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In NC, the Motor Vehicle Repair Act requires a written estimate or signed waiver if the repair is over $350. The customer can waive any written estimates for a "period of time specified by the customer in the waiver." Does anyone have any kind of language in their waivers that specifies an effective time period? I'm not sure what period of time is standard/appropriate to include and I want to comply with the law without having to get a new waiver each time the customer gets work done.

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In NC, the Motor Vehicle Repair Act requires a written estimate or signed waiver if the repair is over $350. The customer can waive any written estimates for a "period of time specified by the customer in the waiver." Does anyone have any kind of language in their waivers that specifies an effective time period? I'm not sure what period of time is standard/appropriate to include and I want to comply with the law without having to get a new waiver each time the customer gets work done.

 

I am in Michigan and we must have the same, signed written estimate or waiver of estimate if the estimated repair will be over $20.00. But at last I read the statute the waiver had no time duration. There were two types of waivers though, a single instance and a long-term. The long-term did not specify a length of time as I remember. But this is Michigan, not NC so you would be better served to investigate your State's law.

 

But on a side note, are you wanting a long-term waiver so you don't have to have a written estimate but can instead call the customer and get verbal approval, or are you wanting to circumvent the consumer's legal protections and then "ambush" them with the bill when they pick up their car? Do you have a lot of night drop-offs? Or do you not have policies in place to consult with the customer, establish their concerns to be addressed and then document them on a work order and have the customer verify the accuracy of your understanding with a signature? Or is your customer base one that trusts you completely and simply throws you the keys and says, "Just fix it then call me?" The only reason I bring this up is you didn't state why you needed/wanted the waivers but maybe you would benefit yourself if you evaluated the circumstances under which you need the waivers. I would imagine a caring repair shop would always get the customer's approval BEFORE performing any work beyond the initial request unless specifically told to do so. I know this is beyond the scope of your question but wouldn't that simply be respectful?

 

I'm sorry i couldn't answer your question, but even a shop in NC would be dangerous to take advice from without verifying it yourself to make sure you were in compliance. I hope you understand my other part was just points to ponder and an opportunity to look at your situation from a different perspective, it was not intended as an attack on you.

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I am in Michigan and we must have the same, signed written estimate or waiver of estimate if the estimated repair will be over $20.00. But at last I read the statute the waiver had no time duration. There were two types of waivers though, a single instance and a long-term. The long-term did not specify a length of time as I remember. But this is Michigan, not NC so you would be better served to investigate your State's law.

 

But on a side note, are you wanting a long-term waiver so you don't have to have a written estimate but can instead call the customer and get verbal approval, or are you wanting to circumvent the consumer's legal protections and then "ambush" them with the bill when they pick up their car? Do you have a lot of night drop-offs? Or do you not have policies in place to consult with the customer, establish their concerns to be addressed and then document them on a work order and have the customer verify the accuracy of your understanding with a signature? Or is your customer base one that trusts you completely and simply throws you the keys and says, "Just fix it then call me?" The only reason I bring this up is you didn't state why you needed/wanted the waivers but maybe you would benefit yourself if you evaluated the circumstances under which you need the waivers. I would imagine a caring repair shop would always get the customer's approval BEFORE performing any work beyond the initial request unless specifically told to do so. I know this is beyond the scope of your question but wouldn't that simply be respectful?

 

I'm sorry i couldn't answer your question, but even a shop in NC would be dangerous to take advice from without verifying it yourself to make sure you were in compliance. I hope you understand my other part was just points to ponder and an opportunity to look at your situation from a different perspective, it was not intended as an attack on you.

 

The main reason I asked is that I just recently read the statute in full and I wanted to make sure my bases were covered, legally speaking. My customer base consists largely of used car lot dealers and longtime customers who followed after I left my service management position at a dealership. I always discuss repairs with customers in detail but have yet to have anyone sign anything. I know for legal reasons and for good business practices this is a necessity, so I just wanted to have something prepared for my customers who don't care to receive an estimate, so that they wouldn't have to sign a new waiver each time we do business. No intentions of blind-siding anyone whatsoever.

 

I am currently a one-man show and don't have a lot of specific policies in place, including in regards to customer relations. But I am hoping to expand the business in the near future and would like to begin implementing some procedures, so I was just trying to decide how to best go about handling business particularly with my long-time customers.

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The main reason I asked is that I just recently read the statute in full and I wanted to make sure my bases were covered, legally speaking. My customer base consists largely of used car lot dealers and longtime customers who followed after I left my service management position at a dealership. I always discuss repairs with customers in detail but have yet to have anyone sign anything. I know for legal reasons and for good business practices this is a necessity, so I just wanted to have something prepared for my customers who don't care to receive an estimate, so that they wouldn't have to sign a new waiver each time we do business. No intentions of blind-siding anyone whatsoever.

 

I am currently a one-man show and don't have a lot of specific policies in place, including in regards to customer relations. But I am hoping to expand the business in the near future and would like to begin implementing some procedures, so I was just trying to decide how to best go about handling business particularly with my long-time customers.

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The main reason I asked is that I just recently read the statute in full and I wanted to make sure my bases were covered, legally speaking. My customer base consists largely of used car lot dealers and longtime customers who followed after I left my service management position at a dealership. I always discuss repairs with customers in detail but have yet to have anyone sign anything. I know for legal reasons and for good business practices this is a necessity, so I just wanted to have something prepared for my customers who don't care to receive an estimate, so that they wouldn't have to sign a new waiver each time we do business. No intentions of blind-siding anyone whatsoever.

 

I am currently a one-man show and don't have a lot of specific policies in place, including in regards to customer relations. But I am hoping to expand the business in the near future and would like to begin implementing some procedures, so I was just trying to decide how to best go about handling business particularly with my long-time customers.

 

As I wrote, I was not meaning to seem like I was attacking or impugning you, I truly hope you did not take it that way. Also as I wrote, you would be best served to find a lawyer who is knowledgeable in this area. But in Michigan any waiver of estimate, long-term or one time (such as night drop) must spell out the following as applicable to the type of waiver in question:


  •  
  • that the customer is entitled to a written estimate and is waiving that right
  • the date of the waiver
  • the duration of the waiver including an expiration date for long term waivers
  • that the waiver is granted voluntarily
  • the exact amount of repairs authorized, if an amount is known in advance
  • the limit of repairs authorized if an exact amount is not known
  • the ramifications of granting the waiver such as acknowledging the financial obligation.
  • sufficient information to identify the specific vehicle the one-time waiver applies to

 

This is not an all inclusive list nor is it to be construed as meeting any or all legal requirements of any state. The State of Michigan motor vehicle repair facility manual provides sample waiver forms, your state may as well.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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It's just the poor ladies listening to me cry with me. Back to the operating room. But once I'm through the doors, it was. It happened so fast.. They killed me in. They got the table ready that I was going to be on. They scooted me over. They laid me on my side. They put the oxygen mask on me, and I didn't even count to ten. And I was out. Kimberly Cotton (00:13:14) - I don't remember anything after that. The only the next time I woke up was in the recovery, and I had lots of blankets on me because I think I was shivering because it was cold., and I just remember I had two nurses continuously checking on me. How are you doing? Do you need this? Do you need that? And the only thing I said was, is where's my husband? Can I see my husband? And so I think that's at the point. They went and got you and brought you back. The problem was, is I had to stay in recovery for quite some time. Our surgery was early and so it lasted, what, four hours, I think something like that. Chris Cotton (00:13:56) - Yeah. They, they told they pretty much told us this is a four hour surgery and, and we're going to have you because of the staging and everything. I guess they give you kind of like they give you like an hour headstart and then and then then they start start on, started on your brother and and then they've got your kidney, which they, the doctor said, hey, it looks pink. Chris Cotton (00:14:20) - It's great. We cleaned it up. And so basically they will you out to recovery and then and then clean up the kidney, get it put into your brother and and then he's off and going. But, yeah we had a trouble. We had trouble getting into the actual,, the room that we that not not not I guess ICU or recovery, but your actual room that we stayed in for two nights. Yeah., so you were done by 11, and I think we had you in your room by five. So we kind of sat around for spent more time sitting around trying to get you into another room than than the operation took. Kimberly Cotton (00:14:59) - Yeah., luckily I slept a lot during that time., so it wasn't too bad for me., it was just. I was just down there for a long time, so. Not a big deal. They got me up into a room., and actually, I, I was hungry,, when we finally did make it up to the room,, so I, I think we had tried to order something through the hospital, but they, the time had passed when they were delivering meals and stuff. Kimberly Cotton (00:15:31) - , I did you bring me something or did I? I don't even remember what I had that I. Chris Cotton (00:15:36) - Think I think we, I think I got you, I was able to get you something that you could eat. Kimberly Cotton (00:15:41) - I don't think I was very hungry, but I wanted something small, so. Chris Cotton (00:15:45) - Well. And and to give everybody like the idea of the recovery room you're in, basically, it's just like a long row of beds with like 10 to 15 slots on either side. And when I first went down there, you didn't have anybody next to you. So then we got you some ice water. I think we got you some pudding then or something. Yeah., but because the HIPAA regulations, they were bringing other people down on either side of you, and they had me leave. Yeah., but so we. So we got you to the room and kind of settled in a little bit., and we were trying to manage your pain, and I think, I think one of the important things, if you're listening and you're going to go through this out there, they talk about this. Chris Cotton (00:16:32) - It's not a phantom pain. But what happens is, is where the kidney was. And they insert these robot fingers inside your body and they blow up your abdomen with nitrogen. And and they do this with a robot. And they try to get all the air out, but they can't. And what happens is, is the air or the nitrogen that's left pushes on your diaphragm. And when that happens, your body thinks your shoulder hurts. So it has this like tremendous pain in your shoulder. And I've seen Kimberly,, give birth. I've seen her do all kinds of stuff in 25 plus years that we've been together. And I've never heard her. Yell in pain or anything like that. And oh, maybe that's what had happened. I'd gone and got you something to eat. And then I went and got me something to eat. And when I was coming back, I heard you hollering down the hallway I had. Kimberly Cotton (00:17:30) - Yeah, you hadn't probably been gone 20, 30 minutes maybe. And the pain all of a sudden hit me so hard. Kimberly Cotton (00:17:38) - So I pushed the nurses button and took them, you know, longer than I wanted to them for them to respond. But they finally responded and they said, can we help you? And I said, I need something for the pain. My I'm absolutely excruciating right now. And they said, what on the scale of what to what I'm like, I am above a ten. I mean, this is awful., and so it took them a little bit and then he could hear me moaning and groaning down the hallway, and I think he sprinted to the room after he could hear me., but it just hurts so bad., and it's the strangest thing I don't get it., but it wasn't just one shoulder. It was across my back, right at my clavicle. And it just so hurt, so bad until the pain medication finally kicked in., initially, I had only wanted to stay one night in the hospital, but everybody was like, just see how you feel. See how you're doing. Kimberly Cotton (00:18:41) - Well, the next day, the doctor,, comes. Another one comes in and takes me over, and he looks at me and he's like, yeah, you're spending another night. He could tell the pain on my face. And it wasn't constant, but it was just enough for him to say, yeah, we're going to up the dosage of your pain medication. And you're saying I'm like, okay, so but after they up the dosage, it was much better and much more manageable. Chris Cotton (00:19:07) - So, so out of all the things that they didn't tell us, this was kind of like the big moment or less and not right then. But,, so they wanted me to get her up and have her walking like at 8 p.m. that night. And so that happened. I think we took you for a walk before this happened. Yeah, but but what nobody told us was, was about 30 minutes before you get up to walk, call a nurse, have them give you the pain medication. That way, when you're sore and hurting after the walk, you've already been medicated and you're good to go. Chris Cotton (00:19:44) - So I think I think we walked you that night. I think we walked you a couple times that next day. And then I think the nurse that came in the following night was the one that was like, hey, you guys should be taking pain medication before you walk. And nobody, nobody told us that up until then. And that's,, that's like some Ron White. That's good information to know, right? Like. Yeah. Like,, that would have been handy. That would have been a little handy tidbit for people to tell us., so I, I think... Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      Thanks to our Partners, AAPEX, NAPA TRACS, and Automotive Management Network By leveraging tools like digital vehicle inspections (DVI) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, businesses can significantly improve their operations and customer experience. These integrations allow for a more streamlined process, from diagnosing vehicle issues to maintaining consistent communication with clients. Ben Dexter, National Training Manager, NAPA TRACS Show Notes
      Ben's journey in the automotive industry (00:00:55) Ben's progression from service writer to National Training Manager and his experience in the automotive industry. Importance of shop management systems (00:02:04) The critical role of shop management systems in the automotive repair industry and the support provided by NAPA TRACS. Value of training (00:03:21) The significance of investing in training and the impact of leadership participation in training programs. Building customer rapport (00:11:22) Ben's approach to building customer rapport and the importance of effective communication and attention to customer needs. Significance of scheduling (00:13:12) The shift from reactive scheduling to a coordinated approach, addressing the issues of timely and accurate repairs through effective scheduling. The power of software integrations (00:15:37) The commitment to utilizing shop management software and the potential of integrations with other tools like DVI and CRM for business growth. Utilizing shop management systems (00:19:08) Encouraging the use of shop management systems and the availability of resources for business advancement. Role of technology in DVI (00:20:42) Discussion on the coordinated effort required for effective Digital Vehicle Inspections (DVI) and the benefits of real-time communication. Challenges in utilizing software (00:22:32) Exploring the reasons behind the underutilization of software tools and the need for effective leadership and training. Importance of testing and measuring (00:25:13) Highlighting the significance of testing and measuring business performance for improvement and growth. Communication and customer service (00:28:27) Emphasizing the importance of effective communication with customers to prevent unexpected breakdowns and enhance customer satisfaction. Impact of scheduling on service advisors (00:30:07) Discussing the influence of scheduling on service advisors' decision-making and the need for consistent customer recommendations. Rethinking business analysis (00:32:47) Encouraging a reevaluation of business statistics and reports to identify missed opportunities and improve overall business strategies. Morning Meetings and Reporting (00:33:21) Discussion on the importance of morning meetings, sales reporting by service writer, and constructive performance discussions. Maximizing Existing Resources (00:34:55) Emphasizing the significance of making the most of existing resources before seeking more car count. Linear Quantity Opportunities (00:36:32) Exploration of the linear quantity opportunities in parts matrix, addressing traditional matrix problems and opportunities for improvement. Commitment to Lifelong Learning (00:38:54) Highlighting the importance of lifelong learning for success in shop management and overall strategy. Thanks to our Partners, AAPEX, NAPA TRACS, and Automotive Management Network Set your sights on Las Vegas in 2024. Mark your calendar now … November 5th-7th, 2024. AAPEX - Now more than ever. And don’t miss the next free AAPEX webinar. Register now at http://AAPEXSHOW.COM/WEBINAR NAPA TRACS will move your shop into the SMS fast lane with onsite training and six days a week of support and local representation. Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at http://napatracs.com/ Get ready to grow your business with the Automotive Management Network: Find on the Web at http://AftermarketManagementNetwork.com for information that can help you move your business ahead and for the free and informative http://LaborRateTracker.com Connect with the Podcast: -Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RemarkableResultsRadioPodcast/ -Join Our Private Facebook Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1734687266778976 -Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/carmcapriotto -Follow on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmcapriotto/ -Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/remarkableresultsradiopodcast/ -Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RResultsBiz -Visit the Website: https://remarkableresults.biz/ -Join our Insider List: https://remarkableresults.biz/insider -All books mentioned on our podcasts: https://remarkableresults.biz/books -Our Classroom page for personal or team learning: https://remarkableresults.biz/classroom -Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/carm -The Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com -Special episode collections: https://remarkableresults.biz/collections            
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Changing The Industry
      The Basics of Owning An Auto Repair Shop - Part 6


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