We took the car to the Lexus dealer in Bellevue for its complimentary 1,000-mile checkup and the optional Lexus Personalized Settings change (some personalization settings require the dealer to do it).
Lexus tries to make their dealerships a more pleasant experience, even “making some into spas”:http://carsdiva.wordpress.com/2008/01/14/five-star-hotels-spas-and-car-dealerships/, and “Lexus of Bellevue”:http://www.lexusofbellevue.com/ is no exception. We pulled up to the service entrance, parked the car and went into the service area, which is a row of “offices” for the “Service Representatives”, who are all well-dressed and polite. The woman shook our hand, introduced herself, asked us to sit while she entered the work items into the computer. Once she was done, she asked us if we wanted to be taken somewhere while we waited. Rather than be given a trip to a shopping center, we opted to hang out at the dealer. We had free bottled water and a cookie, walked around the showroom (and were never harassed by a salesman), browsed through the Lexus shop, went outside to the putting greens and played fake golf, then came back in for some espresso and TV in one of the many lounge areas that are as nice as a decent hotel’s lobby. WiFi is available throughout the place and they even have a playroom for kids. There were several customers around the dealership reading one of several newspapers offered, some with laptops doing work, all looking very comfortable. It took two hours, but it was the most enjoyable two hours I’ve ever spent at a car dealer.
We were also recently at the Jeep dealer having work done on it and the difference is night-and-day. At the “Jeep dealer”:http://www.townandcountryjeep.com/, you drive the car into the garage with all the mechanics using power tools, so it’s hard to talk to the gruff service desk guy. You fill out your own paperwork telling them what you want them to do, they take your keys and they look at you like “Why are you still here?”. The dealership is like walking into the 1970s; you can have some coffee but it’s one of those Bunn commercial coffee makers you find in office lunch rooms. And they have one couch to sit on. Not surprisingly, no one was waiting at the dealership.
Check out “the Lexus dealership in Oman”:http://thepassionatepursuit.com/2008/02/26/flagship-lexus-dealership-opens-in-oman/.