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Just curious as to how others handle the customer who comes in with a car they just bought recently. They may come in for just an oil change. Once you get the car in the air, you find the subframe covered with oil. Or you find the transmission leaking fluid.

 

How do you approach the customer with this information? You know they are gonna be upset. You know they will probably deny the work right now, and probably take it back to the lot they bought it from, trying to get the salesman to pay for it. But they bought the car 'as-is'. I'm just not sure what the best way is to hand over a $1000+ quote to someone who hasn't had the car for more than 3-6 months. Haha, and then to start to mention maintenance items on top of all that!

 

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

 

*On top of that, what if the car lot they bought it from recommended they come see you to have the car worked on and serviced?

Edited by mmotley
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You tell them the truth. The car they bought is used and can have or develop leaks and other problems. Explain to them what the problem is and the best approach as well as let them know any other repairs or maintenance that is needed. If they can't do it all at once, give them a list by priority.

 

Too often people buy used vehicles and expect them to be absolutely perfect. When did this begin to happen, does anyone know? I always tell my customers if they plan to buy a new or used vehicle that we are here to answer any questions as well as do an inspection on any used vehicles before they buy. I still, however, have a few good customers who will buy a car on a whim. They bring it in and have me fix it, never questioning anything. I assume they just really wanted the vehicles they buy.

 

Don't treat them any different than any of your other customers. If they bought a car without an inspection, that was their choice.

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I always try to educate my customers on the importance of a pre-purchase inspection. I also try my best to document anything that is visual such as leaks, worn suspension parts, broken or low quality parts used by taking pictures. I present the information to the customers as softly as possible. They will possibly be upset with the news however you are just stating facts. I tell customers all the time, I don't break em or make em, I just fix em. They seem to get it and if they are going to fix it unless they are bottom feeder customers, they appreciate the time I take to explain things to them with documentation and they usually come back for the repairs.

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I agree and suspect that this last part

"*On top of that, what if the car lot they bought it from recommended they come see you to have the car worked on and serviced?"

makes it the most difficult to tell them the "whole thing".

Depending on your relationship with the selling "dealer" that recommends them your services. I'd talk tot hem and see if they are willing to recommend your prepurchase inspection to prospective buyers.

I'd also recommend hanging a sign i the shop "We DO a (put down whatever # point) prepurchase and presale inspections, please tell your neighbor" or come up with something on the funny side.... That way, when all bunch of goodies are discovered, you can point to the sign, smile (depending on the damage) and say "I wish you came to me first"

Edited by nmikmik
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I agree and suspect that this last part

"*On top of that, what if the car lot they bought it from recommended they come see you to have the car worked on and serviced?"

makes it the most difficult to tell them the "whole thing".

Depending on your relationship with the selling "dealer" that recommends them your services.  I'd talk tot hem and see if they are willing to recommend your prepurchase inspection to prospective buyers.

I'd also recommend hanging a sign i the shop "We DO a (put down whatever # point) prepurchase and presale inspections, please tell your neighbor"  or come up with something on the funny side....  That way, when all bunch of goodies are discovered, you can point to the sign, smile (depending on the damage)  and say "I wish you came to me first"

I like that sign idea.

We do quite a bit of indy dealer work, and we've burnt some dealer bridges. We do not offer a budget price with rigged work. We do not take our reputation lightly, you ask me to rig a car or "temporarily" fix it you'll get a warning, then you'll be asked to take you're vehicle elsewhere. I too struggle with giving the bad news especially on a new used car. But it is our job! I often offer the dealer that sold the car the opportunity at a 10% discount and pictures of the damaged or faulty components, as well as the estimate. We also try to speak with them directly to prevent incorrect translation.

We can't control whats wrong with the vehicle, and trying to sugar coat or lessen the blow will only hurt the shop.

 

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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"We do quite a bit of indy dealer work, and we've burnt some dealer bridges. We do not offer a budget price with rigged work. We do not take our reputation lightly, you ask me to rig a car or "temporarily" fix it you'll get a warning, then you'll be asked to take you're vehicle elsewhere."

 

This is one reason we stopped servicing used car dealers vehicles. They never wanted to fix anything, they wanted it rigged or as cheap as possible. They quickly found out, I don't run my shop like many others do. I provide quality work and quality parts. If you don't agree with that philosophy, maybe we aren't the right shop for you.

 

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"We do quite a bit of indy dealer work, and we've burnt some dealer bridges. We do not offer a budget price with rigged work. We do not take our reputation lightly, you ask me to rig a car or "temporarily" fix it you'll get a warning, then you'll be asked to take you're vehicle elsewhere."

 

This is one reason we stopped servicing used car dealers vehicles. They never wanted to fix anything, they wanted it rigged or as cheap as possible. They quickly found out, I don't run my shop like many others do. I provide quality work and quality parts. If you don't agree with that philosophy, maybe we aren't the right shop for you.

 

 

 

They want you to cosign ripping people off. NO THANKS!

 

Best is when guys who sell used cars use the ol' "oh man you guys service a lot of nice German Cars here, I am going to bring you all my cars.... just take care of me since I'm going to bring you a lot of business." I laugh with my inside voice every time. Last guy who did that was this idiot who came from a "customization" shop where they do sound, interiors, wheels that sort of thing. All garbage work, car came in with Louis Vutton wrapped interior albeit not terrible but not the greatest job in the world... oh yeah and caliper covers... He gave me the "im going to bring you a lot of business.." blah blah. Guy ended up being a read headache. Go figure.

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I may have said this before but it worth repeating. I used to have a problem when the estimates got big, BAD NEWS. Then at a business seminar I had a fella tell me "It aint bad news..it is information the customer paid you to provide them" PERIOD. I prioritize the needs to 3 catagories. Safety, performance, convience. Cold A/C dont do much good if ya cant stop the car. And I do encourage folks to have a pre purchase inspection.

As to the used car lots...most of them want it done on the cheap. I dont play that game. I have a few that bring me the "tough" work and they pay with out question.

 

I was thinking the same thing last night. The customer brings me their car and pays me to look it over and inspect it with their oil change. Avoiding delivering bad news doesn't help the customer at all.

 

I do like the idea about putting a sign up, stating we do pre-purchase inspections.

 

Thanks everyone for the input

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      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.
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