Additive ripoff at the Toyota dealership

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 14:18
ThreadID: 43767 Views:2398 Replies:9 FollowUps:7
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AAAArrrgggg it makes my blood boil.

At work we run a small fleet of Corolla Station wagons, these are used by our female sales managers all over the country and serviced at the closest Toyota Dealer.

Just had the invoice for a 30.000klm service on one of these which was paid by the driver and she had sent this in for re-imbursement. (our normal practice)

To my surprise it included $94.60 for Injector service $32.20 Injector clean kit and $9.00 for Oil system cleaner.
I’m not as green as I’m frog looking, so here follows the conversation with the Service manager at the Toyota dealership.

GT I’m querying some items on Invoice XYZ

SM Oh they are an Injector clean service and Oil system clean.

GT are they a Toyota specified service item?

SM Well…….not exactly.

GT What do you mean?

SM Well we just recommend it to our customer because it’s very good.

GT So it’s a Wynns type additive.

SM Well……yes.

GT Is it not standard practice with corporate fleet cars not to add these items.

SM Well…….yes usually. But we had the driver authorise these items.

GT So you have that in writing with a signature then.

SM Probably

GT So I’ll take that as a No then. So can you please arrange a refund to be sent out then.

SM Oh we can’t do that it’s not our policy

GT That’s OK. I’ll take it up with Toyota directly.

SM Could you just hold for a moment.

SM (After a couple of seconds) Where would you like the cheque sent.

A couple of little known facts here:
Additive companies aggressively market their product through dealerships they have all sorts of incentives to encourage use by the service staff. We’re talking everything from electrical goods, tools, to trips etc etc. depending on how much is sold.
They also have a deal where if a customer complains about it they will re-imburse the dealership, no questions asked.

So the moral is check what you sign when you drop the car off, check the invoice and if anything is not book service don’t pay. You’ll get no argument if you follow the script above.

I’m not moaning about additives as such, if someone wants to use them, fine.
It’s the underhanded way it’s done that I object to.

Dealers will not normal try this with fleet cars, but I’m sure they thought they could get away with it because it was a woman and she was actually paying the invoice.
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Reply By: Tony - Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 14:36

Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 14:36
Well done. I'm sure they will get the next service right.
AnswerID: 230462

Follow Up By: ooze - Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 15:23

Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 15:23
I doubt they'd get the chance.
FollowupID: 491286

Reply By: Wizard1 - Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 15:55

Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 15:55
I too have the same "upsize me" offers when I drop mine into the local Toyota for service. But they ask if you want it and you can refuse. So perhaps the service department aren't completely to blame. It would be a little underhanded of them to do it without first asking don't you think.

Another tip regarding problems with local service and dealerships, Toyota Australia don't care, it between the customer and the dealership as they are a franchise. Had a service problem a few years back and discovered Toyota Australia could give a rats...

I've found most dealerships will lean toward the customer to keep your business. But at the same time I also give praise for jobs well done and have had returns on that to.
AnswerID: 230466

Follow Up By: GoneTroppo Member (FNQ) - Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 16:10

Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 16:10
With additives, manufacturers do get involved as it opens a potential can of worms re waranties.

Officially they do not suppport the use of additives as they would otherwise include them in the service specs. Unofficially they all know it goes on. One of those grey areas

The point is that the dealer will get rapt over the knuckles if the customer can't get the dealer to retract the charge and it involves additives.
FollowupID: 491296

Reply By: Carl & Kaz - Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 16:38

Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 16:38
Well done GT! My other pet hate is the 'shop supplies' or 'workshop supplies' charge - sometimes as much as $8-10 for nothing. I always ask for a quote on standard service work prior to delivering the car - if the invoice is for more they do not get paid!

AnswerID: 230473

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Nullagine) - Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 18:13

Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 18:13
My Misuus gets hers done at kalamunda Toyota. they tell you how much the bill will be before you drop it off, None of that crap
FollowupID: 491333

Follow Up By: nowimnumberone - Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 18:42

Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 18:42
the only problem i find with quoting customers for a service is you give them a quote then you realise after you started the service it needs wiper blades-air filter ect so we try and tell them it will be about $$$$$ plus any extras we come across but we will phone you first.
also on every service we add fuel addative( bilstein ) $7.50
and a consumable charge of $5.50 to cover things like rags-washer fluid-terminal protector-door lock/hinge lube-grease top up brake fluid-top up power steering fluid- missing bolts-interior light globes-armourall for dash-job cards-service stickers and so on
FollowupID: 491335

Follow Up By: Member - Howard (ACT) - Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 21:42

Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 21:42
I have no problems with workshops charging for workshop consumables / additives and other bleep as long as their hourly rate is the award/wage paid to spanner. ie 25-30 bucks an hour apprentices excepted.
the reason we get socked $80 -100 an hour is to cover these costs of business ie tools . roof over workshop etc. trouble is the service centre want it both ways
I was similarly peeved off the other day when a plumber charged me hire on a
snake, its something I would consider a tool of trade and thats why I got hit up for a callout fee and a grossly excessive $ 80 per hour tradesman rate. The hourly rate the next day to get a mini excavator and 2 blokes to dig up and replace pipes
everyone is trying to outdo the lawyers. $200 and hour and they still charge for local telephone calls and stamps.
nowonder the country is going downhill.

Resigned to Retirement

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FollowupID: 491372

Reply By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 17:39

Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 17:39
I like my local guy. I have used him since he started up 6 years ago and have no any complaints. He is honest, happy to yarn about cars and will always look for a cheaper way of fixing a problem while still delivering a quality job. He has also looked after an urgent job that had to be done before we left for a weekend trip.

A typical conversation picking up the Heritage Listed Paj would be:

Tony: She is still oozing a little from both pinion seals. Nothing to worry about anytime soon but you might see little oil there. Also the back brakes will need to be done next time in.

Me: Thanks mate, see you in3 months.

Tony also sourced some after market free wheel hubs when the RH front one failed - he replaced both sides for half the cost of one Mitsi original part.

The previous mob who serviced it were of "the right hand auxiliary flux capacitor was 65 degrees off spec so we replaced it and that will be another $1,000 more than we told you" type.


Any mug can be uncomfortable out bush

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AnswerID: 230489

Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 23:16

Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 23:16
We have got one of those mechanics, it's great to see that there is more than one around.



Simba, our much missed baby.

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FollowupID: 491380

Reply By: donks1 - Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 18:03

Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 18:03
hi gt

without KNOWING which dealer you have dealt with, i would be pretty safe in betting tha a phone call would have been made to your employee asking them if the addatives were wanted. your employee obviously said yes. the phone call always comes after the car is dropped off, usually made by an employee of the addative company.

also most of these addatives do more harm than good..
if you have a few moments and dollars to spare, go and buy 3 or 4 of the top brand fuel adds, pour a bit into a metal spoon and heat. you will be suprised at the amount of carbon they PRODUCE.

we actually had a bad batch of efi treatment once, end result was 36 cars didn't make it home.......that was chaos

AnswerID: 230493

Reply By: Max - Sydney - Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 19:39

Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 19:39
Its annoying that they treat women as mugs - this dealer obviously did not see the company structure behind the woman who brought the car in. The trade in general regularly gives them the "you need a left hand invert outvert so we put it in" line and charges like a wounded bull.

My missus in the days when she took cars in always asked them for the old parts they had replaced. That slows them down a bit.

AnswerID: 230510

Reply By: Brian T (VIC) - Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 19:41

Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 19:41
Well, arn't I glad I read this just after getting my thing serviced today.
Fortunately it was only an oil change service on a turbo diesel, but geez I'm glad the boss is paying the $250 Mitsubishi charged us.....
AnswerID: 230511

Reply By: Member No 1- Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 20:44

Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 at 20:44
you were too polite GT!
AnswerID: 230533

Reply By: jond - Friday, Mar 30, 2007 at 09:19

Friday, Mar 30, 2007 at 09:19
i work at a toyota dealership and the service manager refuses to upsell the additives like wynns. He has been here 25 years and likes to be able to look customers in the eye.
AnswerID: 230595

Follow Up By: GoneTroppo Member (FNQ) - Friday, Mar 30, 2007 at 09:58

Friday, Mar 30, 2007 at 09:58
Good on him!!! That's great to hear, wish there were more like him that don't get sucked in by the freebees.
FollowupID: 491435

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