Why Menu Service is Not The Best Service
It seems easy to grab a newspaper, circular, or direct mail piece and find a coupon offering everything you need for your 30, 60, or 90-thousand mile vehicle service at a price you can’t resist. Sound familiar? Our service advisers deal with the fallout from these offers at the counter daily. You’re led to believe that pre-packaged maintenance bundles are the same as an intelligent maintenance program. They are not. Menu service can leave the customer with a false sense of confidence that their vehicle is in top shape when it really has unaddressed issues. In menu service, perceived value is high, but real value is not.
Good service is not delivered by a menu. Thorough inspection, advice based on confirmed vehicle condition, and complete records management are the cornerstones to address your vehicle’s real needs. Not all cars age or wear the same way, and the actual value of many service bundles may be questionable at best. The 30/60/90K canned service packages are based on an average car in average conditions, so they reflect what an average car will probably need. We do use factory recommendations as guidelines in our interval services, but we also take the opportunity to perform our deepest inspection and identify what your vehicle actually needs. This interactive service allows us to prioritize your actual needs based on current, pertinent, and relevant facts.
The inspiration for this article came from a local dealer offering a pre-packaged 60K interval service for $559, including a limited inspection, oil change, air filter, cabin air filter, and a tire rotation and balance. All these items are listed in the factory menu for 60K service, but other items also on the factory menu were listed as “other services possibly needed at additional cost.” (Of course, not all interval service menus are the same. Each dealer has their own pre-packaged list of services based loosely on the manufacturer’s recommended intervals, so there could be differences between dealers.) Many dealers perform the menu item services whether they are needed or not, then call to sell you the additional, needed services they find while doing the menu. This is just one major difference between us and the dealers. We call after the inspection to discuss and prioritize your needs before doing the work. We know you work hard for your money and need to spend it logically, so we tailor your interval service to fit your needs and your pocketbook. Your budget should have the greatest positive possible impact on your vehicle, not our bottom line.
In most cases we can offer you the same major maintenance interval services at a better price and provide unmatched quality and attention to detail. For comparison, we estimated how much we would charge to provide this list of services for a typical 2006 Toyota Camry. We found that if we inspected the vehicle, if we determined that the services were needed, if you agreed they were needed, and if we performed the work, then these same services would cost less than $380.00, a $180.00 savings over the dealers special coupon price. (Don’t believe us? Make us prove it. Check out this month’s coupon offering to meet or beat any local printed dealer offers.) Beyond that, our clients would have the value of premium materials, our 24-month/24,000-mile warranty, a detailed vehicle history updated to reflect current conditions and remaining needs, and individual attention from a knowledgeable professional. Our clients would know exactly what they bought, why, and what services need to be done next so they could budget for future vehicle maintenance appropriately.
We realize that your time and money are valuable and a bargain-priced service package can sound enticing, but while price is critical, our goal is value. Tom Dwyer Automotive is committed to the best possible service for your vehicle, offering the best possible prices, impeccable service, and top-of-the-line technicians and equipment. We can’t provide value by using menu service, so we’ll stick with the reliability and value of a good inspection, reasonable recommendations, and informed clients. So, if you ask us “how much is an interval service” don’t be surprised if you get this answer…
“We don’t blindly follow the interval menu service system and install parts needed or not or skip needs not on the menu and therefore we don’t offer a canned price for an interval service for you. To provide you the best value we perform the inspections first, compare the findings to the factory interval recommendations, call and consult you with the services that are really necessary, prioritized by the physical inspection. At this point we can provide accurate cost estimates and completion times. This method delivers far better care for the vehicle, more accurate service tailored to your vehicle’s needs and more often than not this method delivers a lower cost than canned interval services.”