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Is it possible to reprogram or "flash".....

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The customers perception of our industry?


I'm sure this has been discussed in the past, but recent events have brought back and increased my level of frustration and irritation regarding this "perception" of our industry by the general public and I thought I'd vent a little and see if anyone else experiences it around the country.


Auto Zone came on hot and heavy in our area some 20ish years ago, purposely undermining and virtually destroying the auto repair industry soley to prostitute their inferior selection of "parts" to the DIY'er, in turn spending a fortune advertising how simple and easy everything we do is, successfully changing the mindest of the general motoring public to believe it!


Anything can be fixed right there in your driveway with just a screwdriver, a pair of vice grips and a crescent wrench!

"Don't pay those high priced repair shops and overpaid grease monkeys to do that simple job for you! And besides, they cant be trusted...they lie about whats really wrong, sell you things you don't need, and EVEN WANT TO CHARGE YOU TO JUST DIAGNOSE THE PROBLEM!! Besides, your car can diagnose itself, and we can "Diagnose" if for you for FREE and quickly and cheaply sell you the part to fix what it says is wrong! After all, it can only be one thing causing that P0300 right? Has to be a tune up! Or that pesky P0171 or 174....probably just needs a fuel filter...we can sell you that. See how easy it is?"


This is the mindset that AZ has successfully embedded into the mind of the motoring public (around here at least), creating a large hurdle to overcome for an honest, legitimate repair shop.


Granted, they are much more successful and financially sound that I may ever dream of being by whoreing themselves out to the market at the expense of those of us who have invested our lives, finances, and everything else learning, pursuing and constantly fine tuning the complexities of this field, but at what expense?


Sound bitter? Maybe just a little...but if I get one more customer this week with a roll of toilet paper from AZ telling me "they already got it 'diagnosed'...I just wanna know how much you'll charge me to fix these things" I think i'm going to lose it.


I have developed a tactful and witty answer that I employ most of the time, but I seem to be having a rash of these lately and my patience has reached an end. My tactful, realistic answer to the customer as to what's wrong with the AZ approach to diagnosing a late model, complex, rolling computer loses all validity as soon as I tell them there will be a fee involved to perform a thorough and accurate disgnosis that I will stand behind if allowed to repair their car. My one on one can't overcome the Billions that AZ has spent telling them just the opposite. I must be trying to "get over on them".


Maybe I'm alone here,,,,if so it felt good to vent, if not maybe someone else would like to share and offer how they've seen this trend develop and their tactics dealing with it.



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