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I don't know if this is the proper place to post this, but do any of you who run flat rate shops do backflagging?

 

For instance, in September I did a tire rotation (pays 0.3) and then the car came back in yesterday for tires, first time back since the tire rotation in 7 months. One of the lug nuts was stripped, according to another tech who was doing the tires. The shop charges and pays 1 hour to replace a stud. So my total hours for the week got deducted by 1. Despite the whole fact that there is no way to even prove I was the last one to actually touch them (and that no one else in the shop has ever had a problem with wheels I put on, just this one tech, three times now). I had to give up an hour of pay to pay the technician who replaced the stud an hour.

 

Just wondering if any other shops do this...and I guess, is it even legal?

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I see, that seems much more reasonable. This wasn't a comeback. The person was last in, in September when I did a tire rotation. Then they came in this week for new tires and that is when one of the lug nuts stripped out. They (the service manager and tech) stated that since I was the last one to touch the car when it was here, it must have been something I did since I had the wheels off. They didn't even check to see if he had been elsewhere. They simply told the tech to fix it and deducted 1 hour from my total flagged hours for the week. Which is disappointing because I was on pace to beat my best week (50, would have been 50.9 without this).

 

In the 7 months I have been in the dealership (and industry) I can list all my comebacks.

 

- Brakes squeaking on a brake job I did nearly 6 months prior (squeak just started according to customer and ended up being caused by the brakes having a lot of sand in them and needed cleaning, no fault in my prep or installation). If I hadn't been there that day they would have paid someone 1.0 hours to clean them and docked me the 1.0 hours. I even tried to fight this, saying I should be paid, because my work is warrantied and nothing I do can stop the car from driving through sandy roads in the winter.

 

- Car came back today, supposedly I only finger tightened the oil drain plug. I guess it's possible, but I have never forgotten stuff like that before.

 

Those are my only comebacks. Then there is 3 lug nuts stripped (including the one discussed here), all 3 of them were found by this tech, no other techs have ever had this issue with any car I took and put wheels on with (plus I have the 100 ft. lb torque stick from SO that the dealership requires we all have). None of those were comebacks, just cars coming in for their next service when they were found.

 

The only other complaints I have gotten, is when I first started, I left a grease stain on the door handle and I did tires that the customer requested he keep the old tires so he could try to sell them and he said he was in a rush and had to be out by 10. I wasn't thinking and put the tires into his compact car where I could, two in the backseat and two in the trunk, but I didn't put them in bags and sand got in his car.

 

That's all in the span of 7 months, and I feel those are very minor and learning experiences. I have not repeated any of them and apologized for them personally when they happened.

 

I can tell you that I have less comebacks in those 7 months than all the other techs, so I don't feel like I am a chronic issue. I just feel like the whole point of owning a company is that you assume a lot of the liability and in minor instances like these lug nuts, where you cannot even guarantee I was the last one to have the wheels off that I should not lose 33.00 (3 hours times my 11.00 rate) for work that I was paid 9.90 total for.

Edited by ADealerTech
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  • 2 months later...

I don't know if this is the proper place to post this, but do any of you who run flat rate shops do backflagging?

 

For instance, in September I did a tire rotation (pays 0.3) and then the car came back in yesterday for tires, first time back since the tire rotation in 7 months. One of the lug nuts was stripped, according to another tech who was doing the tires. The shop charges and pays 1 hour to replace a stud. So my total hours for the week got deducted by 1. Despite the whole fact that there is no way to even prove I was the last one to actually touch them (and that no one else in the shop has ever had a problem with wheels I put on, just this one tech, three times now). I had to give up an hour of pay to pay the technician who replaced the stud an hour.

 

Just wondering if any other shops do this...and I guess, is it even legal?

 

 

Back flagging is illegal in RI and most other states as well. Also if your dealer is not paying for your computer based training contact me. Another large RI Import dealer had to pay me for some back flagging I had records for and my training they forced me to do. Go see Helen Gage over at the department of labor and training.

 

 

The reason why Techs are abused by dealers is because WE ALLOW IT.. Your better off if you get out of flat rate and find a good shop that pays a salary or hourly or go fleet like I did

 

BTW 11 a hour flat rate is HORRIBLE. In 2000 my first job flat rate with 1 year in the business was 15 a hour. You are supplying and buying your own tools your basically worse off than making minimum wage. Sorry I am not trying to insult you at all just want to help.

Edited by Formerdealertech
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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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