Independent shops vs. Dealerships?

It’s the age old debate: Why should I use an Independent Repair Shop instead of the Dealership. There are ALOT of arguments for both sides, but I will give you insight on my 30 plus years of experiences and you can decide for yourself. Here are some of the misconceptions and truths all listed in one article. Get comfy, grab a coffee or drink of choice and let me inform you!

#1 Dealership Technicians are better trained: Half Truth. While the dealership technicians have greater access to information and parts their RESPECTIVE makes, that does not make them better Techs. Dealers usually employ ONE experienced Lead Tech while most of the team is “new to the industry” lower level/ lower paid techs. Dealerships follow a strict “Bottom Line” Policy. Which may sound confusing since their Hourly Labor Rate is predominately higher than Indys. They can say all they want about “Service over Profit” in their ads, but it really is profit driven. I’ve hired former dealer techs and managers who have told me once a Tech gets trained and gets some seniority, seeks required commensurate pay, they are forced out for sake of bottom line. It may sound like sour grapes, but I’ve heard this too many times to not feel there’s some validity to this.

#2 Dealership OEM parts are better: Also half truth. While some parts are strictly proprietary to makes and models, I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve been at Dealers Parts Counters picking up parts and the SAME local parts jobbers are delivering the SAME parts that we would get! You can look at this in different ways. a) It may have been an availability issue in which they needed to get the vehicle done or: b) I’ve heard it before from former dealer managers; the aftermarket parts are considerably cheaper therefore increasing the profit margin. That is OK in the respect that many aftermarket parts nowadays are comparable in quality and we are here to make a living. The problem for me is that if you’re expecting (and paying for) apples and you’re getting oranges, you could have received the same (if not better) service without paying the higher price! It’s all about VALUE, folks! Remember, Dealership Technicians and Managers work on parts and labor quotas because the overhead is so high. THEY need X number of dollars per day, whether you do or not. We need money, too, but Indy shops mostly utilize the “volume of vehicles we service” through Customer Service and Loyalty practices to meet our overhead needs.

#3 FREE Oil changes and inspections! Not gonna happen. What’s going to happen is that you waltz in for your FREE oil change service and you limp out feeling like you just got a colonoscopy without anesthesia. It’s a FACT that we all do this for a living and giving away free stuff is not sustainable in any industry. There is a give/take in this business practice that I feel is very misleading and sometimes unscrupulous. I won’t subscribe to that. If I want to do something for nothing for the sake of customer service , that’s on me, not you. There is NOOO way that anybody can consistently give you Free service and stay in business. They HAVE to sell you something.That’s just how it is. For instance; BMW offered FREE oil changes for life in models years ago and the recommended service interval was 6000 miles. They were giving away so many oil changes, they changed the service interval to 14,000 miles! Does that make sense? The engine didn’t change, so why extend the mileage service to more than double? It was all because they lost a ton of money at the 6000 and cut the losses at 14,000, plus increasing the likelihood of finding more repairs at 14,000. All fine. Makes business sense, but not very customer-friendly. But if you’re not familiar with the backstory, doesn’t it sound deceptive? It’s because it is. It’s all about TRUST AND VALUE!  TRUST AND VALUE!

#4 TRUST AND VALUE IS WHAT YOU GET AT FLETCHER’S GARAGE! Always!!!!

 

Trust

Trust. It’s earned. I never expect or even want a new customer to blindly trust me. I want that opportunity to prove to you that we will always do the right thing. I will never sell you something that you don’t need. If there is a question about a part or service, I welcome the conversation about the severity of the damage/fault and why you need it now. I will also advise if we see a potential problem or a known Service Bulletin and how and when it should be addressed. NEVER will I sell or advise outside of YOUR best interest over profit, NEVER! When I establish a relationship with a customer to the level of friendship and trust, that is more rewarding to me than being any kind of money-rich. I do this for living, but I will not sell my soul for overt financial gain. My father gave me some advice that stuck with me when I took over the business from him all those years ago “If you always do the right thing at a fair price, you won’t get rich, but you can do this at a liveable level for a long time” It’s true, I’ve been doing this for over 30 years and I’m not rich financially, but what I have and how I live makes me feel like I am truly blessed and rich with friends and family. I’ve lasted a lot longer than most shops that have come and gone. Sometimes it’s tough and I don’t how I make it, but I promise to you and myself that I will always do right by you before I resort to deceptive practices. I will close my business before I ever consider that. There is a way to do this business honorably. I thank my Dad for that advice and for showing me how to be a true neighborhood businessman with integrity.

Old/New Service

I would like to re-introduce our Exhaust System Service! In most cases we can fabricate pipes and create a Complete Custom Exhaust System or repair a section of the system that may otherwise require an expensive complete system. With the rust and corrosion that’s being caused by the amount of Brine and Salt (especially in the new Salt Flats that is New Jersey!) This will become an issue sooner than later! We have great professional pipe bending Equipment and for sure save you a few $$$. Give us a call for an appointment to check your exhaust system! Also while we are there we will check out your vehicle brake lines and fuel lines!! Brake Line failures are ever increasing and Stopping is more important than going!!!

Everything you need.Nothing you don’t!

Hello everyone! Welcome to the very First Edition of our Daily Auto News! This is all new to me so bear with me while I grow with this. I wanted to start a page and soon to be VLOG discussing topics, new services and explaining what to look for with your vehicles. This website will […]

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