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Don’t ask me to compromise my integrity


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An aftermarket insurance company wanted me to install a used rack & pinion that they would provide from a salvage yard that they do business with. It’s bad enough that their arrogance dismisses the fact that we make money both on parts and labor, but to think that I need the business that bad that I would compromise my integrity.

 

I flat out told the insurance company, “NO”. I also told them, “this is my job, my business and I have an obligation to my customer to do the best job possible and do what’s in the best interest for my customer". I spoke to the customer and explained the situation and what I thought was the correct repair. She agreed and paid the difference to install a quality reman unit.

 

Shop owners, agree or disagree?

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Definitely agree. It's not the insurance company that gets blamed for a faulty rack and pinion. Nor does the insurance company reimburse you for your labor if the rack and pinion is bad. I think you took the perfect course of action in explaining the situation to the customer and taking it from there. My step-dad always had a saying "Don't put yourself in a position to be questioned and you'll always be fine." In this case you avoided being questioned at any point from any problem that may or may not have come from installing the used part.

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An aftermarket insurance company wanted me to install a used rack & pinion that they would provide from a salvage yard that they do business with. It’s bad enough that their arrogance dismisses the fact that we make money both on parts and labor, but to think that I need the business that bad that I would compromise my integrity.

 

I flat out told the insurance company, “NO”. I also told them, “this is my job, my business and I have an obligation to my customer to do the best job possible and do what’s in the best interest for my customer". I spoke to the customer and explained the situation and what I thought was the correct repair. She agreed and paid the difference to install a quality reman unit.

 

Shop owners, agree or disagree?

AGREE. B)

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I agree. I would never install a used rack and pinion. That is one of the most ludicrus things I have ever heard. Who was the JUNK insurance company.

 

I really don't want to say, but it wasn't one that I normally deal with. I don't want to lump all extended warranty companies in the same boat, but thier are a lot of bad ones, and they want us to cut corners. They forget that these are our customers.

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Some of these extended warranty companies are the skum of the earth and the warranty is only slightly better than worthless.

 

What bothers me is when the dealer sells these warranties, they sell it in a way that the consumer thinks that everything (bumper to bumper) is covered and that what ever the cost is, will be taken care of. This is where the trouble begins. We tell a customer it will be $3,500 for the transmisson and the warranty company says they will only pay $3000. Well, we don't work for the warranty company and they cannot tell us what WE should accept as payment. The customer then has a tough time dealing with the fact that they need to pay the difference. It may be in the fine print, but no body reads the fine print.

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I'm a firm believer when it comes to work in my shop... I call the shots, and Joe, I totally agree with ya.

 

Many years ago I had another repair shop bring me a job they had been working on. This tire shop was working on the motor for some reason. In the process they managed to blow the guys motor up. (Probably old anyway and shouldn't have been screwing around with it.) However, they didn't know it was blown... so they towed it to me. When I told them it was a bad motor they called their insurance company. The insurance company worked thru the tire shop and in a few days an out of state salvage yard truck pulls up and drops a motor in the parking lot.

 

I went ballistic. It didn't do any good. All I was told is put it in. "OK," I said, "But it's on you if this POS doesn't run right!" It didn't.... ran like crap. Injectors bad, leaking intake... on and on... Now, mind you I'm only installing this turd they brought me... not fixing their crap. The next thing I know I get a call from this insurance Ahole... and he reads me the riot act. I told him where he could shove his POS engine and his stupid policy... because I didn't want to do the job anyway.

 

A day or so later a tow company from out of state towed the thing off. Never seen it again. Good thing too... I wasn't going to do another job like that ever again.

 

Just my thoughts on the whole thing.

 

Ok Joe... we're even... now you GOT ME RILED UP ! ! ! LOL

 

 

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I'm a firm believer when it comes to work in my shop... I call the shots, and Joe, I totally agree with ya.

 

Many years ago I had another repair shop bring me a job they had been working on. This tire shop was working on the motor for some reason. In the process they managed to blow the guys motor up. (Probably old anyway and shouldn't have been screwing around with it.) However, they didn't know it was blown... so they towed it to me. When I told them it was a bad motor they called their insurance company. The insurance company worked thru the tire shop and in a few days an out of state salvage yard truck pulls up and drops a motor in the parking lot.

 

I went ballistic. It didn't do any good. All I was told is put it in. "OK," I said, "But it's on you if this POS doesn't run right!" It didn't.... ran like crap. Injectors bad, leaking intake... on and on... Now, mind you I'm only installing this turd they brought me... not fixing their crap. The next thing I know I get a call from this insurance Ahole... and he reads me the riot act. I told him where he could shove his POS engine and his stupid policy... because I didn't want to do the job anyway.

 

A day or so later a tow company from out of state towed the thing off. Never seen it again. Good thing too... I wasn't going to do another job like that ever again.

 

Just my thoughts on the whole thing.

 

Ok Joe... we're even... now you GOT ME RILED UP ! ! ! LOL

 

Wow, I could feel the heat thru my computer screen...sorry about that!

 

At this point in my life, I agree...I call the shots...I did my time in the trenches...I owe to myself to uphold my ehtics and intergity. Plus, it's a matter of doing the right thing for my shop and my customers.

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A friend of mine at another shop told me today about a car that needed a transmission. They offered to do a rebuild for $1600. The customer found a used one for $500 and had them to put it in. The owner explained to the customer that they were responsible for labor if it was no good. They had to install three used transmissions to get a good one and the customer is in the hole for about $3500. That was the result of trying to save a buck. Some of these insurance/warranty companies are just that stupid. I don't mind installing used parts for some suspension or frame pieces but not for electrical and moving parts.

 

Here is a question for you Joe. Do you think some of these junk warranty companies are owned by organized crime or the Russian Mafia.? That is almost how they operate. Just skimming inside of what is legal. Am I too harsh in thinking that?

 

That's an interesting thought...The Russin mafia. I really don't know. What I am convinced of is that most of these companies know exaclty how to skate aorund the law and work very hard to beat up the repair shop and the customer. They have no regard for the customer because they got thier money up front.

 

It's not just warrany companies, I don't have much respect for insurance companies either. They too like to beat up the repair shops. And, I wish the body shops would stand up and stop accepting $45.00 per hour for their work.

 

Now, the other side of coin; BG offers a lifetime protection plan on their maintenance services. As long as the customer sticks to the program, they honor the failure for life. We have had no problems with getting transmissions and other components warrantied. Then thier Jasper, their warranties are also good.

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  • 2 weeks later...

An aftermarket insurance company wanted me to install a used rack & pinion that they would provide from a salvage yard that they do business with. It’s bad enough that their arrogance dismisses the fact that we make money both on parts and labor, but to think that I need the business that bad that I would compromise my integrity.

 

I flat out told the insurance company, “NO”. I also told them, “this is my job, my business and I have an obligation to my customer to do the best job possible and do what’s in the best interest for my customer". I spoke to the customer and explained the situation and what I thought was the correct repair. She agreed and paid the difference to install a quality reman unit.

 

Shop owners, agree or disagree?

 

 

I'm sure that I am alone in this, but I disagree with you on this. What most of us call an extended warranty is not a warranty; it is a Vehicle Service Contract and they are very specific in their terms. Every VSC I have seen specifies that they have the right to use a part of a Like, Kind, and Quality. This means that the donor vehicle should not be older than, or have more miles than the vehicle receiving the part. One of the biggest suppliers of used parts (having purchased Keystone) is even called LKQ and is publically traded.

 

I am sure you can understand why they specify the right to use an LKQ part. If an engine goes out on a six year old vehicle with 75,000 miles on it, do you expect them to put in a new engine? Drop $5K on a Jasper reman? In order for them to do that, the price of the VSC would be priced so astronomically that no one would buy one. How much would your car insurance cost if replacement value equaled the price of a brand new car? How much would your health insurance cost if the insurance company had to pay whatever the doctor wanted to charge, rather than negotiated prices?

 

As someone who advertises that I accept "Extended Warranties", I am OK with them supplying their parts. It does not "compromise my integrity". I am not the one insisting on using a used part, and I am not the one paying for the repairs. My job is to make sure that the supplied part is in good working order. If I install it and it does not work properly, I call the insurance company, have them send another one, and rebill them for the labor and power steeing fluid. Remember, the customer is the one who entered into an agreement with the insurance company. It is their obligation to have read and understood the terms of the contract. But they don't. They hear "bumper to bumper" from Plaid Coat Charlie at the car lot, and that's all they hear. Take personal responsibility for signing a contract without first reading it? Surely, you jest!

 

Anytime an insurance company wants to supply an LKQ part, I always explain the options to a customer. In the case of a rack and pinion, I will tell the customer that their VSC will assist with $---.-- for the part, or they will supply a used one off of a vehicle with less miles than theirs, or I can install a new or remanufactured one if they would like to pay the difference. Very seldom have I had a customer choose to pay the difference. In almost every case they choose to have the used, LKQ part installed.

 

I know what to expect from the insurance companies and I treat it like a game. If a customer tells me they have an extended warranty, when I blink, you hear an old timey cash register sound. I read their contract, and then go over the car "bumper to bumper" looking for things that the VSC will cover. Oil pan gasket leaking and the VSC has seal and gasket coverage? I will charge for the gasket, the RTV, the oil, labor and diagnostic time. Rack and pinion leaking and they want to supply the rack? No problem. Labor, PS fluid, and a half hour diag, thank you very much.

 

I always tell the customer that the insurance companies job is to make sure that they spend as little on car repairs as possible and that my job is to make sure that they spend as much on car repairs as possible so that the customer gets the full value of what they spent on their VSC. The insurance companies are constantly sending inspectors out, but I stand behind every repair that we call in and we have a very low decline rate. That is how I make my customers happy and don't compromise my integrity.

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I do not have a problem installing some used parts like a spindle, an engine, transmission, or even a strut in some situations. We use LKQ on a regular basis and I can dail their phone number without looking it up. It is 800-382-9792 and the person we deal with is David at extension 153. However with something like a rack and pinion it just doesn't make any sense to me. I would expect a used rack and pinion to only be a few bucks cheaper than a remanufactured one. In addition the chances of a used rack and pinion coming to me with some type of damage is very high. Junk yard parts pullers aren't very careful at times and sometimes do not recognize that they are creating problems for an installer. Would you install used wheel cylinders or a used window regulator?

 

As far as looking the vehicle over from top to bottom we do that so they can get the most bang for their contract and for their deductible. We tell them to also bring the vehicle in just before the warranty expires for a good going over.

 

 

The issue i had was with the OP opining that playing ball with the insurance company was somehow compromising one's integrity. My opinion is that it does not. Our customer is also their customer except they also have a legally binding contract with our shared customer. Since you do in fact use LKQ parts, obviously your integrity is not compromised when you do. Neither is mine. If we are talking about whether something is a smart business decision for the warranty company, that is another question. Usually the price difference on something like a used versus reman rack is so negligible, that it doesn't make good business sense to ship out a used one. But if the car in question is an exotic it might be a good decision. If it's a Taurus, probably not so much. But whatever the case, it's their call and my integrity is not compromised either way. Would I install a used window regulator? I recently had a warranty company scouring the country for a seat motor for a Mits Diamanté because the dealer wanted $1500 for one. If they had found a used one would I have installed it? In a New York minute.

 

As far as quality of used parts, I agree. I would much rather use a new part than a used part. I would rather take name brand medication than generic, but my insurance plan calls for generic when available. If the terms of the VSC call for a LKQ, then as long as I am inspecting the part before installation, and installing it correctly, then my integrity remains uncompromised. You evidently feel the same way or you would not be installing used struts and have LKQ on speed dial.

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Doing something that goes against my core beliefs IS comprising my intergrity. End of statement.

 

I have no issues with used hub caps, mirrors and other non-safety components. But when it comes to steering, brakes and other components that I deterimne may put my customer at risk or put others of the road at risk, I will not do it. I will not accept a used steering rack from a salvage yard I have no history with.

 

Somethings go beyond making the sale. We are not talking about using the warranty company has a income stream. What I am saying is that above all, (at least the way I see it), I will run my business the way I want to run. I will dictate the rules and I will always put People Before Profit.

 

This is the way I do business, and it's worked quite well for over 30 years.

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The issue i had was with the OP opining that playing ball with the insurance company was somehow compromising one's integrity. My opinion is that it does not. Our customer is also their customer except they also have a legally binding contract with our shared customer. Since you do in fact use LKQ parts, obviously your integrity is not compromised when you do. Neither is mine. If we are talking about whether something is a smart business decision for the warranty company, that is another question. Usually the price difference on something like a used versus reman rack is so negligible, that it doesn't make good business sense to ship out a used one. But if the car in question is an exotic it might be a good decision. If it's a Taurus, probably not so much. But whatever the case, it's their call and my integrity is not compromised either way. Would I install a used window regulator? I recently had a warranty company scouring the country for a seat motor for a Mits Diamanté because the dealer wanted $1500 for one. If they had found a used one would I have installed it? In a New York minute.

 

As far as quality of used parts, I agree. I would much rather use a new part than a used part. I would rather take name brand medication than generic, but my insurance plan calls for generic when available. If the terms of the VSC call for a LKQ, then as long as I am inspecting the part before installation, and installing it correctly, then my integrity remains uncompromised. You evidently feel the same way or you would not be installing used struts and have LKQ on speed dial.

 

Another thing to remember; once I touch the car and accept a part from the insurance company I am responsible. I really don't care what rules or policy the insurance company wants to follow. I don't agree with a health insurance plan either that dictates certain doctors or certain medication. Do we blindly accept thier rules?

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