Having bought a 2004 RT new and had dealer servicing whenever needed I can say that I've never gotten out of the dealership for less than $600.00. I sold the 04 and bought an 06 in 07 and it had 8000 miles on it. I took it from the private party selling it and went directly to the dealer where I had it checked out and serviced as needed. Since then I've done all my own work and instead of giving the dealer $600 I spent it on an extended warranty which bought me a new alternator in 09 and paid a crazy tow bill to boot. I'll keep on doing my own until I need to break the bike in half to get to the clutch, at which point I think I'll take it back to the dealer and suffer the cost.
Marty - in the western Oregon mountains.'06RT, (gone '04RT, '86 Venture Royal, '81 Yamaha Virago920, '82Suzuki GS1100GK, '76 Suzuki GT750, Triumph 750 Bonneville, BSA Road Rocket 650, 61" Harley knucklehead)
"If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.
Last edited by Norms 427; 04-13-2013 at 03:27 PM.
Now: '12 R1200RT Midnight Blue Metallic / '11 Ural Patrol 2WD ridden to Alaska / '09 KLR 650 / '05 HD Heritage Softail / '08 Harley Sportster 1200C / '85 Yamaha VMax bought new. I wasn't ready to say goodbye: www.shaunlunt.typepad.com
The age of the internet has introduced new issues with blogging in particular. A blogger is basically a reporter just as much as a newspaper journalist as the blogger is reporting facts (or supposed facts) to a potentially large audience. We have all seen consumer advocate reporters on the news who report on merchant issues. These folks will always attempt to speak with the merchant to get both sides of the story and hopefully a resolution. Most bloggers fail to do this as it typically becomes a post filled with anger and zero resolution was sought for with the offending merchant. Most intelligent adults will understand that not everything they read on the internet is true but you certainly have others who will be in agreement with the blogger despite the fact that no mention is made of a merchant contact. Therefore the merchant never has the opportunity to properly take care of the issue at hand and in all likelihood isn't even aware there was an issue. This creates the cycling of customers which really accomplishes nothing as we all end of with someone else's customer for no real reason. Given the fact these issues arise with every store in creation I guess we're not to supposed to deal with anyone on the planet. A bizarre statement for sure but that is what it ultimately comes down to.
Like I said, if I paid for the repair, I would have going back, but the time it would take me to go back, deal with the service manager and get it made right, I could fix it myself. I don't think they are a horrible dealer, but I think they push their people to make time. I would have waited another 10 minutes for it to be done right. Anyway, there's nothing I wrote that isn't verifiable or untrue and to be honest, you are biased in that you work for a dealer or have. I have no dog in this hunt other than it's my bike on which I make payments.
The other side of the coin: what happens if flat rate states 4 hours and the tech takes 5 hours. This is far more likely to occur than the opposite. Are you willing to pay more?
It is hopefully obvious that the more tools a tech invests in and the more training the tech goes through he/she will become more proficient with the job at hand. Do they really deserve to earn less because they have become better?
I am a consumer as well. And, I get to experience the mistakes of other industries just like you do. I will never badmouth someone until they have repeatedly proven to me they just don't care. A mistake here and there is essentially a non-issue as I really don't expect to get through life without mistakes occurring both by me and others. But I use that mistake as an opportunity to see if the folks I'm dealing with can be trusted and live up to the responsibility of taking care of their mistakes or do they just provide lip service? I use the mistakes of fellow employees as an opportunity for further training and the strengthening of skill sets and as an opportunity to show customers we actually care. I even put my personal cell phone on my business cards for after business hour issues. Hopefully that represents something to a customer who doesn't know if you can be trusted and relied upon. Asking customers who broke down on a Sunday when we are closed and I picked both their bike and them up at who knows where free of charge and I wasn't getting paid might provide a clue as to how we ran the store.
Most dealers that I know are actually good people and care. If you never let them know you experienced a problem with them in all likelihood they will never find out. And, that is simply not fair to the store or the customer with the issue.
You might be shocked to find out how much it costs to keep the doors open in a motorcycle dealership today. This is not a biased statement, this is just being truthful.
In my own experience with working on cars and being a customer, I have seen things that shops and dealers do that would turn a normal person's stomach. This includes charging for work that was never done and charging for work that didn't need to be done and I am not talking about making mistakes. One shop I worked for was so bad I turned him into the state when I left. People are only as good as their options and moral compass. In my opinion, in these cases, they preyed on people's ignorance. Then there are the service managers and techs that try to upsell unnecessary stuff. There are honest and good shops, but they are in the minority, IMO.
I am not a dealer principal. I have been involved in dealer management for decades at this point. I respect the investment and more often then not the sacrifice the dealer principal has made in order to get and keep their store open. The vast majority care about their customer. Given the complexity of a dealership it is far easier to lose money than make it. Witness all the folks who have gone out of business over the last 4 years. And, yes some deservedly.
In my case we performed over 4,000 repair orders a year. You automatically know mistakes were in that batch. You can safely assume that neither the dealer principal or the service manager was aware of every single mistake that occurred. I love my work but I need to know about those mistakes because if the bike owner doesn't tell me about the mistake he/she may just decide to tell the world via the internet how we suck. The entire store sucks because one technician made a mistake.
Not only do I love my work I need my job to live. Even though I don't own the store the dealer principal deserves a fair shot at staying in business. I deserve a fair shot at keeping the job I love. The customer deserves a quality repair. If the customer never let's me know of the problem and decides to tell others that has the potential to cause harm to everyone in the chain of events. If we have a tech who all of a sudden decides to let the quality take a dip we need to get it rectified as quickly as possible. Or, perhaps provide additional training. Or, maybe a good ol' firing is called for.
You most certainly have the right to post your story. But is it really fair to deny the store the opportunity to rectify the issue? And, then bad mouth them on the internet?