I booked my Charger Hellcat in for it’s 12 month service as a first time customer of this dealership yesterday, Jan 28th. When I dropped it off I asked if they did a courtesy wash and whether that was an automated one. They said yes it was so I asked them to please skip the wash (I have ceramic coating and do not EVER take the vehicle through an automated “scrape-n-wash”). I was told that the service would be about $1000… for a 12 month service and State Inspection. Nothing else. The services they were to perform included a Wheel Alignment, Fuel Injector Clean and Service, Throttle Body Decarb service and Rear Diff Service. I told the service tech, Cynthia, that most of that felt unnecessary at 12 months and 9500 miles and asked her if this was required maintenance by the manufacturer. She said yes absolutely and pointed me to a web page that had these services listed as required. The page had, “Northwest Dodge, Chrysler Jeep” at the top of the page. She highlighted the, “Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep” part and said, “see, this came direct from the manufacturer!”. This is my first Dodge vehicle so I figured maybe it’s some special requirement for these high performance engines, left my key and went home. When I got home I looked at the manual and of course, none of the services listed above are on the service schedule.
I contacted Cynthia and explained that I can see the service schedule and it doesn’t include any of the extra services she told me were required. She said she was sorry she didn’t realize I only wanted the factory service items done (even though she had specifically highlighted the page and told these services were factory required) and that they were almost done with the car and the services were complete so they couldn’t stop it. This was around 30 minutes after I dropped the vehicle off. She said she’d talk to the service manager and see what they could do.
I got a phone call from the Service Manager, Kara, who’s line was essentially that the page the service agent showed me was provided to them by Dodge so they ARE factory required services and that if I wanted the factory service as listed in the owners handbook I should have bought the book in given to them as a guide. She also said that the service schedule in the owner’s handbook is, “just a rough guide for owners, not an accurate list of required service items”. She said she’d knock something off for the inconvenience but that was it (bought it down from about $1000 to about $800).
I have spoken to several people who know much more about this vehicle than me since the service (including a 28 year Dodge tech) who all agreed that none of the services should have been added as given. The alignment should have been added after a test drive if needed, along with MAYBE the diff service (but again, only after checking and finding it’s needed as most vehicles at that mileage won’t need the service). They all agreed the Fuel injector service and Decarb were a complete waste of money at that mileage.
I got the message that my vehicle was ready for pick up approximately 5 hours after I dropped it off… so one question is, if most of the services I didn’t want were already completed when I called the service advisor 30 minutes after dropping it off, what did they do with it for the other 4.5 hours?
As final kick in the face, I got a message that my car was in the wash and would be ready soon. I replied and told them I specifically asked them NOT to wash it and was told, “I had them hand wash it since there were a few handprints on it after your services” (this is verbatim from Cynthia). They of course didn’t notice I have a dash cam installed in my vehicle and of course when I checked, there was no hand wash, it was put through the automated wash exactly like they said they would not do.
I give them 2 stars instead of one because as far as I know they did perform the services I paid for, and the service advisor was always friendly and courteous, if not honest. But that’s all the positive I can say about them.
UPDATE 2/11/21: I was contacted by Lonnie Gipson, the GM of the dealership, to discuss my experience. He agreed that I should not have been sold anything other than an oil change, state inspection and wheel alignment. I should certainly not have been sold a wheel rotation since I have different sized tires from the factory so there could be no rotation. He did say that the webpage the service advisor showed me was part of software provided to them by the manufacturer, but the service advisor should have known that with my mileage she shouldn’t have offered those services.
He offered to refund me for the unneeded services, so I met with him to pick up a check. The check was for about 60% of the extra I paid, so I e-mailed him again and he issued another check for the remainder. At all times Lonnie was polite, understanding and easy to work with. Although I had to go back to him to get the rest of the money, he was happy to refund me without a fight or a lot of work on my part.
I appreciate Lonnie’s response, although I don’t feel I could trust the people I’d work with day to day well enough to go back to Northwest Dodge (if my interaction with the service manager, Kara, had been like my interaction with Lonnie, I could have put it down to an inexperienced mistake by the service advisor, but I had to post reviews to get a good response).
In short, I have now only paid for the services I should have paid for originally and I appreciate that very much.