The Warranty Administrator has covered GM's simplified maintenance program several times in the past. Our position is that it is very confusing and misleading to the customer. Customers are led to believe that all you need to do is wait for the light to come on and have your vehicle serviced. Any service suggested before that point is probably just those greedy dealers trying to rip you off.
Yet there are things that even GM recognizes as necessary maintenance service outside of the simplified schedule. Tires need to be rotated on a set schedule and GM recommends their fuel additive at regular intervals.
Then there are those things that are on the fringe of GM's wear policy. For instance, there are reps that refuse to cover brake repairs unless the customer has had some type of brake service/cleaning performed. Their reasoning is that a good cleaning and service will prevent the calipers from seizing and causing excessive wear of the pads.
These standards can be tough to live by, as a customer will call GM and complain that the dealer is trying to sell them services uncalled for by the maintenance schedule or that the shop refuses to warranty their brake repairs because of a lack of maintenance.
Some managers just get frustrated and end up buying the service to make the customer happy, while others just try to walk the line between the rep's demands and the customer's.
Our suggestion, as always, is to follow GM's policies to the best of your ability regardless of your rep's verbal commands. If she/he is willing to put their position in writing, then you have some ammo to protect yourself in the future.
In the meantime, we would like to hear about some of the situations you have been going through. If you have had some conflicting advice lately, let us know by e-mail at email@example.com.