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Email from a regular customer...

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This is an article sent to me buy one of my regular customers.... read this and let me know what ya think...

I think the guy has had some bad experiences with bad mechanics... you be the judge.


Copy and paste it. If needed.


10 Things Your Mechanic Won't Tell You- Yahoo! Autos Article Page

Edited by Gonzo
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Why is it that a “writer” for a magazine is the so-called expert? I agree with xrac. I have read too many articles that are very similar, almost word for word, like this one.


The articles always expose the negative things that happen, never promoting the good.


The truth is, and I know you all agree, that most shops work extremely hard at insuring that they do the best job they can. I have nothing but respect for my fellow mechanics and shop owners, and resent those with little knowledge of our industry telling the public questionable information.



I totally agree... it's not the fact that some "writer" wrote this article but the fact that he "umbrellas" the entire independent industry. It would have been a whole lot different if they would have said... "In some cases...." But it seemed to me that they were saying that ALL independent shops work this way.


I was really pissed when I read it, and I did send him a msg back. This letter reminds me of how the BBB calls me once a year and wants me to join. I always say no... why you ask... this is what I tell them... "Do you ever recieve a phone call or letter saying how happy they are for services they recieve from a repair shop, or are all/most of your calls from people having a complaint." It's just like this article... all one sided answers....


page 168 I think in my book has my thoughts on this subject... Joe, have ya read that section yet... it's not "the golden rule" but at least it's something.... I should post that section.

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ame='Gonzo' date='10 March 2010 - 06:45 PM' timestamp='1268246705' post='6262']



I read your thoughts on page 168 and you are right on point. It’s unfortunate but “sensationalism” will always win over “journalism” and a few bad apples in any industry will always be the focus of the media and the public.


I particularly like you comments on the Better Business Bureau. Again, right on point! It’s the number one reason why I will never join. The BBB promotes the negative and never reinforces the positive.


Like I said, and will repeat over and over….Our industry is filled with dedicated, hard working people who sacrifice each day to keep this country moving. THEY deserve the respect they have dearly earned.


You know what really kills me: The president of the U.S. or a star athlete can commit the most heinous crime and all he has to do apologize and he is made into a hero.


Just wait, Tiger Woods will be back and he will get a standing ovation the first time he steps onto the green.


Of course your right again Joe, that's the media, the society and people in general...


But, on another subject... related to this... One of my old employees stopped by to say hi... wonder if I was busy... I'm not... He tells me he is making just as much as he did when he worked for me... but is doing 3 times as much work... and seems to always have more to do... I asked how is that possible... Oh you'll love this....

The shop he is at now... charges 40.00 an hour and cuts all the book times in half to the customer and the mechanics pay... Talk about a screw job .... This is another reason why I don't like the BBB I know this isn't there catagorey... but wouldn't it be nice if the playing field was level... this shop is staying in business because he is undercharging for his services...

Now I'm pissed... again.

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Wow! This is a side of the industry that drives me crazy!!! There are too many shop owners that should not be in business. They hurt it for the rest of us. Let me ask you a question...How is staying in business????


Joe, the only reason this SOB is still in business is simply PRICE... his shop is jammed full of cheap repairs. I'm sitting over here with 10's of thousands of dollars worth of diagnostic scanners... and having a tough time staying open. If I didn't charge the rate that I do (65.00 to 75.00 hourly which is the norm for our area) I couldn't pay for those scanners... without them I can't work. I can't believe that in todays economy I am going to have to drop my prices to stay in business, and I'm not talking about lowering my prices to suit the downward economics I'm talking about being competitive with other shops in the area. People like this... shop owners and for that matter the mechanic willing to trade his talent in for less than what he should be getting... in my book are nothing but whores of the industry. I worked a lot of hours to build up what I have only to see it go down the tubes because some numb nuts down the street who hasn't invested in the scanners and todays technology, and undercharges for his work...... but draws the customers in. Do ya think I'm a little peeved... YOU BET YA ! !

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I agree on both points, xrac. BBB is a scam, nothing more than robbing money from any business willing to pay the membership.


I too cannot believe that selling yourself short can last for long. You may struggle for a long time, but it must take it's toll in the long run. I don't want to see shop owners caving in and get into a price war, that will kill us all.



Intelligent minds think alike.... I thought I was the only one that thought the BBB was a bunch of dues collecting dim wits that only had a dollar in mind. And your right the consumer thinks they walk on water.... dah... what a joke.


The cheap shop is a problem... had a customer stop in ask about my prices and when I went to lunch I seen their car at the cheap shop in line to be repaired... go figure.


I'm so so glad to see we are all thinking on the same lines... lets me know that I'm not the only boat in the water... well, gotta get back to paddlein' more to do today.


Thanx for all your comments. Hearing that we all have the same views is quite a comfort. thanx again.

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We bend over backwards to take care of our customers and have almost no situations where this occurs now, but the few times I have had situations in the past where an unreasonable customer said they were going to call the BBB I almost wanted to laugh because I know what a total waste of their time it is.


Xrac.... I give them the number to the BBB. and say,"Why don't ya do that.... I would appreciate it." But a very rarely ever if not never see the BBB. but it happens... nothing has ever stuck nothing has ever come out of it. (I did sell a copy of my book to the BBB though.... now thats really hysterical... LOL)

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      Auto shop owners are always looking for ways to improve production levels. They focus their attention on their technicians and require certain expectations of performance in billable labor hours. While technicians must know what is expected of them, they have a limited amount of control over production levels. When all factors are considered, the only thing a well-trained technician has control over is his or her actual efficiency.
      As a review, technician efficiency is the amount of labor time it takes a technician to complete a job compared to the labor time being billed to the customer. Productivity is the time the technician is billing labor hours compared to the time the technician is physically at the shop. The reality is that a technician can be very efficient, but not productive if the technician has a lot of downtime waiting for parts, waiting too long between jobs, or poor workflow systems.
      But let’s go deeper into what affects production in the typical auto repair shop. As a business coach, one of the biggest reasons for low shop production is not charging the correct labor time. Labor for extensive jobs is often not being billed accurately. Rust, seized bolts, and wrong published labor times are just a few reasons for lost labor dollars.
      Another common problem is not understanding how to bill for jobs that require extensive diagnostic testing, and complicated procedures to arrive at the root cause for an onboard computer problem, electrical issue, or drivability issue. These jobs usually take time to analyze, using sophisticated tools, and by the shop’s top technician. Typically, these jobs are billed at a standard menu labor charge, instead of at a higher labor rate. This results in less billed labor hours than the actual labor time spent. The amount of lost labor hours here can cripple a shop’s overall profit.
      Many shop owners do a great job at calculating their labor rate but may not understand what their true effective labor is, which is their labor sales divided by the total labor hours sold. In many cases, I have seen a shop that has a shop labor rate of over $150.00 per hour, but the actual effective labor rate is around $100. Not good.
      Lastly, technician production can suffer when the service advisors are too busy or not motivated to build relationships with customers, which results in a low sales closing ratio. And let’s not forget that to be productive, a shop needs to have the right systems, the right tools and equipment, an extensive information system, and of course, great leadership.
      The bottom line is this; many factors need to be considered when looking to increase production levels. While it does start with the technician, it doesn’t end there. Consider all the factors above when looking for ways to improve your shop’s labor production.
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