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Disclaimers on Invoices


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It is fall, and around here it is time to evaluate/rearrange/systemize a few things. A deep cleaning is done to the waiting area and sales floor area. A little rearranging will happen in the work areas to prepare for snowfall. The business office is going to be deep cleaned and rearranged. We try to keep from being complaisant about the shop.

 

I am looking at our sales invoices. It has been a couple of years since I reviewed them.

 

What disclaimers do you include on your invoices to customers?

 

Are all disclaimers on every invoice or do you have certain ones for certain work completed?

 

Looking forward to some input. Thanks.

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A recent thread on the subject. Today, I am dealing with a sticking caliper issue with an unhappy customer a year after we did the service. This is definitely a northern teir and above problem(geographically). Since this post we now have attached this to every brake pad replacement and we go over it with every customer. Wish i had it a year ago. A little hard to follow as I have removed the identification of the three other posters.

 

This message was sent by randy lucyk [email protected]

Thanks Bob, exactly right. I really don't care if we sell even one more caliper
then normal, I just don't want challenges with customers, when it is fairly
easily avoidable with the proper conversation.

Randy Lucyk
Midas, Kalkaska Mi.
231-258-2889 ext. 114
___________________________________________________________________________


Randy ,I believe it is a necessary evil to prepare the customer for what may or
not present itself.All to often we are seen as missing something when high
mileage parts fail and they are not recommended by us.we try to decline all
recommended parts .
I will let our service writers read this and start recommending calipers as
preventive maintenance.



We have this issue a little more frequently in Canada due to the harsh winters
and the sand and salt that is spread on the roads, particularly with phenolic
piston calipers. As a rule we explain the possibility of a subsequent failure to
the customer and leave the decision up to them. If the vehicle returns with a
caliper dragging, the customer is already aware of what has happened and due to
the information given to them, generally understand the situation. I think if
the customer is armed with the knowledge to make an informed decision is
sufficient. This knowledge also gives the customer some peace of mind, I have
had customers come back, already knowing what has happened and what it will take
to repair and they are rarely upset with the shop. A disclaimer may be prudent
although I'm not sure it is necessary of the condition is explained correctly.


>
> I like the disclaimer, however, I believe it is a bit lengthy. The longer it
is, the more guilty it sounds/appears, to me. It's a great CYA tactic that I
don't see a downside to. It will force the conversation, resulting in either a
sale or at least advanced warning. Plus it will serve as your paper trail should
they need to come back.
>
> I will be adopting this idea/approach to better serve my customers and better
protect us.
>
>
> This message was sent by randy lucyk [email protected]
>
> Probably only an issue for a 1/3 or so of the stores in the system(northern
tier). As previously discussed we occasionally have issues with caliper failure
after brake repairs where we believe no defects were evident at time of pad
replacement, yet a caliper will come back dragging with no external issue. This
is not a pin or hardware issue. It is unlikely any shop is much better than we
are at cleaning and lubing with synthetic lube.
>
> Had a conversation recently on the subject with a veteran dealer who
strongly suggests caliper replacement on 3rd pad replacement or greater. In
other words, the vehicle has gone thru the original brakes and one replacement
set and is now in for it's third set of brake pads. He uses the lifetime warranty
as a trigger(2nd set of pads were done in the system and now in for warranty repairs)
for his stern caliper recommendation.
>
> This got me to thinking. We have no MAP guideline for making such a stern
recommendation, so what do we base it on? My mind went to considering what other
services might cause us to make suggestions, even strong suggestions with no
industry basis. Timing belts came to mind immediately. At least in our store, we
might consider replacing just the belt at it's first interval, but would would
not even agree to do the work if it was not getting a complete timing belt kit
by the second interval. More recently TPMS reseals are handled at our store the
same way. We might do a new set of tires at 60k without a reseal, we will always
strongly suggest at the next tire replacement.
>
> So we have this issue with calipers that is not consistent or very common.
What do we do, to prevent unhappy customers. I offer this for your
consideration:
>
> "Brake caliper discussion. High mileage vehicle and/or 3rd(or greater) set of
brake pads being installed at this time.
> As discussed, we are about to install what is likely the third set of brake
pads(or greater)on your vehicle, while reusing what appear to be the original
brake calipers. The brake calipers on your vehicle have been visually inspected
for external signs of defects and the components retracted correctly with normal
effort and approved tools and procedure. No detectable defects have been noted
at this time. It is not possible to determine internal caliper defects during
normal brake service. Internal defects are generally the cause of caliper
> related brake issues, where no external defect is evident. It should be noted
> that internal failure of at least one caliper is possible prior to the brake
pads being installed today becoming worn out. Occasionally that failure can
occur fairly soon after recent brake pad replacement, even though no detectable
issue was evident at time of replacement. Internal failures of the brake
calipers that were undetectable at time of service will result in additional
cost and inconvenience, even if failure occurs shortly after pad replacement."
>
> To be attached to all brake pad replacement labor entries and deleted from low
mileage brake replacements.
>
> Wordy for sure, this is version 4. At minimum, it will require service
advisors to have the conversation.
>
> Overkill? Yea? Nay? Thief? Crook? Brilliant? Scare tactic?
>
> All comments are appreciated
>
> Randy Lucyk
> Midas, Kalkaska Mi.
> 231-258-2889 ext. 114

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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