Friday, May 31, 2013

JACKING UP THE PRICE, AT ALL COSTS

 
There has been a noise in the front end of my car for a while now. It always intensifies when I tap the brakes. Recently though there was a shimmy and shake added to the sound. The vibration got so bad that it made stopping difficult. Usually my husband handles these things but with the new job he can't.  So we made an appointment at the car dealership and yours truly took the car in. I arrived  promptly at 1pm with my Kindle in hand. We had been given an estimate of the potential work ahead of time. It would be about $200 to replace the brakes and about $80 more to put in new rotors. And the job would take about an hour and a half. I pulled up a chair and settled in. That's when the fun began. Lady from automotive came out to the waiting room and told me the front brakes were fine, but that the back brakes and rotors needed replacing. AND, here's the BIG... AND... it would NOW cost $340. That is $60 more than they originally quoted. No explanation given as to why the price went up. That's just the way it is. Unfortunately I am a captive audience, need the car repaired and gave them the go ahead, despite the new price. AND she tells me it will now take two and a half hours.  So I hunker down and wait. Time slips away and before you know it, she's back. I think she's going to tell me the car is ready. She doesn't. Instead she asks me if the front end has been shaking. I tell her that's why we brought it in. Then she says, looks like the front rotors are the problem. We can try to machine and turn them, she tells me. That will cost you $130 extra. But most likely they will need to be replaced too, so you're looking at an additional $220. Which would bring the total cost of the job up to $560 which I realize is DOUBLE the original estimate of $280. I called my husband who was about to go into an important meeting. I'm upset. He's upset. But we agree it needs to be done. So we approve. Off she goes. I wait and wait and wait. At 4:45pm she comes to get me. It's done. I breath a sigh of relief. They were able to turn the front rotors, instead of replacing them. That saved us $90. She hands me the bill. And I surprise her by handing her a coupon for 15% off services rendered.
 
 
Her feathers are ruffled and she then tells me they CAN NOT honor it. It doesn't apply to repair work. I ask her to read the coupon. Nowhere does it state that and I suggest that they better honor it or bring the owner in. They refuse to give me the 15% but do knock $60 off the bill. I'm tired. It's been a long day. I can see the name of this game is to take advantage of the customer at all costs. So I pay it. The noise is still there when I tap the brakes. The shaking is gone. But now, two days later, the engine doesn't want to turn over, without a struggle. It's back to the dealership tomorrow. I have a theory. The battery is in the wheel well where they were working to fix the brakes. Maybe a cable accidently came loose. You think they planned this to make more money or is it a fluke?


16 comments:

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Like you said we are a captive audience. The repairs need to be done at whatever cost they choose. I would love to find someone honest and that knows what they are doing when it comes to repairs. Hope it doesn't cost you another arm and a leg.

Bobbi and Gracie said...

This post made me so ANGRY! I am so sick of seeing people taken advantage of! I loved the part where you whipped out your 15% off coupon! How dare they refuse to honor it!! This happens consistently to me at the BonTon and I'm to the point where I do very little business there anymore. Is there any way you can find an independent mechanic in your area that has a good name? Car dealerships have one thing in mind, it seems.... 'how can I rip off the next customer'.. Errrrr. This is one of the reasons Gary and I opened our own business... If every business could be fair and honest and out for the best interest of their customers this world would be a much better place.

Anyhow, enough for my soapbox. I hope your car is doing better now. ..

Pat MacKenzie said...

They have us over a barrel where our vehicles are concerned don't they. Some things just have to be repaired regardless of the price. Its sad that there are unscrupulous dealers out there who take advantage of their customers, women especially.

linda eller said...

I just dont like being taken advantage of, and seems like that is what they did. But we are at a loss because we have to have our cars, and they know that, so they win.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

unreal! i would be sooo angry!

Lynda said...

Is the dealer the best place to go? We use "private" mechanics who work for themselves. The price is right and their work is excellent.

Red Rose Alley said...

Taryterre,
I'm so sorry to hear about your car trouble. That's the way it seems, doesn't it - we go and take our car in for one problem, and there are two or three more things that surface. I guess we have to pay the price, as our cars are an important part of our days. It's nice to hear that you tried to get the cost lower by using a coupon.

I hope your weekend is better.

Love,
~Sheri

Haddock said...

They know when a person is "down" and thats when they go for the kill. In all probability you will not go back to her and thats their loss (which they don't realise) No sense of business tactics. - A happy customer comes again and again.

Chatty Crone said...

I a with the gang - I want to find a honorable place too. It is so hard when it comes to cars nowadays. Darn. sandie

jack69 said...

TRUST, is a hard thing with auto repairs. I wouldn't even be curious, BUT they went from the front (the original focus) to the rear, then back tot he front? WHY I must ask. It all might be very above board, BUT there is always the Question in one's mind.
I would have done the same, probably. We are at a time where we just want it OVER. And THEY might just take advantage of that, but one does not really know.

But I am mad.
((HUGS)) Good luck tomorrow!

jack69 said...

PS: Or is this tomorrow already I am running late!

Formerly known as Frau said...

I think it's a way to make more money! I try not to go to the dealership better to find a local mechanic that cares about cars and people and not a quick buck. Good luck!

Lucy said...

THEY WILL HOOK YOU FOR EVERY NICKEL AND DIME THeY CAN GET. Just want to smack them. Been there done that. Hope your day is better, today.

Lucy said...

My husband swears when a mechanic recharged the air conditioner he cut a hose on the air conditioner then told Joe he had to replace it. Joe was a mechanic but retired several years ago.. It was the next summer we had to have it recharged but we took it elsewhere and is working fine 2 years later.

Angela said...

I am so sorry to hear all that. My husband does all of our repair work, but I dread the day that he might not be available to do the work anymore. Situations like that really do leave you at the mercy of someone else.

By the way, you don't happen to drive a Dodge Caravan, do you? If so, my condolences (and a personal invite to my support group for any Dodge owner). =)

Nelle said...

I would ask neighbors for recommendations for future repairs. My neighbor has worked for numerous car dealers and told me that they encourage the mechanics to find things wrong and that they get a bonus based upon that. Common practice. I would have called the better business burea about the coupon. POOR customer service. :)
Hope you got the noise taken care of.