Monday, August 20 2012
Just as the apparel industry has left this country and most manufacturing jobs are gone, because we can no longer compete against cheap offshore labor, the position of the good independent mechanic is soon to go by the wayside. Technicians who are competent and conscientious and who want to do a good job are slowly, but surely, disappearing from the automotive scene. They are being replaced by individuals who do not have the training, the tools, or the desire to do a professional job. Their main objective is a quick buck, no matter the outcome. Day after day, we see the results of incompetence, malfeasance and just wanting to rip off the customer. Most of the blame can be directly placed on the shoulders of the individual consumer, those who take their vehicle to a shop without performing due diligence. All jobs are price driven (i.e. how much), but there must be a positive outcome from their experience, or money is simply being thrown away. My advice: develop a positive relationship with a good independent shop, one that will stand behind their repairs, and trust them. By developing a relationship of trust there will be no need to haggle with estimates, especially since good shops will not negotiate fair prices. Don’t ask to use parts you have purchased online or on eBay, because good shops will not do it as they have no legitimate means to ensure these parts! If you do not feel you are being treated fairly or that you have been overcharged, I suggest speaking to the service writer and getting an explanation. If you are still unsatisfied, then you may want to look for another repair facility that you feel confident in both their technical competence and fair pricing.