The Value of Offering Feedback When Asked

by Barry Moltz on May 26, 2010

I have owned a Lexus for 10 years.  It owes me nothing, but it is getting old and has to be repaired.

I purchased it from McGrath Lexus in Chicago.  I have written in BAM! about their great customer service. To be specific, they are an auto dealer that is high price and high value.

However, there has always been one thing that bugged me about their bills.  When McGrath Lexus sent me a follow up letter after our last service visit stating they want to be “truly outstanding” as a company, I had to call Andy (the customer service manager) and give him my two cents.

What has bothered me is that added to any bill, no matter how big or small is a $29 fee for Shop Supplies (I assume rags, lubricant, etc).  To me, this is a surcharge fee and I hate this.  They allocate their overhead to every customer service job and make that fixed cost of shop supplies variable.  It burns me when I see it since I am already paying top price for their services (which I have agreed to do).  What is preferable is to load that overhead into your labor or supplies cost.  Hide it!  I know I am paying for it somewhere and I don’t mind McGrath Lexus making a profit.  In fact, I expect them to make a profit so they can continue to offer their service!

This is an important part of small business since most of us just sulk about bad service or problems in silence.  To be a good customer, you need to tell them what you think…especially when asked.  Take the actions you would want your customers to take!

The happy ending is that I called Andy at McGrath Lexus.  He understood my predicament and gave me a credit for the shop supplies charge!

Are there surcharges that bug you?  Have you done anything about it?

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