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Hello all,

 

We recently had a customer cancel a repair that was authorized over the phone. This was a rather labor intensive job and about 45-50% through the service, customer calls in to cancel stating he was not told what the problem was by our service advisors. We had already ordered all the parts and I had the head mechanic start the disassembly process.

 

How would you go about handling such a situation? What are your policies and procedures for cancellation of repairs?

 

In regards to paperwork, the vehicle was towed in by a wrecker service. We have been in business for quite sometime now and are located in a busy area in Los Angeles, but have never experienced such a customer before.

 

Thanks for your thoughts and opinions in advance.

 

Nick

 

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Great Tire Deal

Hello all,

 

We recently had a customer cancel a repair that was authorized over the phone. This was a rather labor intensive job and about 45-50% through the service, customer calls in to cancel stating he was not told what the problem was by our service advisors. We had already ordered all the parts and I had the head mechanic start the disassembly process.

 

How would you go about handling such a situation? What are your policies and procedures for cancellation of repairs?

 

In regards to paperwork, the vehicle was towed in by a wrecker service. We have been in business for quite sometime now and are located in a busy area in Los Angeles, but have never experienced such a customer before.

 

Thanks for your thoughts and opinions in advance.

 

Nick

 

I think for starters I'd locate the actual reasoning and do a bit of an investigation.

You need to determine if he was properly informed of they repair and the cost (in accordance with your policies), and if there isn't any evidence to suggest a issue with your employees - side with the employees.

More often than not, the customer found another shop that'll do the work cheaper.

I'd offer some type of "consolation " prize to the customer - a discount on completing the job or allowing the parts to be returned and customer pays the original labor quote to reassemble the vehicle and the shop accepts no liability.

Obviously don't give the farm away, but if he feels cheated try and help within reason.

 

I think it would be extremely rare to have a situation where the staff is at fault. They could have possibly set better expectations or communicated cost and job description better, but I doubt that's the actual cause of this situation. If it is, unfortunately the right thing to do is return the parts and eat the labor or come to modified agreement in regard to the customers concern with fixing the vehicle.

 

 

 

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

Edited by ncautoshop
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yeah, just work with the customer towards a resolution, if one cannot be made, charge for what you have done and move on. They DID give approval so its not your fault for starting the repairs, parts are not an issue as they can be returned. It mainly sounds like he he second thoughts and got an estimate from someplace else and chose to let them do the repairs?

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More then not They were explained what was what was wrong with the vehicle and what it detailed for repair . I agree with the other post they found someone that says they will do for less.

We would talk with them and explain the process over again and find out what the true reason for declineing completion. Obviously we would charge any time and materials used up to the point of canceling, this usually sways them from going else where due to thier is no savings.

If it is price - Explain the benifits you give over others this is why you charge what you charge - Warranty , Quailty of products , 12 months same as cash , etc.

With out knowing type of repair and real reason hard to give to much help.

 

Thanks Dan

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I was in court once for something like this and the Judge told my customer that if she had the car towed to my shop it was obvious that there was an expectation for me to fix it and for her to pay for my services. If they have found another shop that will do this work for less I think you need to take the savings out of the equation. When they find out how much It will cost for you to undo what you have already done they may tell you to keep going.

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They authorized. No ifs ands or buts after its started. To late.

 

They will leave unhappy and won't return however, they wouldn't anyway.

 

They may have more tricks up there sleeve after you put it back together.

 

Get the money or get the lien process started. No sympathy for cold feet after you're invested.

 

Sent from my SM-N900P using Tapatalk

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I agree with other posters that they probably found someone who said they would do it for less. If they previously authorized the repair they have made an express agreement or contract that is legally binding. Your State may have different rules about recording this but in NY you have to record the time and date the the phone authorization as well as who you spoke with. If they want to cancel half way though they owe you for work performed and materials ordered. That is pretty standard precedent when it comes to contract disputes and if it went to court that would be the result.

 

Of course the best resolution is to discuss with the customer and help them come to terms with the situation. Remember that diagnostic time is part of your service and if they called someone else to quote the job it would likely not include this time. Offer to them to shut the job down as is and write it up for time spent plus parts and allow them to have it towed if they so choose. I doubt they will do that though, and maybe be explaining it well you might even get a return customer out of the deal.

 

I would not discount them under any circumstances. Simply the fact that you had to halt your tech think it over enough and come here for to help think it though means it has already cost you more than it should have. There is no way you are at fault and you should express to the customer how costly this event was, but you will still complete the job for the price quoted if they decide to do so.

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For future reference, email them an explanation of what work is needed and request authorization. All they need to do is reply back giving you authorization to do the work. If they call in, be sure to instruct them to reply back via email. Don't proceed without that reply. The reply email will stand in court as strongly as an actual customer signed authorization. At least in Tennessee it does.

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yeah, just work with the customer towards a resolution, if one cannot be made, charge for what you have done and move on. They DID give approval so its not your fault for starting the repairs, parts are not an issue as they can be returned. It mainly sounds like he he second thoughts and got an estimate from someplace else and chose to let them do the repairs?

I think you are correct, I has this happen before.

 

 

For future reference, email them an explanation of what work is needed and request authorization. All they need to do is reply back giving you authorization to do the work. If they call in, be sure to instruct them to reply back via email. Don't proceed without that reply. The reply email will stand in court as strongly as an actual customer signed authorization. At least in Tennessee it does.

 

Christian, excellent pro tip!

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Hello all,

 

Thanks for the responses. I think our company has came to a resolution to add a page on our website that a customer can type their info in and state what services are needed and authorized. We do have an actual form they fill out while at the shop, but as in this case the vehicle was towed in by the customer.

 

Hopefully we will never encounter such a scenario again.

 

Regards,

 

Nick

CA Auto Group

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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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