When trying to service or buy parts for my Mitsubishi Eclipse around 2000-2004, in Rochester, when I was doing a lot of work on that car, it was always a huge pain in the ass -- you could only get parts through the dealer, markup was outrageous, labor was outrageous, hours were never estimated long enough, everything always broke or was about to break or wear out, and needed to be replaced.
Forward to Albany, 2011. I had a new set of tires put on my Subaru by the guys down the road I've been going to for years: LaBarge's. They noted I might need new rear brake pads sometime soon, but weren't trying to sell me anything -- they've been great for all three vehicles I've taken them. I'd heard what might have been some scraping while braking in the Subaru, so I was concerned.
I took the Subaru over to Goldstein for its 5K service, paid for as part of a prepaid service package when I bought the car back in October. I mentioned the pads to the gentleman at the desk; part of the 5K service is to check them anyway, but I noted it to be sure, given the amount of driving I have ahead of me. The guy looks at me quizzically, saying, "Shouldn't be the case, but we'll certainly take a look." (I picked the car up with 23k or 24k miles; I've only put 2500 or so on it, no idea if the pads were done by Goldstein before I bought it, perhaps that was the case.)
The promised hour later (despite the crowd) I get the car back, guy tells me I'm all set. No pads needed. No other service needed. No hard sell, no soft sell -- no sell, period. It was refreshing.
Thank you Subaru, and thank you Goldstein Subaru.