Quantcast
Jump to content


Doctor's Orders - an actual letter from a dentist...


Gonzo

Recommended Posts

Doctor's Orders
 
tp.gifThe field of automotive repair and body work has always 
been plagued with a few unscrupulous individuals.  But, I 
would say that every trade has their share of them as well.  
I pride myself on doing the best that can be done for my 
customers and I don't take kindly to anyone who thinks 
this job is anything but a professional.  This is not a job 
that can be mastered overnight; it takes years of experience 
and understanding.  
 
tp.gifEven though I carry the title “ASE Master Technician” I 
don't consider myself a “Master” of the automotive field.  
I may have “mastered” the trade but not the technology that 
continually changes.  That's an ongoing education which each 
and every mechanic deals with.  But, with that said, there are 
still some individuals that still look down upon the automotive 
trade as some sort of second class job. Recently I received an 
email from one of those type of individuals.  
 
tp.gifSeveral years ago I wrote an article titled, “Diagnostics Fee or Diagnostics Free” which was published in a variety of magazines.  The article was primarily about the issues of a diagnostic fee for testing and evaluating a vehicle.  A copy of one of the magazines was in a waiting room at a repair shop where this guy was getting his car to be repaired. He happens to be a dentist, which I consider as much a professional field as mine.  However, this guy... doesn't see it that way.  His email went something like this:
 
tp.gif I read through your 'two cents' on engine diagnostics and I could not agree more.  However, I do have a bone to pick.  Charging for a diagnostic is fine but where do you draw the line?
 
tp.gifI am a general dentist.  For a new patient I charge $39 for an exam (cleanings from a hygienist are $60).  I take roughly 25 minutes to complete an exam on a patient.  Some patients take longer as they have a more difficult case and sometimes they just have more questions.  
 
tp.gifI have spent 9 years in college, at a cost of over 200k, and roughly 600K on my practice (I have lots of fancy equipment too, even more expensive than the 'diagnostic computer') AND I am dealing with the actual health and well-being of mankind (screenings for head neck cancer, dental caries, oral path., etc., etc.)  If I used your kind of math I guess I should charge more in the neighborhood of $500 for an exam (my education alone was probably more than 20 times yours so the math is still WAY low).  
 
tp.gifBut I don't charge that much.  A true professional would realize when a charge is ridiculous and when it is not.  A diagnostic charge from a mechanic should be in the neighborhood of $20. If you are charging in the near $100 range I would consider removing the self-titled "professional" from your website. Which I found funny that you brought it up anyway.
 
tp.gifYour computer is a one-time purchase. You don't throw it away when you are done so quit trying to factor in the computer cost like it is a consumable.  A
mechanic's pay at best is $35 an hour.  A $20 diagnostic over 5 minutes is more than enough for that and even overhead.  
 
tp.gifActually, you just gave me an idea.  I am going to tell my patients I now have a "parts, labor, and supplies" fee.  That would be great.  Imagine the next time you come into my office and I say that my labor fee is over $500 an hour.  My patients would leave.  I can't believe a mechanic thinks charging $100 an hour or labor is reasonable when everything else is also marked up 300% PLUS!!!! ... It is laughable.  
 
tp.gifAnyway, I agree....but let’s get realistic.  
 
tp.gifThis is a junk email and address, no need in trying to contact me with your response. 
 
 
tp.gifHe agrees?  Realistically, I find that hard to believe.  These are the typical misguided perceptions that still linger in some peoples conceptions of the auto mechanic.  Apparently, according to this guy... I'm not worthy of calling myself a professional because I'm “just” a mechanic.
 
tp.gifIt's sad to say that there are still people out there that take this dim view of the automotive mechanic world.  It could be this guy is only retaliating from a previous experience with his car that didn't go right, or it could be he was at one of those “unprofessional” shops that tried to tackle a job they shouldn't have been taking on.  Maybe he thinks all mechanics alike, and not one of us is a true professional in our trade.  
 
tp.gifObviously, after reading this, I have come to realize that all dentists are not alike.  I know my personal dentist respects my profession... and has a great amount of appreciation for my trade, just as much as I do for his skills and abilities.
 
tp.gifEven though in the email he stated there was no need in a response, well, there is a way to respond.  Here it is.  
 
tp.gifThose years you spent in college almost equals my years of training... your investment into your field is acknowledged and is definitely a part of both our trades.  Mind you, the countless changes and improvements in the equipment and procedures in the auto industry (and dentistry as well) doesn't offset the cost of doing business in any shape or form.  You'd think it would, but, as fast as the auto manufacturers introduce new systems so does the equipment to diagnostic them change.
 
tp.gifHonestly, I feel sorry for this guy.  He seems kind of bitter.  As a mechanic, I work on everything from the front bumper to the rear-end of the car.  This guy... using a car as the comparison... only works on the shiny grill that everyone first sees.   I mean really... he only has two models to work on and the last time I looked both models have the same 32 components to deal with. But, let's not reduce ourselves to his level of explaining the differences between the two professions. Oh wait… I already did.  My bad… I guess it’s a lot easier to be condescending than it is to pull teeth, huh, Doc.?
 
tp.gifSorry Mr. Dentist, I don't think I'll be following “Doctor's Orders” as you clearly state them in your email. I think this time you should take my advice and try to be more respectful to the guys and gals that keep your cherished ride on the road. There's no set fee for diagnostics, there's no 300% mark-up on parts, and there definitely isn't any magic one time purchased machine that will diagnose a car.   Maybe you should try to be a little more understanding and a bit more professional, because right now... you're not!  
 

View full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Similar Topics

    • By carmcapriotto
      Key Talking Points
      Justin Fricke, CarTime Auto Center, Dundas, MN
      Stocks around 100 cars on lot for used car business in the same building The car buying experience has changed- the market isn’t full of new vehicles anymore, prices continue to increase month to month Justin started as a technician and is now part-owner Program through junior and senior high schools called Career Tech Education- job fair day of different businesses with displays. As a business, go to schools and ask about their programs available. Consider field trip to the shop Where do kids fit? Stereotypes around the trades need to be broken in school. Don’t push the kids that are the “bad students” into the trades. It is no longer a secondary career path. Also has detail shop- $200 for full detailing inside and out Connect with the show:
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Subscribe on YouTube
      Visit us on the Web
      Follow on Facebook
      Become an Insider
      Buy me a coffee
      Important Books
      Check out today's partner:

      Dorman gives people greater freedom to fix vehicles by constantly developing new repair solutions that put owners and technicians first. By always innovating, Dorman has led the way in growing the aftermarket. Here you will see a few examples of a Dorman OE Fix. An OE FIX is a Dorman repair solution you can’t get from the original equipment manufacturer. It means they found a situation where they believe the OEM wasn’t giving repair professionals what they wanted, so we fixed it. Everything Dorman does is centered around providing customer value, both in the quality of products, and the creativity of solutions. Our engineers and designers go out of their way to save repair technicians time and save vehicle owners money. Want to really go under the hood? Take the Dorman Virtual Tour at www.DormanProducts.com/Tour

      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      John Eppstein, owner of John's Automotive Care, San Diego CA has been in business since 1998. The business is a complete general automotive repair and a smog test station. John’s Automotive Care has been relocated twice; the last move was in 2003. John has been in the automotive industry since 1985. He is the Immediate Past President of the B & G Clubs of East County where he's worked since 1996. He is also a member of a local NAPA BOG group. John's been a member of ASCCA's Chapter 24 for over 12 years during which time he has served as secretary, vice president and chair of the Meetings Committee. John's Automotive Care is also currently an ASC Educational Foundation Cars for Careers donation site for San Diego, CA. Listen to John's other episodes HERE
      Dave Kusa is the owner of AutoTrend Diagnostics in Campbell, CA. Dave is very active in Chapter 42 and currently serves as a board member and chapter representative. He has also helped several new shops become ASCCA members. Dave advocates with local legislators on behalf of small businesses and their employees. He contributes to TeamTalk and is a huge resource for members. He was ASCCA’s past president. Look for Dave’s other episodes HERE.
      Key Talking Points
      Purpose - Raise funds and money to support and encourage technical education and training for the automotive industry through scholarships, endowments, career development and other industry inspired programs. Vehicle donations from customers that go to auction- “cars for careers” Example- transmission/engine repairs. You are able to donate a vehicle  no matter where you are, it’s not limited to only California Low overhead- about 75% of the money coming in from the vehicle donation program gets put into funds. Volunteer-based foundation. You don’t need to be a shop owner to be included in the board of trustees (tax advisor, grant writer etc) Last year they awarded 28 scholarships to 16 deserving students for a total of $23,500. To date, this is the largest amount awarded in the history of the Foundation. Schools involved - community colleges across California such as Cuyamaca College, Skyline College, Rio Hondo College, San Diego Miramar College, Citrus College, Chabot College, UTI Vetting process – Scholarships are awarded to students who fill out applications at https://automotivescholarships.com/ all applicants that meet basic requirements are then scored by a panel of automotive professionals and winners are picked from the highest scoring applicants. Opportunities to create a scholarship- John has started a scholarship with his business. He will match whatever his employees put into it. There are also one time scholarships for smaller amounts.  
      Connect with the show:
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Subscribe on YouTube
      Visit us on the Web
      Follow on Facebook
      Become an Insider
      Buy me a coffee
      Important Books
      Check out today's partner:
      Since 1989 TRACS has been the industry’s leading shop management system. And in the last 30 years it’s gotten better and better. Today TRACS Enterprise offers even more of the features AutoCare Center owners want—things like a powerful interactive scheduling calendar, faster and streamlined work flow, plus streamlined parts ordering and purchasing options. And there’s more—Punch-out to Mitchell ProDemand, mobile VIN capture, and multi-shop capabilities. That means you can count on TRACS Enterprise to help drive your success today and well into the future. Learn more about TRACS Enterprise and the hundreds of other benefits the NAPA family has to offer. Talk with your servicing NAPA store or visit www.NAPAAutoCare.com.

      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Jonathan Ganther
      Hey guys. I'm new to the forum and was looking for this subject but couldn't find it. Sorry If I'm posted something that's already been discussed. I own a brake shop in Austin, TX. We do anywhere from 10-20 brake jobs a day. We only do brakes so I don't know how much full service auto shops deal with this problem but... Customers are constantly calling in claiming they've bought the best parts or they want to provide their own parts because they've done research and know what is best. This drives me crazy. First of all they don't know whats best. Then after being told no they get offended and act like tons of shops allow this. What is the best way to handle these customers? Just send them away? I'll quote them a price using our parts and they act as though its a rip off. What shops are doing this for their customers? I feel like I'm letting jobs get away from me. Any experience with this?
    • By ASOG Podcast
      Brian Walker of Shop Market Pros explaining what makes them different at the TOOLS Conference 2021.
    • By ASOG Podcast
      ASOG Podcast LIVE from the TOOLS Conference 2021


  • Our Sponsors



×
×
  • Create New...