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View Full Version : Dealers.. Is this common practice on repair??


Soupy
05-21-2005, 11:34 PM
Lets say someone brings you a Toro Walk Behind. It is blowing a fuse when you try to engage the blades. Do you just replace part after part until you eventually fix the problem and charge the customer for all unnecessary parts and labor. I have a mower in the shop and told them that if it is going to cost more then $300 to let me know (thinking $300 would be plenty to fix the problem). I get update calls telling me they are waiting for a part and then that part didn't solve the problem so they are waiting for another part. I finally got a call telling me that they replaced every possible electrical part except for the pto clutch and that I am at the $300 mark now (even though they problem is not fixed) and a clutch will be another $250 for the part only. They said they will help out on labor but even with parts only I would be around $450 with a clutch. I explained that the clutch on it now only has a few hundred hours but they insist everything else has been replaced and the clutch is all that is left. I told them that if he can guarantee that bit will not cost over $500 to proceed because I feel $500 is fair for the clutch repair if that odes solve the problem. In which case the dealer will be doing the cost eating. But I don't understand why I am at the $300 mark now when all they have been doing is replacing unnecessary parts and the clutch might just end up being another part I do not need.

The real question is... Do you just keep changing parts at the cost of the customer hoping to nail the problem? My father is a retired auto mechanic (owned his own shops) and said he would have never gotten by with charging a customer for parts they never needed. He said he always ate the cost of the part if non-returnable and put it on the shelf for stock hoping to need it someday when he could justify charging for it.

The guy handling my mower has been very nice and picked it up and is delivering it because he lives in my neighborhood(dealer, 2 locations are 30 minutes each direction). I met him while demoing some of his mowers. He is a Toro, Exmark and John Deer dealer and I have heard nothing but great things about their operation. He has offered to eat most of the labor to keep the total under $500 but I am wondering what will happen if the new clutch does not fix the problem. Do I just keep paying for these parts while they trouble shoot this problem?

stumper1620
05-22-2005, 12:33 AM
troubleshooting= diagnoses, they are parts changers no mechanics, mechanics diagnose then replace, remember the three Cs complaint, cause, correction, they should remove the new parts with no labor charge & continue until the repair is complete with a diagnoses charge.
Part, replacement & diag. (resonable diag) total repair. it is not up to you to pay for his mechanic to learn.

Restrorob
05-22-2005, 12:36 AM
It sounds to me this Dealer doesn't have a Technician in the place that knows anything about Electrical Diagnosis and shouldn't be even trying such a thing.Just by reading your problem (blowing fuse when engaging pto)
The first thing to do is unplug the clutch and check for a short !
This is by no means a standard practice for a Master Service Tachnician, I myself diagnose the entire electrical system and know without a dought the part I may have to order in will in fact repair the unit. I have never just thrown parts at a unit much less charge a customer for something that didn't repair there unit.The average time for Electrical Diagnosis is a half hour or less.
This is what I would do if I were in your shoes;Request all removed old parts,These switches relays ect. and pto clutch can be bench tested.
Pay by check then go stright to the bank and stop payment,Take the old parts to a dealer that can diagnose electrical components, They can tell you which one caused the problem and ask them to write you a statement to that effect. Then you will be ready to take the box of old parts and your statement down and present your case to the judge and who knows you may get off without paying anything after him seeing how they tried to Rip you off.

I can't believe the way some Shops and Dealers operate !!! :dizzy:
It gives us all a bad name :angry:

fixer67
05-22-2005, 01:18 AM
It sounds to me this Dealer doesn't have a Technician in the place that knows anything about Electrical Diagnosis and shouldn't be even trying such a thing.Just by reading your problem (blowing fuse when engaging pto)
The first thing to do is unplug the clutch and check for a short !
This is by no means a standard practice for a Master Service Tachnician, I myself diagnose the entire electrical system and know without a dought the part I may have to order in will in fact repair the unit. I have never just thrown parts at a unit much less charge a customer for something that didn't repair there unit.The average time for Electrical Diagnosis is a half hour or less.
This is what I would do if I were in your shoes;Request all removed old parts,These switches relays ect. and pto clutch can be bench tested.
Pay by check then go stright to the bank and stop payment,Take the old parts to a dealer that can diagnose electrical components, They can tell you which one caused the problem and ask them to write you a statement to that effect. Then you will be ready to take the box of old parts and your statement down and present your case to the judge and who knows you may get off without paying anything after him seeing how they tried to Rip you off.

I can't believe the way some Shops and Dealers operate !!! :dizzy:
It gives us all a bad name :angry:

I once had a Toro blowing fuses after about 10 minutes. Could not find the short at first. I checked and rechecked. Ran test on everything. In the end it was the clutch but it took 10 to 20 minutes to slow cook the fuse. In the testing I blow 2 boxes of fuses. On the work order after all was said and done I only put one fuse plus clutch on the bill (plus labor). There was no way I could bill the man for all these fuses, the shop had to eat the other 9 fuses. If we put a part on and it does not solve the problem we remove the new part and return it to stock and put the old part back. People know that we do not just change parts we find and fix the problem. That is why we have had people drive up to 100 miles bypassing other shops to bring there machinces to us. We have one LOC that drives 70 miles every 2 weeks of so to brings his stuff in. We even have the NC DOT and the SC DOT bring there there stuff to us. When you do it right people know and come back. There are 3 other shops within 15 miles of my house but if I was to lose my job Monday I would get a job at a burger joint before working for them because I feel there are parts changers or than any thing else. Any fool can fix something is they replace the whole machine peice at a time. This type of crap makes me sick. I take pride in my work and I will not do any work I am not willing to put my name on and stand behind.

Soupy
05-22-2005, 02:06 AM
Thanks for the replies guys... Keep them coming. I want to get the general consensus before I decide to throw a *****. I think I will call some of the local guys and ask them. I hope these guys are not paying me back for buying a Hustler this year over the Exmark I demoed from them. Nah.. I don't think so.. Like I said they are willing to own up to some of this by offering a break on labor. I still feel that I should only pay a reasonable diagnose fee and labor/parts on actual fix. If it does turn out to be the clutch I think $500 (if they live up to that price) will be fair. This would mean they would have eaten all labor and only profit on part markup. It will be on parts I didn't need but would balance things out (a little) on my end.

sheshovel
05-22-2005, 02:41 AM
NO don't let them do the clutch work,have them put all your old parts that you did not need replaced right back on,no charge and don't pay them the labor for putting putting in parts you did not need in the 1st place.Then take it to another shop.Don't fall for the $500.00 clutch thing they are being so nice cuz they know they are reaming you.A break on the labor for labor you did not need WOW isent that sooo nice of them!!

mikemerritt
05-22-2005, 08:44 AM
You have run into "parts changers" which has been mentioned above. They make a wild guess as to what may be the problem and start throwing new parts at your mower until it is repaired. This doesn't say much for the experience of this group.

They are being very polite to you because they are hoping to be paid for the time wasted on this machine.

We would never consider charging for work that produces no results. I'll bet everyone here has spent hours and hours on some jobs without drawing a dime.

Try the check trick, you can always back up and pay if you want to. No doubt the judge at small claims has seen this before with these folks.

Mike

Restrorob
05-22-2005, 09:25 AM
Thanks for the replies guys... Keep them coming. I want to get the general consensus before I decide to throw a *****. I think I will call some of the local guys and ask them. I hope these guys are not paying me back for buying a Hustler this year over the Exmark I demoed from them. Nah.. I don't think so.. Like I said they are willing to own up to some of this by offering a break on labor. I still feel that I should only pay a reasonable diagnose fee and labor/parts on actual fix. If it does turn out to be the clutch I think $500 (if they live up to that price) will be fair. This would mean they would have eaten all labor and only profit on part markup. It will be on parts I didn't need but would balance things out (a little) on my end.

I Just had another thought,You should print out the Replies your getting from this thread.Should you go ahead and let them rip you off and pay the bill,I would make the owner of this joint read a few before handing over any payment. :angry:

mikemerritt
05-22-2005, 09:52 AM
I Just had another thought,You should print out the Replies your getting from this thread.Should you go ahead and let them rip you off and pay the bill,I would make the owner of this joint read a few before handing over any payment.

I was thinking the same thing.

Pay by check then go stright to the bank and stop payment

What I like about this is it keeps the shop from holding YOUR mower hostage.

Mike

stumper1620
05-22-2005, 10:00 AM
I Just had another thought,You should print out the Replies your getting from this thread.Should you go ahead and let them rip you off and pay the bill,I would make the owner of this joint read a few before handing over any payment. :angry:
I agree, and ask if their repairmen have any idea of what a multimeter is and how it is used.

mikemerritt
05-22-2005, 11:53 AM
OK Soupy,

I've thought this all the way out and here are my thoughts from a shop owners point of view. Keep in mind that I have run into EXACTLY this same problem where my cars are concerned.

When you are ready to pay the bill nicely ask him to accept the money for the LAST repair part and any reasonable labor and shop charges. If its no go just pay him, thank him, load your mower, go to the bank stopping payment on the check and then call him. Make sure you get a detailed list of the parts and labor for everything that was done. Most savvy retailers would be fairly vague on the bill because that IS what it will come down to in court. Get your old parts if you can.

By the time you do all this and call him he will likely be ready to talk about 300.00 or so dollars for the clutch replacement. If he's not let him take it to court. Better he than you.

Go mow your yard and know you are right.

Mike

Lumberjack
05-22-2005, 12:31 PM
Stopping payment on a check can be fraud and in some states a misdemeanor....

Before your get into it with anyone....

ditch the attitude , it wont help you (yet)
speak to the manager and explain your view of the situation and request politely that he look into the matter. A good dealer will go and check on the matter and if the mechanic was totally out in left feild often will cut you a deal. If you start off by jumping the guy many times they will become defensive and refuse to even look into it.

Put anouther way how should I treat you if I discovered what looks like your screw up?

Dont forget YOU authorised 500.00 of work to be done on the machine and may be obligated to pay it whether or not it was fixed. Worse case pay them and take the matter into a small claims court.

As to the mechanic... in some cases guessing is cheaper then diagnostics but it tends to ballon out of control. In some cases a shotgun approach of replacing all the involved components is a lot more reliable and even cheaper then finding and replacing one failed part leaving behind several questionable ones...
We all do stupid things , Luck and timing determine how foolish we end up looking.

stumper1620
05-22-2005, 01:40 PM
Stopping payment on a check can be fraud and in some states a misdemeanor....

Before your get into it with anyone....

ditch the attitude , it wont help you (yet)
speak to the manager and explain your view of the situation and request politely that he look into the matter. A good dealer will go and check on the matter and if the mechanic was totally out in left feild often will cut you a deal. If you start off by jumping the guy many times they will become defensive and refuse to even look into it.

Put anouther way how should I treat you if I discovered what looks like your screw up?

Dont forget YOU authorised 500.00 of work to be done on the machine and may be obligated to pay it whether or not it was fixed. Worse case pay them and take the matter into a small claims court.

As to the mechanic... in some cases guessing is cheaper then diagnostics but it tends to ballon out of control. In some cases a shotgun approach of replacing all the involved components is a lot more reliable and even cheaper then finding and replacing one failed part leaving behind several questionable ones...
We all do stupid things , Luck and timing determine how foolish we end up looking.
It is not rocket science to do an ohms test on a clutch coil pack. Even easier is pulling the plug at the clutch and see if it still blows a fuse, gee did't blow, wonder what could be wrong, must be the switch! duh.

Lumberjack
05-22-2005, 01:57 PM
It is not rocket science to do an ohms test on a clutch coil pack. Even easier is pulling the plug at the clutch and see if it still blows a fuse, gee did't blow, wonder what could be wrong, must be the switch! duh.

True and the tech should have done a proper diagnostic by now. Whats plainly obvious to you and I sitting up here in the bleachers may not be visible to the players on the field. Frustration and bad luck can make a fool out of the best techs.

stumper1620
05-22-2005, 02:03 PM
True and the tech should have done a proper diagnostic by now. Whats plainly obvious to you and I sitting up here in the bleachers may not be visible to the players on the field. Frustration and bad luck can make a fool out of the best techs.
I agree, been there & done that.
but, this is just about the most basic isolation I think i've seen. it seems more to me like the guy just didn't want to get into digging his way to the clutch.
either way, I agree, I'm not there and probably should not criticize what I'm not experiencing.

mikemerritt
05-22-2005, 02:50 PM
Whats plainly obvious to you and I sitting up here in the bleachers may not be visible to the players on the field. Frustration and bad luck can make a fool out of the best techs.

Point taken.....but, it doesn't matter whether it was a seasoned pro that had a bad one or the new guy that still has some things to learn. Regardless of how they ran up a 500.00 bill it shouldn't have come across the counter to the customer to pay.

Stopping payment on a check can be fraud and in some states a misdemeanor....

That would bear looking into in your area. This sure wouldn't be worth an arrest. Things vary from place to place but I can tell you they would never send the paddy wagon for you in this area. The most they would do is schedule a hearing.

Mike

Tider6972
05-22-2005, 04:07 PM
<b>DO NOT </B> stop payment on a check! That will cause you legal troubles, and instead of helping your problem will create ANOTHER, and MORE SERIOUS problem for you! Stopping payment would be a very wrong move.

Explain to the OWNER of the business that you have talked to other owners of service and repair businesses, and you should not be liable for nor responsible to pay for his shops installing unneeded and unnecessary parts. His shop should be able to properly diagnose the problem(s), and repair said problem(s). No court will make you pay for those parts.

If he is unreasonable, pay by credit card, dispute the charges, and sue the "shop".

Soupy
05-22-2005, 04:55 PM
Stopping payment on a check can be fraud and in some states a misdemeanor....

Before your get into it with anyone....

ditch the attitude , it wont help you (yet)
speak to the manager and explain your view of the situation and request politely that he look into the matter. A good dealer will go and check on the matter and if the mechanic was totally out in left feild often will cut you a deal. If you start off by jumping the guy many times they will become defensive and refuse to even look into it.

Put anouther way how should I treat you if I discovered what looks like your screw up?

Dont forget YOU authorised 500.00 of work to be done on the machine and may be obligated to pay it whether or not it was fixed. Worse case pay them and take the matter into a small claims court.

As to the mechanic... in some cases guessing is cheaper then diagnostics but it tends to ballon out of control. In some cases a shotgun approach of replacing all the involved components is a lot more reliable and even cheaper then finding and replacing one failed part leaving behind several questionable ones...
We all do stupid things , Luck and timing determine how foolish we end up looking.

I do not plan on stopping payment on a check. I would rather pay the amount and be a lesson learned. $500 is not worth my time in court.

I have not had a bad attitude at all about this. As you can see I have upped the $300 to $500. I only mentioned a little concern that if it is not the clutch.. I am buying yet another part ($250 part) that I don't need. He replied that that is what's bad about electrical problems because parts are non-returnable. That is when he said that naturally they are going to help out on the labor, but even with parts only I would be around $450 and that is why I said do what you can but I'm not paying over $500. It is the manager that I have been dealing with. He lives near me and contacted me last fall to demo a Exmark. I did but decided to go with a Hustler. Well I know they are a Toro dealer so I asked him if they wanted to work on this mower and he offered to pick it up because he lives right here and always has a trailer with him.

ed2hess
05-22-2005, 05:58 PM
What is the list of parts changed so far to get to $300. The key switch, blade switch, fuse holder, regulator on motor, some safety swithes, what else could have been replaced. Most shops would have used parts to try all that stuff before putting in a new part if they are shotguning. Now if he replaced the electrical harness that would be big bucks but that certainly should not have been necessary. The clutch may only cost them around $150 and it is only a 5 minute job on Scag to put it on. Was this the kind of problem where sometimes it ran for hours before failure, if so maybe that is eating up the tech? I understand your pain and if you can get the unit running for now pay the bill and get the used parts. I do a lot of repair for our business and some problems are not easy and I do throw parts at a problem sometimes but I save the $55/hr shop charge. I avoid the shop in our area because they are VERY busy with a lot of commericial stuff and it takes a couple weeks to get out...but it is A VERY GOOD Shop that can be trusted!!!

Soupy
05-22-2005, 10:46 PM
I am not sure on the list of parts. When they got the mower I explained that the fuse blows immediately when you push the blade switch (which they could easily see if they tried). The problem started while I was cutting. The blades stopped and I looked down toward to switch and I seen the fuse blow. I got a exact match out of my truck and it immediately blew. So I loaded the mower up. I explained to them that the wire harness was replaced by me last year just for their info.

I did leave out a very important fact that I just remembered. When I went to start the mower the next day the recoil broke. It broke from the welds on the flywheel cover so a new cover had to be ordered. So some of the $300 entails that.

They fixed that first and then called me telling me they were waiting on the regulator and that they replaced the blade switch because it burned up while they had it. The next call was to inform me they replaced the regulator and that did not help so they are waiting on another part that they are sure will fix the problem (they said that about the regulator). the last call was to explain that they have now replaced every electrical part except for the clutch and that has to be the problem because there is nothing left that they could think of.

lawnman tx
05-23-2005, 12:35 AM
You should not pay for the parts that was working ok. I have made more money because of repairmen like this. Take care of your coustmer and they will come back and you will make money.

Lumberjack
05-23-2005, 09:58 AM
Well so far it doesnt sound like hes gotten to unreasonable , the recoil likely ran over half of the 300 with labor and all (get a detailed reciept). From what you have posted so far the regulator call was questionable. I would tend to look for a wire with the insulation worn off and shorted more then a clutch myself but thats a judgement call.

Redneckn
05-23-2005, 12:53 PM
I wouldn't pay for the parts that didn't fix it. That is shoddy work. But it seems as though more and more you find that kind of thing because most people just don't know any better.
I would find another shop next time you need something for sure.

Grassmechanic
05-23-2005, 01:33 PM
troubleshooting= diagnoses, they are parts changers no mechanics, mechanics diagnose then replace, remember the three Cs complaint, cause, correction, they should remove the new parts with no labor charge & continue until the repair is complete with a diagnoses charge.
Part, replacement & diag. (resonable diag) total repair. it is not up to you to pay for his mechanic to learn.
Bingo!!!!!!!

Gravely_Man
05-23-2005, 02:51 PM
This is a terrible method for repairing anything. Please let us know how it turns our after you talk with the owner again. Best of luck.


Gravely_Man

Zr2_thunder
05-23-2005, 09:49 PM
Your getting ripped off by a parts-changer Imho

Yank your mower out of there and take it somewhere else.

jubiljoe
06-22-2005, 03:48 PM
The clutch is one of the first things I look for.
As most people know PTO clutches that are electric are rated for
100hrs before initial adjustment. and need to be checked every 100 hrs thereafter. It's a bummer but sometimes that is how it goes.
Check out eetc.org