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Is "Customer for Life" program bogus?

5915 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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Full Disclosure: I am the internet marketing director, at dick hannah subaru.

The tires for life program requires only that you do the FACTORY required service. Not dealer recomended service.

Today, I took my WRX in for it's 15,000 mile checkup, and since my tires were down to 3/32nds, they replaced them, free of charge. If I had wanted to upgade, they would have just charged me the difference between the price of the tires I got, and the upgraded tire.
It sure is understandable to me why people don't trust dealers. Many fail to meet the min standards for being a human.

In most cases, a dealership will take any profit you allow them to. So make sure you do your research, and/or build a relationship with someone who will talk turkey with you.
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