Quality Doesn't Play Hide and Seek

You want your new car fixed? Well, don't go to where you bought your new car. Increasingly, I've noticed that auto showrooms are a long way from auto repair rooms. Not only in a separate building. Sometimes, they're in a separate town!

I kid you not.

Dealer after dealer, showroom after showroom, it's the same thing: buy the car here, fix it there — way over there.

I hate to be jaded, but I think I know why: If you've bought a lemon or just have problems, the last thing that dealership wants is you barging in complaining. You might chase good customers away.

So they've taken the courtesy of chasing "you" away to a whole new location — far from potential buyers, to whom you could be a potential distraction.

Trust me, I've done no scientific survey here. But others have confirmed what I've discovered out there. At least four different dealerships by me have gone this route. One told me it was for efficiency.

When I asked what was wrong with the old setup that seemed pretty efficient to me, he simply said, "This is even more efficient."

Given so many automakers' quality issues, I frankly think this guy was lying. Because nothing turns off a hot-to-trot salesman than a hot under the collar former customer.

I say if you have to hide your service department, you're hiding something else. But I could be wrong. I'd like to hear from you.

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