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Dealers.. Is this common practice on repair??

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Soupy, May 21, 2005.

  1. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    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?
     
  2. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,889

    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.
     
  3. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,024

    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:
     
  4. fixer67

    fixer67 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,104

    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.
     
  5. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    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.
     
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    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!!
     
  7. mikemerritt

    mikemerritt LawnSite Member
    from MS
    Posts: 42

    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
     
  8. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,024

    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:
     
  9. mikemerritt

    mikemerritt LawnSite Member
    from MS
    Posts: 42

    I was thinking the same thing.

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

    Mike
     
  10. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,889

    I agree, and ask if their repairmen have any idea of what a multimeter is and how it is used.
     

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