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xrac

WHY DO SOME SHOPS LIKE TO BAD MOUTH OTHER SHOPS

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I received a call Monday from a customer whose son had brakes replaced at a different Car-X in November while away at college.  The car had sat for some time and when the grandfather had driven the car he thought a front brake was locking up (I think all it was was noise from the rust coat after sitting).  He proceeded to take the car to a shop near their home.  This shop looked at the brakes and told the woman a bunch of stuff about how it looked like the rotors were never machined and that it was not professional work, etc.  She called me asking me what to do? I told her that all of the work done in November would still be under warranty and that if there was any problem it would be fixed at no charge unless we ran into something new like a locked up caliper.  I proceeded to call the shop where the worked was performed and had them fax me a copy of the paperwork so I would be prepared when they came in.  Later in the morning the car came in and the woman told us that when she picked the car up the owner of the shop that had raised all the red flags told her there was no problem with her car. The brakes were fine and the person who had called her should not have told her there were any problems. 

The other shop had created a problem where there was no problem at all.  I personally looked at the brakes and it reflected what was shown on the paperwork which was new pads and rotors on the rear, new pads and machine the rotors on the front.  You could tell by the rust on the rotors that it had been sitting for a while.  This other person created a problem where there was none, upset this woman, caused me to waste the other shop's time and my own time, and in the long run he only made their shop look bad.  Often shops like to degrade other shops thinking they will get ahead.  I have always felt like we all lose when this occurs because it just make consumers more distrustful.  The good shops in our town I consider to be friendly competition. If I run into a situation where there is a problem with their workmanship and the customer is returning to their shop I try to give them a call and an explanation of what we have found to be wrong and to give them a chance to be prepared to deal with the customer. 

 

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xrac,

In my view is all a matter of education. People that work at shops where they like to denigrate other shops have not being taugh that it damages our industry and reputation collectively.

Edited by HarrytheCarGeek
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To start, I commend you on your straight forward honest approach. Good work.

I find that those in business who have nothing better to do than just "rip" on the competition aren't doing their job. They should be working (honestly) to get more customers or market to their current customers. Cheap shots only explode in your face - as did this one for the other shop owner. 

My attitude was to watch what was going on in MY shop - and the rest will look after itself!
 

Thanks for sharing.

Hope this helps!

Matthew Lee
"The Car Count Fixer"

Get my book FREE
Fix Your Car Count in 17 Minutes... Guaranteed!

 

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I have had several (new) customers in the past months tell me that a couple local (so called shops) have told them to never take their car to us because we are rip off artists ??

One shop in particular has no name on their building and unless you stop on the busy street at the building in front of theirs you have no clue they work on cars back there.

I don't know if I am to honest or what but if it doesn't need replaced I wont throw parts at a perfectly good vehicle just to make money (its a waste of my time) and I feel if the customer finds out that makes me look bad and very dishonest.

Like I said in my own thread I have enough problems with the local tech school grinding out so called techs like so much ground hamburger a semester claiming to know it all and can do it cheaper.

But like I have always said cheaper is not always better and bad mouthing someone's shop you never met or had a personal contact with is just asinine.

I have tried contacting a couple shops where people have had their cars to explain the customers concerns as they were told to me and they have no interest in listening to you they just want it all to go away as if they don't care if the customer ever comes back or not.

which in the long run only gets you a bad reputation and puts the other local shops in the they are all crooks category.

 

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When I was a young pup starting out in this "trade" (early 70's) I worked at a Service Station.  The owner went on trips arranged by a local parts store with many other area shop owners every year.  Not only did this prevent us from knocking the competition - it actually enhanced our businesses as we could recommend our buddies up the road for car-lines they might specialize in or services they performed that we didn't.  And THAT was really good for our industry...  Plus the trips sounded like FUN!!!

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in my experience with shops bad mouthing others is that the shop doing the bad mouthing is in a bad way trying to get customers, the reason being that they are probably a worse shop than the one that they are bad mouthing

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6 minutes ago, skm said:

in my experience with shops bad mouthing others is that the shop doing the bad mouthing is in a bad way trying to get customers, the reason being that they are probably a worse shop than the one that they are bad mouthing

I think that is a valid point. 

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We had something similar happen not too long ago. We too asked the other shop to describe their findings, recommendations, and cost of the repairs on their own Letterhead. They declined our request. Needless to say they made us look bad in front of the customer, though hesitated to put things in black and white.... as it can be held against them.

Seems somewhat of an industry standard sadly...... 

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I think why most of the shops around here will not write their cost down is because some of the customers like to try and strong arm the better /more qualified shops into compromising their service and price because someone else claims on paper they can do it better and cheaper.

I for one don't have a problem talking to another shop about a problem or concern but I will not cheapen myself to keep a customer from running to the cheaper deal which we all know is not always better.

Because if I cheapen my standards to keep that customer once they will try it every time its almost like being prostituted for services rendered .

 

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Imo, this statement is the key to improving our image and customer perception(well done):

" I proceeded to call the shop where the worked was performed and had them fax me a copy of the paperwork so I would be prepared when they came in."

It is absolutely part of our job as professionals to call other shops and get the full story and backup documentation in a presumed warranty situation. When this industry gets in trouble is when we think it is OK to go ahead and do the work the "right way", charge the customer and then throw it back in the customers lap to deal with the previous shop on a presumed warranty situation.

 

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There is a local kia dealer here in town.

I have talked to a very nice woman there who will give you the entire story not just the basic answers

However their service after the sale (SUCKS) in the opinion of multiple customers, who have gone back just to be told well that used car you bought last week well your troubles are not covered under the warranty or oops you bought that car as is .

I cannot say for a fact that their used cars are patched up just for quick sales but as a car dealer with multiple dealerships through out the state you think you would treat your customers with just a little more care than (well we got your money now hit the road)

This type of complaint can be found on all forms of social media about all his dealerships which is something I try not to let happen at my shop.

I tell my customers if something is wrong with a repair I performed come back and I will make it right at no extra cost to you.

However on the flip side of that coin I have had customers want me to fix cars from other shops for free or other troubles that crop up with their vehicle months or years down the road not related to my repair but just because I touched it last.

 

 

 

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This whole thing about "bad mouthing" is a real pain - and it's really all about psychology. With that said, I am NOT a trained psychologist - but when you think about this way, it makes sense. 

Shop owners bad-mouth other shops to make themselves LOOK BETTER. More powerful! The fact is, these people would through their own mother under the bus just to make themselves LOOK BETTER or put "fear" in others. 

The second reason is that when they bad-mouth others, it "shows" (or attempts to show) their own confidence. 

Typically, when they have to put their money where their mouth is... they fail. 

Whenever this happened, I would respond with a "cash-on-the-table" offer. In other words, prove it and I'll give you $XXX. Worked every time. 

This goes over even better when you put the customer into the formula. You become a lot more serious and believable when you're ready to back your position with money. In fact, you will win every time. 

Hope this helps!

Matthew Lee
"The Car Count Fixer"

Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing"

Fix Your Car Count in 17 Minutes... Guaranteed!

The Shop Owner's Unfair Advantage FREE Access
 

 

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