Gee Ian, I sure don't intend to lock horns with you and I post this with full respect to your forum position and with respect to your work and motorcycling history, AND in furtherance of this most interesting discussion.
I really am at odds with this: ' . . . and the customer spent $100's of dollars and after it was all said and done it went back to the customer with the same issue. It was not cost effective for the customer to continue to have the tech work on it. Sometimes even the best can't fix a deep rooted problem that would take $100's of dollars of dealer time to diagnose.'
There are two reasons grounding my point:
First, I do not believe it is right or responsible that a dealer representing a product should levy a fee for their not being able (competant?) to resolve the problem.
Second, I allude to competency because we as consumers should be able to take for granted that an 'authorised' dealer is one which is equipped with both equipment and knowledge to resolve ANY problem with their product - whether that be bike, car or electrical appliance et al.
As you would agree, a repair is merely an exercise in problem solving. We start with a list of possible contributors to that problem and then proceed to exhaust that list. If the problem remains unresolved, we extend the parameters of the list until we are left with not one part on the bike that has not been checked. That might well be costly, BUT should most definitely result in the flaw being fixed.
Finally, as a dealer and employee of the dealer, I would be highly embarrassed to return a bike/product to a consumer and say: 'Sorry, but we're unable to repair you bike/product.'
No argument from me Nigel, I'm very open minded and level headed about most things
My story was meant to describe how the market is changing. In 2000 when I was the Service Manager, I implemented a policy that we were not going to work on anything built prior to 1990. Parts were beginning to be discontinued, and the bikes we were seeing were losers for both the customer and the shop. I didn't want to tie up my techs on bikes that really had the likelihood of not being fixed at a reasonable price, or reasonable time frame. That kind of follows my comment about the 929 that the master tech couldn't fix. The bike had cancer (LED light strips all over it, warped brake rotors that pulsated at parking lot speed, an end can that rattled like a baby toy, chrome parts that were peeling, and overall was a gigantic piece of sh!t). The shop had no business working on it, but they did. The customer knows with this type of work (I know it's not right Nigel, but it's the way it is) comes at a premium, even if it doesn't get fixed. Time spent on diagnosis is told to the customer as "actual time" spent, which at like $75 an hour is ridiculous in of itself, but people without any mechanical knowledge would pay it, knowing that the bike might not not even get fixed.
I know it sounds outlandish, but that's how it was, and how it was in the case of that POS 929.
Alas, you misunderstand my quote my friends.
I said "qualified mechanic" that does not imply or refer in any way to a stealership.
Im pretty sure we can all agree on the worst possible place to bring your vehicle would be the dealer....
can we not?
A qualified mechanic is still a fairly general term, but in all honesty, a "technician" at a dealership typically needs to meet a specific higher standard of training and knowledge to work on the name brand it's representing, and gets specific training to do so. At least that's what I required when I ran the shop. The independent shop or "neighbor who's good with his Trans Am" still may not have the resources available to fix a specific problem, although skilled and has experience.
But yes Mace, recommending a dealer to work on your bike is pretty much tabu I will agree. That's why we're here, mostly lol