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Top 4 Complaints About Motorcycle Dealerships

Discussion in 'Businesses and Service Providers' started by Mouth, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. In the retail business, we try to get it right and, I think, succeed most of the time. But, as they say, “stuff happens,” and we have been known to make our customers a little testy—sometimes for good reason and sometimes not. Here are the complaints I hear most often:

    The lack of follow-up from a salesperson. How many times have you inquired about a bike you see on a dealer’s online showroom only to be left waiting for a response? How about walking around on the showroom floor wondering if you’ve actually discovered the secret to being invisible? It can seem like all or nothing from the sales department when shopping for a motorcycle, and I know how frustrating this can be. Either we won’t leave you alone or we don’t pay any attention to you. We try to read the situation and be available in case you have questions but stay at a respectful distance if you’re just looking. But we can’t read minds. If you’re ready with your questions, please let us know! Oh, and not returning phone calls? I just don’t get that. No excuses.

    2// Service appointments and repairs are two weeks out. Hey, when I need something I need it now. Making an appointment to have your bike serviced or repaired can be a pain whether you roll in on your bike and wait on it or catch a ride to work and pick it up in the afternoon. Unfortunately, when riding season hits everyone has the same idea, so we get slammed doing routine maintenance as well as changing tires and batteries. The best solution? Schedule service during the off-season so that your bike is ready to go when spring arrives. Keep the bike on a battery charger and properly stored, and there’s no reason to have the service just before the riding season starts.

    3// The knowledge gap. Not every member of the sales staff has the specs and history of every bike down cold; some of us even have to look stuff up now and again. But I hear often from our customers that flat-out ignorance of the products—price, basic specs, availability of colors, and trim levels—is one of those hot topics. I expect that if you’re really serious about a certain bike that you’ll be well educated, and I’ll try my best to keep up. But doing business with a dealer whose staff is unknowledgeable—or, worse, assured but wrong—can be more frustrating than any deep discounts would offset.

    4// High prices. I know it can sometimes feel like the dealership—in particular the parts and accessories portions—is out to touch your wallet as often as you do. The truth is that we can’t compete with online retailers in terms of volume, so we can’t compete on price. But we can provide service, both before the sale (helping you get the right gear or the right parts) and after (in case you really don’t like what you bought). That’s what you’re paying for: service and access to immediate gratification. And don’t assume we can’t be flexible, especially if you’re a regular customer.

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  2. Mouth- Its great to hear some dealers actually care about their customers, I had a negative experience with my local dealer which i tried to form an ongoing relationship with when i bought my bike from them. I was basically ignored when i went in to look at the bike and demo it, i had to chase them down,the salesman seemed more content to talk to his mates than sell a bike to a cashed up customer,then when i went back to buy a slip on exhaust for the bike ( i already had 3 quotes in hand but wanted to support the locals) the parts guy hadn't heard of Akrapovic ( i had to show him the part number to enter into his computer) then wanted an extra 40% on top of the quotes i had,then he tried to disclaim the quotes i had which i responded they were all from genuine bike shops albeit online quotes and showed him the store names and quotes, i offered to do a deal and maybe let the dealer fit the exhaust on the first service free (after all it was only 4 bolts and a circlip ring) which after going out back to see their mechanic i was told would cost $300 as the had to do a tune on the bike (for a slip on exhaust...on a bike that has an O2 sensor) that's where they lost me forever, I understand they have to make money and i prefer to support locals, but to over inflate costs and flat out lie to me I walked away and they lost my custom forever.
    You make some good points there mouth and if you have a genuine bloke dealing with you,you can forgive them not being up with the play on every single bike, as long as they can find out the info or part, and i don't mind paying a little extra if you have an ongoing and good relationship with a dealer if that's what it cost him i understand they have to make a living aswell, good old fashioned service goes a long way and the dealership i had a bad experience with lost over $5000 in aftermarket sales from this plus all my future bike purchases - i'll travel all the way to sydney next time if i have to haha :)
    Just my 2cents.
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  3. I find this quite a bit - it can be really tough to get someone to assist you when at a dealership. It's even tougher to find someone who has knowledge of the product that they're selling.

    The bike shop that I go to now are brilliant however, always get welcomed at the front door by guys that are incredibly knowledgeable and eager to help. As a result I always buy my stuff from them. They are willing to negotiate on prices and come closer to online prices (albeit they generally cant meet it) which I'm very happy with because I prefer to support the local guys that support me.

    Hopefully dealers and shops will wisen up to the fact that in order to compete with online stores they need to offer better service and knowledge, as most people are happy to pay a higher price to people who deserve it.
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  4. Very happy with my local bike dealership - whilst I do my own services, I will get the bits and bobs I need from them rather than go somewhere else - the fact that they are literally around the corner from me also helps.
  5. Another is them trying to sell you something you don't want because its on the floor. Had this with the last 2 bikes - trying to get rid of stock insted of ordering what I wanted, I didn't care what deal was offered, I wanted what I wanted, not what they had in stock.
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  6. I find it hard to not come out of a bike dealership whether I've just enquired about a bike, bought a bike, bought some gear, booked a service, dropped off bike for service or picked bike up from service and have a feeling of just being sleazed and slimed over. It seems hard not to feel intimidated sometimes or foolish. I have been lucky to find a really good dealership with a great service department who will listen to me and ask questions and make me feel good about my time there, even the guy in the parts section with about 20kg of steel pierced through various body parts is great and doesn't treat me like an old f4rt :)
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  7. what are some of these dealers or shops? maybe if you had a good experience you could let others know where it is.... maybe we should not mention the bad ones since that could lead something nasty... i just got into the bike scene 2 weeks ago and have been online looking for workshop recommendation and parts and accessories stores. found a few online ones and some local ones too where i can go in and have a look at gear and parts. was just told about AMX in lynbrook so im heading out there tomorrow to check it out (one of the few places i can find that open on sundays)
  8. Brighton Bikes n Bits is the one that I speak of
  9. Trooper Lu's at Moorebank
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  10. AMX Lynbrook are very good bought a couple of helmets 2 pairs of gloves & a Ventura bag
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  11. I had a similar experience when I was looking to buy in 2014.

    I had more-or-less decided on one of the Honda CB500F/R/X models. I went into a dealer after work one day and said, 'G'day, I'm interested in buying a CB500 for my first motorcycle - not sure which one yet, can you help me?'.

    The fellow across the counter looked very hard at the accessory stock item he was holding and finally said 'We've got a couple down there (indicating the general direction by inclining his head to one side) and went back to staring with infinite interest at the item in his hands.

    I looked at him for a few seconds and then walked over to where an X and R model stood and had a sit on them before walking back to the counter where another older bloke was now talking to Interesting Accessory Man. They both paused and looked up but didn't say anything.

    'How much is the CB500X?' I said. 'Eighty-three hundred with top-box...' said the older bloke. 'Alright, as I said to your colleague I'm looking to buy one soon - I'm looking around at different bikes and the X looks about right...'. There was a long-ish pause as they both digested this information. 'Oh, right...'.

    I didn't really know what else to say at this point. 'This is the easiest f***in' cash sale you'll make this year and business must be good because you obviously can't be f***ed' is about what I wanted to say. I don't think I look like a tyre-kicker but maybe I have to face up to the fact that this is how I come across. I looked from one to the other and back again. 'Anyway, thanks for your help'.

    And that was how I came to buy a Yamaha instead. The local Yamaha dealer has been nothing but helpful and has gained most service, after-market and accessory sales from me as a result - and I didn't even buy the bike from them!
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  12. Went to Honda dealership on Tuesday, looked at Honda vfr800. No test ride available, salesman took my details and promised to organise a test ride. They have a number of dealerships.
    Friday rode a private bike with 1600kms and bought it.
    One week later still haven't heard from the salesman. He couldn't even find the key to show me the inside of the panniers.
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  13. You guys should try buying parts for a bike more than a couple of years old sometime.
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  14. To save you the heartache, it goes like this:

    "Hey, Local Honda Dealer, I'd like to spend some dollars on Genuine Honda Parts, can you help me?"
    'Sure, what do you need?'
    "Oh, just a left-hand mirror, and maybe a CCTL. Better make it two CCTLs, 'cause CBR, right? lol!"
    'LOL! Okay, I've ordered those for you, we'll phone you when they come in, should be here in two weeks'

    ** three weeks later **

    "Hey, just checking up on the order for the mirror and million CCTLs, all good?"
    'We've got no record of that, what do you need?'

    ** Repeat till you give up and order off the internet and Jie in China sorts all your parts out for you and replies to tell you that they'll actually send you an AU part because there's a difference between what you asked for and what you need, and then it all arrives in less than a week and costs a third of the price.

    ** Local Honda Dealer whinges about people buying things off the internet and not supporting local business.
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  15. and I thought "The Hills" reference meant you lived in Nepal.......
  16. I guess they've been closed and gone for 20 years, so I can name and describe all I want...

    In mid '79 I bought a fairly new KE 175 from Phil Drummond motorcycles in Kempsey, and in about April 1980 I followed up with a brand new GSX11.
    The care and after sales and what-not for the KE was mediocre. But what came with the GSX was incredible. I promise to tell the tale some night when I need typing practice, I will just summarise. I did give them good reason to think I was a bit of a fool. I was 17, and in many ways I was very foolish. But if you are trying to keep a customer and get more money out of him, it would be an idea to do pre delivery properly, to provide the free first service you agreed to on sale, and not to radiate your contempt and disregard to said customer, because he might make it a personal mission for the rest of his life to blacken your name. He might be a tool, and you might have very good reason to know that, but if you let him know that you think that, loudly and clearly, he will take significant offence.
  17. I had a great experience with *wait for it* Peter Stevens CBD (bike and gear) and Peter Stevens Dandenong (gear)

    ......I no rite?? :eek:
    I think everything's dependent on who you happen to deal with, not so much the store. Luck of the draw...
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  18. Could probably brain storm the topic & come up with another half dozen or so complaints most often heard, but having experienced similar outcomes, analysis & stats for 45 years in various fields of endeavour, it is evident the rot has well & truly set in.
    What shits me is the apathetic nature from all angles to ongoing blatant criminal behaviour (from both sides of the transaction)
    On the dodgy side:
    Think business plans, greed & WTF is a quality assurance statement. Schemes that put punters off the dole & into the workforce via hair-brained ideas. Work for the dole, & apprenticeship incentives, where your local pub, art gallery or motorcycle retailer/ workshop/ online forum administrator gets paid a shitload by the taxpayer who subsidizes the whole toxic platform, only to realize yet another scam where the business owner is able to hire & fire at will. Ironically, called a honeymoon clause in contracts.
    Negative gearing isn't mutually exclusive to the real estate industry either ; - shelf companies operate at a loss all the time.
    On the dickhead side:
    Time wasters, tyre kickers & professional idiots. Violence, be it mental or physical, is often involved. The inevitable liar who makes local "fair trading" or "civil & administrative tribunals" a mockery.

    So I ask you, what are the MouthMouth (s) of this world doing about it ? & whatever happened to the term "goodwill" in the commercial sector.
  19. Nah it means the Hollywood of the south eastern suburbs :LOL:
  20. Thanks for your perspective MouthMouth

    I think the RRP of a bike is fairly set; however, it's the extra add on bits I chase when making a purchase, however, I believe it's the following service that makes the difference as to whether, I'll keep coming back and/or recommend the shop to someone else.

    Over the years I've worked out which dealerships I will use and which ones I won't, considering that Im in a country area, this means a 1 to 3 hr trip to my favourites, i don't use a local dealership, due to poor parts on hand and the service department. I really hate putting a bike in for repair/service expecting to pick it up in a week or two to only find out they haven't even put a spanner on it yet. I would rather them be up front, tell me they're busy and it might be a couple of weeks before they can get to it. This then gives me options if I really need the bike by a set date (Particularly, when we were racing). Regarding parts; basic consumable parts for common model bikes, I'd expect to be in the shop; however, when I hear them say, that they have to order it in and it may be a couple of weeks, I think, I can do that and it will arrive at my door cheaper, in half the time.

    The main shop I use now, is 3 hours away, however, if the bike needs to go in, they are ready for it, and I pick it up the same day for the ride home, or else accommodation costs then come in to it.
    I have a good rapport with the service staff, and have a yarn about my adventures, they don't treat me any different whether I had bought the most expensive bike in store or the budget model; even when I order parts, they try to match 'online prices' and they cover the postage costs. I'm currently after another bike for the stable, so I'd expect I'll be doing business with them again soon.
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