The Toyota Dealer – My Review

Post by Mark

I’ve had my Toyota FJ Cruiser for more than 3 years now and after just completing my 80,000KM service I think I’m in a good position to write a review about my experience with the dealer. My biggest concern when originally getting the FJ was the local dealers success. They sell a ton of cars everyday and I was worried I wouldn’t get any attention or be given any importance as a customer after the sale was completed. I was also concerned because of the amount of cars they sell, a simple oil change might be a very time consuming process. I got those concerns and more answered and they’re in my review below which I’ve divided into 4 parts; the buying experience, the quick service experience, the spare parts/service prices and finally the customer service.

The Buying Experience
This is by the far their weakest aspect. I purchased my FJ from their large showroom in Al-Rai, it’s not a pretty showroom and the cars are just lined up side by side like a supermarket shelf. They seem to have very few salesman and too many customers. I don’t think there is any other dealership in Kuwait that gets as crowded as the Toyota dealership. Not a good starting experience, but everything actually gets a lot better once you do buy a car.

Quick Service
If the buying experience was the weakest aspect, their quick service garages are their strongest. After buying my FJ I was given a list of quick service locations around Kuwait which I could go to to service my car. I found my preferred quick service location and started to pass by over the weekends to get my oil changed and the experience wasn’t that great since there would always be a long line. Then I found out that my quick service garage would actually stay open till 9PM and that’s when things became so much better. I just started passing by in the middle of the week during the evenings and the quick service garage would be completely empty. Actually, even if you pass by during the day in the middle of the week there would probably be just one car ahead of you, super convenient.

Spare Parts / Service Prices
I just performed my 80,000KM service which according to the service employee is the most expensive service for my car. I paid KD200 and that price included changing front and rear brake pads. A regular oil change also costs me I think like KD11 (my FJ takes 7 liters of oil). I had also purchased a discounted service package right after buying the car which lasted me till 60,000KM. Basically if the total amount of services was going to cost me say KD450 over the years, they offered me to pay around KD250 in advance and all my services would be covered till 60,000. They even offered me another discounted package when that had expired but I decided not to take it since I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep my FJ for another 3 years.

Customer Service
I love the customer service at Toyota from small things like getting a phone call to remind me about my car services to more complicated things like customer treatment. I actually had a really good experience with one of their employees just last week which is what actually led me to wanting to write this whole review. I won’t go into details because it’s a bit complicated to explain the whole scenario, but basically the service advisor called me and told me my car would be ready at 1PM the following day. I tried to push for the car to be done by 12PM since I had a meeting at 2PM and the service advisor said he would try his best. Next day I headed to Avenues which is near my service center to kill some time. 12:45PM the service advisor calls me to tell me my car is done but I would have to pass by after 2PM to pick it up because they have to wash it and the service center closes between 1 and 2PM for lunch. I got super pissed and told him how he had promised me to have the car done at 1PM even though I was pushing for 12. I also told him he should have told me they had a lunch break from 1 to 2PM since I could have been at the service center before 1PM to wait for my car to be ready. I told him I was at the Avenues now and would need more than 15 minutes to get to my car and then to get to the service center. He told me not to worry and that he wouldn’t go on his lunch break and I could come by between 1 and 2PM to pick up the car but that it wouldn’t be washed (which wasn’t an issue at all for me). So I got there around 1:15PM and the employee was extremely professional with me. Even though everyone else was on a lunch break, he got all my paperwork signed and walked me himself to the cashier and the collection point and then even brought up my car from the garages basement himself. I told him I was really impressed at how professional he was and loved how he managed to keep his composure while I was blowing up on him on the phone (I can be a dick when I’m pissed). I was really impressed and I don’t get impressed.

At first I thought I would email the dealer my feedback on my experience but then I was like you know what, it’s been three years of great service and people generally tend to write about stuff when things go wrong (like me with my bank last week). So I figured I would take the time and write up a review about my positive experience with a company in Kuwait. If you’re considering getting a car from Toyota, you should know you’re also probably getting the best after sales service as well.

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16 comments, add your own...

  1. dougmacho says:

    Toyota Corp does an excellent job with having the dealers maintain customer service, glad to hear they provide great service here too. They are number #1 globally in customer satisfaction, they even reprimand dealers for poor service.

  2. Amer says:

    I have had few cars and suvs from Toyota and have loved their service!! Reliable cars and best service…

  3. Abdulrahman says:

    So true , am thinking of selling my FJ and buying the 2014 Range Rover sport. But the Reliability of thier cars and the excellent service is way better than Alghanim.

  4. aaa says:

    I’ve had an FJ for about 6 years, once you get past 5 years or so the service suddenly turns to shit imo. Really really dissapointed with them now even though I was pretty happy with them before that.

    • chess says:

      I don’t know what you are talking about, I have had my prado for 8 years and only do my service/garage “stuff” at the dealer. No complaints from me.

  5. Nasser says:

    I haven’t dealt with Toyota before, but I have dealt with Chevrolet. Having owned a Camaro for almost two years now, their service has also been excellent. Things are always done quickly, and the quality of their work does not get compromised with their speed, which is great.

  6. Stanjohn123 says:

    No doubting Toyota / Lexus service in Kuwait. They are the best here according to Kuwait’s standards.

    But then it’s only because they don’t have any competition from other Car Brand dealers. Compare it to the service you get from dealers in US , and it suddenly becomes just “good”, and we pay a premium for our car’s here ! Sigh.

  7. Pops says:

    So mark, how much did they pay you to compliment them this much? they are ok actually. garage staff, mechanics …etc are decent, problem with Toyota is their senior
    management, outdated old school bags of rice is the best way to describe them.

    What I’m trying to say is actually if you consider their specifications vs pricing you’ll notice how much of a rip off they are in comparison to the rest of the world, try comparing specs between UAE, OMANI, KSA FJs and you’ll understand. Their excuse is “Accessories added onto vehicles are done locally around the GCC, they do it at the manufacturer” which is absolute bull. and also contradicts the sub contract agreements they have in their garage papers which allows them to run certain “repairs” outside the dealer garages. (zena street, auto zone, ahem ahem.) and charge you double what they got charged there. they mainly do that for engine/tranny overhauls as customers often cannot afford replacing.

    Also they’ve had a couple of incidents in their garages in the past, such as the car lift thing chain snap, car ignition in the body shop, wrecking a lexus vehicle in Shuwaikh, there was a whole article about them online, try searching for “Lexus wrecked my car”

    Not to freak you out or anything but they have their ups and downs.

  8. me says:

    I had a Toyota for a couple of years before, and if I wad to write a review about the dealer I would write exactly what Mark mentioned.
    I think that their biggest strength is their staff who are often ready to take that extra step in order to help.

    Once I had a problem in the car and I handed it to them in order to check it. I paid the invoice for checking the car and they told me any repairs cost would be invoiced.separately after. To my surprise I later received a call saying that the problem was just a bad belt in the engine, and they refunded me the money I paid earlier and only charged the cost of changing the belt. Wow. How often does this happen in other dealerships/repair shops??!

    (I wasn’t paid to write this comment)

  9. Dude says:

    I Agree with you, thier service center is one of the best service centers in Kuwait, although I can’t get my FJ in for servicing their I have the first 2 times, then they came up with the rule : No Service for Imported FJs – Which is where I think they got it wrong. I also told them I’d pay a registration fee but they declined, I really think if they had a brainstorming session with us we could get to a good deal on servicing our imported cars with them. I only bought it from KSA because I wanted a Yellow FJ and they only had 1 in stock which apparently was sold the day after I asked I wanted it and they had to check + you get more options on the 2009 FJ from KSA. I tried to explain this to Toyota Japan, but they referred me back to Alsayer and their reply was that the owner refuses to take in any imported cars period – You can go to Nasser AlDuwaliah (which is not an authorized toyota service center) but owned by the same owner.

    Politics – Money – > Often the fine line between the ultimate service centric company and the company that acts as if they are service oriented.

    + They still call me to service my vehichle! Even though when I go they decline to take it in!

  10. Mos20 says:

    Hi Mark

    Do you perhaps know if anyone stocks accessories for the FJ here in Kuwait? Things like light bars, fender flares, Tail light guards, etc.

    If you do know of anyone, I would really appreciate if you could send me an email with the info.


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