Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dealership Shout-Out

I'm typically not a big fan of car dealership service departments. The repairs are often more expensive, and I often feel like I'm being up-sold. However, I had a good enough experience today that I thought it deserved a shout-out.

My 2001 Honda Accord needed some recall work. Something about a potential problem with the driver's airbag inflator using so much pressure, that some metal part could explode, sending metal fragments into the driver, should the airbag ever deploy. It sounded sufficiently scary, so as instructed, I called my local dealer to arrange for the free repair.

I called Leith Honda two days ago. They were very pleasant on the phone. I was asked to fax the recall notice, they would order the part, then they would call me when it arrived so I could set an appointment for the work. Yesterday I got the call, and we arranged for an 8AM appointment for this morning. All very professional.

Upon arrival at Leith Honda, I simply pulled up under a portico, and was met by a pleasant and professional check-in agent who quickly got some necessary information from me, told me the repair would take about an hour, and then pointed me to the customer service waiting room. I never had to step out into the bad weather, which was much appreciated.

In the waiting room, instead of the obligatory "Mr. Coffee" pot with burned coffee brewed several hours before, I had access to a professional "one cup at a time" coffee machine that actually made a decent cup of coffee. (Not being a fan of styrofoam cups, if I ever have reason to return, I'll bring my own cup.) There was also a supply of chilled bottled water, along with a basket of granola bars and other snacks.

Perhaps the biggest perk of all (which I had confirmed ahead of time) was the availability of free wi-fi. I was able to log in to my home PC using GoToMyPC right from the waiting room and accomplish the morning tasks that would have had to wait, had I been in most other auto service waiting rooms.

The service was complete in just under an hour. The agent who led me to the check-out counter was very pleasant, and the checkout staff person was efficient and professional. Best of all, the repair cost me nothing other than 50 minutes of round-trip driving time.

I usually dread having to take care of auto service. Calling, scheduling,'s always such an inconvenience. Thanks, Leith Honda, for making this one of the most convenient and pleasant auto service experiences I've had.

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