2011 Mazda 2: 15,000-Mile Service, Part 1
October 28, 2011
On Monday, I made an appointment to have our long-term 2011 Mazda 2 serviced today (Thursday). Making the appointment at Santa Monica Mazda was an incredibly efficient experience. The receptionist answered the phone, and transferred me to the service department where someone answered the phone immediately and helped me make an appointment for 8 a.m. On Wednesday afternoon, the service scheduler gave me a reminder phone call about my appointment the following day. So far, so good.
I rolled into the dealership service drive this morning a minute or two after 8 o'clock, and a porter greeted me, and within a minute or two, my service advisor came over and invited me into the small, tidy office.
After taking down the mileage, he began typing on his computer, making friendly conversation, asking me if I like the car (oh, I do, I told him), and it was all going very well until he printed the paperwork and told me what the estimate would be for an oil change and tire rotation...
Uh-huh. It was that bad. Granted, I expect to pay a premium for almost everything in the enclave of Santa Monica, but this was about $20 more than the going rate for this type of service.
I questioned whether this was indeed just an oil change, a tire rotation and the simple inspection items on page 8-4 of the 2's owner's manual. He said it was. I asked about coupons. He said there were none. I then said, "Well, this is a lot of money, it's more than I've paid at other dealerships on this street, what can we do to get the price down a little?"
Not a thing was his answer. And then he printed out the following sheet for me. It apparently shows the "actual retail cost" of this service.
Well, this just can't be, I said, this is ridiculous, you can't expect me to believe this. Well, it's true, he said, and that's why we offer deals like this $89.95 special. Well, there's no way I can spend $90 to have my car serviced, I said. Well, you know, you don't have to, he said, it's optional. Well, I said, I'm going to have to not do this service and take the car back from you. OK, he said.
The porter retrieved the Mazda 2 and I left, oil unchanged, tires unrotated. What to do now? Now that we have a Rotary lift, it wouldn't be hard to do this ourselves, but everybody's frazzled and busy this week, and I wanted to get this done today. Tune in again tomorrow.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 15,768 miles