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Has anyone else experienced this situation?


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Hello all,

 

As an independent automotive shop we service most makes and models. We recently experienced a situation where a customer brought a vehicle for a no start diag, authorized certain repairs, and did not come to pick up vehicle since additional repairs were needed to complete the job.

 

We soon learned the reason why was because the owed balance isn't worth the cars value. I personally believe it isn't worth the headache, time, or money to deal with a mechanics lien for a car that's worth not much.

 

How do you guys handle diags? Do you collect the fee upfront to secure payment of your actual time covered?

 

And if a customer approves repairs, do you request a deposit? Only if repairs exceeds the cars value? (Older vehicles)

 

 

Thank you all for your thoughts and opinions in advance.

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If I have any idea there is a chance the customer will not pay, I get at least all of the parts up front. If the repairs are 1/2 the book value of the car or more I have a serious conversation with the customer up front ( yes, I book a lot of vehicles before making repairs). I weigh all the pro's and cons of repairing the vehicle with the customer before they make a decision on the repair. I feel it is my job to be a trusted and unbiased advisor to them on all things vehicle related (and then some). People really seem to appreciate this.

Edited by kars
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If I have any idea there is a chance the customer will not or can not pay, I get at least all of the parts up front. If the repairs are 1/2 the book value of the car or more I have a serious conversation with the customer up front ( yes, I book a lot of vehicles before making repairs). I weigh all the pro's and cons of repairing the vehicle with the customer before they make a decision on the repair. I feel it is my job to be a trusted and unbiased advisor to them on all things vehicle related (and then some). People really seem to appreciate this.

In other words......no, I have not had this problem.

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Unless someone can correct me, Minnesota does not have mechanic's liens for automotive. If they owe you money on the repair, the car is sold at sheriff's auction and the amount owed you is given to you. If the car sells for less than what is owed, you get what was collected at the auction

Edited by PAPShop
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soThe cars I've had abandoned are POS with deadbeat owners. I never get too far into anything without being paid. Some of that is luck and some of that is intuition. I have a junk dealer that will come pick them up for nothing and keeps them for so long and if the owner doesn't respond to his calls he goes through the process of getting the titles and parting it out.

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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.
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