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I got a call to have a second interview for a service advisor and or writer at a large multiline dealership. Does anybody here do this ? what are the pro's and cons of it? How are your wages determined? Since I was layed off from my previous job last Sep. I need a full time job with some benifits. I have been working a construction job now (driving a semi gravel truck) but it is only seasonal and no benifits. Give me some advice guys. Thanks in advance.
 

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I have been writing service for Ford dealers since '98 (With a couple of years as a manager, in the middle); and I, personally, love the job. If you are a car guy, and obviously you are-or you wouldn't be on the Bullet, it is great. One thing you need, though, is thick skin. Some customers will berate you. Some techs will get on your case. Just don't take it personally. As a service advisor, you are simply the 'middle man'. When someone gets upset, it's usually at the situation-not at you personally. One tip, though: The higher-line the dealer, the bigger pain in the ass the customers have a potential to be. Kind of curious what manufacturers you would be working with.

As for wages, different places have different pay plans. I have worked for everything from straight salary, when I started out, to 100% commission where I am now. Most places will give you a base salary, and add a bonus once a month. this bonus is typically a percentage of the shop's profit. The way my commission works right now is-I get a set amount (goes up depending on individual sales) of anywhere from $1.35 to $2.00 for every billed hour that the shop turns. Doesn't sound like much; but I have made very good money (for a guy with no college degree) when times were good. Used to pull down $1300-$1500 a week, before taxes. That has dropped to about $600-$1000 per week, in these depressed economic times; but still not bad.

Just don't beat yourself up, if you find that you can't handle the job. It takes a different kind of person to deal with the stresses of the business.

Oh. One other thing. Hopefully you don't mind long hours. I put in anywhere from 55-60 hours per week. Seems like a lot; but, when the shop is busy, the time goes by fast.


Feel free to ask me anything you want to know about working in a dealership. I have been at a few different stores; and have, pretty much, seen everything. If you need to, shoot me a PM or just email me at [email protected] I'll help out wherever I can.

~Shaun
 

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clubracer made some very good points, you will have to put up with angry customers and techs with egos. thats just part of the job. i'm a tech a large ford dealer with 5 advisors. the highest earning made 90k last year, but they are aggresive sellers. they are paid straight commision, 10% of total labor sold including warranty work. its not an easy job, but it is rewarding finacialy for those that put in the time and effort. i have thought about when i get to old to wrench that maybe i will become an advisor.
 

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ClubracerGT1 great respone!!! Thick skin is a must!! Something I am still working on.

High end stuff being tougher is true as well.

The only difference between a BMW and a porcupine is with the BMW the pricks are on the inside. LOL
 

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I was a tech for 12 years, been writing service for 7-8 years now. I hate the job.

Shit in the dealership rolls downhill and stops right in the service aisle. You as the writer deal with ALL of it. The responsibility of the writer is going up and the dealer will continue to change pay plans to keep you out of the high(er) dollar checks.

Too much of your check relies on surveys that you have NO control over. Someone in sales may have screwed up, the husband/wife pissed them off right before they filled out the survey and that ONE survey may cost you $500 of your check for the month.

Techs now are whining bitches because they can, arent many good ones around...so their asses get kissed. Along with the customers asses.

You will HAVE TO disconnect from it, treat it as a game. Think you are on a stage getting graded on EVERY person you talk to. You take all that brain damage on a personal level and you WILL burn out with the long hours.

Cliff notes? You are a paid whipping post.
 

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I own my own shop now but worked as an advisor in the past at a ford dealership.if you have mechanial bakground,you will make tons of cash compared to the writers that have never turned wrenches.who better than a tech in a suit to explain things to a customer ?it is better than the famous "my tech says"line.just be very nice to your customers and especially your techs.you will be fine.
 

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I have been doing it for 20 years and it sucks. The people act like you built the car! they wake up in a bad mood and take it out on you. the first word out of there mouth is LOANER CAR even when you have never met them and they didnt buy it from you. They want an appointment tomorrow and dont care if you are booked, they bitch to the owner if they dont get their way and then he gives them their way and makes you look stupid. The techs are like a bunch of babies, you feel like you are running a day care center dealing with them. Everybody slacks off and doesnt give a shit about what has to get done and leaves you accountable to explain to the customer when the car isnt done. They buy the cheap extended warranty and they bitch when something isnt covered and say the sales person said it was "BUMPER TO BUMPER" They keep reworking the commision scale so no matter what you only make so much money. ok im done venting, I could go on all day. I hate my job but what sucks is im good at it and after 20 years im locked in like the mob.
 

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I was a tech for 12 years, been writing service for 7-8 years now. I hate the job.

Shit in the dealership rolls downhill and stops right in the service aisle. You as the writer deal with ALL of it. The responsibility of the writer is going up and the dealer will continue to change pay plans to keep you out of the high(er) dollar checks.

Too much of your check relies on surveys that you have NO control over. Someone in sales may have screwed up, the husband/wife pissed them off right before they filled out the survey and that ONE survey may cost you $500 of your check for the month.

Techs now are whining bitches because they can, arent many good ones around...so their asses get kissed. Along with the customers asses.

You will HAVE TO disconnect from it, treat it as a game. Think you are on a stage getting graded on EVERY person you talk to. You take all that brain damage on a personal level and you WILL burn out with the long hours.

Cliff notes? You are a paid whipping post.

Do you work with me???? You hit it right on the head!!
 

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I have been doing it for 20 years and it sucks. The people act like you built the car! they wake up in a bad mood and take it out on you. the first word out of there mouth is LOANER CAR even when you have never met them and they didnt buy it from you. They want an appointment tomorrow and dont care if you are booked, they bitch to the owner if they dont get their way and then he gives them their way and makes you look stupid. The techs are like a bunch of babies, you feel like you are running a day care center dealing with them. Everybody slacks off and doesnt give a shit about what has to get done and leaves you accountable to explain to the customer when the car isnt done. They buy the cheap extended warranty and they bitch when something isnt covered and say the sales person said it was "BUMPER TO BUMPER" They keep reworking the commision scale so no matter what you only make so much money. ok im done venting, I could go on all day. I hate my job but what sucks is im good at it and after 20 years im locked in like the mob.

Take this post and add it to mine, and you have EXACTLY what you are about to sign up for.

HE HE, we posted at the same time!!!!!!!!!!

The dealerships have bread an animal(the customer) that is impossible to deal with.
 

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I did it for a year in a Chevy dealership with 6 techs. There were 2 of us writing service. I made more money that year than I have ever made in my life EVER, but I'd take a bullet in the head before I'd ever even remotely consider doing it again. The dealership is pushing you to sell! sell! sell! (often things that people don't really need), and most of the customers you deal with have a newer vehicle that is still under warranty and they are VERY resentful (toward YOU) that you would even TALK to them about spending money above what they've already spent, not to mention they are pissed to even be there when they have a new vehicle with a problem.

The customers are only a small portion of the problems you will face day to day. The number one problem is the techs. The pay is by the job. The more gravy the job, the more money the techs make. YOU will be the one who decides what jobs they get, and therefore how much money they make. That makes YOU "public enemy number ONE" with the techs. They are going to do everything from cry to the service manager about how you disperse the work, to openly threaten you with violence. They will do everything in their power to make your life a living hell if you don't give them the work they want. There will be nice techs who don't give you a hard time, but there will ALWAYS be one or two just aren't going to stand by and watch while to treat everyone fairly.

Then there's the salesmen. When they sell a car and it needs something done to it to complete the sale, you better get it done before anything else or its YOUR ASS. They will throw you under the bus with management so fast it will make your head spin if you don't cater to their every whim. If you think you can assign the work "in the order it was received", you better think again, because salesmen don't see it that way and will raise hell to high heaven to get you fired and someone in your place that will be all about insuring they make a sale.

Then you have to deal with customers who are car smart. They realize what they can buy parts for in the aftermarket and they don't like paying the normal 100-250% mark up on parts that dealerships charge (and have ALWAYS charged since cars have existed). I really didn't mind the haggling with customers on prices because I know it's ALWAYS been radically (to the point where you need your head examined to go to a dealer to have service work done) more expensive to buy parts and have service work done at a dealer than a private garage using aftermarket parts. That part of it just "is what it is."

Personally, I think there are personality types that really are cut out for that kind of work. I just don't happen to be one of them. If you like dealing with pissed of people (customers, mechanics, salesmen, and your employer), then I'd say it's the job for you. Otherwise, I've got three words for you: RUN FORREST, RUN!!
 

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I worked in GM and Chrysler stores in parts. The advisors catch hell from start to finish every day. I think the phrase "Don't kill the messenger" came from a service advisor as he ran screaming through the lot, chased by an angry mob of customers, never to be seen again.
 

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I am the GM at a Chrysler Dodge Jeep store and my hat goes off to anyone that is able to SUCESSFULLY write service. Anybody can take an order. It takes a special person to break shit down so an idiot can understand it, all the while the idiot assumes he's getting fucked and is a total asshole towards the writer. I would do any job at my dealership...except for writing service. I dont have the patience nor can I bite my tongue with ignorant people. But if you can put up with the bs $50k+ is VERY attainable, plus finding a job in the car business once you have experience is very easy. Good Luck
 

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I service write at a small (8 lifts, 4 techs) independent shop. There is alot of stress involved at times. Being responsible for work you don't actually do sucks. If you have good techs and good customers its not that bad. I was a tech at my familys shop and have been service writing for 6 years.
 

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I'm a tech at a decent size Ford dealership. I can tell you first hand, I would not want to write service. It is very stressful, and you will catch hell from us techs, parts dept, middle management, sales, upper management, customers, and everyone else that steps foot in the dealership. If you are a good writer at a BIG dealer, you can make 100k a year. You would have to sell your ass to the customers, but it is possible. Can't make that turning wrenches anymore. Hell I didn't make 40k last year.
 

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here is a good link on where I went on a rant about my job. The full story is in the link

http://www.yellowbullet.com/forum/showthread.php?t=189135&highlight=SERVICE+ADVISOR

In the nutshell, there good is decent money, not great but ok.

The bad is this job will eat you up and spit you out. The tech leaves grease on somebodys car and its your fault. I lost a $500 bonus because the cashier overcharged somebody and took to long to give them a credit and they trashed me on the survey. I really can't even get started on it. That link should give you some good reading. maybe at the right dealer it might not be so bad, but where I am it just flat out sucks. I dont think I have ever hated a job so bad in my life. But once you get settled and start making money, its hard to leave and start over. Its saturday and I just cant get started on this........
 

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LOL!! This is so true. I've been writing for 26 years. It used to be good money & no benifits, now is no money & no benifits. The owners take away every time they think your making too much. We used to get a salary (1500.00) plus 6% commission on everything. Now no salary on 5% commission. No longer pay on Internals, make us do the Warranty Admin work, cashier at times, bring customers cars up (porters job). They let us work 11 hours a day, no overtime pay. But I'm not bitter.
 
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