A maintenance department worthy of its reputation
November 5, 2018
I purchased a Forester in RI after an exhaustive study of reviews on the "best snow cars". I was initially shocked by the maintenance cost and disappointed in the quality of service I was receiving. I was let down by 2 dealerships before deciding to become an educated consumer. I read many online reviews before scheduling the next big service appointment even though I was concerned that reviews can be skewed or unreliable. Two dealership service departments in MA, NH, RI climbed to the top of my review scale. AutoFair ranked No 1 and Patrick No 2 when I filtered online reviews through my own quality criteria and weight factors... (Yes... I'm an engineer with 35 years of service). Once my first visit at AutoFair was completed, I revisited my review table (Pugh Matrix) and AutoFair has climbed even higher. I do not want to mislead anyone about cost, though. Pricing was NOT one of my evaluation criteria because I have resigned to the fact that Subaru service prices sizzle everywhere. I will also caution that techs can be absent-minded or "miss a spot" under pressure, like everyone else. In this case, the mishap was that I was pulled over by a cop outside the dealership because I was driving away on a flat tire (nobody noticed it while replacing 4 brakes and rotors). Please feel free to ask "how many engineers does it take..." because I was equally guilty. How silly of me to drive away, turn on the radio, and drown out the thumping noise of a flat tire. Most importantly: The front desk managers, as well as the techs were courteous and personable. Being too old and impatient to stay seated for long, I paced back and forth (like an expectant father in a waiting room) in front of the service desk watching the maintenance process through the glass wall. I was often in the way but nobody lost their patience or their smile. OK... maybe a salesman pointed me twice to the coffee machine in the waiting room. Neither the mechanics nor the managers tried to sell unnecessary work to me. I was extremely happy NOT to get a lecture on "recommended" service or materials intended to inflate bills. I showed up 95 minutes before my appointment time, and nobody tried to "correct me" or to protest that I was messing up their scheduling software. Even though they respected customers with earlier appointment times, they also drove mine in a bay and a mechanic who was winterizing cars also found time to make progress on mine. At the end, I left 60 minutes earlier than expected. I can testify that my experience was great and that I look forward to socializing again with the two coordinators and the mechanic I met. Nice people that treat customers with respect. I am going back, and I have already pre-paid for a package of 4 oil changes through their Service Rewards Program.