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Jay Dreyer :: Torture at Saab of Troy

Torture at Saab of Troy

I hate car dealerships. I hate buying cars. And I really hate getting cars serviced at dealerships. Hate is a strong word, I know, but it’s not strong enough to convey my feelings about car dealerships. I’ll put it this way – I get allergy shots every week. The doctor sticks a needle in both arms and the rest of the day it feels like someone hit me as hard as they could in both arms. I don’t mind getting my allergy shots. I hate going to car dealerships.

Why do I bring this up? Well, yesterday I blew $300 and nearly 4 hours of my day at Saab of Troy. My 9-3 hit 50k and, according to the manual, it was time for service. So, being the saavy Saab owner that I am, I called the dealership and set up the appointment a week in advance.

Things started off well…I arrived at my scheduled time of 7:30am, pulled in the garage, turned over the key and met with the service guy. He pulled up my info and told me it wouldn’t be too long. Then I mentioned the engine warning light. This light started going off about a month ago. He said, “Oh…well, we’ll have to charge $150 to look at it. If we don’t find anything, we’ll still charge $150. If we do find something, we’ll apply that to the cost of fixing the problem.” I was taken aback by the $150 charge, but went with it anyway.

I plopped down in the lounge, picked up the paper and waited. And I waited. And waited. Luckily they had some snacks in a bowl so I ate some. Then I waited some more. People that arrived after me came and went. I took a walk. About 2 miles, I guess. There were no beverages next to the snacks in the lounge and I was thirsty so I went out. Came back and the car’s still not ready. So I read the USA Today. Then I took another walk. Same route. Came back and still no car. Finally the service guy comes out and tells me he’s sorry it’s not ready yet but it will be soon. He leaves and I wander around some more. Now one of the actual service guys waves at me and tells me to come in the garage. He shows me how this little cable has worn and is causing my light to go off. But, to fix it, they would have to replace the whole harness. Total cost estimate – about $500. No thanks, I said.

I spent over 4 hours and $300 there and nothing was changed except I have new oil in the car, the tires were rotated and I know I have a cable with a hole in it. I didn’t even get my car washed (the perk of going to the dealership) because it would have taken an extra half hour to do.

How could my experience have been better? Easy. Give me a damn loaner car for the day while the service department screws around with my car. Why is this a good idea?

  1. I don’t have to sit and stew at the dealership, getting upset, and decide to post this article
  2. I might actually like the loaner car and think to mysef, “Hey! These are nice…maybe I should trade up to one of these.” Instead, I spent time thinking of what my next car would be, other than a Saab.
  3. Because I don’t do #1 and #2, I think to myself, “Saab of Troy is fantastic. I’ll definitely come here when my 60k servicing needs to be done. Even though it’s $750, it’ll be worth it.”

Instead, I won’t go back to Saab of Troy for either servicing or a new car. I should be able to find a way to get all of the servicing done by others for, I’m guessing, 1/3 of what the dealer will charge.

To be fair, they did offer me shuttle service, but they wouldn’t pick me up, so it wasn’t an option. Other people took advantage of it, though.


| posted 10/06/2005 03:44 PM

Permanent link to this comment  WiredTiger  on  10/07/2005 02:27 PM  said: 
Are you crazy? The only time you go to the dealership is when it’s going to be free. Places like Tuffy and the like are way superior when it comes to service.
Permanent link to this comment  Jay  on  10/07/2005 02:36 PM  said: 
Yup…I realize that now. I got suckered in during the warranty period and just kept going. Never again! :-)
Permanent link to this comment  Dennis Dreyer  on  10/16/2005 04:21 PM  said: 
I enjoyed your Saab tirade and it made sense. Why don’t you forward it on to the Troy Saab dealer?? Your #1 fan, MOM
Permanent link to this comment  Joe Nagy  on  11/06/2005 05:36 PM  said: 
I subscribe to the Al Nagy car maintenance method: Run it until it is about ready to die and then rationalize that it must be a piece of junk and it is time to get a new one!