My Kingdom for a Low Beam

Cherokee 001

I made an appointment for Saturday, 5 May 2018, at Southern Chrysler Jeep Greenbrier in Chesapeake to have a low beam replaced on my 2014 Jeep Cherokee. I was told, while making the appointment, to show up at 7 a.m., and they would get to it and get me out the door. I had another commitment on Saturday, so time was of the essence. (At this point, with this dealership, the thought “I should know better” crept into my mind)

I arrived at 6:45 a.m. and was the 4th car in line in the maintenance lane. The service advisor checked the Jeep in. I thought this was a straightforward job of changing out the low beam bulb on the right side. That is what I was here for, and that was all I wanted. A little over an hour later I was called to the service desk.  The service advisor informed me that the low beam was expensive, around $70 (In fact, it was $55). I must have had a curious expression on my face.  I needed the low beam, I was aware of the cost involved.  What I did not understand was why the bulb was not already installed or why I was standing here.  The job should have taken 15-20 minutes at the most.

The service representative then started telling me about the 23 point inspection completed on the car. Excuse me? I was here for a simple (I thought) bulb replacement. Why were they wasting my time doing a 23 point inspection? Was it just like the one they did on 21 April 2018 (2 weeks earlier) when I was in for an oil change and tire rotation? I had that report in my maintenance file, and there was nothing to cause concern. He then mumbled about brake fluid color and how much it would cost me to have the work done. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I came in for a BULB REPLACEMENT!   Was I missing something?  Southern Jeep seemingly was taking this opportunity to try to make a little more money off of me.

I asked how long it would take to change the bulb. I was told by the annoyed service rep who was failing to sell me on another service, that it would be another 30-45 minutes. And an hour for the brake fluid, one more attempt to up-sell me. After repeating that I did not want the brake fluid service, I asked the service desk to do only the work that I had scheduled. That work could have been completed by this point had they not wasted time on the inspection that I did not authorize.

Almost 40 minutes later I was called to the cashier to settle my bill and get my keys. The paperwork I was given did not include the inspection report. Next time it will be Autozone and a YouTube video. I will do it myself.

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2001 Cherokee Sport

I have owned three Jeeps over the years.  My first was a 1988 Cherokee. I had to give that up in 1994 when I transferred to Japan.  My second was a 2001 Cherokee Sport that I put over 270,000 miles on before buying my current ride in 2014.  The first two Jeeps ran reliably and only needed standard maintenance, brakes, and tires. I loved both of those Cherokees.  In fact, I regret selling the 2001 Jeep after buying the 2014 version.  My current Cherokee had 11 factory recalls in the first few years, ranging from computer updates to wiring harnesses. I also have had to replace a bad alternator and battery and had performance issues with the 9-speed automatic transmission.  Compared to the performance of my first two Jeeps, it has been a disappointment   I may have purchased my last Jeep product.

Southern Chrysler Jeep Greenbrier continues to set the customer service bar low and then fails to reach it.