Recently I was having car problems. My car is in good working condition, I ALWAYS take it for the regular service maintenance and it is not that old nor does it have a lot of mileage.
Ever since I've had the car, I've taken it to the dealership to be serviced (yes I can hear you now with the disappointed "ooooooh") but I'll tell you why. Like most women, I want security. I didn't have my own mechanic and after all the horror stories I'd heard I just didn't want to be bothered. I liked the comfort in going to the dealership; knowing they'd have the parts, the fast turn-around time, all that. Yes I was aware that I would pay more but I'd rather pay and have the work completed, than having shoddy work done and paying more in the long run for the same repair.
However, a friend of mine put me on to something I did NOT know: the service people work on commission!! WHAT??? Not just the sales people, note I said SERVICE.
No wonder they were always so glad to see me! They saw a SUCKA walking through their doors (fully equipped with coffee and donuts I might add when they had "major" work to do on my car); no wonder the Customer Service was always so top of the line and I was "VIP".
In their defense they ARE a great group of people and like I said I was aware that I would pay more, but hindsight is 20/20.
I thought of all the times my car needed repairs, what was necessary and what wasn't and how much MORE $$ did I simply give them all this time?
During the convo with my friend, I began to feel like I'd been getting screwed without getting kissed first. (She actually said they "are RAPING you Mandy!!" and just the thought of that alone made me nauseous.) I might as well had walked in with a wad of cash and said "here take this...oh and while you're having your way with me, here's some coffee and donuts too...have a great day!"
So I started to think and I actually KNOW a very trust-worthy auto-shop where I can take my car. (It's amazing how you get the answers when you ask the Universe :) That abruptly ended the sordid affair with my dealership (at least for repairs). Who's to say I might not buy another car from them in the future?
The moral of the story ladies is be aware. It IS a little sexist to say that they prey on us women because we don't know much about cars but sometimes sadly they do. Their reactions ARE different sometimes when dealing with men. Again sad but true. (Note: Not all "prey on women" so don't jump down my throat, and not all women are clueless about cars).
Do your research! Get referrals, do price checks to see if what you're being charged is in the ball park of what you should actually be paying. Take control.
We always have options.
(I'd be happy to recommend mine as well. If you're interested, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org)