My dealer wouldn't let me talk to the mechanic

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Royalslover, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. Royalslover

    Royalslover LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    I called my dealer the other morning to ask one of the mechanics a quick question. The owner wouldn't let me because they don't get paid to talk on the phone. Do a lot of dealers have this policy? I guess when I need a new mower I will be finding a new dealer. If any of you guys are from Kansas City do you hate Smitty's as much as I do?
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Well, they SHOULD have SOMEone there that could answer your question. Even some sort of service manager, or something.
  3. Steve1

    Steve1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    Hmmm.... well, I've got to kind of side with the dealer on this one - to a degree.

    I can understand that time is money and mechanics are paid by the hour for their knowledge and abilities so to take them away from paying jobs to answer phone calls (and I'm sure yours wasn't the first or last one they've ever received or will receive) would, over a period of time, cost the dealership lost income. Lost time is unproductive time.

    However, the dealer could have just as easily taken your question down and asked a mechanic if he was so inclined, then you could have called back later to get the info.

    You didn't really say what your question was - was it something like "What's the torque spec for a whizmo bolt?" or something that would have required more time, such as "How do I remove everything to get to my broken whizmo bolt?"

    I hope you can understand where I'm coming from. I used to manage a large farm implement dealership and if I would have allowed the mechanics to answer phone calls everytime Joe Farmer called in wanting to know how to do this or that, I wouldn't have needed a shop. And the bottom line is that - for most dealerships - the shop and parts are what makes the MOST money.

    So, while the dealer could and should have handled it better, I really don't think he's out of line to refuse to bring a mechanic to the phone to answer your question. Perhaps you could have called back at lunch time or something like that?

    And even then, I bet the mechanic wouldn't want to take away from HIS personal time just to answer questions, much like a professional cutter doesn't want to have to get off of his machine to go answer John Doe's "What is this weed and how do I kill it?" question either.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    The sales guy I like to deal with is pretty knowledgeable about most aspects of the equipment. If he can't figure something out he has me stop by and he grabs a mechanic to look at it real quick. Never charges me anything, because, as he says, one day I'll need to drop 30 grand on new equipment in a hurry and I'll remember who my buddy is.

    Maybe shop around for a new dealer, if there are several in your area.
  5. grasssin

    grasssin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    Same here Hoolie, my dealer is VERY knowledgable about all aspects of Exmarks and the competition. Whenever I have a question about something I need or a problem I have he has the answer.

    The owner might have been having a bad day and did not want to "waste" his time answering a phone call. Or as it sounds by your inquiry, he could care less. I have dealt with this type of dealer in Birmingham, by a dealer name Advanced Mower, and they are awful. Over charge everything even info, and my answer to that was to go somewhere else with my money.
  6. Sooners

    Sooners LawnSite Member
    Messages: 190

    I heard a salesman tell someone that same thing over the phone last week. I guess they would rather you bring it in for repair than to give out free advice.
  7. MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC

    MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 840

    Hmmm, maybe they are feeling a little insecure about the equipment they sell. Afraid that maybe the mechanic might shed a little light on common problems they find with certain machines.
  8. Steve1

    Steve1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    It's always a balancing act for the shop manager or store owner. On one hand, you can torque off a customer or even a potential customer by flatly saying "No" but at the same time, you can lose money by saying "Yes".

    The best way is to take a message or have the customer talk to a service manager. But to not offer ANY sort of assistance to the customer or even a suggestion is most likely going to shoot the dealer in his big toe.

    There needs to be balance there on both sides of the desk. :D
  9. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    My dealer has me go to the shop guys every time, I can spend as long as I want there. Granted I've bought $75,000 + worth of equipment from them in the last 3 years :)
  10. Droffaws

    Droffaws LawnSite Member
    from KCMO
    Messages: 63


    I'm from KC, but have never dealt with Smitty's. What's happend to the Royals this year, I was pumped before the season started, but it seems like the same ole royals rut. Just waiting for the Chiefs to get going.

    Also, I'm just getting started and was curious an avg. price to consider when doing residental work. I don't want to low ball it, but I don't want to be way to high either. Any help would be great.

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