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View Full Version : Getting sick of DEALER's SERVICE PLEDGE!


GrassBustersLawn
07-22-2004, 11:48 PM
I'm sure you've all heard it, just like they told me when I was buying my mowers. DEALER: "We know you commercial guys need your mowers, & if we can't fix it right then we'll move you to the front of the repair line to keep you working."

So you buy the mower & then when you actually need service they'll give you the "we're 7 to 10 days out" or "we're backed up 5 weeks, it's the SPRING RUSH you know!"

WHAT A LOAD OF CR@P!

I have been LOYAL to a local "mom & pop" EXMARK dealer for 5 years. Bought several machines there & have always had them serviced there. I drive 20 miles oneway to the other side of town to drop it off with them. There is a "mega farm store" Exmark dealer that is 5 miles away. I feel like I get better service from the mom & pop store.

Well the one time they (mom & pop) told me 5 weeks, I about blew a gasket. :blob2:

I told them I'll be OUT OF BUSINESS IN 5 WEEKS!So I called the MEGA STORE and was told if I bring it in Tuesday morning they'll have it for me Tuesday evening. So I took it in MONDAY evening. Tuesday night I call. NO REPLY. Weds morning I call - "they are going to look at it today." Thursday I call, "still don't have it done." FRIDAY NOON they call me, "well service man has looked at it and it will be $300 & will be ready tonite." I go and pick it up and it is $400. I raise hell with them over that and they knock $50 off the price. Well, now I'm NEVER going back to the MEGA STORE because: 1) THEY LIED to me about having it TUESDAY to get me in the door. NO WAY they even looked at it before FRIDAY. 2) THEY SCREWED ME on price!

So now I'm looking for a new dealer that can get me parts/my machine fixed on a reasonable time frame (1 or 2 days).

ANYONE ELSE have similar treatment? Or am I the only one?:eek:

Mike

HOOLIE
07-22-2004, 11:56 PM
Dropped my Shindaiwa trimmer off on March 3 for service. Got to the point last year where it was getting real hard to start. Anyway, I was told 2 weeks. No biggie at that point. By the end of March, I'm like, I need it back, the grass is starting to grow. Finally, I just asked them "Should I just buy another one or will it be ready by Monday?" The dealer said "Well...it never hurts to have a backup"

But its like that at all 3 dealers I've used. They get backed up, mechanics quit, and you are screwed.

Envy Lawn Service
07-23-2004, 01:46 AM
You are not alone my friend. EVERY SINGLE ONE around here I have had dealings with are the EXACT SAME WAY! Even CARSWELL DSITRIBUTING's shop.... bad... The rest probably are too, that way there is no shop competition.

I know the other shop SUCKERED you in and then SCREWED you. But altleast they were willing to take you in even though you didn't buy it from them. Around here they won't do that much.

Most of these shops around here are backed up with repairing their non-warranty homeowner machines. That's where the money is for them. Don't be fooled, in areas like ours, the commercial guy is the enemy. Dealers hate us, end of story.

Here there are only 2 commercial mower ONLY dealerships and 1 who is a tractor dealer that sells commercial mowers. The rest are in the homeowner market.

Must be nice to live where some of these other guys do and have "class act" dealers to do business with like they describe.

GaryR
07-23-2004, 06:56 AM
I had the opposite response from my toro dealer, the tensioner spring broke on the belt sys for hydro while mowing.I rang the dealer at 10am he sent his mechanic to get a new spring from toro and then to me at the work site and had me cutting again by 11.45am. The job site was 20klms from his shop . The service he provides is EXCELLENT

John Gamba
07-23-2004, 07:08 AM
I had the same thing happen with my EXMARK dealer. Dealers just SUCK.

John

Tharrell
07-23-2004, 08:25 AM
Not true here, Bill bends over backwards for his commercial guys. By the way, I've actually been to the Carswell shop. They do some retail repairs but, mostly they support their dealer network. It's like any business, during the season they get hard pressed. Unless something is in stock, there's going to be a wait. I had to wait a long time for a battery box for my Bob-Cat because it's not normally a stocked item and I was told they manufacture enough to put mowers together and that's about it. Brakes, castors, other parts that are expected to wear are in supply, normally. Also, it depends on who you talk to at some shops. Sometimes counter help doesn't have the owners best interests at heart.

LwnmwrMan22
07-23-2004, 08:37 AM
For starters, I've got a backup for everything, not just a backup 36 wb for my 60" ZTR, but another 60" ZTR. With that said, there's still days where both break down. Or one is in the shop, and then another one breaks for some reason or other.

If I get to that point, the dealer either lets me take a new mower they've got sitting around, or takes parts off the new more and puts them on my mower, so I can be working again within the hour.

I suppose I could be a dink and insist they do that when I bring the first mower in, but they get parts shipped in overnight, and I've got my mower back within 2 days anyways.

naturescape
07-23-2004, 08:43 AM
I had a problem with service at a small independent ExM dealer. I threatened to call Exmark and tell them what was happening. Next thing I know, they are fixing the machine. I should have called ExM anyway, but wanted to stay true to my word.

Gravely_Man
07-23-2004, 10:17 AM
Dealer support should be one of the biggest issues before you buy any piece of equipment!!! When you are down and donít have a back up the money isnít coming in. This dealer support issue has forced me to learn how to repair a lot of stuff not just to save money but so that my front line machine will be back up and running in a reasonable timeframe.

Gravely_Man

Avery
07-23-2004, 11:26 AM
Used to have major problems. Dealer would keep my machines for weeks and not offer a loaner. Switched brands and have had nothing but good service since.

MaineDTD
07-23-2004, 02:37 PM
The dealer should be offering some type of loaner if you just recently purchased the unit in your warranty period. That is what separtes your serious dealers from the order takers. At my dealer, they take the time to put your picture up on the wall next to you purchased machine, makes you feel like your just not a customer, but a new part of the family. Someone has issues, they go right to JD, there dedicated LCE mechanic. He knows you by a first name basis, usually can figure out the problem within an hour, and if not he is tracking you down a loaner. So in a nut shell, not all dealers "SUCK".

MaineDTD

mag360
07-23-2004, 02:43 PM
We have a loaner system set up with my #1 dealer---if he's got my mower for more than 24 hrs, I get one of his until mine is ready to go.

specialtylc
07-23-2004, 09:30 PM
Better learn to fix the stuff your self . I gave up on dealers fixing stuff in a timely manner years ago.

CamLand
07-23-2004, 09:31 PM
Originally posted by specialtylc
Better learn to fix the stuff your self . I gave up on dealers fixing stuff in a timely manner years ago.

very true,unless equipment is still under warranty...

Eric 1
07-23-2004, 09:40 PM
Haven't had a problem.......YET...............

If my chopper brakes,(which it hasn't yet, knock on wood) i get a loaner all the other stuff i have backups for.

HayBay
07-23-2004, 09:43 PM
I know there are several dealers on this site, in cognito.

They will tell you the advantages to using a dealer.
I prefer to fix things myself and pray it isn't a warranty issue, because I know what to expect from them. Backup equipment
is expensive but important if you want to be reliable to your customers. I can't count on 1 dealer I have been to in this area.

I know my customers can count on me. That is part of the reputation.

SouthernFried
07-23-2004, 10:37 PM
I bought my first commercial mower, a Gravely 36" WB, from Menco Distributing in San Antonio. Everyone said they were the best.

If I had a problem, I would drive down...unload the mower...and wait around till they fixed it...and go on.

I thought this was normal.

15 yrs later I decided to buy a new Gravely from a dealer that started selling Gravely's (Gravely was bought out, and a lot of things changed..including dealerships). It was cheaper at this new dealer, and I just wanted a change I guess.

Bad mistake. First time I had to get something fixed...it took a week. This was a total surprise to me. I knew residential people waited forever, but, I always thought commercial dealers got equipment out right away for Commerical mowers. The other dealer did. I had no idea how spoiled I was with MENCO.

I feel guilty I ever took business away from such a great dealership...how rare they are.

In this business...Dealerships can make or break you.

Envy Lawn Service
07-23-2004, 11:38 PM
Originally posted by specialtylc
Better learn to fix the stuff your self . I gave up on dealers fixing stuff in a timely manner years ago.
Originally posted by CamLand
very true,unless equipment is still under warranty...
Heck, it seems to me that if you are still under warranty the situation is worse. Reason being is MFG's set reasonable labor hours/charges for warranty work which varies depending on the issue. So basically they can't stick it to them so they would rather avoid it and do non-warranty work....

Envy Lawn Service
07-23-2004, 11:42 PM
Originally posted by MaineDTD
The dealer should be offering some type of loaner if you just recently purchased the unit in your warranty period. That is what separtes your serious dealers from the order takers. At my dealer, they take the time to put your picture up on the wall next to you purchased machine, makes you feel like your just not a customer, but a new part of the family. Someone has issues, they go right to JD, there dedicated LCE mechanic. He knows you by a first name basis, usually can figure out the problem within an hour, and if not he is tracking you down a loaner. So in a nut shell, not all dealers "SUCK".

MaineDTD
I never said all dealers "SUCK"! What I did say was...
Originally posted by Envy Lawn Service
You are not alone my friend. EVERY SINGLE ONE around here I have had dealings with are the EXACT SAME WAY! Even CARSWELL DSITRIBUTING's shop.... bad... The rest probably are too, that way there is no shop competition.

Must be nice to live where some of these other guys do and have "class act" dealers to do business with like they describe.
....Again, it must be nice....

Jimmyed
07-24-2004, 12:01 AM
You guys need to bring stuff to our shop then, I work on 20+ pieces a day durring the summer, Farthest we have been backed up to work on something is drop it off on monday and look at it tuesday. if we have to order parts, 99% are next day. If backordered we have them drop ship next day from the factory.

I hate having equipment sitting around. I did have to wait 2 weeks for a kohler head a few weeks ago though.

I had it installed 1 hour after i got it in and the piece of equipment was out the door.

SouthernFried
07-24-2004, 12:09 AM
What's it cost to fed-ex an old Gravely to Indiana?

Envy Lawn Service
07-24-2004, 02:20 AM
Originally posted by Tharrell
Not true here, Bill bends over backwards for his commercial guys. By the way, I've actually been to the Carswell shop. They do some retail repairs but, mostly they support their dealer network. It's like any business, during the season they get hard pressed. Unless something is in stock, there's going to be a wait. I had to wait a long time for a battery box for my Bob-Cat because it's not normally a stocked item and I was told they manufacture enough to put mowers together and that's about it. Brakes, castors, other parts that are expected to wear are in supply, normally. Also, it depends on who you talk to at some shops. Sometimes counter help doesn't have the owners best interests at heart.
Sounds like you have a good dealer over there. As far as Carswell Distributing goes, their shop looked more like an uncrate/final assembly line than anything else to me. Yeah. i've been there too and that's an experience I won't soon forget. Heck I won't soon forget the whole customer experience.

Maybe someday when I have nothing any better to waste my time on, perhaps I will share the details.

John Gamba
07-24-2004, 07:43 AM
Originally posted by CamLand
very true,unless equipment is still under warranty...

My mower was under warranty and i still got screwed. I fixed it my self like i told exmark i would.
John

Tharrell
07-24-2004, 10:56 AM
Envy, that's exactly what it's supposed to look like. They're a distributor not a dealer. They usually ship mowers crated up. The warehouse is wild, crated commercial mowers for as far as you can see stacked 5 high. Sometimes, you can pick up mowers preassembled like the 31hp Bunton I delivered last year, that thing is a HOSS! Sometimes they deliver them to dealers preassembled too.

CamLand
07-24-2004, 11:50 AM
any machine that has to go in for warranty work is backed by a loaner for length of repairs at the shop i deal with.i've never (knock on wood) have had any problems with service...