NASTF Information Requests

Tracking: 126 Status: Closed
State: TX Name: Richard
Category of Request: Other or Non-Vehicle Specific Manufacturer: VOLVO

Have you checked the OEM website?
Description of Repair unable to perform
Attempting to retrieve pricing for the VIDA tool and subscriptions.
Description of Information not available
Description of steps taken to obtain information (help/contact function on website, websites, etc.)
The contact e-mail for the website (only one I could find listed) told me that they don't provide any help for VIDA. I wasn't asking for help with the tool, Just where the information was located. After the lack of help, I spent another hour broswing the website to find the information. I finally found the subscription pricing behind a disguised link on one of the back pages. This link does not change colors, have any indications that it is a link or even change the cursor when moved across. I found it by watching the bottom bar of the browser change when the cursor crosses it. It looks to me like this was done to make it as hard as possible to find. I would also like to lodge a complaint about the pricing of the VIDA subscription. They have priced this subscription to make it as hard as possible for the independent shop to afford. BMW offer a web based tool that has every feature that the VIDA has and has a 30.00 daily rate. In my research in considering this tool for purchase, I even spoke with a shop specializing in Volvo's and they stated they own the vida, but only use it when absolutely necessary due to the high cost for the subscriptions. This is not a tool that the average independent shop will need to use for three days to fix a vehicle. Here's an example for you to compare. I just had a BMW call for diagnosis. For thirty dollars, I was able to diagnose the problem, perform the necessary reprogramming to correct the problem and send the vehicle on it's way. This took about 6 hours. The vehicle returned with a problem in another system a week later. I diagnosed this problem for another $30.00. If this had been a Volvo, it would have cost me $209.00 to do the exact same thing. If a shop that specializes in Volvos and Saabs thinks this subscription pricing makes the tool a last resort, then this would price the use of this tool out of the range of most, if not all, shops that work on a lower volume of these vehicles. I provide reprogramming and diagnostic servies to about 800 shops in my area. I get a call approximately every ten days from shops that need help with these vehicles 80% of which I have to turn away. These customers have come to these shops to get service from the businesses thay prefer to deal with and many of them can't be helped. Many of these shops have OE level scan tools for nultiple makes, but don't see the VIDA as a cost effective solution to allow them to work on these vehicles. I closing I would like to suggest to Volvo that if people can't get cars worked on where they want to, they probably won't buy that vehicle again. If shops are telling them why they can't work on these vehicles, then the odds of a return purchaser to Volvo are even smaller.
Other Comments or Concerns
Mary Hutchinson - 3/27/2007 8:02:49 AM
I wanted to touch base with you about your service information request below. I am going to forward it to Volvo as a suggestion for improving their website. The pricing issue that you bring up is one that has been 'asked and answered' by Volvo (see several other recent similar service information requests - #115, 116, 117, 118, etc.). I would not expect that Volvo's answer to you would differ from the answers to these previous requests. It is inappropriate and possibly illegal under federal antitrust laws for NASTF to discuss or negotiate the pricing of goods and services provided by a manufacturer or other service provider. However, the issue has been brought to the attention of Holly Pugliese at the EPA, and I had an e-mail from her just this morning saying that she has been in touch with Volvo regarding the situation. She also states that there needs to be some back and forth between EPA and Volvo in the coming weeks in order for EPA to determine whether or not there is a formal regulatory compliance issue and/or what resolution they might come to regarding this matter. I am going to close your service information request at this time, since it has been addressed here to the degree that NASTF is able to legally address it.
Mary Hutchinson - 3/27/2007 8:04:43 AM
Thanks for the reply. I realize that you wouldn't have authority over pricing, but wasn't sure of how to contact the EPA who is supposed to oversee the pricing issues and you have always helped get website problems resolved. I appreciate you forwarding it to the EPA for me. You guys really go the extra mile to try and resolve problems. If it's not too much trouble, would you please keep me informed of the outcome of the meetings with Volvo by the EPA? Rick Layton
Mary Hutchinson - 3/27/2007 8:09:27 AM
Yes, we will definitely be keeping track of what happens on the this issue, and will make sure that you and the other interested parties get word of the outcome. Thank you for your kind words! Mary