I own a Toyota Yaris that I bought from Downtown Toyota four years ago. It used to almost never be driven, but we’ve driven it more since moving to south van – it’s now up to about 40,000 kms. For the first 18 months, everything was great. We had our first service, a recall-fix and something else. And then about 2 years ago, the Pattison Group took it over and it went downhill. I’m not sure if the staff changed, but the next few times we went in there, it just wasn’t as friendly as before. Also, they started telling us that we a) needed to rotate our tires and b) needed new tires because they were wearing out. And a couple of other suggested fixes. Which would be fine on an older car. But a 2-year old car that didn’t get driven that much, it seemed odd. Now I don’t know anything about cars or maintenance, so I was willing to believe them, but fortunately Leah knows a fair bit, and didn’t believe them.
Purely by coincidence, another Yaris-owning friend of mine had recently had a good experience at a different dealer – Granville Toyota, so, for our 40,000 km checkup, I thought we’d give them a try. And it was good service. The people at the shop were noticeably friendlier. When I mentioned that there might be an issue with our headlight, he not only noted that it should be looked at, but checked both if I would approve costs for work and if necessary, replacement, explaining what would it would likely entail, and a price range for approval, saying he’d call if the issue was different and would cost more. A nice change.
I explained also that the car had to be ready by four, so we could pick up Liam, and, just as I was about to call to ask if the car was ready, they called to say it was. Leah picked up the car. And guess what? Our tires, brakes and everything were in great shape according to this dealer. Which just makes me think that Downtown Toyota was just trying to make a fast buck at our expense.
So we’ll keep taking our car to Granville Toyota for now when we need our scheduled Maintenance. Customer service is sort of like running along a tightrope above lava: You can waver a little bit, but one wrong step and you’ll lose a customer for life. It’s something I try to keep in mind in what I do, and good advice for anyone who depends on repeat business.