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Warranty returns plague aftermarket industry


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Joe,

 

This is going to sound a bit harsh, but I don't know how else to say it. If you are buying parts from places like NAPA, CARQUEST, Advance or O'Reillys, then you have no right to complain about the problems they are causing you. You seem very knowledgeable about this business, so I find it very difficult to believe that you think that you can buy quality parts from these companies on a regular basis.

 

In one of your other posts you wrote:

 

We need to improve our image, hire the best people, adopt a culture of continuous training, speak to all customers as if they are best friends or family, inform them of needed future services, book the next service, sell preventive maintenance and deliver world-class customer service.

Most important; Create the customer experience so memorable, so enjoyable, so rewarding that when they leave your shop, they think to themselves…. “That was a great experience, I’m coming back.”

 

I would like to know how you do that when you use parts of questionable quality on a regular basis.

 

We purchase quality parts from reputable suppliers, and I can probably count on one hand how many problems we have this year with the parts we have installed.

 

Scott Folley

Edited by ScottSpec
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In our area we have no choice but these suppliers. We've got worldpac, but the shipping would easily move us to the most expensive shop in regards to parts. I refuse to support dealers who won't support us so Scott if you don't mind me asking - what options do we have?

 

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In our area we have no choice but these suppliers. We've got worldpac, but the shipping would easily move us to the most expensive shop in regards to parts. I refuse to support dealers who won't support us so Scott if you don't mind me asking - what options do we have?

 

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk

 

My first suggestion would be to buy and sell quality parts. I just finished talking to a customer who continually tells me how we are good but expensive. I asked him what was cheaper a steak dinner at his favorite restaurant or McDonald's. His response was McDonald's sucks. Maybe the market you are in won't support selling quality parts. I can certainly understand that. Even we are having a harder time convincing customers of the value in quality parts lately, but I would never sell inferior parts and consider and or represent them as a quality part. Also would not be surprise when the car came back because one of those parts failed.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by the dealer won't support you. The dealer is a business like yours. They sell you parts. What else are you expecting from them? We deal with several dealers every day and for the most part get great service and quality parts.

 

I hope this response does not come off the wrong way, but I have spent 25 years installing quality parts and selling value. It frustrates me when shop owners, coaches, and advisers give advise about how we need to take care of customers and give them a great experience, only to find out they don't even care enough about the customer and their safety to use quality parts. Some of these same people talk about how we have to change the way the public perceives us. That we need to get them to see us for the professionals we are. How is that going to happen when so many shop owners don't even care about the quality of the parts they are using?

 

 

Scott

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Scott,

NAPA, O'Reilly's, Advanced etc do have quality parts available. Some of these companies I will not buy from because they advertise a low cost part to the DIYer's and put a perception in the mind of many consumers as to what a starter/alternator etc might cost. We are a NAPA Auto Care and sell mostly their first line products, we back them with a 3 year, 36000 mile warranty. We have very few comebacks or warranty claims. If you want to purchase second or third line products - then good luck with an extended warranty. Having said that - there are some components that we will only source from the OE manufacturer- either dealer or the company that makes it for the dealer.

We do need to demand better quality, but the parts manufacturers and part dealers will have to be able to make money selling those parts.

Russ

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Scott,

NAPA, O'Reilly's, Advanced etc do have quality parts available. Some of these companies I will not buy from because they advertise a low cost part to the DIYer's and put a perception in the mind of many consumers as to what a starter/alternator etc might cost. We are a NAPA Auto Care and sell mostly their first line products, we back them with a 3 year, 36000 mile warranty. We have very few comebacks or warranty claims. If you want to purchase second or third line products - then good luck with an extended warranty. Having said that - there are some components that we will only source from the OE manufacturer- either dealer or the company that makes it for the dealer.

We do need to demand better quality, but the parts manufacturers and part dealers will have to be able to make money selling those parts.

Russ

Russ,

 

I'm sure that these companies have some quality parts available. However, a lot of the parts are not. If a shop is buying from these suppliers on a regular basis, then they should not be surprised when it bites them in the butt.

 

It sounds like you sell NAPA's first line products with confidence. However, it looks like you have done this only after determining which parts meet your quality standard and which ones don't. But more importantly, I'll bet you have have a big NAPA sign outside your shop so customers know what they are getting. The part that frustrates me is when people pass these parts off as something they are not.

 

Scott

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Didn't come off the wrong way at all. We're selling the top of the line parts from these sources and in some cases we only use dealer parts as well. My point is the local dealers here leave quite a bit to be desired, poor service employees have little or no training. Warranty claims are a real pain and they stock very few parts. Most of what we need is out of stock with 2 or 3 day wait times. We do have 2 good dealers one is a 1 hour drive and the other is in town. My point about them not supporting us is more in regards to getting the right parts and offering similar services as advance which delivers.

 

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Didn't come off the wrong way at all. We're selling the top of the line parts from these sources and in some cases we only use dealer parts as well. My point is the local dealers here leave quite a bit to be desired, poor service employees have little or no training. Warranty claims are a real pain and they stock very few parts. Most of what we need is out of stock with 2 or 3 day wait times. We do have 2 good dealers one is a 1 hour drive and the other is in town. My point about them not supporting us is more in regards to getting the right parts and offering similar services as advance which delivers.

 

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Thanks for the clarification on your dealer's service. When someone says the dealers don't support them, it usually means they expect something beyond good service from them. What I hear you saying now is you are tired of the very poor service you get from the dealer and I can see why you would not want to deal with them based on that. It sounds like your location creates a real challenge when it comes to purchasing parts. Not sure what can be done about that.

 

Scott

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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