Our Acura’s 1st Service at the Dealer – A 100 Minute Wait

by | Nov 5, 2015 | Auto Tips, Car Problems & Repairs, Industry-Wide Topics

A couple of months ago a card arrived in the mail to remind us to take our new Acura RDX in for its first service. I had a few questions.

  • The car was three months old and had only 2000 miles; did I really need a service?
  • If I needed a service, what sort of service were they going to perform?
  • Did I really want to drive it all the way to the dealer when I could take it right over to our service center?

Then I thought — I could learn a lot if I take it in to the Acura dealer for its first service. I could find out how our “while you wait auto service” at BA Auto Care compared to the Acura dealer?

  • What was their process?
  • How would I be greeted?
  • Would the job be completed in the time promised?
  • Would the waiting room be comfortable?
  • Would I be kept informed?

So how did it work out?

Well, the process was simple no appointment needed, I just drove into a lane marked Acura service and pulled up level with a service writer. Within in a few minutes I was sitting in the waiting room. I was greeted politely but not warmly, I noticed other service advisers seemed much friendlier. I asked how long the service would take and was told an hour. I settled down in the waiting room without a TV, but the TV in the other area was so loud it was difficult to tune it out. This was especially annoying as the program being aired was a postmortem on a political debate.

As I sat there I thought that the waiting room would have been comfortable for about 30 minutes to an hour, but at that point it had been over an hour and a half and the chairs seem to be getting harder. No one ever came out from the service department to explain the delay. I spent my time catching up on e-mail, reading and writing this blog. There was coffee which was nice.  I also could have opted for a free car wash. One hour and 40 minutes later I was finally told they were going to bring the car around. I am glad I didn’t get the car wash. I wonder how much longer that would have taken.

The driver parked the car outside, and as I was going to the car I saw the Internet salesman that sold us the car. He was very friendly and asked how our car was going and if we had any questions.

So how did the experience compare to BA Auto Care?

Well, I did like the ease of driving up to the service writer’s desk, and I can see that customers like that feature, but overall I believe we score higher marks on everything else. This Acura dealer happens to be locally owned, and the owner is still active in the business behind the scenes, and that shows. It’s also a reminder that “dealerships” are businesses that have a car manufacturer franchise so they can vary greatly.

Oh, by the way, the service was an oil change — not sure I needed that yet.

Just to confirm, you can get your car serviced here at BA Auto Care and protect the warranty, beginning with the very first service. But sometimes a little competitive intelligence is necessary to ensure we are delivering some of the best service in the county.  No, make that the country!

If you would like to learn more about what services BA Auto Care offers, what things we value, and what we promise to our customers, download our services booklet.


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About the Author

About Brian England

Brian England, the current president of BA Auto Care (formerly British American Auto Care), got his start with an auto apprenticeship in a small town in northwest of London. He came to the U.S. in 1972 to work for a Land Rover dealer in Rockville, MD. A few years later, he started British American Auto Care with his wife, Jennifer. Brian is a big believe in preventative maintenance, and his philosophy is to encourage and educate drivers on the benefits of a regular maintenance plan.