Jordan C. discovered Openbay and booked his first service in early 2015. Within four months, Jordan had booked three services on his Mazda 3, and he’s got another service booking on the way.
We got in touch to speak with him to learn more about his experience using Openbay, and to find out what keeps him coming back.
How did you hear about Openbay?
I had just moved to Bay Area, and I didn’t know anyone. I’d just inherited my Dad’s previous car, a 2008 Mazda 3. It’s the only thing of value that I own, so I wanted to take great care of it.
After I picked up the car, I drove it 1,500 miles, and I wanted to get an oil change. I did some research online and discovered Openbay.
I’m tech-oriented, and I’m on the phone all day. So it was cool to find a site that could send me to a shop that specifically worked on Mazda. I wanted a shop that was serious about it. So I checked out Openbay.
I’d come across other sites, and they noted shops’ various certifications, and reviews and referrals, but they only provided estimates for the work – they just ball-parked it. I like that Openbay guarantees the price specifically for the job.
All that is to say that the “Google Machine” is the answer – that’s how I found Openbay.
How many times have you worked with us?
I’ve completed three repairs with Openbay.
Have you always worked with the same shop?
My ultimate goal was to find a shop that worked on Mazdas all the time, that cared about my car, and that I could trust and go back to over and over again.
But the service made me want to try different places out. It was nice to have all those options.
There were a couple of places I knew to stay away from – big chains notorious for doing really poor work. That helped me narrow down the choices. I checked to be sure Openbay’s reviews and other sites’ reviews were corroborated. And I’d go from there. Maybe it’s riskier to pop around shop to shop, but it’s what I’ve felt like doing.
Would you continue working with Openbay if you found a good mechanic? A journalist from About.com even wrote about how Openbay maintaining service records online could actually help to sell your used car someday, by being able to prove how well you’ve maintained it.
I maintain my car’s service records myself, so that isn’t as important to me. What matters is that I’ve got credit with Openbay Rewards. That’s the main thing.
I like to learn more about the shops local to me, and I get credit. I can use every little bit of money toward car repair; it helps when I need my car to be running.[Note: users earn Openbay Rewards credit with every completed service. Those credits may be redeemed at any time toward a future service.]
I like also that Openbay assigns an individual to my case. I like knowing that there’s one person who’s my point-of-contact and who knows exactly what I need.
What’s your level of understanding of cars?
Far better now than it was even six months ago!
I used to know practically nothing about cars. My thing before was computers. I’ve grown up learning and knowing about them.
But now, I’ve sold my PC. I just have my car now, so it’s become my new PC-type of project. I bought a shop manual and I wish I could spend more time on it than I do, but I do my best to familiarize myself with it.
Also, I bought an OBD II (on-board diagnostic) scanner. I like to run codes and keep an eye on things. I’m definitely very interested in it.
The only repairs I’ve ever done myself, so far, are maintenance – I replaced my stock air filter with a reusable one. And I want to start changing my own oil, but I don’t have a garage lift. I’m confident I could do it myself, but I don’t have lift/jacks or a place for it.
Given your interest in OBD devices, have you heard about OpenbayConnect?
OpenbayConnect leverages connected-car technology to remotely diagnose vehicle issues and then, if the issue-severity warrants, it notifies local shops which submit quotes to fix it. We tell you the vehicle’s problem and who can fix it at what price.
I’d be very interested in OpenbayConnect, and would be happy to do the early-access program; if it’ll help improve the service, I’m all for it.
Which other apps do you use for your car?
If you’re willing to shell out, DashCommand ($9.99 on iOS or Android), or I have Torque ($4.99) for Android. There are lots of cool gauges on the phone. I keep it running while I’m driving. It shows you way more info than you thought you ever needed. I got the OBD scanner to keep an eye on my car’s metrics. It’s connected via Bluetooth, so it pairs with my phone and then the phone reads the PIDs (parameter IDs).
I have a second instrument cluster with info on my sensors. It shows air flow, oxygen, etc. That’s important. If I start hearing weird sounds, I can look and say my map reading is a bit funky.
I don’t have an iPhone. So I’m looking forward to Openbay releasing on Android.