Suppose you own a Toyota Prius and have never visited the dealer where you purchased it. In that case, chances are you may have had a bad experience. The question is, why do people keep going back? If you had a bad experience, would you return? I know I would not. Why are people still going to these places, and what is causing these places to get a bad reputation? I have a few thoughts on that.
Dealers Are Over Priced
If you have ever had a dealer work on your Prius for repair after the warranty expires, sticker shock is a real thing. Batteries ranging from 2-5000 dollars, cabin air filters that cause houses to be refinanced, and a slew of other high-priced services certainly are not reasons to stay.
Those who find out about the actual costs of these services quickly wonder why on earth they are spending so much money. Not to mention dealerships can trick people into thinking warranties will be void without these services.
Dealers Did Not Fix My Problem
Believe it or not, the Toyota dealer is not the be-all-end-all. Those who have had an experience where the dealer did not fix their car are not uncommon.
Dealerships are only as good as their staff and unfortunately not all the staff is always the best. When a Toyota dealer fails to repair a vehicle, it seriously tarnishes the reputation.
The Dealership Lied To Me
The automotive repair industry already has a bad reputation, and dealers that lie to their customers do not make it any better. I have heard plenty of stories where the dealer flat lied to the customer to try and sell services or repairs.
It sucks when this happens, but not all people are honest when they should be. Dealerships are not the only ones that lie though, independent shops do not always have the best rep either.
Not all dealerships are wrong; I want to make that quite clear. We should not always trust that they are the end all be all for repair, though. It comes down to the staff and how well trained they all are. Dealerships can earn and lose a reputation based on who is running and working there.
Suppose you are looking for a reputable dealer. In that case, my suggestion is to interview the technicians and get their credentials before having your vehicle worked on.
That is all for today. Remember, today's adventure is tomorrow's story.
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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporter.