or wait 15 seconds
or wait 15 seconds
We’re required to have safety inspections in order to renew vehicle licenses. My wife’s vehicle passed inspection, but the battery test indicated that the battery needed to be replaced. Since the battery was under warranty, the price of the replacement was only going to be $46. Then the service rep said “Cleaning the terminals will be $20, the total will be $66 plus tax.”
How would you have reacted to this offer? Would you have paid for cleaning the terminals? If so why? If not, why not? What could this company have done to increase the likelihood of the upsell?
Generally the answer to the question ‘Would you pay for the terminal cleaning?’ depends upon three things:
The reality is that it takes less than 5 minutes to clean battery terminals. But the more important question in my mind was, why would anyone install a new battery and not clean the terminals?
To me the mere fact that the auto shop would consider doing such a thing raised concerns about their motivation. It seemed to me that they were more interested in generating revenues than serving me well. This belief was later confirmed when I objected to the price and the rep offered to lower it to $15.
If you can make $20 in 5 minutes ($240/hour), you’re likely to purchase the cleaning, assuming you don’t believe it should be included as part of the service. If you earn less than $240/hr, you’ll opt to do the cleaning yourself.
Another bit of math we do involves comparing the cleaning fee to the cost of the battery. In this case the $20 cleaning cost represents 43 percent of the cost of the replacement battery making it seem out of proportion with the item being purchased.
What could these folks have done to increase the likelihood of the upsell? Very simply they could have told me that the replacement cost was $66 including cleaning the terminals.
Given that the vehicle was already there, they had the battery in stock, they’d acknowledged a warranty responsibility and that, if I found a cheaper prices, I would have to drive to the other auto store and go through the process again, I would not have questioned the replacement cost.
What lessons can we learn from this experience?
(Photo by Jenn Durfey.)