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2010 Outback 2.5i Premium; 1999 Legacy L Sedan
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here's a letter I wrote into Bennett Motors after they inquired about some poor service I received a few years ago:

"Hi David,


Thanks for the e-mail. My fiance and I have a 1999 Subaru Legacy sedan and a 2003 Subaru Outback wagon. I've had my '99 since 2004 and despite a few minor repairs, it's been a great little vehicle. In 2010, I brought it to Bennett regarding a key/ignition issue (key would sporadically not turn ignition). I paid the $80 or whatever it was to "diagnose" the issue. I was told my key and ignition just needed to be cleaned and that would solve the problem. I discussed with my service agent the fact that I didn't have the time or money to play a guessing game, as I was pretty sure that sounded like a BS solution, but she assured me all my problems would be solved. After that did NOT work, I was told I needed a whole new key made. I went ahead and had that done, only to find it still did not solve my issue. I ended up purchasing an entirely different ignition assembly (used) from Spaulding Auto Parts in Spokane on my own. My problem was finally solved, no thanks to Bennett Motors. And I was still charged the diagnostic fee, not only for my ignition issue but I had also asked to have my heads checked for burning a little oil. Because those repairs would've cost me more than my vehicle was worth, I opted out (new cam seal or something like that). But I ended up paying about $160 in total to Bennett Motors for absolutely nothing and decided to get out before I could rack up any more bogus charges. I also noticed a factory recall was done, at no charge to me of course, but it was one that had already been completed by a dealer in Spokane. I'm sure Bennett got a nice check from Subaru for performing work that had already been done. I was never informed of the service, except after seeing my final bill.

In addition to that portion of the fiasco, I told my service agent that my odometer had been replaced and the original mileage was posted on the inner driver door. I remember clarifying this because the current odometer reading was only about 30k, which was ridiculous for a '99. I was called NUMEROUS times during the work day, and even had to leave my office on several occasions for someone to come and take pictures of the original odometer on my car after my "service" was completed. They even had the nerve to ask me to bring it in during my work hours so they could take some pictures. Apparently someone forgot to include all this in the paperwork and it became an enormous hassle for ME at WORK while the guys at Bennett tried to cover their butts for not having the real odometer reading.

Also at that time, I had recently landed a great job with Cascade County and was seriously considering trading off my '99 Legacy for a newer Outback H6 sedan model. I discussed some options with one of the sales guys, and asked him to give me a detailed trade-in value of my Legacy while it was in the shop. I finally called him back after not hearing anything, and his answer was that it could be anywhere around $2,000 - $3,000. Obviously not the detailed quote I was looking for, and it was apparent to me that he'd given it no time or thought - and possibly hadn't even looked at my car. Needless to say, I did not pursue a trade-in at Bennett Motors.

Later that year, my CHECK ENGINE light came on, so I pulled into Bennett to have the code read. I was told I would have to pay the $80 diagnostic fee so they could really "understand" the issue. I decided to go elsewhere and have my code read for free.

My fiance and I have repeatedly checked pricing on miscellaneous parts for our '99 and '03 Subarus, only to find that the parts were never in stock and subject to additional shipping/handling/special order fees, on top of a price higher than what other dealerships had offered. We've been looking seriously into trading off our two Subarus for a 2010 or newer Outback wagon, possibly a 2012 or 2013, before or shortly after our marriage (Oct. 5th). However, we've been thoroughly disappointed in all aspects of customer service at Bennett, from parts to service to sales.

Since my first Subaru in high school, I have felt like a valued and loyal member of the Subaru family. When I pull into a Subaru dealership with my Legacy, I feel proud and like I'm part of "the club." The only kind of treatment I've ever been given from members of Bennett Subaru was dishonest, greedy and apathetic. You're obviously in the business of making money, which is no crime of course, but treat your loyal Subaru fans fairly and with dignity and respect. I know I don't get to have everything for free, just because I own a Subaru, but I should feel like I'm getting preferential treatment - not like I'm being thrown to the dogs. I want to walk into a Subaru dealership, as an owner for over ten years, and feel special. That should be the duty of every car dealership. I'm only 26 years old and see many more Subarus in my future. I hope you can "learn" from my experiences at Bennett Motors. Thank you."
 

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Laura,

I’m sorry that your experience didn’t match expectations. Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your sales, parts, and service experiences. I want each and every customer treated with honesty and respect. I and my staff take your concerns seriously.
</O:p
From the discussions that we had, both the General Sales Manager and I discovered areas to improve. In the past two years, we’ve refocused our mission and made significant changes to our sales force.

Our parts department confirmed that we base our prices on Subaru suggested list prices. We’ve found these prices are in line with other dealers. Both aftermarket and recycled parts do sell for less. As we represent Subaru, we offer only OEM parts.

I and the Service Manager reviewed the services performed. Because of the indication of oil leaking, smoking and a smell of burning oil, a diagnostic ($69.95) was used to identify any problems. Due to the driving experience described, the technician used his diagnostic time to clean the engine. He removed the front cover in order to pinpoint any leaks. He found multiple items leaking. The ignition system was inspected. He cleaned and lubed the ignition, ($40) and the worn key was recut ($8.50). If this repair didn’t correct the ignition difficulties, the technician noted the ignition cylinder would be suspect. The total charges for this visit were $118.45. The open recall work was scheduled, parts ordered and that work was completed two weeks later.

We consider it a privilege to serve our customers and represent Subaru.

Respectfully,
</O:p
Cari Yturri, Owner
 

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2010 Outback 2.5i Premium; 1999 Legacy L Sedan
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Discussion Starter #3
We appreciated your feedback Cari, and I was pleasantly surprised by the lengths members of your business have gone to remedy the situation. We plan to consider giving Bennett Motors another chance thanks to your continued efforts to gain us back as valued customers.
 
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