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Dealer charging for things I never asked to have done

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jason Rose, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    I posted in another thread part of the story... THat I had taken my 227 Grasshopper (still under warranty) for a warranty repair. One of the drive pulles on a hydro pump had came loose and "wallerd out" the hole. Simply needed a new pully, pull the old off, slap the new on, reinstall the belt.

    I also asked if they could check to make sure it's running right, because last fall it was ideling rough, often stalling at idle. He said they would look at it and also check it over and look for any other problems.

    Forward a week later. He calls me and says it's ready to be picked up, this was Tuesday. I run out there a few hours later and find that it's nice and clean... Went into the office, stood in there for several minutes talking. Went out to where mower was in shop as he was explaining that they replaced the plugs and fuel filter, the filter was partly clogged, and there was also a little water in the carb. He said they took the carb apart and cleaned it out. After that was done and put back together it was running much better. Yes, I was impressed that they had washed it, but he made no mention of a bill, or what I owed, or anything. He opened the overhead door, I drove my mower out and onto the trailer, and I was gone.

    I had assumed that they must have did the extra stuff and turned it in with the warranty repairs, maybe just hid the labor or something. I was there for a good 15 minutes and he never said a word about money. I thought wrong!

    Today, I open the mailbox, and oh look... an invoice from the dealer!
    They charged me a total of $128.89 for all this, one thing I was CHARGED FOR was SHARPENING BLADES! I do NOT pay anyone to sharpen blades. Plus I never asked them to do it. I was also charged "shop labor rate" to WASH THE MACHINE!!! Washing is something else I never asked them to do, they never told me they were going to do it, and then have the NERVE to CHARGE ME for doing it!!!???

    I called him about it and HE told me to basically Forget it! He said that I'm the only customer of theirs that's ever complained that they wash the mower and sharpen the blades. He said that they always do that. He went on to say that I complain about everything, blah blah blah... Everyone is always happy when their mower gets washed and the blades get sharpend he told me, even the commercial guys. Matter of fact he went on arguing with me for a good 5 minutes. Finally told me to just take whatever off the bill that would make me happy, for the blades and the washing. Also said that they will never wash it or sharpen my blades either. (GOOD!)

    So it was $9 to sharpen the blades, of which I won't even be using them till next fall because they are gator blades. And probably, who knows how much time they put into washing it. It had 300 hours of build-up on it. Iv'e washed machines before and to do a good through job can take 1/2 hour.

    This would be like me showing up to a house for a lawn mowing, and then I wash their windows too, and then send them a bill for it... Sure, some people might appreicate it, but only if it was free! Yes, it's about $20 I'm worried about, but it's the principal of the deal. I never want things done to anything I own, truck, mower, bike, whatever, without getting a call and being told what they want/need to do, and how much it's all going to cost.
  2. grass disaster

    grass disaster LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,583

    no way would i pay to have my machine washed or sharpen the blades
  3. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    Was the mower dirty? You said 300 hrs on it maybe it was too dirty to work on? I know my motors gets pretty grubby in corners and before I do any maintenance work on it I clean it really good. Makes it easier to see if something is loose or cracked too. As for sharpening the blades knock off the $9 but you know they are going to tell your next dealer what a great guy you were.
    How's the mower run? Was the loose bolt on the hydro pump covered under warranty?
  4. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    The engine area was totally clean. matter of fact I just blew off the whole machine before I loaded it up and hauled it out there. The "dirt" was simply from mowing, which I just hadn't worried about yet this winter. I rarely "wash" my machines because they just get dirty again anyways. I try to blow the machines off frequently. Only if I get mud on the mower do I take a hose and actually wash it off. Yes the wheels, and leading edge of the deck were "dull" because of the film that builds up on them over time. But it was by no means covered in mud and old grass.

    It wasn't the bolt, the bolt came loose several times, and I had replaced it, even added loc-tite, didn't realize till later that the pulley was worn on the inside, that goes onto the shaft of the hydro pump. Something had to have been wrong with it from day one to cause the bolt to keep coming out. It (the pulley) was repalced under warranty, yes.
  5. S.A.L.

    S.A.L. LawnSite Member
    from NOLA
    Posts: 226

    The dealer shouldn't be surprised you didn't pay.
    That's the gamble you take when performing unsolicited work: sometimes you won't get paid.
    9 times out of 10 he (dealer) can probably get away with useless add-ons, but I'm like you (OP), I need a phone call with details before you (dealer) start spending my money.
  6. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,775

    Gotta hate that. I had the same deal. Toro under warrenty - idler pulley and told him as well it is rough runnen. States I had water in gas, carb clean, new plugs, drained the tank, added 5 gallons of gas, sharpen blades, but didn't wash machine.

    No mention of anything either until a week later. I get a bill. I filled it thinkiing it was warrenty and probably just an invoice of work done. Next time at the shop - he ask me about paying his bill. I ask what bill? Well needless to say, he charge me for every part x 100% mark up - $65/ for shop labor - after spending roughly 100K with this guy in the last two years - that wasn't cool to be charged. I let him know - he told me blah blah blah and i haven't been back since.

    Lesson to dealers I guess - I understand you need to make a living, not steal for a living!
  7. lawnguyland

    lawnguyland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,108

    I hate that and have left several dealers that tried that crap on me. A lot of those guys are idiots, just like a lot of so called landscapers. When you find a good one stick with him.

    SNAPPER MAN LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,443

    Thats ridiculous. At the shop I worked at during the summer of 2007 we always pressure washed machines for free. And then how ever much time was spent fixing it was chaged. Washing was always free so I think it is wrong for him to charge you for washing.
  9. texslawncare

    texslawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    We do all our maintenance in house. But I took a JD in for warranty work once. After I insisted I'd do the work ourselves. He says "Go ahead. Do ya like spendin money or som'in?" So I left the machine with him and told him to call. In their devine wisdom they decided the repair was from abuse and wrote up a laundry list of things the mower needed. I told him I'd pick it up. He tells me it's in pieces. Why's that, that's not how I dropped it off. So I pick it up and when I go to leave he hands me a bill for inspecting the machine and providing me with an estimate too fix what I already knew was wrong with it in the first place. So after I tore a strip off his 'ss and explained to him what I thought about his crooked tactics. He proceeded to tell me not to worry about it. He'd just hide it in someone else's bill. I guess it was yours.

    By the way, the went out of business about a year later. Something about embezzling money. Go figure.
  10. juspayme

    juspayme LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 299

    First, iI would pay him for anything that was not covered under the warranty to get the mower running right like you wanted it. for example spark plugs, air filter, new gas? thats ok cause you told him to get it running right and those costs are probably not covered under warreanty. no problem.

    But.....your dealer is a BUNK dealer, ill tell you why.

    first, who cares if every other lco doesnt complain when their mower gets washed or blades sharpened? tell him guess what, im your first then.

    second, just imagine if yor dealer does this everytime he services a unit. 5 units per day all year. theres some serious money, like an extra 20,000. thats not just bunk dude. thats really bunk. 20,000 a year to wash mowers and sharpen blades, come on.

    but anywho, if you didnt ask for it, dont pay it.

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