We need to first clarify what we mean by upselling. Upsells is traditionally an add-on sale or additional feature a salesman may try to add after you have committed to purchase a product. JB Hi-FI staff often do this with things like insurance, extra controllers and headphones depending on the product you have purchased. In most cases, your sales representative will be paid a commision base dependent on the number of upsells they secure within a given time frame. This commission in the carrot in front of the donkey designed to motivate them to push harder for the sale and secure a greater pay packet for both the organization employing them and themselves.
This is no different within the automotive industry.
Traditionally it’s the dealership that pushes hard for these up-sells.
Service advisors inside a dealership are dependent upon these items in order to earn a good income. If they can’t sell you these things, regardless of whether you need them or not, they are not paid.
The service advisor will be on a very ordinary base salary but can earn themselves a very impressive pay packet if they are committed to driving the sales of items deemed to be an upsell.
At times Service advisors have blatantly lied in order to secure these sales. In our time sentences like “we have your injectors out and they are very dirty, we advise and injection clean” have been heard and are an outright lie. No mechanic is removing a fuel injector as part of a service.
We need to clarify that these items that are sold to you are not considered to be scams or fraudulent. These items are often very beneficial preventative maintenance items that many workshops do advise their clients to carry out on their motor vehicles. In fact, our workshop regularly advises these preventative maintenance items to our clients. The catch is, the sale of these items have no effect on that person’s salary. Consumers are not being sold to unethically.
The issue arises when sales of important, safety and maintenance items are left to the wayside to make way for up sold items that earn the service advisor a greater income.
Any vehicle with more than 40,000 km on the odometer should have had all of these items carried out at least once. except in cases where the dealership deems the fluids to be considered “fill for life”.
The items we are referring to are
-Pollen filter replacements
-Automatic transmission oil changes
-power steering oil change or flush
-Air conditioning treatment
-on car fuel injection cleaning
-Brake fluid flush (this should be done every two years regardless of kilometers)
-EGR cleaning (diesel vehicles)
-Platronic wheel alignment checks
– Throttle body cleaning
Whilst there is nothing wrong with these items being carried out on any vehicle, most of them are what we call “preventative maintenance” Be mindful of brakes that are getting close to worn out or tyres that are illegal being left off the quote to make way for these items simply to increase a service advisors income. This approach does not ensure the best upkeep of your vehicle.
Additionally totally avoiding these items and never doing them, will have detrimental effects to the mechanical reliability of the vehicle over a period of time. Never replacing these items or getting them done and doing the bare minimum in a capped price service model does not do your vehicle any good in the long term.