Hey guys, I haven't posted in a year or two since I sold my 39 year old tire store/repair shop. Life is wonderful [if a bit boring], and I haven't regretted my decision to sell for one second. Every month I go to the shop, say hi to all my old employees and collect the rent. Anyway, today I experienced the other side of the counter and it wasn't pleasant. I still have my vehicles serviced at my old place when back in Ohio and they treat me like part of their team. But when at my condo in Florida I don't have that luxury. I have my 2002 Mini Cooper down here and it was due for an oil change. Additionally, the check engine light had come on last weekend and there was a belt chirp. I called the shop my friend had suggested [they specialize in BMWs] to make an appointment. I asked for a morning appointment and explained that my friend would pick me up and we would find something to do for a few hours. When I dropped the car off I explained that the check engine light had gone off but I still wanted them to pull the codes. So I left thinking oil change, pull codes, change belt ....... figured they'd call me by 10;30? to get authorization for the belt. Well at 1:52 I hadn't heard from them so I called them to see what was up. They said the oil change was done, and the tech was pulling the codes. I asked about the belt chirp and she said she didn't know so she put me on hold and went to check. When she came back on the phone she said they hadn't looked at the belt issue yet. I voiced my displeasure explaining that when I ran my shop if a customer had a 9AM appointment for the services I requested we would be calling them with a report within an hour or two. Her reply was "we don't do things that way here". She said she would call me when they knew more. I finally got a call at 3:48PM. She explained the codes they had pulled and then said they agreed it needed a new belt and they thought they should also have a tensioner on hand in case they needed that as well. She said they could order the parts and I could make another appointment to have them installed. REALLY? I had a 9AM appointment for an oil change, codes pulled, and most likely a new belt installed and they couldn't get that done in 7 hours, 6 if you take an hour out for lunch? The shop is 35 minutes away and they don't have loaners so another appointment is a pain. I don't think I will be going back. I nearly broke my long standing rule of never posting a bad review about a business but I just can't do that. I'm getting rid of some of my frustration by telling you guys about it.
If any of you guys are in my area I'm looking for someone to service my Mini. I am in Fort Myers Beach and would to like to find someone in the Naples area.
By Joe Marconi
As a result of COVID-19, we are seeing more and more businesses install plastic shields at their service and receptionist counters and desks. What are your thoughts. Will you install the shield, have done it or is it a no?
We are upgrading this tool to the latest MaxiSys Ultra. This 2.5 year old Elite is looking for a new home. Has a current subscription and the hardware is under warranty as long as the subscription is maintained (renews in December). Only thing I know about is that the battery life has shortened since new. Scuffs in picture are on the screen protector that we never removed. Listing this one at $1849 shipped. I saw a similar one recently sell on Ebay for $2K. (NOTE: This unit is not a Chinese knock-off also seen on Ebay).
HYANNIS – Proponents of Question 1 on the November 3 ballot say that independent auto repair businesses need access to data collected by cars in order to fix vehicles, while opponents say that Question 1 could risk owner’s personal data as well as safety.
If Question 1 is approved, cars 2022 model or newer must be equipped by manufacturers with a standardized, open access platform that would allow auto repair shops to wirelessly access mechanical data using a smartphone-based app with owner’s permission.
Currently, telematics data generated by sensors in the cars is transmitted to servers only the automakers can access.
Supporters of Question 1 say that the telematics data only being available to the manufacturer means car owners must take the car to its original automaker to receive service and make repairs, diminishing consumer choice in where they can take their cars.
“If a person goes out and buys a car, they should own the data that enables that car to be fixed, and they should be able to choose where they want the car fixed. If shops like mine don’t have that information, then we can’t fix the car, which kind of forces someone to go to a place where they don’t want to go,” said Robert Wallace, President and Treasurer of Cape Tire and supporter of Question 1.
Wallace said that the limits on customer choice on where they can receive service for their car will lead to a monopolization of the industry by car manufacturers, with a rise in prices and a drop in quality service.
Wallace said that he and other supporters would be willing to purchase the data, similar to how the auto repair shops already purchase parts, and that they are not requesting that the data be made available for free.
“We’re willing to pay for it, we just want the information to keep our customers rolling.”
Conor Yunits, spokesperson for the Coalition for Safe and Secure Data which opposes Question 1, said that the issue of telematics is already covered under the right-to-repair-law that was introduced in 2013.
“It specifically says that any information necessary to diagnose and repair a vehicle that is provided to dealer repair shops and only available through telematics must be made available to local repair shops. This is already covered,” said Yunits.
Yunits said that currently data is only sent to secure servers owned by manufacturers, then to repair shops or customers through secure systems developed with the automaker.
According to Yunits, Question 1 would prevent manufacturers from being a part of the development process of security systems and apps that share the information in the future, sacrificing a layer of security for consumers.
Yunits also said that Question 1 unnecessarily risks owners’ personal data by creating opportunities for bad actors outside as well as inside repair shops to access personal data wirelessly.
While mechanics or others may be able to intercept and use the data for malicious purposes, Wallace said that is a risk that comes with a lot of modern technology, such as cellphones and other smart devices that collect data on their users, and that it is up to the customer to decide whether they want to take that risk.
Yunits also said that Question 1 would also force car manufacturers to comply with an unrealistic timetable which would be impossible to do in a safe and effective manner, with new requirements that would be enforced as early as January 2021.
By Joe Marconi
What Your Customers Want to Tell You…But Don’t
Auto shop owners and managers:
Join us for a free webinar series and learn firsthand what actual customers think about the auto repair experience.
To learn more about the online event and to register, click the link below: