My Toyota Dealer Experience

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So let me preface this with I have never owned a Toyota before, I also only bought the Highlander because it was something I could get that day because the Dodge Journey had been in an accident earlier that week and I needed a car as quickly as possible that was comfortable for my bad back, reliable, n my price range (work pays), and that I could drive off the lot sort of thing. Also seeing as we were close to Model clear-out time it made options limited. I took it in for a their free no-charge first service which was supposed to be done at 8,000km (5K miles) but I didn't have a chance to get in until now because I was busy at work prior to this week so I took it in with 12,000km (7500 miles). It's basically just a multi-point inspection, rotate the tires, top-off of fluids and an oil change. (I didn't take them up on this so no TGMO for me.) And yes the catch can was installed. They said nothing so I don't think they care unless it's a problem. It was an arranged appointment for 6pm tonight. Got there and they took it right in. I sat in the nice waiting areas really comfortable couch and had a drink while I jumped on the WiFi. I could see my vehicle in view from the waiting area. Nice giant floor to ceiling glass that lets you look into the shop. Not once but twice someone came over and asked me if I needed anything while I was waiting and I told them I was good. 1 hour later the service guy comes and gets me and says my vehicle will be ready in a few minutes they are just washing it off and I'm welcome to see him whenever I'm ready to go through the visit report. As he's printing out the paperwork he says that they topped off the coolant overflow bottle just so it was on the full mark but that it's perfectly normal that it used a little bit because it's just the vehicle working the air out in the system from the factory and that it should remain on full thereafter. (I knew this anyway) He also said that they left me a little something on the front seat as a thank you for coming in. I said jokingly said but this visit was free though and he said it's just our way of thanking you for being a customer and that we appreciate your business. I get out to the car, and realized that they gave it light vacuuming, threw out my empty coffee cup in the holder, cleaned out the cup holder from coffee drips, washed it and left me a BBQ flipper that is all stainless steel with the Toyota Logo in the flipper part along with a small thank-you card. I sat in the parking-lot for a minute because I thought not only was that a nice touch all the "Extra's" they did to try an earn future visits but I was blown away by the service different from my local Chrysler and Hyundai dealers I had delt with in the past that while weren't bad experiences by no means, weren't anything extra like this had been with all the appreciative gestures. Anyway, I just thought I would share the story. Not because I think all Toyota dealerships are like this and somehow superior to every other brand but that there are still quality dealerships out there trying really hard to actually earn your business and as a result I would be happy to deal with this and any other location owned by the operator of this one which I learned is a second Toyota dealer in my city and a Nissan dealership as well. Also because Parts/Service is open to 9pm Wednesday - Friday and that makes it super convenient for me after work. For the locals it's Red-Hill Toyota and the other dealerships they own under the same operator are Upper James Toyota & Parkway Nissan. (That I know about, might be more)
 

OVERKILL

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Sounds like both my experiences at BMW and Mercedes. I'm guessing that's where this was borrowed from. It's extremely effective.
 
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Originally Posted by StevieC
I sat in the parking-lot for a minute and had a little cry because I thought not only was that a nice touch all the "Extra's" they did to try an earn future visits but I was blown away by the service different from my local Chrysler and Hyundai dealers I had delt with in the past that while weren't bad experiences by no means, weren't anything extra like this had been with all the appreciative gestures.
Fixed it for you.
 

StevieC

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Originally Posted by maxdustington
Originally Posted by StevieC
I sat in the parking-lot for a minute and had a little cry because I thought not only was that a nice touch all the "Extra's" they did to try an earn future visits but I was blown away by the service different from my local Chrysler and Hyundai dealers I had delt with in the past that while weren't bad experiences by no means, weren't anything extra like this had been with all the appreciative gestures.
Fixed it for you.
Yeah not a crier, but that was hilarious. LOL
 

StevieC

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Originally Posted by OVERKILL
Sounds like both my experiences at BMW and Mercedes. I'm guessing that's where this was borrowed from. It's extremely effective.
I heard it's similar at Lexus from my work colleague that has an RX-350 only they also wax the cars and you can have a free lunch / dinner in their cafeteria where they have a full-time cook. But the vehicle payments cost way more so I'll settle for the fast-food place down the street from mine. grin2
 

StevieC

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Originally Posted by MONKEYMAN
It reminds me of my Saturn dealership experience before it became too GMish.
My Grade 8 teacher drove one of the first Saturns and he said good things about the experience then. Many moons ago though for me. Getting old.
 

StevieC

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Originally Posted by nap
My chauffeur told me that Lincoln dealer service ain't bad either. They use 5W30 though. grin2
LOL, and it's a premium brand so I would expect the service to be excellent. Although Toyota/Lexus is of course superior to any "Domestic" brand you know. *Tongue/Cheek*
 
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The experiences I had with my wife's Highlander getting its "free" dealer services for the first 25K miles were less satisfying. Basicaily, the free tire rotations didn't happen at my local dealership---repeatedly. I suspected it after the second service at 10K, and chalk-marked my tires for the 15K service. Their run through the car wash after the "service work" removed the chalk marks, but I was still doubtful that the wheels had moved; there were other markings on the wheels that I had noticed, and which didn't change wheel position. At 20K, I marked the wheels differently with a bit of indelible marker; when they came back in the same position as they started, I took it up with the service writer, and then the service manager. Both, of course, were "very sorry for this oversight---we've never had this happen before, but we'll have it corrected immediately" . They had evidently done the more critical oil changes (I had checked that, too). I don't go to the dealer anymore unless there's an issue with a proprietary piece/part that stumps my regular mechanic.
 

StevieC

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I'm not going to bring it back to the dealer unless I need warranty work from this point forward, I just brought it there for the first 8,000km check-up because it was free and with it being a new vehicle maybe there was something I might have missed when I do my visual inspections during oil changes etc. I was also curious to see if they cared about the oil catch can but they didn't. I know my tires got rotated because I had a really nice view with the big giant service windows into the service bays and would glance over from time to time. Looks like they were thorough and they guy did check the torque of the nuts on the drive-shaft for the AWD unit as is indicated in the service. I recall seeing that as well as the trouble light being moved over various areas of the vehicles undercarriage as he was doing his visual inspection. It was reassuring that I was getting the service I should have been sort of thing. Again I don't think this is all Toyota dealerships but they certainly do what they are supposed to at this one so there are some dealers out there that seem to care about doing things right.
 
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Originally Posted by OVERKILL
Sounds like both my experiences at BMW and Mercedes. I'm guessing that's where this was borrowed from. It's extremely effective.
Ditto for my BMW and Mazda experiences.
 
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Originally Posted by StevieC
Again I don't think this is all Toyota dealerships but they certainly do what they are supposed to at this one so there are some dealers out there that seem to care about doing things right.
I had a very similar experience at the dealership my wife and I bought her 05 Camry from. While the car was under warranty I had the dealership change the oil and rotate tires. About 2 years in I noticed it pulled a little to the right. Knowing my wife drove on some really bad streets with major potholes, when I made the appointment I asked them to check the wheel alignment. The service advisor told me that I would have to pay for the alignment, which I readily agreed to. My wife took it in and when the service advisor wrote up the ticket he asked her if the car really did pull to one side or the other. My wife said something like - "I don't think so, but I don't really know." He talked her OUT of the alignment. I called him back and said I want the alignment checked. So he did and said it was slightly off and that there was no signs of abuse so they weren't charging me for the alignment. They likewise always washed and vacuumed the car. My youngest daughter bought a new Corolla a couple of years ago from a different dealership in a different city. This dealership is not even in the ballpark compared to the one that my wife and I bought the Camry from. When the car was about a year old, they tried to charge her 300.00 for a leaky windshield washer fluid tank, saying it wasn't covered under warranty because a rat had chewed a hole in it. Turns out the o-ring where the filler tube goes into the reservoir was leaking. No signs of any holes from a rodent. I fixed it myself. It really does seem to vary from dealership to dealership.
 

StevieC

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Yeah that's sad... I did do my research on the dealer before I made the visit because I didn't want to find a good vehicle on a lot somewhere and then have to fight the dealer if warranty was ever an issue because the dealer was a problem. This dealer got really good reviews in all aspects. Handful of bad reviews but I think that's like anywhere, the good news is that every bad review that is on there the manager reached out to them wanting to make it right. Our sales guy was awesome and had been with them for 12 years so that says a lot.
 
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Nick1994

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Wish dealerships were that good here. VW dealer I was spending $2,100 at for a new flywheel and transmission service wouldn't answer the phone for days. I had to drive across town and show up to talk to anyone. Jeep dealer tried scamming my mom out of $420 for new spark plugs and an engine decarbonization. I mean they even did the work and handed her the bill. Chevy dealer broke my brother's a/c vent and put black hand prints all over the interior from crawling across from the passenger door. However, the Acura dealer we got my grandpa's Jeep from earlier this year was great, they replaced the radiator on it.
 
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Sounds like a good experience! I am pretty happy with my local Toyota dealer too besides the fact every dealer charges too much for their sork but nice amenities while you wait!
 

StevieC

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Originally Posted by BAJA_05
Them being kind & very courteous is awesome & touched you in a positive way. I always say, its easy to be nice. Thanks for sharing your story. Dale
cheers
 

StevieC

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My phone battery was near dead until now... This is the BBQ flipper.

IMG_20180926_234720325.jpg
 
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