Getting a new muffler using Yelp – My Story

Cams Auto Service Toronto

Cam's Auto Service in Toronto

It’s Sunday around 11:30 a.m. and I’m cruising to the grocery store.  Now I know the Impala has been getting louder and louder as the last few weeks have passed, but this is just brutal.  I’m not a mechanic but I’m pretty sure the muffler is gonzo.  Just then I realize that I’m going to Ottawa on Tuesday and I’ll go crazy if I have to listen to this god awful sound for the whole week.  Usually I get my service done at the Chevrolet Dealer I used to work at, but that’s an hour drive away.  It was time to take massive action and fast!

I can’t speak for every 30 year old with average computer skills, but my first stop was good old Google.  My game plan was to find a place  the next day that I could get it fixed asap and get an oil change while I was there.  So this is how it went down:

  1. Typed in “muffler repair toronto” into Google
  2. Clicked the Yelp link with  “Muffler repair Toronto Reviews
  3. Phoned Cam’s Auto Service

Now as you can see Cam’s Auto Service dominates the reviews for this category.  I’m not saying I would rely on Yelp reviews for everything but c’mon it’s a muffler.  This is pretty basic stuff and I really just wanted a reliable place that was close to downtown.  The reviews sounded really legit so I decided I’d put this on my hit list in the morning.

8:30 a.m today I give good old Cam’s Auto Service a quick ring and explain I’m heading to Ottawa tomorrow and need the muffler fixed STAT! and an oil change. I need my car for work so I needed a place that could do this in like an hour and send me back on the streets all sorted out.  The gentleman on the phone was extremely nice and said bring it in and he’ d make sure this happened.  I don’t know why but I trusted everything this guy said, but I assume it had something to do with the glowing reviews.

Bonus!!! Oil Change Coupon – Oh ya.. I almost forgot.  Cam’s Auto has a pretty brutal website but  it got the job done and converted me into a customer.  This is what their website was able to quickly do:

  1. Location: Nice Google Map – Hate when service destinations don’t include this.
  2. Yelp Button – They have the icon that points you to their reviews! Why not it’s free!
  3. Free Stuff!! – $1o off oil change coupon!! Could use a “print coupon” option.

I swear to god I have never once printed out an on-line coupon.  But Cam’s Auto basically upsold me on an oil change when I saw the $10 off.  Luckily I had enough ink in my printer to pull this off.  I felt like a loser walking in with the coupon, but let me tell ya when the boys at Cam’s saw it they were pumped.  I guess it’s a good feeling to see your website making things happen for you.  Screw you Middle East war I have Cam’s coupons.  It really made me think of all the franchise dealers I work with day in and day out and these dudes don’t have service specials or coupons – TOTAL FAIL!

$10.00 off an oil change = $24.95

So How Was The Service??

Not saying that I’ll be spending my weekends at Corktown’s Pink Palace but when I need some easy repairs done to my out of warranty Impala…Cam’s will get a call.  They were super friendly from the first call and best of all when they said an hour or so they meant an hour or so.  Cam (that’s what I’ll call him but he might just be a regular worker) even walked me a few steps down the street to point out an awesome breakfest spot – Morning Glory Cafe – Check out their Yelp.  King Street East has their review game on!

After telling the boys that I found them via Yelp they asked if I was American. They said that they didn’t even know what Yelp was up until a while ago and mostly American Expats were finding them once moving to Toronto.  Goes to show you that true customer service will generate it’s own positive reviews.  If these guys actually put a bit of a process in place I’m sure they could really shake things up.

The final bill:

Labour: $70.40

Parts: $129.95

Subtotal: $200.35

Tax: $26.40

Total: $226.39 (Includes $10 off oil change)

So did I get an amazing deal?? I don’t know and I don’t care.  I didn’t even check the price at any other shop, but the service was awesome and I really did get a kick out of using that shitty pink coupon.  If Cam’s Auto service did not show up on the first page of Google through the powerful review site Yelp, they would have been completely off of my radar.

By: Ryan Thompson ( LinkedIN)

General Manager at Ernie Dean Chevrolet Buick GMC in Alliston, ON. Sharing with you everything I can about the car business.

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