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Is dealer up charge for warranty work normal?

Old 02-09-2019, 07:19 PM
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I swear to you before I clicked the link I thought to myself, the only people I've ever had try this crap on me are the people are Waylen in St. Augustine. And they did it to me on Engine warranty. I called them on it and they immediately took it off but they tried.
I'll never even so much as purchase oil from them again.

P.S. A call to Suzuki straightened them up PDQ.

Last edited by HOmer72; 02-09-2019 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Brocnizer1 View Post
I'm caught here myself

Last year they didn't carry Cape Horns. Now they do. I have not had any warranty issues yet that required delaer assistance, but do I need to drive the boat down 3 hours vs 15 min away because of this bullshit rule they have if something happens? Fuck Waylen bay for this and I'll go elsewhere to buy boats. In my lifetime I've spent $300k on boats and I plan to spend more. So they lost a lot of potential future business for this.
So when you bought the boat you expected to drive it 3 hours back to the selling dealer for warranty work as there wasn't a local dealer? Nothing has changed except that new local dealer gives you another option 15 minutes away that even with the higher rates will in most cases probably be a lot cheaper than towing the boat 3 hours to get work done. I think your options got better rather than worse. Hopefully you won't ever need them anyway.

Makes an interesting point though for a dealer picking up a brand that hasn't had a local dealer before. Engine servicing will probably stay with whoever was doing previously so no new business there, but unprofitable boat warranty work will suddenly come your way. If you are lucky maybe be you pick up some servicing work or add-on sales, but pretty much you are hoping that there isn't going to be a rush of warranty work for your new brand.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:29 PM
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This is why I would rather spend a little extra and buy local.
I bought my boat local but when I go on vacation I have had to deal with marina that I use who is also dealer for my brand of boat. When I have needed something I ask when they have time if they could look at it. They have always got it handled the same day if not dealt with it right then. I am a firm believer that being nice and realistic gets you favor most of the time.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Aliboy View Post
Really the issue is more with the manufacturer than the dealer. They screw the dealer down on warranty repair labor costs and the dealer is asking himself why he should be turning away better paying work to fix a boat that they haven't made a dime off. If some guy in the next state is selling the same boats at at discount because they haven't go the same expensive overheads or staff wages or whatever it is, the local dealer is going to quickly get sick of losing money with a stream of those boats choking up his yard and labor.
Is it though? It could be a vicious cycle of manufacturers not being easy to deal with/paying or dealers jacking up their labor rates and overestimating things like crazy. I was just in the middle of such a battle.

During the recession dealers were begging for business/work, rates were more reasonable, as were their estimates. Now I am seeing a common theme: I think there is more greediness, people looking to make a money grab, etc. Boating has become much more expensive than it was only a few years ago. I feel like the level of quality of work has gone down. Finding someone that really knows their stuff and has experience is challenging and I think its only going to get worse. Heck, I used to pay places to do most everything on my boats. Now I am finding myself doing most everything myself and only utilizing when there is a problem I cannot solve exceeding my level of comfort, abilities, or I don't have the equipment necessary. I waxed my boat for the first time just recently and I have been a boat owner for almost 15 years.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:45 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Aliboy View Post
Not sure how it works for all manufacturers but the boats we used to sell left a 3% margin for us to use to deal with minor warranty issues and also help with the costs of dealing with the factory over work they subsequently paid for. If the owner took a boat I sold to another dealer he would have just got the factory payment and I already had the 3%. Not sure if that is a common practice or not but it might color your opinion as the non-selling dealer if being asked to fix a warranty problem at the lower labor rates.
What say you are a dealer for a popular brand and based at a popular holiday spot. Lots of those boats visiting all summer and maybe lots of people asking for quick warranty fixes while you are in the middle of your busy season supporting your own customers? Do you somehow staff up to deal with the extra warranty work at rates that might get you to break even, or do you tell people to get in line behind your other customers (not great if you are on holiday), or do you add some seasonal staff and charge a rate that leaves you with some profit for all the extra work? If you are a huge operation I guess you might just suck it up and live with it, but if you are a more average or smaller operation it might not be so simple. Of course there shouldn't be a lot of warranty work that is urgent, so if the factory has screwed up enough that there is, the factory should be working with the dealers about how to best sort it.
Always enjoy your posts, not being an Ahole here, but is it not the dealers responsibility here to research what line he sells and what he is getting into? IMO any dealer that only takes the gravy, is not worth a shit to begin with.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by fireisland1 View Post
If you are a dealer for the boat builder then you must warranty their product. If you are not a dealer or a piece of added equipment then the owner must find one. There were some premium dealers here there would not sell you a boat outside their area . It was to prevent warranty issues but also protected the dealer from preventing the buyer from shopping around. Not really fare but I understand it. The local dealer has to take care of the problems so he should make the sale.
So by this theory, if you buy a boat and then get transferred for work or just decide to move somewhere else, you basically have no warranty help. I worked at a boat dealer, truth is that boat warranties are pretty much worthless. The dealers HATE it (unless its in the sale process). They have to bill the manufacturer, who are not in a hurry to oay it. Warranty is not a big profit center for boat dealers, whereas the opposite is tru for car dealers. Hell look at the Jupiter and Crevalle threads on here and see how hard manufacturers try to fight warranty claims wheb even us amatures can look at pics on the web and see there is ckearly a defect. I would prefer to buy used and repower or deal factory direct, as people think they are covered with this great warranty only to find out its worthless half of the time, and usually seems most worthless when they really need it. The problem is usually with the manufacturers and not the dealers, some make it easy to process the dealer’s claims and get paid fast, others it is ver difficult, have to send the invoices over several times, wait forever to get paid.

Last edited by Smoke n Mirrors; 02-09-2019 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mystery View Post
Is it though? It could be a vicious cycle of manufacturers not being easy to deal with/paying or dealers jacking up their labor rates and overestimating things like crazy. I was just in the middle of such a battle.

During the recession dealers were begging for business/work, rates were more reasonable, as were their estimates. Now I am seeing a common theme: I think there is more greediness, people looking to make a money grab, etc. Boating has become much more expensive than it was only a few years ago. I feel like the level of quality of work has gone down. Finding someone that really knows their stuff and has experience is challenging and I think its only going to get worse. Heck, I used to pay places to do most everything on my boats. Now I am finding myself doing most everything myself and only utilizing when there is a problem I cannot solve exceeding my level of comfort, abilities, or I don't have the equipment necessary. I waxed my boat for the first time just recently and I have been a boat owner for almost 15 years.
I agree with all that about the dealers etc taking advantage of the boating boom. I hate it, but it is what we have to deal with. Whether the manufacturers are hard or easy to deal with or whether there are lot's of under funded dealers etc I don't know. Probably a bit of all of it I imagine.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by weasertt View Post
I have an issue with this, I do buy my boats fron a local dealer, however I tow my boat down south to my other home for 5 months a year. If my warranty wasnt good at the dealer down there, id have a huge issue with the mfr. and also what if someone moves? I dodnt realize ppl were supposed
to plan theor lives around a boat warranty lol
I agree with you. I would not hold this against the dealers tho, but against the manufacturer. The manufacturer should make sure their warranty is honored at any dealer. Either by paying enough for repairs that it is lucrative for the dealer, or forcing them to repair boats at a loss as a condition of being a dealer (and making money off the sale of new boats).
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeloew View Post
Always enjoy your posts, not being an Ahole here, but is it not the dealers responsibility here to research what line he sells and what he is getting into? IMO any dealer that only takes the gravy, is not worth a shit to begin with.
If a dealer has all of the work he can handle while working solely on equipment that he has sold, why is he an asshole for refusing to work on equipment that he did not sell? Seems to me that he is doing what he can to put his customers (those that supported him) at the head of the pack.

Are you suggesting that all customers are equal? They are. It is just that some customers are more equal than other customers.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Aliboy View Post
I agree with all that about the dealers etc taking advantage of the boating boom. I hate it, but it is what we have to deal with. Whether the manufacturers are hard or easy to deal with or whether there are lot's of under funded dealers etc I don't know. Probably a bit of all of it I imagine.
I have been reading about employees taking advantage of the employment boom. The low unemployment rates. They are demanding higher salaries and perks than they could demand in the past when the unemployment rate was much higher. Do you hate them being able to take advantage of a situation that is favourable to them?

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Old 02-09-2019, 08:57 PM
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I'm surprised so many of you think this is somehow not a low move. They know what they are accepting when they sell the products. In our area it appears to me that they have plenty of work in the shop and therefore saw the suckers who use a dealer for repair work and get screwed getting squeezed out by warranty work so they made the policy. I'm sure if they didn't have enough work they would be happy to accept all warranty work. I'm not sure how the manufacturer would feel about this policy but I know when I talked to them about it it got wiped right off my bill.

In the end, who cares what they have to do, this company clearly likes to give people the shaft... plus some. Stay away and find someone who does business in the manner you like.

P.S. If this was an isolated incident with this company I would probably overlook it, but I really don't talk to many people who have a positive experience with them for anything.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mcsd63 View Post
I don't understand how boat dealers operate. Not doing work on something, warranty or otherwise, because it wasn't purchased there is bullshit. If I was the owner and had employees turning work away they'd be looking for another job.
In my business sometimes I make a home run (rush job, specialty job, custom one off, etc.) sometimes I make little or nothing at all (charity work, friends and family, bonus for a good client, etc.).

I could not imagine treating a customer that did not buy from me this time like this marine business is doing.

The boat business is cyclical, when the chips are down I want to be the dealer that serviced everyone when it was good! This will hopefully translate into more customers when the market takes a dump and new boats are sitting on my lot with birthday candles on them!

Very shortsighted business plan.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeloew View Post
Always enjoy your posts, not being an Ahole here, but is it not the dealers responsibility here to research what line he sells and what he is getting into? IMO any dealer that only takes the gravy, is not worth a shit to begin with.
Fair enough. Unfortunately I have doubts that the manufacturer is going to tell you that the line of boats you just signed to represent MIGHT have just a FEW WEE warranty issues that you might see in the shop after you put their sign on the door. Not sure that the manufacturers could even tell you how many of their boats are in your area given that they were all bought somewhere else.
To be fair I probably overstated the point a bit and I doubt any new dealer is going to suddenly have a line of warranty work claims the moment he opens, but the point is that it could happen under worst case conditions. If I was about to open another dealership to represent a brand that was already in my area I would try to negotiate some better deal for supporting warranty work on boats I hadn't sold as part of the supply agreement. When you make a bunch of money on a new sale you really do (should) be prepared to throw some of that back at the customer to keep their reasonable requests for support at the top level. When you didn't make the sale you don't have anything to play with unless you are selling a lot of that brand.

We used to sell used boats occasionally as well. Always did the goodwill stuff for the first month or two if the new owner had minor problems. I remember one guy though that wanted to constantly low ball me on a particular boat. It was that time of year that I needed to shift it and he knew it. Eventually I agreed a price that covered our base costs but no more. I told him though that once the boat was driven away it was no longer our responsibility in any way. No money there for any goodwill support. Calls me up a couple of months later to say that the engine had broken down. Told him that sorry it wasn't my issue. He then tells me that the reason he came to us was because a friend had bought a boat from us the previous year and we had sorted out a couple of issues (they were operator issues it turned out) a couple of months after the purchase. He was impressed that we hadn't charged his friend for the work even though it was his mistakes. He is trying the 'nice' approach. "You wanted the cheap price and I told you that it came with no support once you drove it away." Asks me if we could look at the problem but I refuse. Could get way to complicated the way this guy is talking and I don't want his boat in our storage while we potentially have a legal battle about him paying for repairs.

Guy takes it to another dealer for repair. Ends up with a new engine because his one is 'blown'. He calls me to tell me the engine was wrecked as if it should be my problem. I guess he was hoping for me to throw money at him. Month or so later I drop by the same dealer for some engine parts and see that used engine on sale. Few things I recognize on it so I know that it was the one. Thought I might ask one of the mechs I know there what they did to fix it without reveling my history with it. Proudly tells me that it has just had the VST stripped, filters replaced and injectors cleaned after the owner had run some dirty water through it from an old portable tank he filled up with. Runs great now he said. So they turned a maybe $1500 service into a new engine sale and some decent money for a good used one that didn't actually need replacing.
That is just one of many examples I have seen of dealers selling new engines or drives on the back of a 'incorrect' or 'exaggerated' diagnoses. I hate it and some of the local dealers don't like me much for calling them out when I see it happening to people I know or meet. The only real safety net in boating is to have plenty of knowledge. If some dealers (many where I am) see that you don't know much they will instantly take advantage of it, Sometimes it might cost you just a few $100's and others it might cost you a new engine. Many years ago I let myself get (a little) burned in similar circumstances, Said it wasn't going to happen again, and it never has because I made sure that I know enough to challenge anything that doesn't smell right, One of the worst things that you can do is walk into a shop and tell them to do 'everything that is needed'. You hear it all the time from people trying to make sure that their engine etc is maintained as good as possible. It is an instant clue that the client doesn't know much. A couple of quick questions and yep this guy is a 'bunny' On many dealers that means you just doubled your service costs, and if they are a bit short of work st the time it could be worse than that.
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:04 AM
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Years ago had an OMC lower unit go out while under warranty. The shop did the work and when I went to pick it up they said I owed them x amount of money because OMC would not pay their rate. I refused, went home and called OMC. They called the dealer and told them it was a no go charging me. Went to pick the boat up and the SOB'S stole every piece of electronics on the boat. Yes, almost turned into a fist fight but they called the police on me. Take it elsewhere!
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:06 AM
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That sign is something I havent seen before but I did experience a warranty with Suzuki where the dealer charged me for the time it took to analyze and find the problem then Suzuki paid 100% of the cost of fixing the problem. I didnt have any problem with that and the dealer was not the one I bought the motor from.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Smoke n Mirrors View Post


So by this theory, if you buy a boat and then get transferred for work or just decide to move somewhere else, you basically have no warranty help. I worked at a boat dealer, truth is that boat warranties are pretty much worthless. The dealers HATE it (unless its in the sale process). They have to bill the manufacturer, who are not in a hurry to oay it. Warranty is not a big profit center for boat dealers, whereas the opposite is tru for car dealers. Hell look at the Jupiter and Crevalle threads on here and see how hard manufacturers try to fight warranty claims wheb even us amatures can look at pics on the web and see there is ckearly a defect. I would prefer to buy used and repower or deal factory direct, as people think they are covered with this great warranty only to find out its worthless half of the time, and usually seems most worthless when they really need it. The problem is usually with the manufacturers and not the dealers, some make it easy to process the dealer’s claims and get paid fast, others it is ver difficult, have to send the invoices over several times, wait forever to get paid.

I think many dealers get pre-approvals and from what I understand most manufacturers will pay the pre-approved amount immediately to the dealer before the work is even done. If while doing the work its taking longer than expected or a problem arises, the dealer can contact the manufacturer to discuss and get additional approval or some may opt to complete the job and attempt to recoup funds after completion. A manufacturer shouldn't have to pay for a dealer to figure out how to do something standard that any regular service person should know. That should come out of their training budget / administrative overhead built into their high hourly fees and unfortunately I see it as a common theme all the time that they are learning how to do something while billing a customer. I.e. I recently had to pay 2 hours to a volvo dealer for them to figure out how to turn on their computer and plug it in and they still couldnt figure it out after two hours so I said stop I am not paying for you guys to figure this out and they said thats how it works they bill for whatever time it takes.

In terms of boat builders and cost of warranties, many of them will set aside a certain percentage, and I believe it goes in a separate account or is tracked so they cannot assume it as profits until the warranty expires. For example, on a 500k boat, they might set aside 10% or $50k for warranty related work. I think the marine industry needs a big overhaul or its headed down a bad path. That means manufacturers having better support/networks/training available. Dealers hiring qualified workers or investing in training workers, doing quality work, not overbilling/overestimating, and really making boat ownership a positive experience overall. I can't tell you how many times I've been to a dealer and in chatting with the staff working on my boat or another boat I find they are brand new, have no boat experience, are learning right then and there, etc. In my 15 years of boat ownership, the go to mechanic I had for a few of my boats knew his stuff. He could get to the root cause, hear a sound know what part to replace, not throw thousands of dollars at parts trying to chase something but unfortunately retired. I shared the story of one yard replacing over $10k over parts because they heard a sound, my boat was out of service for 8 weeks in the middle of summer, and they still couldn't figure it out. I brought it next to to the guy I previously mentioned and he listened and knew exactly what the sound was and had it fixed in an hour. I think we are all in for a rude awakening!

PS. I disagree that boat service is not a big profit center. For dealers that employ qualified people as their own employees, it can be a TREMENDOUS profit center. For those that sub-contract all work out, they probably just break even, but that is the model they have chosen and maybe they should re-think their business or the manufacturer should've checked into them better before allowing them to sell their line with no real service staff.

Last edited by mystery; 02-10-2019 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Aliboy View Post
I agree with all that about the dealers etc taking advantage of the boating boom. I hate it, but it is what we have to deal with. Whether the manufacturers are hard or easy to deal with or whether there are lot's of under funded dealers etc I don't know. Probably a bit of all of it I imagine.
I agree its a bit of everything I think. I should not have to be bothering the CEO of a major boat manufacturer or engine manufacturer. The typical customer does not have those contacts nor how to engage them. Its wild that on my last two boats I had to escalate that far up. I have a buddy who bought a very expensive boat from another manufacturer and had to do the same as he was not getting anywhere he had to phone the CEO (and once he had a convo they started bending over backwards, letting him choose a yard, and sending them payment ahead of the work or working out a direct payment with some $$ up front, some half-way, and some at completion). I am not talking waiting a week to try to solve something. Its months of getting nowhere, escalating through normal channels, etc. End of the day, I think my experiences have only been on the more positive side because of the escalations I had to make to receive service that should've been delivered from the get-go. My current boat manufacturer recognized that, apologized, and said they wish the process had been smoother from the beginning. Apparently they fired one of their dealers and no longer allow them to carry their brand (not as a direct result of me but because of multiple people having the same types of issues). On my next purchase, I feel as though upfront, I have to make sure I get the CEOs contact information should there be a problem down the road, and that is absurd. If I was that CEO I would not want to be bothered and would want to fix whatever is going on downstream to prevent issues from getting so bad as they require my direct involvement. The saying the squeaky wheel gets the grease is very true. And there is a fine line between exhausting escalations and bad mouthing and another fine line between legal threats. As we've seen on THT, some do respond to social media and some don't and most do not respond to legal threats. I had to bite my tongue, be patient, and work with all parties towards a resolution and in the end I am glad I stuck with it.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by dell30rb View Post
I agree with you. I would not hold this against the dealers tho, but against the manufacturer. The manufacturer should make sure their warranty is honored at any dealer. Either by paying enough for repairs that it is lucrative for the dealer, or forcing them to repair boats at a loss as a condition of being a dealer (and making money off the sale of new boats).
Agree and some are and some are not. Ive seen a recent example of each - dealer flat out refusing to service boats not sold by them but they carry the brand: one being told by the manufacturer they have to because it's in their agreement and the other manufacturer didn't have a well thought out agreement and I think the dealer is getting away with it.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:33 AM
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When a dealer signs up to carry a boat brand he will know what the manufacturer will pay for warranty work labor. No one makes him sell that brand of boat. He chooses to do so with his eyes wide open. He should not charge extra for warranty work.

As far as charging extra because the boat was not bought from that dealer, that is just crooked. Our society is mobile, particularly so in the case of members of the military.

I do agree that the dealer is entitled to put those boats sold by him to the head of the line for service or repair.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by alloyboy View Post
If a dealer has all of the work he can handle while working solely on equipment that he has sold, why is he an asshole for refusing to work on equipment that he did not sell? Seems to me that he is doing what he can to put his customers (those that supported him) at the head of the pack.

Are you suggesting that all customers are equal? They are. It is just that some customers are more equal than other customers.
Yeah but some will schedule the work and say it's gonna be weeks til they can get to it and others will say no we can't help you you shouldve bought from us. What if someone relocated for work and is new to the area and that was not possible? What if their next boat they would have bought from them and now they have a sour taste and they lost a future sale. Some dealers are so vindictive. I patiently have waited for service being given a low priority because I did not buy originally from a dealer only to have them do shit work or overbill / overestimate as a way to shove it in my face. They will come crying begging for business during the next recession I am sure.
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