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Discussion Starter #1
I don't have the exact reference, but our local nationally syndicated consumer talk show host was quoting CR recently.

He said that Honda and Toyota build the best cars accoring to CR; and both Honda and Toyota rank the lowest in customer satisfaction regarding treatment by dealers.

He kind of likened it to the fact that the prettiest girl in high school doesn't have to be nice, as she gets to pick and chose her dates; whereas the less attractive girls need to be especially nice in order to get a date.

Apparently, Honda is aware of this and is taking steps to *try* to remedy it. We'll see.
 

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It depends on individual dealer. But in my limited experience dealing with Madza, Chrysler (I was then young and naive, OK?), and Honda. The best is Madza, then Honda, then Chrysler.

With Chrysler, when the dealer was still trying to fix the problem, I had the opportunity to deal directly with a factory rep. He was worse than the dealer.

-- Hoa
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have a hunch that CR is basing their report on more than one customer and more than one dealer.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by DUTCH:
I don't have the exact reference, but our local nationally syndicated consumer talk show host was quoting CR recently.</font>
You are paraphrasing someone else's paraphrase without giving citations for either. How heartwarming.

In fact, I looked up the article and you are almost correct. CR shows Honda with a 88% satisfaction while many others are between 90% and 95%. However the statistics that CR presents are crude and subject to misinterpretation. CR has somehow managed to boil down everything to a single figure representing the % of people satisfied with the dealer. But the spread is so small as to call into question the meaningfullness in the first place. And what does it mean to be satisfied with the dealer? Does the typical Honda or Toyota buyer have higher expectations than a person buying a Ford? Who knows? There are so many variabilities like this, that I readily discount CR's work in this area.

Don't get me wrong. I certainly do respect CR's work in other areas. But this particular item was a tiny little graph with very little explanation - quite a bit different than their usual multipage explanations for cars themselves.

As a comparison, Washington Consumer's Checkbook (http://www.checkbook.org), a nonprofit organization in the Washington DC area, surveyed area shoppers on approximately 250 dealers in the Washington DC area. They presented statistics on each dealer individually, not just broken down by brand but by individual dealership. And they presented results of individual attributes such as "standing behind products", "advice on choice/use", "promptness of service". They also showed the # of customer ratings, # of registered complaints, etc, etc. Needless to say, Checkbook's ratings differ quite a bit from CR's. In fact, the difference is surprising, even to me. Checkbook's rating seem to suggest that most of the DC area Honda dealers are better than any other dealers except Saab. As an aside, Saab got the highest ratings in the CR graph, so at least they agree on something. Note that Checkbook didn't attempt to boil down the figures to corporate-wide summaries, so I'm doing my summary based on eyeballing several pages of figures.

The difference between CR and Checkbook doesn't surprise me because Checkbook specializes in rating services while CR specializes in rating products.

By the way, I have been a member of both CR and Checkbook for many years so I'm not trying to push one unfairly.


[This message has been edited by donlibes (edited 01-26-2002).]
 

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Now, I'm really confused. Should I be pissed, or not??????

Jerry O.

------------------
2001 Odyssey GG LX
 

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Discussion Starter #6
To donlibes.

I seriously doubt if CR singled out Honda and Toyota for special treatment in how they determined their customer satisfaction indexes. I'd bet that all manufacturers were graded in the same way. However, I've been known to be wrong in the past; and could be now.

I can only tell you from personal experience that I've purchased a lot of cars in my 60 years of life - from Chevys to Mercedes-Benz. The two experiences I had with two different Honda dealers were the worst of the lot. Just my exerience.

Of further interest might be the fact that Honda has apparently acknowledged the problem, and is in the process of implemeting a program nationwide to remedy the situation.

[This message has been edited by DUTCH (edited 01-28-2002).]
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by DUTCH:
To donlibes.

I seriously doubt if CR singled out Honda and Toyota for special treatment in how they determined their customer satisfaction indexes. I'd bet that all manufacturers were graded in the same way. However, I've been known to be wrong in the past; and could be now.
</font>
I didn't mean to imply CR had singled out Honda and Toyota. I'm merely saying that the index is not that meaningful. Certainly not given how close the numbers are from best to worst. (How come Toyota's 80% satisfaction rating "sucks" while George Bush 80% rating is just "amazing".)

As an aside, CR did put a footnote saying they normalized for age. Something to the effect that older people complain less than younger people (umm, I might have that backwards, I'm at work now and don't have the article with me). Seems bogus to normalize for just one attribute when there are other obvious ones (as I mentioned in my earlier post).
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by donlibes:
(How come Toyota's 80% satisfaction rating "sucks" while George Bush 80% rating is just "amazing".)

</font>
Because, unfortunately in my humble opinion, we have higher standards for our cars than our presidents.
 

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Whether you believe the CR method or not, one thing is obvious... Honda is starting a program to "educate" their dealers. They wouldn't be doing this if customer satisfaction was outstanding (or even good, for that matter). This program cost MONEY and each dealer will be "reimbursed" only after SUCCESSFULLY completing the program. However, they will not be given any money for reimbursement. Rather, they will get incentives and potential preferential corporate treatment (ie better ordering ability).

It's a half-hearted attempt to fix something that is REALLY wrong... in true "corporate" fashion. Look for Honda to lose even more customers in the future... the damage is already being done.

I've dealt with three Honda dealerships and each one was absolutely appauling. They ARE the cutest girl in town (with the best product, anyway
) and I want at least a "hello." I don't want a night of heaven, just common respect and acknowledgement. Maybe I should've removed that broccoli bit from my teeth.......
 

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With Presidents, which is politics, there are arguably two or more legitimate points of view, so 80% agreement on anything is amazing. With dealer service, it's pretty cut and dry, either the service was good or it wasn't, so 80% isn't quite so stellar.
 

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Demand probably DOES have a lot to do with it. Here in Toronto Honda's are very popular and sell very well, but we do not experience the frenzied wait lists and ++MSRP gouging that the USA seems to suffer.

Having said that, I deal with 2 Honda dealers here and both offer service above and beyond any other car dealer I have experienced.

The Honda equation is much simpler up here:
Great cars + availability + high value + great dealer service.

Life is good!
 
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