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The reason I'm asking this question is for my own understanding, because maybe I don't see a lot of things that you all do. I hear a lot of posters talking about the treatment they give at Lexus dealers or MB (MB in this area is abhorrent), versus how an Acura dealer treats them. Good or bad, I want your comments regarding Acura dealer's service departments....what you get, what you expect, and more importantly what you expect based on what other car lines and dealers have done. I'd like good comments as well as bad.

I'm then going to forward a copy of this to a person at Acura corporate I know, so please be pragmatic and honest. Please just talk about the service, not the vehicle itself.....I want to gain a clear understanding of what you folks see.
 

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So far so good :D

I only have one service with my dealership. (oil change)

I took the car in on Friday afternoon, the car is ready for me to drive away within an hour, which included the wash, vacuum and the service.

During that period of time, I got the chance to test drive a RSX. :D

- JTM
 

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Tim,

Sorry to swim against the tide here but I find that the sevice I receive at our Acura dealer is precisely the same I receive at our Lexus dealer - both are OUTSTANDING. (specific dealer information is available in the Dealer Rating section)

We have never yet had to argue about a repair or service being performed. We quote them a complaint or condition, and the part is repaired or replaced without any further discussion. Yes, any of the problems we have had have been very minor, but their receptiveness has always left me with the impression that their reaction would be the same if it was more serious (only time will tell though).

We have always been given a loaner car (of comparable value to the serviced car - as long as we called ahead first). Our repairs have always been performed within the promised period. Our parts have always come in when expected (we do appreciate the post card from the dealer reminding us the part was ordered and is in). The serviced cars always come back neat and clean (OK, sometimes the Acura dealer does forget that we have a standing order for them NOT to wash the MDX - don't want any swirl marks - but that is forgiveable).

The one complaint, applicable to both the Acura and Lexus dealers, is that they frequently do not call when the car is ready. Granted, their reply might be "hey, when HASN'T the car been ready when we said it would be ready". I still would like to receive that "It's done!" call. If only to assure me that the service problem wasn't more serious than anticipated.

(For whatever this is worth, I felt we received almost as professional treatment from our previous Chrysler/Plymouth/Jeep dealer - minus the loaner car and car washes. )
 

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Tim,
My 'X was delivered on Wednesday so I don't have any experience yet with after sale service. While in the search mode months ago I considered not going with Acura because of all the horrible stories on places like Edmunds.com about dealers. But my personal experience was nothing but first class professionalism. I dealt with two dealers in the Washington, DC metro area - Pohanka in VA and Chevy Chase in MD. Both experiences were very good including knowlegeable and courteous sales and business staff. I had orders with both dealers and was upfront about that - whoever delivered first got my money. There was no attempt at price gouging or forced options. Both places offered MSRP and $300 to $400 credit on accessories. The delivery and closing process at Pohanka went very smoothly. I got a call at 11:00 AM telling me that a SS 188 was available and we arranged a 7:00 PM delivery time. The vehicle was ready when I arrived and in top condition. The paperwork was completed quickly and I even got it for a slightly lower price than originally promised. The salesman gave me a through demostration of everything and as I was prepared to leave I made the comment to him that nobody even mentioned the paint protection, undercoating etc. stuff. His response, with a smile _ "if you want to throw your money away we can go back in and ammend the paperwork!" My experience was very good.

BTW, congrats on your first million in sales and I'll be calling you in a few days to contribute to your next million.
 

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OK, Tim, without naming the name of MY dealer :), after all I purposely travel cross-country to have my MDX serviced... :)

Problem 1. "High liquidity" - I believe I've recently talked to the 4th Acura Service advisor in 18 months, not to mention a few times a regular Honda service adviser took my order. (my dealer is a "mall" of at least a dozen brands, Acura and Honda among them)

Problem 2. (most likely related to #1) Advisors seem to be less than knowledgeble - any time I mention a problem, or flash my knowledge of TSBs picked up from this site and you in particular, they are very suspicious, surprised, etc.

#2 continued... I have a "Due bill" written at time of sale for free oil changes. Every time I go in for service, they (a new advisor every time) study this piece of paper like I try to peddle a fake $100,000 bill. They have all the info in their computers except for this little paper which I have to bring with me every time....

Still # 2... Would be nice for them to wash the car. Sometimes they give coupons for a car wash, sometimes they forget, only once (last time, a week ago) my car was actually delivered to me washed.

Problem 3. Loaners - Forget about it. Yes, I can get it - need to make an appt. 2-3 weeks in advance. - never really bother to do it - can live w/o one for a day. The one time (a year ago, THUD), I got a beat-up GrandAm - Arranged by Corporate, when a rep was visiting. C'mon!!!! I do not expect another MDX as a loaner, but something NORMAL and relatevely new would be better.


There may be other minor "I feel it but cannot really express it" gripes.

I cannot tell if any of the above "problems" are common or not. My only other new-car sevice experience was 5 years with Subaru. All 10 visits (2 per year for maintenance) were smooth, I talked to the same 2 advisors all the time, etc....

Also, my "knowledge" of Lexus, Infinity and MB is a hearsay, and, I must admit that in Brooklyn, at least Lexus does NOT get rave reviews from my friends.
 

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hondacuraworld said:
Good or bad, I want your comments regarding Acura dealer's service departments....what you get, what you expect, and more importantly what you expect based on what other car lines and dealers have done. I'd like good comments as well as bad.
First dealer I went to had no MDX other than one for delivery. HAd to find a dealer with one to test drive. Rallye in Roslyn NY was that dealer. Loved the vehicle only to hear after they wanted quite a bit over msrp, which i told the salesman i resented. he said"it is what the market calls for" and i said"what about a few years from now when i come back and the market doesn't". He even called a few days later to see if i wanted the mdx, and i said yes, did he drop to msrp. I laughed when he hadn't. Well two other Long Island dealers ordered X's for me at list (favor huh? grin,but that is fine). I had time, since i had an ML lease that still had two months to run. In between my son bought an rsx, but in upstate ny at his school. although we had some competition on that deal from long island. his car came with free protection package as an extra plus when delivered. My salesman at hillside acura, young guy named jonathan, very good, very professional, finally said he'd give me one too when i came in to pick up my mdx. IN between, he left the dealership for another acura one, and the salesman who took over couldn't find any record of the promise and refused to provide the protection package, so I bought it. Well, on delivery, we had some confusion and some real chintziness too. The mdx had runningboards on it, even though i had told them i wasn't sure between boards or steps. It was a saturday, they first said i might have to return another time if no one could remove the boards! I offered to keep them, if they could give me a deal similar to your price tim, plus labor, but they refused and spent more labor taking them off. Then they gave us one keychain for my wife's key and remote, mine was on a piece of wire, literally, with the valet key. I laughed and asked for a keychain or ring at least to be told it only comes with one! wow, true luxury dealership! when i saw the wife's keyring was sprung the salesman got a new one...and snuck me a keychain too! wow, i was sure impressed with the largess. They also told me the wrong amount for the bank check, so I had twenty one dollars too much, and i'm still waiting for the money back from them, for several weeks. I can continue on and on...but i'm not impressed with a sense of a "luxury car dealership" delivery. I'll wait to see how the service is though, i hear good things about that at this dealer. Coming off a mercedes and before that a lexus, i was not impressed. The other two have nicer set ups for customer waiting too. Lexus was the standard i'd compare to, mercedes was very nice but they never could fix anything the first time they had it, so that left a sour taste. If you need any more details, let me know.:rolleyes:

by the way, son's dealership near albany had a great idea...a new acura owner party! invited recent purchaser to come in, see how things worked on their car, including the jack, etc. had them meet other new acura owners, a few refreshments and some touch up paint and mugs for everyone. he loved it and made him really high on the dealer! oh, he also got two whole keychains, no wire, without even making a fuss! <grin>
 

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The little things

I guess what you're seeing is pretty much to be expected. No one expects Acura to force dealers not to mark up over MSRP (or at least I don't expect it), and most people's service experience was fine. But that is probably the point -- the service was fine, but no better than buying any other car.

To really be held in the same regard or better than other luxury makes, Acura and their dealers need to go beyond that. Sure, nobody expects a free coffee mug, pen, keychain, protection package, or owners party, but it is the relatively inexpensive freebies like that that really go a long way. It makes you feel that the dealer took care of you, and appreciates your business. It perpetuates itself in other service like free loaners, car washes when the car is in, and maybe discounted regular service for things like oil changes. It is this goodwill that is reciprocated in positive word of mouth, high customer satisfaction surveys, and repeat purchases. Your own business is a testament that this works.
 

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Above average treatment

We have both an '01 MDX and an '02 TL-S. The MDX has been in for service 5 times (3750, 7500, 11250, 15000, and 18750). The only service problem so far (which could have been serious) was a failure to replace the drain plug washer on the last visit; hence a small oil leak. They promptly took care of this when I reported it. The service rep I work with is very cordial and respectful of my time. The TL-S has had 3 service visits (3750, 7500, and 11250) with no problems whatsoever.

The dealership takes appointments and they have always been on schedule. In some respects it would be hard to ask for better service, although the drain plug mistake could have been a serious problem.

Since you asked for a comparison with Lexus, I'll throw in an observation. Although I never have owned a Lexus, thus never serviced one, I have on more than one occasion visited Lexus dealerships. They are "visibly" nicer than the Acura dealerships. The Acura dealership does not "look" upscale. Lexus goes out of their way to visually present an upscale image that Acura does not really attempt. However I am concerned with value and results over looks - and I have no results I can comment on regarding Lexus.
 

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Kudos, Tim

Isn't it interesting to see the best out there working to get better. It speaks volumes that he initiated this thread and solicited the further input.

It also explains quite well why he just cracked the $1M total in sales.
;)
 

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Simple stuff...

I was prettyclose to buying last fall (before I got dot bombed & both me and my wife were laid off). I visited four Acura dealerships.

One was REALLY HORRIBLE _ Ed Napelton. Rude sales people who didn't know when they'd be able to get more vehicles, seemed content to mark up MDXs to ridiculous levels and were a disgrace.

The others were actually OK. I had an OK experiecne with Continetal Acura in Lisle, they admitted the wait would be about 6-8 weeks, said they were selling for list, didn't force options.

Visited Rizza Acura in Oralnd Park. Gave nice test drive, said wait would be about a month, maybe 6 weeks. Smallish store, but nothing too bad.

Visited Countryside Acura. Sales people seemed to lack knowledge, had "ultra DIO & Brand X DVD" with ridiculous mark-up. Now this is McGrath Acura of Wetmont, very very close to my home (walk past it with baby jogger couple times a week). Very nice store -- has the "waterfall theme" and lots of space. Seem to have good volume of sales.

(btw I'm back at work, albeit a contract position that is only scheduled to last through summer, and wife is back to work too. I'm leaning toward waiting for '03, she would be happy with either, especially if we can get a little something off on a loaded '02)

For comparison:

McGrath Lexus is right up the street. For starters -- they have FLEET of RX 300 loaners! Like a dozen! Very reassuring. They encourage test drives, can rattle off colors and option levels IN STOCK (yeah I know RX 300 sales have been hurt) but the implication is that they can put in you in an RX 300 whenever you want.

Laurel BMW, BETWEEN the Lex & Acura stores. Good selection of X5's, LOTS (like a dozen) used ones. This is now an AutoNation store and they "can get anything you want". ( Iwant Topaz Blue with Gray Leather mmmm -- another reason to wait for '03 MDX...)

Bill Jacobs BMW, about 10-15 miles west. Great, enthusiastic sales people who ENCOURAGE you to test drive "anything you want". Walk around the service area. Super knowledgeable, relaxed atmosphere.
 

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:2: Just had first service done. Could not be happier. Small cut in rear seat panel on delivery, replaced panel, surge when cold , new value install, oil & filter changed , used Acura products' , given new loaner to drive, "thats what I call service ". Cost on oil change $25.95. "HAPPY CAMPER".
 

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They have to walk the talk!

I am sure there are many good Acura dealers 'and I have met some'.
But Lexus did not get to where it is in customer satisfaction because all the dealers thought it was a good idea. It's because the company made that a condition on how they wanted their products presented and sold.

And a company that cares enough can drive that mission throughout the organization by offering incentives to it's dealerships. It's no different in any other corporation.

Effective upward and downward communication between the company and it's dealerships can accomplish those goals. But the company has to be willing to follow up, they can't just sit back and just let it happen as long the bucks keep rolling in.
 

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I have owned 2 Acuras prior to the MDX & my son also owns a 97 Integra GSR. We have purchased all of them from David McDavid Plano, TX & have had excellent service overall.

That said, one thing the Lexus dealership offers that McDavid of Plano doesn't, is complimentary car washes whenever I want - not just when the car the car is serviced. I can bring the RX in every day if I want for a free wash while I wait - the Acura dealership doesn't do that.

The other item I like about Lexus is the very comfortable waiting area for sevice. It has 3 areas for internet access, free soft drinks/juice/coffe/tea, free local calls, free fruit/various snacks (continental breakfast in am) & a very spacious, quiet & comfortable area to wait. McDavid is currently remodeling in Plano, but until now there was no comfortable place to wait & nothing free but coffee.

The technical ability of the service staff is very important & so far Acura has the edge here. McDavid has several of the same service writers/mgrs & techs since at least 1989 when I bought my first Acura, and they know how to quickly & accurately diagnose a problem. I haven't had any problems with the Lexus - so have just dealt with Lexus for "normal maintenance" but I don't care for the attitude of the 2 service reps I have used there - one has quit already.

One other thing - free loaner should be an Acura product. I have had to had a loaner 2 times & both times I was given a car from Enterprise rental (located inside the service dept). One was a stripped down malibu & the other time it was a stripped corolla. I asked why Acuras weren't provided & was told "if I got there early I could get an integra". "early" is prior to 7am. My son has been given a 4 door integra several times. I think the dealers should arrange for a car in comparable size & quality to loan you. Lexus has RX 300 they give you if you need one during service.

Hope this helps
 

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vip9 said:
OK, Tim, without naming the name of MY dealer :), after all I purposely travel cross-country to have my MDX serviced... :)

Problem 1. "High liquidity" - I believe I've recently talked to the 4th Acura Service advisor in 18 months, not to mention a few times a regular Honda service adviser took my order. (my dealer is a "mall" of at least a dozen brands, Acura and Honda among them)

Problem 2. (most likely related to #1) Advisors seem to be less than knowledgeble - any time I mention a problem, or flash my knowledge of TSBs picked up from this site and you in particular, they are very suspicious, surprised, etc.

#2 continued... I have a "Due bill" written at time of sale for free oil changes. Every time I go in for service, they (a new advisor every time) study this piece of paper like I try to peddle a fake $100,000 bill. They have all the info in their computers except for this little paper which I have to bring with me every time....

Still # 2... Would be nice for them to wash the car. Sometimes they give coupons for a car wash, sometimes they forget, only once (last time, a week ago) my car was actually delivered to me washed.

Problem 3. Loaners - Forget about it. Yes, I can get it - need to make an appt. 2-3 weeks in advance. - never really bother to do it - can live w/o one for a day. The one time (a year ago, THUD), I got a beat-up GrandAm - Arranged by Corporate, when a rep was visiting. C'mon!!!! I do not expect another MDX as a loaner, but something NORMAL and relatevely new would be better.


There may be other minor "I feel it but cannot really express it" gripes.

I cannot tell if any of the above "problems" are common or not. My only other new-car sevice experience was 5 years with Subaru. All 10 visits (2 per year for maintenance) were smooth, I talked to the same 2 advisors all the time, etc....

Also, my "knowledge" of Lexus, Infinity and MB is a hearsay, and, I must admit that in Brooklyn, at least Lexus does NOT get rave reviews from my friends.

It's nice to hear from you Vip! :)

All the things you mentioned above are pretty much the reason (except THUD) I drive 50 miles to Hillside Acura in Bayside, LI.

So far my record is:
AOB - 3 visits:
1st - broken passenger-side mirror (theft attempt) - fixed in 2 days, no loaner; got a carwash coupon (never used it)
2nd - oil change (I get free oil changes at Hillside, but $30 AOB charges couldn't justify a 50mi-drive to LI); got a carwash coupon (never used it)
3rd - fix & repaint rear bumper - they actually did pretty decent job and more less decent price (partially, due to their Parts Manager); got a carwash coupon (never used it)

Side comment - when you see the same techs fixing Dodges and Mazdas, go work on your MDX, your heart stops! The word 'upscale' is not in the vocabulary of this dealership!!

Hillside - 1 visit:
- 7500 service, they don't give loaners on saturdays, but they charged me twice as less as AOB charges, plus a free oil change;
THUD/W. Mirrors - unsuccessful attempt on both; washed the car though
- I have a 15000 service scheduled next Saturday, cost $150 - comparing to whopping $289 from AOB's!

Rosenthal Acura in MD - 1 visit:
- Oil Change, THUD/W. Mirrors, 4-wheel alignment - at reasonable costs; they gave me a loaner Integra although I walked into their dealership in the morning without an appoitment. Techs were knowledgeable, test-drove and fixed BOTH SUCCESSFULY (after 4k on the road, at least); washed and waxed(!) the truck.

Complement - Best experience, professional stuff and upscale dealership!
 

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little things count a lot...

My only experience so far has been with Ford and BMW. Sad to say, but what I've read so far sounds more like Ford service level quality than BMW. BMW consistently gets high marks for service excellence in my area. You also pay more for it too.

BMW sent every 2002 (model, not year) BMW owner (or at least those that belong to the BMW CCA) a really classy silver "2002" keychain this year, packaged in a gift box! It included a letter thanking them for owning a BMW. This type of relationship is far different than one of just "service". I think Tim would agree that at it's best, service is sales, and vice-versa.

If Acura truly wants to be a luxury brand, the quality has to expand beyond just the product. With Tim driving them, I'm confident they'll get there!
 

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Re: little things count a lot...

dwawindsurfer said:
...BMW consistently gets high marks for service excellence in my area. You also pay more for it too.

BMW sent every 2002 (model, not year) BMW owner (or at least those that belong to the BMW CCA) a really classy silver "2002" keychain this year, packaged in a gift box! It included a letter thanking them for owning a BMW...
Well, for the $$ they charge you for non-warranty service that keychain ought to be platinum!!! Yes, you get 4 years of free service, but just a thought of how much it would cost to replace the broken window + repair/repaint the bumper (if I had a beamer instead of my GIGI) is upsetting by itself... One of my friends who owns a 528i is telling me that local dealership charges $70 for an oil change(!)
 

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vip9 said:
Problem 3. Loaners - Forget about it. Yes, I can get it - need to make an appt. 2-3 weeks in advance. - never really bother to do it - can live w/o one for a day.
Ok, now we get to the crux of Tim's question regarding expectations. Not to single you out vip9 (and renov8r), but I typically have to make my service appts. at the Lexus dealer 2-3 weeks in advance just to get in (even for something as minor as an oil change). So to arrange for the loaner is not a big deal.

Renov8r, as far as the dealer providing a "FLEET of RX 300 loaners!", I suppose that all has to do with volume and queuing theory. I am sure our Lexus dealer has a "fleet" as well ( last loaner was another IS300). But since they require appts. weeks in advance, they can easily juggle requests for service with loaner cars. While I do not know if our Acura dealer has "fleet" of Acura loaners, I have never been turned down for a loaner and they have all been Acuras (usually TL's - no, no Type-S's yet).

But with any dealer there is the possibility that on any given day you will be the unlucky 11th caller when they have 10 loaners in their fleet :(
 
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