not waive the labor charge. So I went to the parts desk to buy it myself (I had read the manual, I knew it was behind the glove box, and figured I could do it.) At the parts desk, the filter was only $20. So not only were they going to gouge me on labor, they were going to charge me an extra $10 just for buying it through the 'service' desk instead of the 'parts' desk.
When I got home, I started the process of installing the cabin air filter, to find that they had not reassembled my glove box correctly! They hadn't reconnected the piston that slows the glove box's fall. So I pressed the release button, and it instantly slammed all the way down. Needless to say, I called the sales department, and read the manager the riot act. This one guaranteed that I will never use this dealer's service department again. Even if I had one or two of the pre-paid service coupons left, I wouldn't have used them. (And they didn't even shake the leaves off the existing filter.) It took me a grand total of 5 minutes to replace the cabin air filter. And I was doing it while I was on the phone yelling at the service manager. (Well, I didn't take into account the two seconds it took me to open the glove box... As I did that before I called to complain. I didn't start the rest of the process until I already had the service manager on the phone, though.)
 

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Eeyore deserves better! :roll:

Last time I had service I told them to just throw the new filters in the passanger seat and I would install them myself. They told me "we don't charge for instillation" and they didn't. The more I hear about other dealerships, the more I like mine.
 

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I actually talked to my parts department on the cabin filter. $20 plus i had a 15% off coupon it was even cheaper. I asked if I should have the service do it, and the guy said I could just squeeze the sides of the open glove box and change it myself.. and whaddya know, I did! Cake!

But yeah, I often see the dealerships running specials on cabin air filter changes for $65. What a rip. Definitely a DIY.
 
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