Last post on Dec 02, 2013 at 3:15 PM
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#2447 of 4850 Re: BMW passed emissions today!! [isellhondas]
Apr 26, 2013 (10:18 am)
In the case of the hardened seal pieces, I'd wiped the smirk off that &^%#! face so frig fast, his head would STILL be topping...how many years later?..
There is NO WAY IN HELL I'D have paid and Store Mgr should have stuck to his guns. Get Judge Judy happenin' if you have to...she too would sweep the frig parking lot with that loser.. pffttttt
But I too have been the victim of not honest mechanics. I even had the OWNER of a fairll well known local shop that had recently been rebuilt to modern standards after an incandescent trouble light fire on a gas tank job burned the place down. Had it happened two days earlier my old rusty diesel Land Cruiser would have been in there. Anyway, I had my Camry AWD stick in there for a afety certificate. The owner drove the lift jack leg right up and was prying on the gas pedal. I hear this sickening crunching and creaking and I said stop stop as fast as I could but the damage was done. Now HERE is the kicker...I TOLD him it was not in the right place!!!!!! But he insisted it was fine. Then when it went through the car he said, well that's not MY fault, the car has a punk floor..I could have frig knocked him out cold I was so mad. The car did NOT have a punk floor at all! He simply had it in the wrong place and was a stubborn (insert nationality here) and refused to backdown insisting that the floor should have held it. Well duh...not if the lifting arm was in the wrong freakin' spot you ar$e..
In the end, he did nothing...my loss...I had to pry the floor back down using blocks and sticking a long pryball through both doors using the lift as a pry-point. he said I don't have time for you to tie up my hoist while you do that...and I told him you absolutely WILL wait on me or call the cops because that is what it will take to get me outta here. And consider yourself lucky I don't sue your ar$e off. As I recall..I guess you can tell how infuriated I was as I recall it...
Guess where the floor DID start to rust later??
I could tell you another (the last one at that shop...yes...I will own that one cuz I never should have trusted them again with anything, but was in a bind) but the ol' BP is high enough for now just recalling this one..
#2448 of 4850 Re: BMW passed emissions today!! [gimmestdtranny]
Apr 26, 2013 (12:06 pm)
Easy for you to say what you would have done. I had no choice other than to suck it up. This was at the largest volume Sears Auto Center on the West Coast and I was 25 years old. I needed my job!
I don't know what their policies are now but at that time, if an unhappy customer got past me they were given whatever they asked for. Believe me, I wrote a lot of refund checks and the checks I wrote were a lot less than what they would have been if the customers went over my head.
Back in those days Sears did almost everything. We installed aftermarket air conditioning, rebuilt engines, front end work tuneups, mufflers and my store had one of the last remaining upholstery shops.
Now they do almost nothing. The guys that worked for me were good but they would have been lost on today's cars.
#2449 of 4850 Re: BMW passed emissions today!! [thecardoc3]
Apr 26, 2013 (12:33 pm)
Growing up in south GA along I-75 in the 1960's, I can remember more than a few dishonest car repair shops/service stations in the area. A classmate of mine's father ran a transmission "repair shop" and was in cahoots with a couple of the gas stations on I-75. The attendants at the gas stations would convince travelers their transmission was about to "go", and refer them to the shop for repair or replacement, when there wasn't anything at all wrong with the transmissions.
I know this for a fact, because my friend's after school job was to get the removed transmissions steam cleaned and repainted, so the swapped out transmissions were "rebuilt" for the next "client". Looking back at it, I doubt anyone in his day's shop could actually rebuild an automatic, but they were pretty good at swapping them out.
Back then, a traveler was far better off to keep his hood closed when getting gas.
Another big scam was one in which some service attendants wore what appeared to be a wedding band, but on the palm side there was a small razor-sharp blade affixed to the ring which the attendant would use to cut into the drive belts for the engine accessories, and then of course, sell the guy new belts after showing him how close the belt was to failure.
My brother actually has one of those "rings" that he and 2 of his friends "relieved" an attendant of as he was quickly opening the hood to "check everything out", even after my brother told him to leave the hood closed.
If anyone wonders why some people are so distrustful of repair shops, there isn't any shortage of stories like the ones above to go around fueling those beliefs. And, I suspect its one reason there was so little resistance to the move to self-service stations. I'm sure a lot of people's repair costs on their vehicle went down after that occurred.
Of course, that was 50 years ago, and things have changed a lot since then.
Personally, I like to think people are honest until they prove otherwise, but for anyone to deny these things ever happen is to deny reality.
#2450 of 4850 Re: BMW passed emissions today!! [isellhondas]
Apr 26, 2013 (12:36 pm)
Yes, I remember back in the day where Sears guaranteed "satisfaction". I think a lot of that began changing around 30-25 years ago, and the change continued to accelerate as time passed.
When I was in my teens, Sears was an excellent choice to select for many auto repairs.
#2451 of 4850 Re: BMW passed emissions today!! [jipster]
Apr 26, 2013 (12:42 pm)
"Well, the burden of proof would be on the plaintiff to prove that the car was damaged while under your care. The only proof that you could of had would be a walk-around with the customer before accepting the car for repair... marking any dents or scratches. "
That's certainly the way the law works around where I live.
The more upscale dealership repair shops I've been to in my area all do the "vehicle walk around" procedure with the client before having the client sign off on the repair authorization, noting any pre-existing damage on the document before accepting the vehicle for repair work.
#2452 of 4850 Re: BMW passed emissions today!! [busiris]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Apr 26, 2013 (1:12 pm)
Don't forget the smear of grease on the shock absorber scam - that was a big one on the snowbirds driving to Florida.
Picked up the van today with the new timing belt/water pump installed and met the owner's wife for the first time. 15 minutes later we had all regaled each other with our broken down car stories - even mechanic's cars break down now and then. Who knew?
$525.92 for the work - no storage fee for having it sit on his lot for two weeks.
Oh, got a $1,300 quote for the "inevitable" Subaru head gasket fix although he predicted I wouldn't need one until around 160k (at 92k now). He loves Subarus; makes a lot of money off of them.
While chewing the fat, his helper came into the little waiting room/office and listened in. Nice small town lifestyle - work a bit, relax a bit, gossip with the neighbors.
#2453 of 4850 Re: BMW passed emissions today!! [busiris]
Apr 26, 2013 (1:23 pm)
Yep, "Satisfaction Guaranteed" was Sears motto and all a customer had to say was "I'm not satisfied" and they would give them anything.
Sears was a great place to work and to shop in those days. I was proud to work there and were it not for the excellent training they gave me and a boss that pushed me, I wouldn't have accomplished what I have.
Today, is a different story as they continue to decline for a number of reasons. Some self inflicted and others due to market forces.
#2454 of 4850 Re: BMW passed emissions today!! [isellhondas]
Apr 26, 2013 (2:58 pm)
Today, is a different story as they continue to decline for a number of reasons. Some self inflicted and others due to market forces
I'm involved with a project right now because they want to try and change how things are.
Apr 28, 2013 (5:54 pm)
This was an event that will forever be burned into my memory. It shows how circumstances can change in an instant and a repair event goes from something that we had some pride in providing to a customer to a ďWhat Just Happened?Ē
Not long after we had opened our shop we had a fellow show up for some work on his classic car, that included making new transmission cooler lines. Being able to make them by hand and result in an aesthetically pleasing, while functional result was really important because the owner takes this ride to car cruises and likes to show it off. Some of the rest of the work centered on improving the quality of the engines idle operation, which would have essentially amounted to a tune-up back when this car was new.
The owner was thrilled with the results. He had heard about what we could do and deliver, and we met those expectations and even exceeded them.
A couple months went by and he approached us about his daughter-in-laws car. It was a Chevrolet Lumina 3.1 Liter and had a misfire and a severe loss of power. The diagnostics were pretty straight forward; two cylinders didnít have any spark. This engine used one of the early versions of ďC3IĒ or distributor less ignition. The module and coils were mounted on the left hand side of the engine below the exhaust manifold. You had three short plug wires for the front or left hand head, and three long wires for the rear head. One module controlled all three coils, and each coil provided spark to two cylinders. The system was widely regarded as a waste spark because the spark had to jump two spark plugs, one on the power stroke which fired that cylinder, while its companion was on its exhaust stroke which was simply part of the circuit path at that point. The center coil which provided the spark for cylinders three and six wasnít firing. Using an oscilloscope and the low amps probe the coil current event for that coil was missing from the parade. The coil was removed from the module so that the module itself was tested and it was confirmed to have failed. Further inspection of components showed that the plugs were still the originals, and had eroded gaps exceeding one hundred thousandths of an inch. The specification was forty-five to fifty thousandths so it needed new plugs, and secondary voltage testing of the rest of the system showed that the remaining operational coils in the ignition system needed to produce over thirty-five thousand volts to fire their spark plugs.
As a tech these numbers are very significant because this car had a pattern failure due to neglect. The high secondary demand voltage causes the coils to fail, and then we have that secondary voltage get discharged through the ignition module which kills it. This car simply needed what we used to call a tune-up. But what brought them in the door was the final failure of the module when it completely lost two cylinders.
The estimate was written to reflect exactly what the failure was. It had to have the module and the one coil. To really run right it needed new plugs and wires, because that is what caused the module to fail. It is also a pretty good idea, but not required to replace the other two coils. So we had a good, better, best situation and add in some other routine items like the fuel filter, (also still the original) and the air filter and we were going to be able to give them back a car that would run the way that itís supposed to.
The choice was all up to the customer at that point what he wanted to do. We donít force people to buy things, we just lay the facts on the table and they decide. The potential problem that they had to consider is that the other two coils have been stressed just like the first one that had already failed and took out the original module. There would be a chance that should they not replace those coils they could lose another ignition module. The only difference pricewise was the second and third coil, the labor was the same since the whole system had to be removed and reinstalled to replace the module. The customer chose to replace all three coils and have the car properly tuned up. As part of that routine I also cleaned the throttle plate and reset the minimum air rate and TPS sensor adjustment at no extra charge. The total bill including the diagnostics was just over $750.
So the next afternoon the customer comes to pick up the car, and I know that itís running perfectly. Basically I canít wait for them to take it for a ride because with everything that was wrong with it when it came in they havenít felt the way itís supposed to run in quite some time. There was a woman, and another older guy with the customer. Out of the blue he starts jumping all over us because of what we charged the customer. It went from him insisting to see the slip from the parts store so that he could see what we paid for the parts, to seeing what the replaced parts were, and another whole group of demands. As I mentioned earlier, the customer brought in his daughter in laws car to have us work on it. The woman who came in was his daughter in law, and the old guy raising hell was her father. He claimed that he used to be the service manager at what was then a dealership that had sold out a few years prior, so he knew all about our price mark-ups. He grabbed the keys to the car and handed them to his daughter who was also screaming about the price and he told her to leave with the car. The customer who brought us the car, and was going to pay the bill that he approved said very little the whole time. The old guy even told him to just leave and we would have to sue him to get the money for the work that we did. At one point the old guy threatened to get physical when he wanted me to go outside across the street with him. He even threatened to call the police on us, for what I donít know but he was doing everything that he could to make us change the bill. His reasoning was that he would have done everything that we did for just the cost of the parts and that would have been a lot less than what we were charging.
#2456 of 4850 Re: The Barber cont..[thecardoc3]
Apr 28, 2013 (5:55 pm)
Now what would you do if you were suddenly in a position like this. We had only been in business about six months, and this had never happened to us before. We always strive to make the customers happy, and gave him very clear choices and he took plenty of time to decide what to do. Looking back, what we should have done was call the police ourselves, and today thatís exactly what we would do about the threat of physical violence. In some ways I really wanted to oblige him in going across the street, but my luck would have resulted in that old guy probably having a heart attack or something stupid like that. No matter what I did or was going to do this job had just went from something to be proud of to simply an event that the quickest way to make it go away that we could find the better. So I cut the bill by $125 just to get rid of them before I finally did lose my temper and made things worse.
The really sad part of that is, doing that only helped to make it look even more like we were in the wrong and ever since that day the barber and this other guy have trash talked about our shop. I must say though if you ever believed in Karma youíll appreciate the fact that about six months later a bad summer storm blew a tree down on top of the car and totaled it. But for me even that canít erase the hurt that we felt when they walked into the shop. I can let the quality of the work that we do speak for itself and overcome their attempts to sabotage our shop, and in that respect what they think really isnít relevant. But nothing can undo the fact that through the years they really have hurt us some, but at least from today on people get to see the other side of their story.