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Cust. Service Fee

2194 Views 16 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  ted45054
My wife will be picking up our 2002 MDX at an out-of-state dealer in less than one week. When confirming the total cost one last time with the dealer today, a heretofore unmentioned cost appeared--$300 for customer service (paper work, title work etc.). I was told all dealers charge this fee (some more, some less). Since I've never been charged such a fee before with other car purchases (maybe it was buried in some other line item), and since it was sprung on me at the last minute, I was a little perturbed. This is really not that big a deal and certainly can't overshadow our excitement about the new arrival, but I was just curious, is this routine for all car dealers?
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Thats a bogus charge. Another example of Acura stealerships taking advantage of the demand for the MDX.
I paid $45 for doc fee in California. This is pretty much a standard fee here.
Virginia Service Charge

We have a service charge in the state of Virginia for all vehicles purchased. It is also variable from dealer to dealer and can be waived if the dealer is so inclined. I purchased a Toyota Tacoma over the internet and I got them to waive the service charge. However, I paid a $180 service charge for the MDX. I don't understand why the state of Virginia allows this charge and it doesn't seem to be regulated. It seems each dealer can charge whatever they like. I guess in your case it depends on which state you are buying your car.
Service fee


When you look at a glass of water...Do you see a half-empty glass or a half-full glass ???

300 dollars is 300 dollars that is a lot of dollars.

$300 = a NICE dinner

$300 = a NICE dress shirt

$300 = a NICE bottle of champagne

$300 = a fun hour with a...well uh.... exotic dancer...yeah thats it!

$300 = a LOT of CDs for your MDX cd changer..

well you got the hint.

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$390 in charlotte

I noticed this charge in the last minute as well! But the dealer had this dollar amount pre-printed in the order form. I placed the order in the very same order - guess did not bother to ask about that. I really don't care at this point ~ I have the X now!
$390 in charlotte

I noticed this charge in the last minute as well! But the dealer had this dollar amount pre-printed in the order form. I placed the order in the very same order - guess did not bother to ask about that. I really don't care at this point ~ I have the X now!
Thanks for the responses. It is true that $300 is $300, but more than that, it's the principal (oops, getting clichéd now--better lighten up). We've waited for three months with great anticipation, but the world wouldn't end if I walked away from this one and got on another who-knows-how-many-months waiting list. I'll have to sleep on it.

Ted, its your call. I paid over MSRP for mine, I felt it was worth it. But at least my dealer told me about the cost in advance. I'd still ask them to waive it or give you $300 credit against options since this is an unexpected last-minute charge. If your salesman won't do it, tell him to ask his sales manager. Walking for $300 isn't something they want to see in a soft economy.
cust service fee

I paid $89.50 as a customer service fee that was preprinted on the dealers form. I was told it was for tags, notary, processings, etc, etc,. I think all dealers charge something like this. I talked with two other dealers and they charged between $90 and $150.
Tag, title and license fees (I guess, that's what TTL stands for) is not just a common thing, but I would say it is universally required.

Unless a state does not charge any "processing" fees, a dealer charges us the same fees plus some.

Moreover, if you buy out-of-state, a dealer is most likely going to put temporary plates on your car - additional fee.

Some dealers might be willing to "absorb" this cost. Have you seen any ACURA crook (oops, I meant dealer) willing to lose a penny on the MDX transaction??? :mad:

I believe I paid around $140 in NYC to register my car (new registration, NOT a transfer of plates, which is cheaper)
I'm like you: I'll stubbornly stand by my principles. That $300 thrown in at the last minute is not only unfair, it's downright rude. I would ABSOLUTELY refuse to pay it, and if they wouldn't budge, then I would walk away from the deal.

A high-demand vehicle like the MDX tips the scales a little bit, but the consumer really does have all the power in a car sale. You can walk away at any point and take your cash elsewhere, but those salespeople live or die based on whether or not you bless them with your business. Don't ever be afraid to stick to your guns; you'll regret it later if you don't.

I agree with you that you need to stick to the principles. However, given the supply demand of the 'X, get the 'X. May be haggle to get some freebies, but don't loose the opportunity to get it for $300.

Most folks paid much over MSRP, and to date, Roger's dealership still charges $2000 over sticker.
Nice service

It is interesting how the dealer considers it a services to charge you $300.

My dealer wanted to charge me $300 for etching the vin number on all my windows. He told me it was a required vehicle recovery mechinism. I told him to stick it. If my vehicle is stolen, I don't think I ever want to see it again, or at least I don't expect to ever see it again. Like I really want my windows returned to me after the car has been stripped.
That service fee is a ripoff! My dealer charged me $50 as the documentation fee, which is high compared to other cars I have bought in the past. However, if they will not "negotiate" this fee, you don't have many options. I would make a note on the Acura "survey" about this "surprise"
I paid $20 at Inskip, Warwick, RI. I argued that, but to no avail . .
Thanks for all the input. It appears that some dealers add this charge (and some even wait to the last minute as in my case), some don't, and some who do hustle the customer a little less when turning the trick. This is useful to know because the dealer doesn't even try to claim that he informed me of this. Rather, he implies that this charge is so common place that it goes without saying (in other words, what planet have I been living on?).

My strong inclination is more in line with that expressed by Iceman. Nevertheless, this will primarily be my wife's vehicle, we waited a long time, we really like the vehicle, blah, blah, [insert other weak-spined whinings of an overanxious, doormat of a consumer]. I do think I will print this thread to show to the dealer and will sure do as Lester suggested in noting this charge (specifically the timing) on surveys and the like. Will it matter? Rhetorical question in the case of many (although certainly not all) dealers based on other comments in this forum.
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