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Auto Repair, Hatchback, Truck, Sedan
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#501 of 2832 Re: So imagine your day starting off like this. [Mr_Shiftright]
Nov 11, 2012 (7:53 am)
A repair shop owner is like one of those guys at a carnival in a cage hanging above a water tank---every customer is trying to hit the bulls-eye.
We are fortunate to have a core group of customers who carry our shop year after year and they don't do the kinds of things that force us to split our concentration when it comes to servicing their vehicles. The ones who come in looking to take advantage of us cause us to have to keep looking over our shoulder to ward off the surprise complaint instead of getting to enjoy fixing their car. Even then, we usually get the task done perfectly, only to still see them unsatisfied.
#502 of 2832 Re: In any business... [isellhondas]
Nov 11, 2012 (8:03 am)
There will always be a small percentage of customers you simply don't want. It's a small percentage but a business has to know when to tell these people to go elsewhere.
There are some businesses in this trade who cater to those people at a level that they reward them for acting like selfish spoiled brats. They still can't make them happy and at the same time teach them to try and take advantage of everyone they meet. That's exactly what the guy with the Cadillac did back then and even when he basically stole from us, it was in his eye's our fault.
Frankly if he would have kept his mouth shut, I easily would have had him bring his Corvette in and repaired it for him. I don't recall names and faces and had easily forgot who he was. Yet I recall everything about individual repair events and the moment he mentioned his Cadillac it was total recall and I knew that he is poison.
#503 of 2832 Re: So imagine your day starting off like this. [thecardoc3]
Nov 11, 2012 (8:19 am)
I have had cars that the owner stopped making the payment on and get repo'ed that we had a repair waiting to be paid for. We have been ripped off for quite a sizeable amount of money that way through the years.
I think something along those lines happened to my previous mechanic. Back in December 2009, I noticed an '85 or older Buick Riviera sitting in their fenced-in back lot. A month or so later I noticed it was still there, and asked about it. The mechanic said it belonged to a woman who, after they did all the repairs (forget now what all was done), decided it was too much, didn't pay for it, so they kept the car.
It's nearly three years later, and the last time I was in there, they STILL had the car! In fact, they still start it up every once in awhile to give it a run...which IMO is awfully nice of them.
I wonder what would ultimately happen to a car like that? I'll confess to having a fascination of cars from that era, so the mechanic let me look at it one day. Too rough though, even for my tastes!
I'm in Maryland, and have no idea what the laws are covering something like that.
#504 of 2832 Re: So imagine your day starting off like this. [andre1969]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Nov 11, 2012 (9:26 am)
oh the garage should have lien-saled the car long ago. They'll just being lazy about clearing up this problem I think.
You get a "lien kit" from DMV and follow instructions. It's pretty easy. I've helped a few garaged do lien sales. I did the paperwork, placed the public notice and after the auction--which nobody ever comes to---I filed the lien papers for the garage. They got a title, sold the car to pay for the repairs*
* Note: there are rules regarding how much a garage may charge for "storage" and also a rule that if the sale exceeds the cost of the repair bill, that extra money goes back to the owner of the car. Also, the owner can contest the lien sale, but if they contest it and still refuse to pay, and don't file a lawsuit, then the lien sale goes on.
Threat of a lien sale is a good way to get non-payers to cough it up or shut up.
#505 of 2832 Re: So imagine your day starting off like this. [Mr_Shiftright]
Nov 11, 2012 (1:49 pm)
Back in the mid 70's a buddy of mine was at a local transmission shop having some work done when he spotted the nices little 1952 Chevy Hardtop sitting behind the building. He wandered over and took a closer look. It was dusty and looked like it hadn't been run for awhile.
So my friend asked about it and learned that they had overhauled the transmission (Powerglide) but the owner refused to pay for the job or pick up the car. They had just completed the Mechanic's Lein paperwork and told him he could buy it for the price of the rebuild which was, at the time, around 200.00!
He picked me up, stopped by the bank and we went back and picked up the Chevy which they had washed in the meantime! It was a So. Calif beauty, rust free with something like 60,000 miles on it. I drove it home for him and it ran like a dream!
He drove it for abut a year and finally sold it to a guy who kept bugging him for I think 600.00.
It got lowered to the ground, split manifold installed and lived the rest if it's life as a "cholo wagon"
#506 of 2832 Re: So imagine your day starting off like this. [isellhondas]
Nov 12, 2012 (6:37 am)
I used to have a 1979 Chrysler Newport, that I bought from the junkyard in late 1996. In April 1997, the transmission failed on it. Luckily, less than a mile from a local transmission shop that had a good rep, so I had it towed there.
The guy that owned the place told me that, if I had happened to come by there about 5-6 months earlier, I could've had that car for free! I didn't understand what he was saying at first, so he explained. Turned out, the previous owner had brought that car to them, and when they said it needed a new transmission, he didn't want to put the money into it, so he just left the car with them. They swapped the wheels, which were the extra-wide 15x7 road wheels, and gave them to a friend to use on a horse trailer, and they threw some junky Ford wheels on that had the same bolt pattern, but the center part was smaller so they cut the opening out. And eventually, they sent it to the junkyard.
And as luck would have it, I happened in that junkyard on the very day the car came in, so I saw it, complete and solid, before they started dismantling it and then parting it out. Paid $250 for it.
It actually drove out of the junkyard, and made the trip home just fine, and the transmission never gave any indication of trouble. And the inspection never found anything, but then again, I don't think a transmission is part of a "safety" inspection. However, one evening after work I used it for my part time job delivering pizzas, and it acted up pretty quickly. I tried to get it home so I could get another car, and got within about 1/4 mile. So I just left it along the road, ran home, got another car, and figured I'd deal with it later.
That night, after I got off, I put some transmission fluid in it, and it went into gear just fine. So I made sure to just keep transmisison fluid with me. But, the second time, that didn't work!
The transmission shop only charged me $650 to put in a rebuilt transmission, which seems cheap to me...too cheap to total a car over. But then, maybe the previous owner was just getting tired of the car. And, it did need other work. I bet that transmission shop is happy that the previous owner didn't say go ahead and fix it, and THEN refuse to pay! Also wondered if they thought I was an idiot for pulling it out of the junkyard and then paying to get it fixed?
#510 of 2832 Re: MOM (Motor Oil Matters) [thecardoc3]
by steve_ HOST
Nov 19, 2012 (6:22 am)
"Those who are licensed will be put in an online directory for consumers, which can be used as an advertising tool."
Such a deal. And if you don't pay the $400 a year, someone like that Marsha guy will claim you're incompetent when they sue the shop.
Don't forget to top up the tank with some Top Tier gas.