The Service Departments That Make a Difference

The service department is the front line of customer satisfaction or customer irritation. If the dealer's service department treats the customer like gold, the customer stays happy and will put up with almost anything that goes wrong with their vehicle. If they make the customer mad, then tolerance grows short, customer satisfaction goes down the drain, and the customer is one step from a lawyer's office. Smart dealers know that, too.

Lexus, Buick and Cadillac dealers do the best job providing repair and maintenance services for their customers, according to the JD Power 2006 Customer Service Index Study. That explains why we see fewer complaints on those three brands than any others, in spite of a recent and serious safety recall by Buick and Cadillac.

Meantime, VW and Isuzu owners are an unhappy lot with their dealers, according to the survey. That, too, fits what we see, punctuated by VW's recent recall of 362,000 vehicles.

Lexus is at the top of customer satisfaction in the service department survey and you can bet that fact isn't lost on Lexus. They scored 912 on a scale of 1,000. Just a notch behind is Buick, with 911, followed by Cadillac at 909. We aren't surprised to see Lexus at the top of the heap, but while the score may be neck and neck on the Cadillac and Buick numbers, our clients have filed a lot more lawsuits over Cadillac lemons, by far, than Buick. The service departments maybe doing great, but the manufacturing quality seems to be much higher at the Buick plants.

Isuzu bottoms out the list with the worst score for the second year in a row with 781 points, and their sales have reflected it for several years. VW scored 810 points and Suzuki with 823 wasn't far behind. Isuzu and Suzuki both have a checkered history of customer satisfaction troubles. A few years ago VW's quality seemed highly touted but that appears to have fallen, more or less likely in direct proportion to the number of "New Beetle" vehicles on the road.

The survey was based on results from nearly 80,000 drivers of 2003 - 2005 model vehicles and is worth checking out.

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Known nationwide as a leading Lemon Law attorney, Ronald L. Burdge has represented literally thousands of consumers in "lemon" lawsuits and actively co-counsels and coaches other Consumer Law attorneys. From 2005 through 2018, attorney Ronald L. Burdge has been named as the only Lemon Law Ohio Super Lawyer by Law and Politics magazine and Thomson Reuters Corp., Professional Division. Burdge restricts his practice to Lemon Law and Consumer Law cases. The Ohio Super Lawyer results are published annually in the January issue of Cincinnati Magazine. Ronald L. Burdge was named Consumer Law Trial Lawyer of the Year 2004 by the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the nation's largest organization of consumer law private and government attorneys. "Your impact on the auto industry has been magnified many times over because of the trail you blazed for others," stated NACA's Executive Director, Will Ogburn. Burdge has represented thousands of consumers in Ohio, Kentucky and elsewhere since 1978 and is a frequent lecturer to national, state and local Bar Associations and Judicial organizations. Burdge is admitted to Ohio's state and federal courts, Kentucky's state courts, and Indiana's federal courts. Other court admissions are on a "pro hac" temporary, case by cases basis.