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help Hartman out with his market research......

Hartman

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I'm working on some market research right now and I need some opinions.

I know most of you do your own maintenance (as do I), but give me some opinions on this service:

It's a service that comes to your car and performs basic maintenance repairs and minor repair work. The customer would make an appointment on the web or via telephone to schedule an appointment and identify the location of the vehicle at the time of the appointment. A van would come and do the repairs and follow up with the customer the next day to ensure satisfaction. The customer would then be reminded at the approximate time when maintenance is needed (oil change at 3,000 miles or 3 months, for example). Reminders would be either direct mail, e-mail, or telephone calls.

The service is aimed at corporate clients, women, the elderly, extremely busy people, and those disgruntled with the current state of the car maintenance industry.

Any opinions are welcome. Good idea? Bad idea? Potential problems? Be honest please.
 
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Turdle

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I think it might work--I do see some liability issues though, (damageto property from spilled fluids, injury )
Fluid disposal issues?
Wat about the guy who wants to look over your shoulder?You Can't keep him out of his own driveway
 
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cgriffin_5139

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Good idea but there doing something similar to this in California, they call it fleet service ten or so cars in one place. But with only one car at a place at a time you wont make any $. With the cost of gas to get from one place to another, getting rid of the used oil, oil filters so on and so forth.
 
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Hartman

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I'm aware of fleet service, but that's more commercial. This is aimed at mainstream.
 
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Brian1

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There are a few businesses here in Albuquerque that will do exactly that. One of the ads says they will even change a clutch.

I dont know how profitable it would be but I guess you could charge a premium since the service is more convienent to the customer.
 
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Hartman

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i have seen something like this, but they come and wash you car whereever it be instead of fixing it...I see it as working...

Mobile detailing........it's getting very popular.

And thanks everyone for their opinions so far.
 
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aldive

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I see strong issues with liability. You didn’t mention estimates and payment for service; will deposits be required? Will the repair techs be certified?
 
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Hartman

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I see strong issues with liability. You didn’t mention estimates and payment for service; will deposits be required? Will the repair techs be certified?

I purposely didn't go into a lot of detail because I'm looking for first hand opinions on the general concept. Yes there are strong issues with liability and part of my research is aimed at finding out if they can be overcome.
 
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OZexplore

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theres a company here that has been doing just what your talking about for a number of years
mobile lube and repairs is all that they do, never used them
they go to your home, work just about where ever there is a flat surface
 
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MONMIX

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EPA would be a HUGE issue.

I suspect seeing a van pull up to a car and start digging through it would draw very mixed observations.

The whole " here are the keys " wile I am on the 35th floor working in a secure building might present issue. On that note parking the work van near the vehicle in an unobtrusive manner would be a challange espicially in a assigned or paid parking lot or garage.
 
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Hartman

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EPA would be a HUGE issue.

I suspect seeing a van pull up to a car and start digging through it would draw very mixed observations.

The whole " here are the keys " wile I am on the 35th floor working in a secure building might present issue. On that note parking the work van near the vehicle in an unobtrusive manner would be a challange espicially in a assigned or paid parking lot or garage.

Good points. There are ways around most obstructions however. Thanks for the input.
 
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Lt.Jim

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I like the concept if the logistics can be ironed out. I also think the area would come into play. This may work fine in an area with higher income more densely populated area as opposed to a sparsely populated lower income area.
 
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Brock94

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I like the idea too. I took my wife's minivan to the dealer for a recall service-- replacing the heated seat elements-- and they kept it for two days even though there's no way they needed that much time. When I pressed them on the issue, the service writer told me they didn't even get in the bay until 1pm the first day. I dropped it off at 7am after having scheduled the service 2 weeks in advance. They should have had a bay and tech waiting for me. Anyway, your service would solve that kind of problem because the mechanic would be working on my car at the scheduled time.

One of the reasons I do my own repair work is because I find that it doesn't take much more time and inconvenience than scheduling and waiting for a shop to do the repairs. If you do a service that takes an hour (or two or whatever) and it only takes my car away from me for that amount of time and I don't have to drop it off, find a friend to pick me up/drop me off or wait in the shop while it's done, then that would be an attractive deal.

If you were working in my driveway, I would like to have you quickly show me what's wrong, etc. as you work on the vehicle. Maybe that would make life harder for a tech, but it would increase my confidence/trust level. Plus, if I paid for an hour, I would know that I'm getting an hour.

One potential concern would be weather-- I can tell you from experience that it would be hard if not impossible to do many things outside in areas where there's a cold winter. Things like rain/thunderstorms, etc. could easily mess up your service schedule leading to unhappy customers.
 
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Hartman

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Thanks for the input Brock.

Please keep in mind that this doesn't necessarily have to take place at the home of the customer, although it could. The target I'm looking for is more of a office parking lot. Issues with spilled oil, damage, etc. would obviously have to be looked into, but could probably be overcome using certain preventative measures.

I realize that most of you are DIYers (which is great in my opinion), but it's still nice to get differing opinions from all across the country (and the world!). That being said, thanks to everyone who has posted so far.
 
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