For most technicians, working at a dealership may seem like a great end goal in terms of job security and pay but there are many reasons why working for a dealership is a less stable and ideal place to work when compared to smaller, independent shops.
Problems that technicians face at dealerships
Most dealers employ technicians at a flat rate, meaning OT is widely discouraged and at some dealerships even a punishable offense. This can also lead to widely varying pay levels for each technician, with newer and less experienced techs oftentimes earning more money than technicians with years of experience and various certifications. Dealerships will also oftentimes provide inconsistent hours to their technicians so while they may be earning $25+ an hour, they’re only working around 20 hours a week, which can be hard to sustain.
Unfortunately too, one of the most widely reported detriments to working at a dealership is the politics the technicians sometimes face. Numerous technicians throughout the country have cited favoritism as one of the main reasons for leaving their job at the dealership along with being expected to perform free work from time to time or being stuck with less desirable work as a consequence.
Older model vehicles get low priority at dealerships
With these issues in mind, there is a high turnover rate at dealerships as technicians often look for better opportunities and because of this, usually the technicians at a dealership tend to not know much more than their brands’ current models. When someone takes an older modeled vehicle to a dealership for repair, there’s a high chance that the technicians working will be unfamiliar with the technology in it or the proper methods to repair any issues found, if they’re even found and diagnosed. As a result of this unfamiliarity, older model vehicles often end up as low priority jobs when compared to the current models that can be worked on quickly and are viewed as easy money.
Benefits of working at independent repair shop
Conversely, technicians at an independently owned and operated shop often enjoy more fair working conditions along with the opportunity for overtime and more consistent hours. Rather than increase hours, dealerships will usually bring in more technicians as the cost is usually lower, which also contributes to the lower hours and fast turn around of dealership technicians.
Proper issue diagnoses & repair at independent shops
With smaller shops though, priority is usually given to the experienced technicians with newer technicians being brought on in a part-time basis, the wide variety of vehicles that can be serviced at an independent shop also means that each technician is knowledgeable and more importantly confident and comfortable working on any model or brand. This confidence will lead to more proper issue diagnoses as well as ensuring any repair that is needed is performed correctly to avoid multiple trips for repairs or service that can become quite costly. Plus, it’s no secret that better work environments and conditions will lead to happier employees that enjoy their job more, which just improves the overall business.
Dealerships try to maintain the brand's image
However, arguably the biggest difference between dealerships and smaller shops is in the actual work that is performed. A dealership for a specific brand will usually have to follow the extremely rigid maintenance schedules that are factory given meaning any other needed work could go undone by the dealership if it’s not a part of the scheduled work. A large majority of what the dealership can do is usually based off of maintaining the overall image of the brand.
For instance, Rolls Royce requires owners to sign an agreement when purchasing their vehicle that says they will not have it towed by an open tow-truck. Keeping up with the desired brand image unfortunately hinders the work that a dealership can perform, that coupled along with the potentially unreliable and by the book work that your vehicle may receive and not to mention the high costs of going straight to the dealership, it’s no surprise that more and more owners are choosing to go to a smaller shop.
If you're looking for a shop that not only works to create a positive environment for it's workers along but also brings years of experience and knowledge to the wide variety of vehicle makes and models serviced, Bay Diagnostics is your alternative to the poor conditions and questionable work of a dealership. Call 718-615-0705 to schedule work with one of our experts or to inquire further about services available for your vehicle.