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Uggh, this August is shaping up to be the worst month in our 5 year history. Unless something changes I'll be paying to fix cars this month. Car count is steady, but the no thanks I'm going to run my car into the ground mentality is strong this month. Normally the answer is always yes, not so much the last couple weeks. Just garbage on top of garbage. Zero gravy. I expected some losses but it still hurts when it happens.

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Don't feel to bad, I personally just FUBARED timing belt. I didnt bend the valves I broke them and ran them in to pistons to look like mushrooms. best part is the customer was supposed to drive to the lower 48 with a military transfer. I gave him two options.

 

1 I can give you fair market value for your car, and you can go buy a new one.

 

2 I can fix your car, you can change your travel with the military and fly out ( it would not cost him anything) and I will ship your vehicle to you ( military pays for it I just need a power of a attorney).

 

That sucked, thankfully it was a older Hyundai and old 6k he sold me the car and is off to buy another.

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had a similar situation happen on a 1987 325i. Took care of the timing belt, guy drives upstate 200 miles over July 4th and car breaks down. Local shop up there inception'ed his stupid ass and he was telling us it was the timing belt. Got the car towed down here, took a look, timing belt was intacted, oil pump pulley exploded, bent some valves. Explained to the customer that we don't believe it was our fault due to what we see (timing belt and tensioner completely find, belt a little shredded but still 85% together). Guy flips out tells us hes going to sue us etc. Bite the bullet and offered to put another engine in for him. Have another retard customer that wants to take us to court over $1300 in which he acknowledges $900 he authorized (he actually authorized $3200 but doesnt want to pay). We still have his car and I have to go through the process of throwing a lien on it. Also the car is worth 25k in poor shape and this fine example of a human being wants to argue over $400 (which is the machine shop charge for his cylinder head that we had to pay).

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I did an oil change on a Rav4 and put the wrong filter on it. The different was 1mm in the hole diameter. Lasted about 2 months until it blew the filter off and the girl driving ran it till it quit because she didn't know that that red light that looked like a water can meant....Yes I ate that $2000 job. All the profit and some for that month...

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Oh I've got one that I disclaimed out the Ying yang, explaining it wasn't worth fixing - demanded a lower bill it must be under $1,00₩, left the car setting for months (a friend of a friend) - call him and explain he needs to fix it or pick it up. Says go ahead and fix it - as long as the bill is under $1,000 - explain that the car was poorly maintained and that $1,000 won't fix all the problems - he doesn't care just fix it under $1,000. Week later he's back, my radio doesn't work, my keyless entry doesn't work(it sat over a year with no storage charges) demands we fix it. I explain the cost and he finally agrees. Wants the clunk in the front fixed - sir we explained and noted on the bill the ball joints require replacement - gives me a butt chewing - you said you fixed everything for $1,000. No sir, we fixed the minimal required to make the vehicle driveable. The original bill was over $2,000! Stupid people....and by that I mean me! Should have sent him on his way on day 1!

 

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

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  • 2 weeks later...

Uggh, this August is shaping up to be the worst month in our 5 year history. Unless something changes I'll be paying to fix cars this month. Car count is steady, but the no thanks I'm going to run my car into the ground mentality is strong this month. Normally the answer is always yes, not so much the last couple weeks. Just garbage on top of garbage. Zero gravy. I expected some losses but it still hurts when it happens.

 

August has ended up being the worst month in the history of my company. The first month we not only failed to reach our sales growth goals, but also failed to beat last year's sales for the same period. I'm not sure why reading this thread made me feel bettter, but I might as well share some of ourstory, and maybe it'll manage to make someone else here feel better:

 

1. The company I've used in the past to handle some transmission rebuilds for us went bankrupt after 30 years, and I've already had to go into my own pocket to honor a warranty on the work by having it rebuilt again for my customer. ($2000)

 

2. A real pain in the butt, first time, price shopping customer begged me to put in the cheapest parts, and even a USED part on the service he needed. When it failed prematurely, he charged it all back to me by complaining to his credit card company ($750)

 

3. A rookie tech failed to latch a hood...smashed a windshield on a Venture van we just fixed up for a good customer of ours. ($200 and I let her borrow my own personal vehicle for a couple days)

 

4. A customer complained as he was picking up his car after getting $900 worth of work done, claiming he was told it would cost $500. Since we EMAILED his estimate to him in the beginning, we encouraged him to recheck it. He emailed us back that although he sees that we charged exactly what we said we would before we started, that he thinks it's unfar, and will never return again. (No direct loss of cash...but he posted a negative review online, insinuating that we are over-priced, and charge unfairly.

 

5. A customer complained about a noise in the back of his 4x4, and screamed at my rookie service advisor that he just had us do axle bearings, and they're already bad. (3 months ago). MY rookie rushed the customer into a warranty service, and the cause of the noise wasn't confirmed. We spent half the day replacing parts "under warranty" that made no difference to the noise he was hearing...and then got blamed for the failing planetary gears in his rear differential. ($400 + a bad review because he thinks we broke his rear end by putting in axle bearings)

 

6. A customer had a bad power steering leak. We inspected, and although there was fluid EVERYWHERE, we told him he needed a particular line replaced, as well as his pump, then "clean & retest". We put in the pump & line, then immediately saw that he needed a steering rack (another leak), got authorization to put it in, Once the rack was in...my tech let me know that the pump was faulty...the one we just installed.

 

By the way....this stuff all happened in the same week...

 

So...who gets fired first? Can it be me?

 

Just one man's nightmare August.

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I lost my service write and my 2nd of 2 techs last week of august about the same time we had a million cars dropped of for repairs and one week before I was scheduled to take two days off. I ended up bringing in a friend to answer phones. Lost 6000 in sales over two days and customers are starting to pull cars that are taking to long. Pretty sure I lost at least two customers

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Thanks guys I feel better now. Lol. Things are turning around so like my daughters say "whatevs" I paid out way too much but that's the nature of the business. The garage side of the business bailed out the used car dept so we're still doing ok but I'm the responsible party so I guess I gotta write myself up today. Yearly we are up from last year so I can't complain. It forced me to look at the big picture, like getting stuck in traffic on a long road trip. It sucks when your sitting still or sent on a long detour, but once moving again in the right direction its mostly forgotten.

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I did an oil change on a Rav4 and put the wrong filter on it. The different was 1mm in the hole diameter. Lasted about 2 months until it blew the filter off and the girl driving ran it till it quit because she didn't know that that red light that looked like a water can meant....Yes I ate that $2000 job. All the profit and some for that month...

FYI, I had the same situation a few years back on Toyota , this lady pulled out of driveway, colder Florida morning. she waves to neighbor and oil filter blew off car , she had no idea, , he picked it up , put in a bag, she goes 3 or 4 miles down road engine locked up. It had been 3 months since I did the oil change . Vehicle was towed back to our shop and neighbor brings me bag with filter in it . I just happened to look at NAPA online and said dang it my guys put on wrong filter on car , Napa rep had downloaded quick disc for my techs on outside computer they use constantly, I am pissed and one off them says that is the right filter look it says it right here Toyota etc etc . Napa Typo error. The filter was so close the thread pitch was off just a bit maybe would have gotten by me, probably not, It was a perfect storm and for a normal daily driver probably never happened , I think the molecule structure in the filter and threads changed so much when she warmed car up ,it blew off. only thing I and NAPA came up with .I will give it to NAPA they paid 100% of the bill, No Issues . Wrong filter listed on that disc although there online catalog had the correct one. I have always said there is a lot of liability for the guys doing 19.00 oil changes. PS . The neighbor that got the oil filter ended up being a good customer because of the way we handled the whole situation for the elderly customer. Have a good day my friend. David

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Don't feel to bad, I personally just FUBARED timing belt. I didnt bend the valves I broke them and ran them in to pistons to look like mushrooms. best part is the customer was supposed to drive to the lower 48 with a military transfer. I gave him two options.

 

1 I can give you fair market value for your car, and you can go buy a new one.

 

2 I can fix your car, you can change your travel with the military and fly out ( it would not cost him anything) and I will ship your vehicle to you ( military pays for it I just need a power of a attorney).

 

That sucked, thankfully it was a older Hyundai and old 6k he sold me the car and is off to buy another.

 

 

Insurance just called they are buying the car from me for what I paid. thats a little bit of a relief.

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Shop helper took my personal truck to get beer at the end of the day. On the way back he decided to see what my hemi could do around a corner and put my Durango into the front of my best customers Comercial truck, which was stopped at a stop sign mind you. This same helper already owes me thousands for repairs I floated him on.

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Thanks for sharing, guys. Currently, I am a one man show, working a full time job, trying to get my repair business off the ground. Business has been pretty slow for me as well the last couple of weeks, even though I have advertising on Google Adwords, Facebook, and local print. I also have a website that I built through GoDaddy. It seems like there are times when you have more work than you can handle one week, then the next week, nothing! It always makes me second guess myself, wondering if I should do more advertising or just ride it out. Reading this thread helps me to just keep doing what I have been, and remember that slow and steady wins the race.

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losing another one.....

 

A customer drops off his vehicle for a shifting problem. Its an 88 Mustang 5spd. So with any ado I hop in and go for a spin around the block to feel what he is talking about, once I hit 50MPH the hood opens and smacks the windshield.

 

Its a aftermarket fiberglass hood and was just put on and painted at the body shop 100 miles ago. We told the guy its not our fault on this one, if we had open and closed the hood id eat it but we didn't even have it in the shop yet. so the body shop that did it came by and looked at it and said it wasn't his fault but he is a good customer of his and offered a 3 way split to make the customer happy.

 

So in the end I talked to the customer we told him not our fault we didn't do it but its 1500 bucks to have it fixed and we are willing to split it 3 ways and so is the body shop. He just said I guess we will see what small claims court has to say and walked off. This is a guy that works for himself as a handyman I was expecting more reason out of him and thought he would value his time more than trying to sue me.

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losing another one.....

 

A customer drops off his vehicle for a shifting problem. Its an 88 Mustang 5spd. So with any ado I hop in and go for a spin around the block to feel what he is talking about, once I hit 50MPH the hood opens and smacks the windshield.

 

Its a aftermarket fiberglass hood and was just put on and painted at the body shop 100 miles ago. We told the guy its not our fault on this one, if we had open and closed the hood id eat it but we didn't even have it in the shop yet. so the body shop that did it came by and looked at it and said it wasn't his fault but he is a good customer of his and offered a 3 way split to make the customer happy.

 

So in the end I talked to the customer we told him not our fault we didn't do it but its 1500 bucks to have it fixed and we are willing to split it 3 ways and so is the body shop. He just said I guess we will see what small claims court has to say and walked off. This is a guy that works for himself as a handyman I was expecting more reason out of him and thought he would value his time more than trying to sue me.

 

 

Isn't that amazing. Sorry to hear. There are many people that inherently selfish. What can you do :(

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losing another one.....

 

A customer drops off his vehicle for a shifting problem. Its an 88 Mustang 5spd. So with any ado I hop in and go for a spin around the block to feel what he is talking about, once I hit 50MPH the hood opens and smacks the windshield.

 

Its a aftermarket fiberglass hood and was just put on and painted at the body shop 100 miles ago. We told the guy its not our fault on this one, if we had open and closed the hood id eat it but we didn't even have it in the shop yet. so the body shop that did it came by and looked at it and said it wasn't his fault but he is a good customer of his and offered a 3 way split to make the customer happy.

 

So in the end I talked to the customer we told him not our fault we didn't do it but its 1500 bucks to have it fixed and we are willing to split it 3 ways and so is the body shop. He just said I guess we will see what small claims court has to say and walked off. This is a guy that works for himself as a handyman I was expecting more reason out of him and thought he would value his time more than trying to sue me.

That sucks! I've made it a habit to stop and make sure the hoods closed.

I've got one threatening a "law suit" because his car doesn't run the way he "expects" it to. Even though his invoice has 2 pages of disclaimers. He swears he'd rather spend $10,000 trying to force me to refund his money for unrelated services. Sad thing is he'd probably do exactly that!

 

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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