How can I make sure I get treated well by dealers? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 30 Old 07-14-2012, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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How can I make sure I get treated well by dealers?

I don't know what I do to deserve it, but every dealer I've EVER dealt with, has treated me with what I feel is "second hand" status when it comes to service. I'm sorry I didn't buy the bike at your dealer, but I move around often. But whenever I show up for service (whether it be routine or warranty work), it seems they take forever to even look at the bike, and I'm without a bike for WAY too long compared to what they're servicing (an oil change shouldn't take three days, a windshield that won't go up and down shouldn't take 2 weeks to even START to figure out what's wrong, etc. etc.)

So now that I've bought a new Vstrom, and I will have to present myself to the dealer in SC when I bring it back, how can I start off on the right foot and have a better shot at my work being done in a TIMELY manner, and not having my bike being shoved to the side waiting till they're not "busy" doing anything else to get around to looking at it?

Nothing wrong with the bike now, but one of the factors to me trading in my old bike for this one was that there was only ONE dealer in my area, and they took 2 and a half weeks to even decide to LOOK at the bike and START to diagnose it. As a matter of fact, when I told them I was tired of waiting and picked up my bike, they only said, "We haven't finished diagnosing everything it could be yet," which just as well could have DEALER TALK for "We haven't looked at it yet cause we were busy assembling bikes to be sold to other customers, service isn't important to us, but we'll sugar coat it and make it sound like we really tried, but just don't have enough information yet."

I want to avoid this.

Alexi
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post #2 of 30 Old 07-14-2012, 07:16 PM
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Anytime I am buying a bike, price is relatively easy to get agreement on so that's not my focus. I start in the service department and look around, talk to the write-up guys and then the service manager himself, explain what I'm looking for for service, does he think that's reasonable and is that how they operate, etc. Don't bring up stories of problems with other dealers, it makes you look like a problem customer even if you aren't.

When I move to a new area, I find the local dealers and do the same, introduce myself to the service department as new to the area, looking for local servicing dealers, get a feel for things.

Jim
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post #3 of 30 Old 07-14-2012, 07:46 PM
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If it is something I know I am going to have done a little ways out, like service before a long trip, I'll check with the guys at the service department to see when there is an opening. When I have done this, I get the bike back the same day. Often, this is at least a month out if I want a Saturday slot.

I have not had a "problem" where I had to leave the bike, except when I left it for a damage estimate. Then I had to wait.

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post #4 of 30 Old 07-14-2012, 07:52 PM
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What he said.....:biggrinjester:

To get someone to work for you, you must build a relationship.......

Book your job in person, book your next service when you leave the last one.

Ask about them, the service dood, mechanic or shop owner.... Where did they race, ride last, how did they go, are they doing it again.......Self obscessed, insecure ****wits will never get good service.....

Ask about new bike all the time, if they feel you are going to buy a new one, they will swallow your semen
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post #5 of 30 Old 07-14-2012, 10:04 PM
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Well with a new Strom really there is nothing needed hopefully you shouldn't be able to handle yourself for around 20K. I did my own 600mi service which is easy and legal as far as your warranty goes just keep your receipts.

I feel sorry for you moving around alot as you say because it does make it harder to become "one of the guys" riding out of their shop. I have bought countless motorcycles from my dealer but I still go out of my way to go back to the service dept and say hello to everyone I see back there. My dealership is a large one but I know most of the people who work there including the guy who empties the trash and make a point to say hello to him. In addition I make it a point to drop off a couple of pizzas and a couple of doz donuts from time to time. Some will say this is sucking up but I genuinely like the guys in the shop and from time to time I have been included in their group for lunch where they go. About all you can do is put your best foot forward and maybe drop in with a pizza or a bag of fresh donuts everybody likes to be treated special. I have been treated like family and am spoiled.

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post #6 of 30 Old 07-15-2012, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by sfalexi View Post
I don't know what I do to deserve it, but every dealer I've EVER dealt with, has treated me with what I feel is "second hand" status when it comes to service. I'm sorry I didn't buy the bike at your dealer, but I move around often. But whenever I show up for service (whether it be routine or warranty work), it seems they take forever to even look at the bike, and I'm without a bike for WAY too long compared to what they're servicing (an oil change shouldn't take three days, a windshield that won't go up and down shouldn't take 2 weeks to even START to figure out what's wrong, etc. etc.)

So now that I've bought a new Vstrom, and I will have to present myself to the dealer in SC when I bring it back, how can I start off on the right foot and have a better shot at my work being done in a TIMELY manner, and not having my bike being shoved to the side waiting till they're not "busy" doing anything else to get around to looking at it?

Nothing wrong with the bike now, but one of the factors to me trading in my old bike for this one was that there was only ONE dealer in my area, and they took 2 and a half weeks to even decide to LOOK at the bike and START to diagnose it. As a matter of fact, when I told them I was tired of waiting and picked up my bike, they only said, "We haven't finished diagnosing everything it could be yet," which just as well could have DEALER TALK for "We haven't looked at it yet cause we were busy assembling bikes to be sold to other customers, service isn't important to us, but we'll sugar coat it and make it sound like we really tried, but just don't have enough information yet."

I want to avoid this.

Alexi
You're right, those minor repairs should not take that long and they don't. If they did, your labor bill would be huge! It's the scheduling, of course, that takes the time. When we take our bikes in for service, we need to realize that we are not the only customer (at least not at the better shops). As others have mentioned, the best approach is to call ahead and schedule your service. If it is routine maintenance or minor service, let them know that you would like to schedule it for when they can complete it the same day. You want to drop it off in the morning and pick it up 1 hour before closing at the latest. If they agree, remind them of that arrangement when you drop it off. Ask them to call you when the work is done no matter what time it is completed. Get the card of the service manager and ask if it would be okay if you called him later that day if you haven't heard from them.

Also- If you expect one day service and they agree to it, you'd better damn well pick the bike up that same day! It works both ways. Just like we hate to be promised same-day service and have it take more, service departments just love the guy who pressures them for one-day service and then picks the bike up days later!

It's really about having reasonable expectations, communicating those expectations, and reaching a fair agreement that fulfills those expectations prior to the service being performed, then following up. Yes, it would be great if every service department just automatically did all of these things without any discussion, but that just ain't the way it works!

Last edited by Satch; 07-15-2012 at 12:10 AM.
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post #7 of 30 Old 07-15-2012, 07:10 AM
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My favorite way of avoiding the dealer is to do all my own service:mrgreen:

Pick up a service manual and piece together a good set of tools a away you go:mrgreen:

14' DL1000
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post #8 of 30 Old 07-15-2012, 07:37 AM
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Loyal regular customers get the best service

dealers don't like fixin backyard mechanic's screwups, treat the dealer the way you would like to be treated in return, expect to pay and don't complain , and don't have unreasonable expectations,

yes, I spend a lot of money at my dealer, $5k+ every year just for routine stuff, I also ride a lot of miles, sounds like a lot of money, but it's not, just another business expense for me, all deductable, I realize not all have the same situation as me, I'm a local business as well, when they need the services my business provides, they hire me, on average more money flows my way than theirs

what does my loyalty give me

same day service for most of the work
30day terms (I drop bike off at beginning of day, pick it up at end, pay when I get bill in mail )
15%discount on everything
if part is not in stock, several times they have taken it from bike in stock (possibly from another customers
even though they tell me "just drop it off, you don't need an appointment" I make one anyway, its common courtesy



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Last edited by randyo; 07-15-2012 at 07:40 AM.
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post #9 of 30 Old 07-15-2012, 07:39 AM
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(an oil change shouldn't take three days, a windshield that won't go up and down shouldn't take 2 weeks to even START to figure out what's wrong, etc. etc.
I've only ever scheduled one service appt. with a dealer... in part because my current (Glee) is the only bike I've ever bought brand new. You'd be amazed how far the owner's manual + internet + even just the bike's crappy tool kit will get you if you DIY.

I'm not suggesting someone with no tools or experience should undertake a clutch re-build, or piston rings... but an oil change involves removing one bolt and replacing it; diagnosing an electric windshield starts with checking a fuse, testing for voltage at switch and the connector.... and it's likely that you wouldn't be the first/ only person to have that problem: an internet search would likely turn up forum posts about it somewhere.

RE: your actual issue, I've often been treated the same way - even at small specialty retailers where I'm a regular and have spent lots of money. I used to be pretty shy, quiet, and not one to rock the boat. I think people pick up on that and take advantage of it. If there's one polite, understanding guy calling to ask about his bike, and another borderline pushy guy firmly stating that it needs to get done quickly, who's bike do you think they work on first?
Just a guess. I've notice as I transition to impatient, cranky old man, I get ignored a lot less.
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post #10 of 30 Old 07-15-2012, 11:03 AM
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One other tip for dealing with the service guys. When discussing your problem with them, don't say "well I read about it on a forum." If they know you well and know you know what you are talking about, they'll cut you slack. Otherwise, they'll dismiss you. Ask me how I found out? And my service guys are friendly and generally patient.

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