For years I have been kind of anonymous, with a new year (2001) I thought that I should come out, so to speak. I know that the picture is not that good, the one on the post office wall is better, but you know what they say about "too much of a good thing...".
I have kind of a varied background, I'll take a couple of lines of print to explain myself, it may explain why I did a site like this. You may not really care, but the beauty of the internet is that it's my site and I can do what I want, and you can skip the next paragraph (or the whole page) if you want, but you may find it interesting.
My real name is John. I grew up in upstate New York, and spent some time in California before the famous draft letter came. I was in college when drafted into the Army in 1966, I passed some tests and went to Infantry Officer School, then Airborne training and finally to Vietnam. I spent a year there as a Infantry platoon leader with the 101st, did the usual things , along with being wounded and receiving the normal medals (no mental problems from the experience but I was a little strange before any way). I stayed in the Army for a couple of years and became a pilot. I was going back to Vietnam when Nixon made the decision to pull the plug on more support (that may have been a good thing for me). After getting out of the Army in 1972 I was an instructor for auto mechanics of Ford Motor Company at their Boston Office. That program ended and I then became a service manager for a Ford dealer. In 1978 I went to a fairly new company in the northeast called Honda and was the tech rep for part of New England. To skip ahead I have been a consultant to auto dealers. My speciality is improving the service departments operations and profits. I was doing this in 1990 when I went to a Toyota dealer and fell in love with the product. I have been with the Toyota product ever since. I have achieved all the awards, levels of training, five service excellence awards and seven Presidents awards from Toyota and went to the national 1998 National Customer Relations finals (choked but had a great time).
I maintain that a dealership service department can be profitable and satisfy the customer without charging high repair rates or over repairing the vehicle. Many customers stay away from the new car dealer because of past problems or bad word of mouth. I feel some dealers have created these problems and now many car owners use non dealer people to service their vehicles. I don't have a magic potion when I go to help a dealer, I just remind them that they should treat the customer as they would like to be treated. I am rather frugal, ask my wife, and I know how hard it is to make a living today. To give you an example: I was hired at a dealership a couple of years ago that was doing a good job but the profits were low. They were following a plan that a high price auto consulting company told them would make the department profitable. It failed in every way. I then lowered all the repair prices and modified what was done when your Toyota came in for service. The result was that the service department had record profits year after year, and won the Presidents Award the next five years. The customers were able to come to the dealership and not spend a weeks pay for each visit and they were getting more in needed repairs spending less money. Wouldn't you be happier if your dealer treated you that way.
Now that you know more about me than you wanted, I hope you enjoy the site. I am working on making it more informative and easier to get around. Toyota was really on my case about the site for some time. I guess they felt that only they should know about the problems with the product. Since I changed the name, a little, they don't bother me, and I don't get those nasty calls and emails from the Toyota brass (actually their lawyers) telling me how bad I am. The odd thing is that I support the product, their policies and the dealer network every chance I get.
I started the site because I knew that some customers were being taken advantage of. Being technically inclined and having a unique memory that helps solve vehicle problems, I answer questions from owners. After a day working at the dealership I could go on line and say the same things to Toyota owners, explaining the cause and solution, but no one took offense (at least not that often). If this site helps you or if you asked a question and the answer helped, then I was successful in what I intended to accomplish over five years ago. Take a couple of minutes to look around there is a lot of reliable information about your Toyota, that is not influenced by Toyota Motor Company.
Sorry I got carried away, you should never let me get near a soap box, or keyboard.