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View Full Version : Caught a garage trying to rip me off!


Johnson LCO
03-21-2008, 12:25 AM
I want some peoples ideas on what to do in this situation. This is a long story so I will start from the beginning. I felt my brakes were not right and decided to get them checked. My long time friends uncle owns a shop that has a good reputation and my mom went there and really liked the servcie. I call on a friday and they say they are busy and cant take it until next thursday. I am really busy but planned my jobs accordingly as I dont want to haul mulch and topsoil with bad brakes. I ask how long it will take and he guarantees that it will be done by friday evening if I get it in a 7am thurday. I make the appointment and show up.
I get there and tell them my name and the truck model so they can lookup my appointment. I get a dumb look and they make me recite my information again. I just attributed it to it being early in the morning. They promise to look at it and call me with an estimate and details within a couple hours. It come to 5pm and no call. I call and they say they got busy and it will be looked at first thing in the morning and expect a call early in the morning.
It is closing time on friday with no call and I got really pissed. Went to the shop and the owner says well the axle seal needs to be replaced on both sides and it needs new brake pads. I asked why he hadnt called and he shrugged. He asked what I wanted to do. I planned on having the truck on the weekend and had many jobs planned to catch up on the downtime. He said I can have it done monday for a minimum of $800 (just for the seals). I took the truck out and said "yeah like I am going to bring the truck back here" with enough sarcasm that a 5 year old could detect it. I took it to another shop. They confirmed the bad seal on one side. They said the brakes had about 75% (the other guy said less than 10%) and that only one seal had to be replaced. Apparently fords seals only go bad on the right side. Anyway the guy from the new shop called the guy who gave me the bogus estimate to ask why he tried to jip me. He talked to one of the mechanics and they said they only eyeballed it and never took of the tires or anything. I am not a mechanic but am pretty sure you cannot tell if brakes need to be replaced on a dually without even putting it on a lift? Anyway I got the work done, ended up costing 300$. Now
I planned on forgetting about it, but now the owner of the first shop is harrasing me telling me I owe him for his time inspecting the truck. Something to the tune of $50. Obviously the rocket scientist figured out that I had taken it to another shop when they called him. Apparently if the repairs on a vehicle are peanuts (less than a $1000) he add some extras to make it worth his while (heard it from a mechanic that worked for him). I am pissed because he got an attitude on the phone while I was talking to a customer so I couldnt let the customer see my nasty side. I am only 20 years old and obviously he tried taking advantage of me. What should I do? I lost some jobs and am way behind now and am getting angrier by the minute. I was thinking of sending him a bill for the downtime and then contacting the BBB and attorney general because obviously he is a crook and taking advantage of people. Or just going the simpler route and waiting for him after the shop closes and kicking his a$$. He keeps wasting my time with calls and I am getting fed up.

Guzman Properties
03-21-2008, 12:45 AM
Well, he even said he only "eyeballed" it, so what is he charging you for? I wouldn't waste anymore of your time with him. Just spread the word that he is a crook and that will do enough harm.

patpls
03-21-2008, 12:45 AM
Hey I feel for you, was anything said, or mentioned about the inspection fee? Even better ask him where you signed the contract to accept the inspection fee! I'd send him (the first guy) a copy of the invoice for the work you had done and ask why you should pay for an inspection that was false and untruthful. Don't pay he's the one going to lose more than $50 worth of rep.

redsdf250
03-23-2008, 12:07 PM
I live in bear and own a ford and i was wondering if you could let me know where you had all of your problems so i don't go there and tell everyone not to go there.:usflag::usflag::usflag:

GravelyGuy
03-23-2008, 12:49 PM
That sounds like my typical experience with shops and dealers. Equipment or vehicles, it's all the same.

Johnson LCO
03-23-2008, 12:55 PM
the shop that gave me the problems was k and s garage. I really need to find a good shop in DE if anyone knows of one.

fonjo
03-23-2008, 01:12 PM
to answer your question yes you can tell the amount of brakes left without removing the wheels(assuming the rear brakes have drums)(you didn't say what year) there are access clips on the backing plate you can remove to see the thickness of the lining and to see if the lining is contaminted with fluid. this of course is not the right way to have your brakes inspected if you are paying a quality shop to fully check your brakes. you should of gotten a brake inspection sheet with all of the info. on how the system is. % of brakes left, rotor/drum thickness, hoses, condition of mastercylindar and fluid. if anyone pays a shop to check your brakes make sure they give you all the info. about yor brakes. i've been a mechanic for 15 years. ( i just started a landscape business) hope this helps you and anyone else who needs to take their vehicals in to a shop. james fonjo@sbcglobal.net

TomberLawn
03-23-2008, 03:05 PM
I'm in a business law class in college and we've been talking about contract law. Verbal contracts are just as legal as written ones, but it is harder to enforce because it becomes a "he told me and I told him" argument. If there is no advertised inspection fee (like a sign in the office or the mechanic or someone simply stating that there is a fee) they cannot charge for it. There are certain cases where you can be forced to pay something if it is logically understandable that a charge is incurred. This is called a quasi-contract, which is to limit unjust enrichment of one party at the expense of another party. Since most shops offer free inspections, there should be no quasi-contract.
If you told the shop that you needed the truck to perform work, you may be able to get consequential damages from them. Consequential damages may be awarded when a breach of contract causes loss of income. Simply telling the shop that you will lose business if you do not have your truck back by a certain time is substantial.
One defense the shop may claim is that you did not have a contract with them. A contract is simply an offer and acceptance in which both parties have legal capacity to enter into the contract and there are provisions for consideration (consideration is like payment--they fix the truck, you write them a check). When you left your truck with them, they offered to inspect it and you accepted the offer by leaving the truck. You could probably claim a breach of contract since he guaranteed it would be done Friday evening and it wasn't.
I'm not a lawyer by any means. This is just my observation based on what I have studied about business law. If you sue the guy and win some money, I would like a 10% consultation fee :) j/k

Oh, by the way...don't wait around for him and beat him, or even say that you might. You could be charged with assault for saying or acting like you are going to get him and you will be charged with battery if you do get him.

topsites
03-23-2008, 06:10 PM
Look, in business we can't please everybody, this may not be what you want to hear but that is how it is for every business out there. Because everybody out there has different ideas of how it should be, how I should treat them, how it should be done, I myself can not do it.

Our choice as consumers is to pick (and deal with) the few businesses where we get what we feel as our idea of 'good service.' So first things first, I would go ahead and start taking my vehicles to that $300 guy, it seems from the sound of it that is where you got the satisfaction you felt appropriate.

As for the 50, you could just chalk it up to experience, send it in and be done with it, you're still only out 350 all in all.
Or let that guy know exactly how you feel and stand your ground, but that may not be the best choice either (it could go on your credit record just as one example, probably not but I'm just saying). The reason I mention this is because coming from someone with a FICO of 800+ it has been my experience I pay the guys even when it absolutely irks me and even when I think they are so full of it, I pay them their stinking money. First it helps preserve my credit and reputation as a guy who "always pays no matter what," but then my dirty little secret is that helps me remember what happened too!
And, I never go back there again, the $50 seals that memory right solid.
I still get even, that to me is a super twisted form of revenge, don't even let on how angry I am (not always successful thou heh).

If it were me I would as likely first try to blow the other guy off, at least mention what happened and try to remain calm (and don't call him but wait until you hear further... For all we know he may just drop it too)... But then if he really pushes things just pay the 50 and be done with it. Also for myself I would as likely patronize the shop that fixed your truck for $300 and not because it was cheaper per se (but maybe that too lol). Just keep taking your vehicles there, from here on out, let them be your preferred mechanic but don't let them know all of that lol just do it.

The choice is yours...

coobie
03-23-2008, 08:03 PM
I would file a complaint with your states attorney generals office & better business office as far as his business practice are concerned.I think that would stop his phone calls to you.coobie

THEoneandonlyLawnRanger
03-25-2008, 09:01 AM
I would look into filing a complaint also.......This reminds me of a few years ago I took my truck in for service at the toyota dealership and they told me my front brakes were shot..................I had just put new pads on 1 week before i took it in.........There is always gonna be someone out there to try to take advantage of you.....Good thing u went for a second opinion.....Good luck which ever route you go.

thecollector
03-28-2008, 04:57 PM
Not sure about your state but here in Ohio A shop can legally bill you for parts and labor without any type of contract, signature or authorization up to $25.00 This helps shops recoup check out time for vehicles that are removed from their premises. He has your VIN# and your info, so he has a valid work order on your truck, weather or not he did qaulity work or any work is up for debate. However here in Ohio he could put a mechanics lean on your truck, I just doubt he would do so since the amount of money "owed" is so small, and it costs him time to do so. Check your state Laws, it's usually in the fine print on the bottom of every dealer/shops work orders, you can look at the receipt from the shop you did go to. Good luck.

Johnson LCO
03-28-2008, 05:27 PM
I just forgot about it. He hasnt called me again and I have been so busy that it slipped my mind. A friend of mine needed work done on his car yesterday and I went with him to the shop that correclty fixed my truck. I have a feeling they will be getting a lot of business from me, my family and my friends in the future. They are just a old school gas station/garage but they are honest and do good work.