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Is "Customer for Life" program bogus?

5917 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Arstechnica
I purchased my 2008 Scion used from Dick Hannah VW in Vancouver, WA, in February of this year. With their "Customer for Life" program, you get free car washes, free replacement tires, free rental cars (when in service, I suppose) but you have to have all of your services done there.

I called today as my xb just hit 20k and needs service. It's the basic service. They are not a scion dealer (but the Dick Hannah brand does have a scion outlet) and I could not get pricing on the service over the phone. Was told that I would have to bring it in, then they could tell me the cost. Uh, that doesn't sound like the best idea to me. So I look on the Dick Hannah Scion website and see that the Basic Service is $89.95. But another dealership has the same service for $49.95 and yet another for $39.95. I called to see why the service is so much more expensive and the Service Mgr. is supposed to call me back.

Here's the thing...the VW place where I bought this is not that convenient to me. I rarely get north of the river from Portland. Their scion dealership is even further away. Are the free tires really going to make it worth it to overpay for each scheduled service? How much do new tires run for a Scion anyway? This is their pricing. Even though it says 2006, it's really their current pricing.

Should I just forget this program? It seems like a bit of a ripoff.

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Just got a call back...apparently the service is $79.95, not $89.95.

Replace engine oil and oil filter
Rotate Tires
Visually inspect brake linings/drums and brake pads/discs
Inspect/Adjust the following
Ball joints and dust covers
Drive shaft boots
Steering linkage and boots
Drive shaft bolts
Nuts and bolts on chassis

$80 seems pretty expensive for this service. Replacement Goodyear P205/55R16 tires are $100 each at Discount Tire across the street from me.
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Yeah, I've decided to not do their program. I brought my xb to the tire place where I purchased my tires for my last car. My car has almost 20k miles and he told me I probably have about 10k miles left on them. The tires (factory stock Goodyears) are rated for 40k mile life and are $100/tire, about $450 installed. I can purchase Pirelli's for $113 each which are rated to last for 85k miles. The offsetting cost, along with the feeling that I will probably get strung along for other costs are leading me to do my regular maintenance somewhere else.

Thanks for the responses.
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