Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Mechanic rip-offs-gctid375618

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Mechanic rip-offs-gctid375618

    We have had a few "My mechanic ripped me off" threads lately. Maybe I can help some of you to minimize this happening.

    I was a shop manager for 2 way radio repair. We were a manufacturers service station, but not a franchize. The parent coperation gave us some guidelines in how to treat customers.

    Heres some things you can do when brining your boat in for service.

    1. Whatever you want done should be in writing signed by you and the service representative.

    And you sould be given a copy, or have them put it thru the copier.

    2. Be specific. "Boat to be winterized", "needs yearly service" etc

    3. Any diagnosis and subsequent "quotes" should be in writing.

    4. You have the right to get beack the "bad" parts. If they say they have to send it in for a "core charge" then insist in seeing it before they send it in.

    5.If they call you on the phone with "we got the eninge apart and discovered XXXX wrong, drive down there before authorizing the work.

    6. This is a biggie: Get a manual for the engine. Clymer, selock, and others sell reasonably priced manuals. Look up whatever they are telling you is bad. Make an informed decision.

    7. If theres anythin the mechanic does or says which lights off your B.S. alarm, maybe get a second opinion.

    8. Realize how they are paid. They usually get a portion of the labor charges and a commission on parts, like the auto dealers. Therefore there is a protensity to "sell" services, some of which are not necessary. One has to weed out the nessary services from the sales pitch..... Example: Wife brought her civic in for tires. The mechanic said "the car needs new rear brakes because there is a lot of brake dust in it" Without even pulling a wheel. I pulled a wheel and the shoes were only 1/2 worn.

    9. Punch the companys name into a google search. Some negative comments happen, because you can't please everyone everytime. If theres a lot of negative comments, go elsewhere.

    10. If they give you an estimate, they must stay within 10% over. If they say" while we had it apart we found XXX and just knew you would want it done..." without your consent, you've been had.

    In many states, auto mechanics have to have a license, and are regulated by the state. As far as I know, this does not happen in Marine echanics. Let the customer beware.

    There are honest shops out there. Once you find one, do not haggle the price. The shop has the right to "fire" the customer.
    Captharv 2001 2452
    "When the draft of your boat exceeds the depth of water, you are aground"

    #2
    That is so true. I've been had before. y biggest problem was that the mechanic could not give me an estimate...they said I don't know how long it will take as I did not work onthis specific boat model...

    I said fine...so $1000 later they adjusted my shift cable!

    Too bad, there are such people out there.

    Comment


      #3
      Ditto Harv on the diagnostics. While diagnostics aren't always able to show exactly what the issue is, it's certainly the right place to begin.

      Be willing to pay for these diagnostics. When diagnostics are presented, get in writing that the diagnosed issue will be corrected when diagnosed work is performed.

      There's no sense in paying for parts and labor that DO NOT correct the problem..... and we've all seen this happen before.

      #9... yep. Vary your key word search.

      Often these companies are savvy to this, and they will include words in their web site like "no complaints" or "happy customers" so that they beat you to the punch line when you key in "complaints" or "unhappy customers" during your search query.

      Example: (this is a quote from a search that I did on a company here in town that has numerous complainsts against them.)

      We have worked tirelessly to negotiate and please this customer, ... there is only ONE unhappy customer, and I trust that you all take that into ...

      Hard to explain, but when you start searching, you'll hopefully see what I mean.

      BTW, not all complaints are legit. Some customers are schmucks also! rod

      #10.... apparently not all states and/or countries recognize Estimates and Quotes in the same way.

      IMO, an estimate can leave the door open, and IMO, a quote closes the door a bit more.

      Try your best to receive a written "quote" that fully identifies the diagnosed problem, and one that states that the work scope will correct the problem.

      Also, and to be fair to the shop and yourself, understand that there's always the likelihood of discovery..... meaning something else may actually and truly be discovered once works begins.

      Good thread, Harv! :coo-

      I'll give you a Rep Power point for this one!
      Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
      2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
      Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
      Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
      Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

      Comment


        #4
        blinky wrote:
        That is so true. I've been had before. y biggest problem was that the mechanic could not give me an estimate...they said I don't know how long it will take as I did not work onthis specific boat model...

        I said fine...so $1000 later they adjusted my shift cable!

        Too bad, there are such people out there.
        If the shop rate was $95/Hour it take 10 hours to adjust a shift cable? I had new ones installed for less than half that!
        Port: Sassafras River Georgetown, MD Bayliner 2000 2855 7.4

        http://www.chart.state.md.us/video/v...50fa36c4235c0a

        Comment


          #5
          Keep in mind that many of our mechanical problems and issues are repeat issues to the trained eye.

          IOW, these guys have seen these (if not exactly, certainly similar) issues before. So it's possible that they can diagnose some issues rather quickly.

          Granted, some can be very unique and difficult to diagnose! Ian's (aka epoc) electrical/ignition system issue, for example.

          With Ian's issues, there's no way in heck that someone would be able to easily and/or quickly diagnose this.

          Just say'n!

          .
          Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
          2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
          Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
          Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
          Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

          Comment


            #6
            captharv wrote:
            2. Be specific. "Boat to be winterized", "needs yearly service" etc
            I wouldn't consider either of those to be even close to specific enough for me.

            How about:

            Needs yearly service, including; change engine oil and filter. Change transmission oil and clean transmission oil filter. Adjust valve clearances. Check coolant freeze protection and adjust coolant level, check drive belts, check battery levels.

            You have to describe the work you want done. Don't leave it wide open. And don't expect more than you asked for.

            Comment


              #7
              All good tips. I would like to add something though:

              2. Be specific. "Boat to be winterized", "needs yearly service" etc
              "Annual service" really needs to be more specific. I've seen these two things go down:

              The previous owner of my previous boat, a 2455, always had the "annual service" done. He paid $650 per year for a haul, full transom re-seal with bearing, oil change, spark plugs, impeller, etc. I thought that was a great deal.

              One of my marina neighbors had been getting an "annual service" done at a price he didn't disclose. This week my brother, who does marine and land mechanical work, did the service on his boat instead of his usual dealer. He found that the impellers were original (2005 boat) and one was destroyed. He's now taking apart more of the cooling system to find the pieces. He also found that the drives have never been removed, the bellows and bearings and all that are original. Far as he can tell, the "annual" was maybe an oil change and plugs.

              Comment


                #8
                All the more reason for us owners to be more vigilant with regard to receiving written documentation..... and documentation that lists labor work scope, and parts by p/n.

                If computer generated..... this is a cake walk for them to produce.

                Edit:

                As long as we're on topic, what are you guys seeing in the paperwork regarding your winterizing being done by these shops?

                Are you seeing any disclaimers regarding freeze damage?

                Is there verbiage that spells out that the procedure will absolutely prevent freeze expansion damage from ruining cylinder heads, engine blocks and exhaust components?

                If so, does the verbiage cover you in this event, and does it hold the shop responsible for labor and replacement parts?

                Any time frame mentioned?

                Any pro-rating to any of these used parts?

                Lastly, are any of you allowing your shop to draw an antifreeze solution up and through the drive and into your Raw Water cooled engine..... and then telling you that this offers adequate protection?

                I'm just curious.

                ,
                Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
                2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
                Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
                Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
                Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

                Comment


                  #9
                  Good ole trial and error were my teacher.

                  -never use a mobile mechanic. Maybe if they were referred by a friend but that's it

                  -get a warranty on repairs. Always disappointing when you pay for repairs, head out with guest and clunk.. Boat still does not work.

                  -go with a brick and mortar shop. You'll be able to find them if they arent on the up and up

                  - once you find one good mechanic stick with him. There are advantages of a mechanic knowing your boat

                  Comment


                    #10
                    waynepj3 wrote:
                    Good ole trial and error were my teacher.

                    -never use a mobile mechanic. Maybe if they were referred by a friend but that's it

                    -get a warranty on repairs. Always disappointing when you pay for repairs, head out with guest and clunk.. Boat still does not work.

                    -go with a brick and mortar shop. You'll be able to find them if they arent on the up and up

                    [COLOR]"#0000FF" wrote:
                    - once you find one good mechanic stick with him. There are advantages of a mechanic knowing your boat[/COLOR]
                    + 1
                    Port: Sassafras River Georgetown, MD Bayliner 2000 2855 7.4

                    http://www.chart.state.md.us/video/v...50fa36c4235c0a

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I do my own winterizing so I have not seen that Rick, but where itsabowtime2 is right now had this on their work order:

                      "Do not forget to install your drain plug. We are not responsible for installing it."
                      Phil, Vicky, Ashleigh & Sydney
                      1998 3055 Ciera
                      (yes, a 1998)
                      Previous boat: 1993 3055
                      Dream boat: 70' Azimut or Astondoa 72
                      Sea Doo XP
                      Sea Doo GTI SE
                      Life is short. Boats are cool.
                      The family that plays together stays together.
                      Vice Commodore: Bellevue Yacht Club

                      Comment


                        #12
                        SwampNut wrote:
                        All good tips. I would like to add something though:

                        "Annual service" really needs to be more specific. I've seen these two things go down:

                        The previous owner of my previous boat, a 2455, always had the "annual service" done. He paid $650 per year for a haul, full transom re-seal with bearing, oil change, spark plugs, impeller, etc. I thought that was a great deal.

                        One of my marina neighbors had been getting an "annual service" done at a price he didn't disclose. This week my brother, who does marine and land mechanical work, did the service on his boat instead of his usual dealer. He found that the impellers were original (2005 boat) and one was destroyed. He's now taking apart more of the cooling system to find the pieces. He also found that the drives have never been removed, the bellows and bearings and all that are original. Far as he can tell, the "annual" was maybe an oil change and plugs.
                        This likely happens more than we might think. Long ago a friend had a problem with his new Chevy. Had it back to the dealer a few times.

                        The last time, he tied a string to the hood so if it was completely open it would break. Got a call, his car was ready. The string wasn't broke.

                        In case you wonder, the problem was under the hood.

                        So perhaps a little creative markings might trap someone trying this. Paint on a bolt that would show if the bolt was moved, a water pump with something that would show if it was taken apart. Be creative.

                        Doug
                        Started boating 1955
                        Number of boats owned 32
                        Bayliners
                        2655
                        2755
                        2850
                        3870 presently owned
                        Favorite boat. Toss up. 46' Chris Craft, 3870 Bayliner

                        Comment


                          #13
                          communication is always the fault line in service departments.

                          Ever since the implementation of the "Service Advisor" service has gone downhill in most places.

                          The philosophy that "we can't afford to tie up a productive trained technician with time spent talking to customers" is a mistake imo

                          "Let's promote a guy from parts department" = uggh most of the time with the odd exception

                          The next best thing to talking directly to the tech., is a check sheet where service jobs are listed with 4 columns:

                          column:

                          1. item like "drain/pressure test/refill sterndrive" for example - tasks correspond to a master price list behind the counter

                          2. box for customer to initial go ahead

                          3. comments box for advisor to give notes to mechanic

                          4. comments/check box for technician to mark as complete and comment back to advisor/customer

                          customer cell phone number available to technician

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Best and most cost effective way is without a doubt by doing it yourself. If you are not up to it or just do not have the time I suggest you ask around your marina. You will notice the same name coming up all the time and this is where you want to take your work. Believe me, in a small marine community, any "bad" doing will get out real fast and they guy is toast. I would hate to have to go over all paperwork to see if all my T are crossed and my I's dotted. There is something called trustworthy and if I personally cannot deal with someone of this nature then I will not deal with them at all.

                            Point in fact, I recently removed my drives for annual servicing and I found a worn output shaft due to a coupling failure at the end of season. I simply dropped both drives of at the place I know and trust told him to do both oil changes, pressure test and replace anything he deemed necessary. We opened a work order with my requests and he called me back a few days later and said the output shaft was $110 and the entire job including oil was going to cost $400. Easy as pie and called me back the next day to say they were ready. Normally I would have done this however I am quite strapped for time right now. :livid:
                            Cheers, Hans
                            2007 Carver 41 CMY
                            Twin Volvo D6-370
                            Montreal, Canada
                            Midnight Sun I Photos

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X