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Customer repaired vehicle in my lot... Are you kidding me?!

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So we did an exhaust on a truck a year ago and he recently broke a hanger, he calls us and we schedule him so we can just weld it up for him. So we go out to move the truck inside and it won't start... After some troubleshooting we find that the starter is completely burned up. I call the customer and tell him it's going to be $300 for the repair and he says he's going to call his dad and get back to me. A couple hours later I hear banging outside and 2 guys are working on the truck which is on a steep hill and one is underneath and one in front of it! They leave before I get out there.


I call the customer and tell him that this is completely unacceptable and he tells me I need to speak to his dad and uncle. I told him its not my problem and to ensure that they do not come back to work on it and he agrees. About an hour later I hear banging again and when I go out they are installing it!! I told them to stop immediately and asked what they were thinking pulling a starter on my property on a steep him and the truck doesn't even have an e-brake.


I can't even tell you how mad I was so I told hem to take the truck and NEVER come back. The uncle tells me I have to warranty the work and fix the exhaust! At that point I lost it and told hem to get off my property and never come back and there is no warranty after a stunt like that. The uncle who has only seen me from the shoulders up starts yelling and cursing and starts to get out of the truck to fight me! The guy is mid 50's, 5'8 and weighs a max of 140lbs... I couldn't believe it and I was honestly happy that he was going to try something (I was infuriated, if these idiots would have gotten killed I would've lost everything). So as the guy gets out he sees me across the truck and jumps back in (I'm 6'2 220lbs and was a boxer from 16 - 29, I'm 34 now). So these morons jump in the vehicles and burned tires out of my lot.


Just when I think I've seen it all some new level of stupidity rears its ugly head.

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Hey, I am 5'8 and in my 50s! Just kidding.


I had the same thing happen to me. We diagnosed a water pump for a customer a few years back and the customer said that his friend will take care of it. A few hours later the friend is in MY parking lot working on the water pump! Can you imagine the insanity of some people? I told him to stop and leave. This started an argument, but I stood my ground. We do not need customers like that.

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After 30 years of swinging a wrench you can bet I've run across a few. I'll save them for later stories. LOL


AND, YES, I've had the handy dandy home repairers in the parking lot before. I tell them to push the thing off the property and do it in the street or take it home. These type of people never-ever come back so it's not like you're going to be seeing them again.


I told one guy, "How you would you like it if I pulled up to your house and pulled in the driveway to work on my car?" i's a safety issue, it's an insurance issue, it's just plain courtesy.... I'd like to see the cook at the resturaunt reaction when I march back there with my own steak and tell him to move over while I give this T bone a little time on the flames. (AND it's not uncommon for these parking lot dips to ask for a tool or "How do ya get this off") The nerve of some people......Grrrrr


One thing is for sure... after all the years of doing this I've become less corgial, (pissed is more like it) I don't put up with it at all anymore. Oh, I've been threatened with a pop in the jaw before. Yea, try it big boy... Funny thing is, (Like Joe said) stand your ground, in fact walk right up in there face... they all back off. everytime. LOL


6'2' 245 kinda got most of these blow hards just with size. LOL

(Yep, they still pile it that high) LOL


An X-Marine..... and I ain't afraid to kick your arse even at my age.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is a little off topic, but it touches on something I have been thinking about doing and wonder if anyone has any experience with this idea. I am considering renting out lifts with tools to anyone who wants to work on their own cars. Has anyone ever tried this?



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This is a little off topic, but it touches on something I have been thinking about doing and wonder if anyone has any experience with this idea. I am considering renting out lifts with tools to anyone who wants to work on their own cars. Has anyone ever tried this?



I opened a do it yourself paint shop with a paint booth and really wanted to expand to a do it yourself body shop but never got that far along. The building I was in never had a space I could rent to expand and I needed the body shop and paint shop next to each other. The fellow that tried to open a do it yourself service center failed miserably. Rather than he being there he hired some low life individuals with bad attitudes to run the place and it closed in a year.

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From what I understand, there are liability issues related to doing business that way and your insurance company will (most likely) bock at it.

If you don't want to hire a "low life individuals" you'd have to be there all the time, then you become a consultant/advisor, then you might as well charge for your service as a full service shop :)

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running a DIY shop is a terrible idea IMO. Although not all but some of the idiots you get in there are the same idiots who are going to work on their cars on your lot!


Its not so much the stupidity that pisses me off (and oh yeah they are some dumb POSes!) but its the selfishness. These people are down right pieces of garbage who care nothing but themselves. These dumb selfish low life scum deserve to have a car ran over them on a steep hill while they are trying to work on it! Imagine the liability implications if they get hurt in your shop. They will absolutely pursue a lawsuit.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      Most shop owners would agree that the independent auto repair industry has been too cheap for too long regarding its pricing and labor rates. However, can we keep raising our labor rates and prices until we achieve the profit we desire and need? Is it that simple?
      The first step in achieving your required gross and net profit is understanding your numbers and establishing the correct labor and part margins. The next step is to find your business's inefficiencies that impact high production levels.
      Here are a few things to consider. First, do you have the workflow processes in place that is conducive to high production? What about your shop layout? Do you have all the right tools and equipment? Do you have a continuous training program in place? Are technicians waiting to use a particular scanner or waiting to access information from the shop's workstation computer?
      And lastly, are all the estimates written correctly? Is the labor correct for each job? Are you allowing extra time for rust, older vehicles, labor jobs with no parts included, and the fact that many published labor times are wrong? Let's not forget that perhaps the most significant labor loss is not charging enough labor time for testing, electrical work, and other complicated repairs.  
      Once you have determined the correct labor rate and pricing, review your entire operation. Then, tighten up on all those labor leaks and inefficiencies. Improving production and paying close attention to the labor on each job will add much-needed dollars to your bottom line.
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