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Customer insists on repair, but denies diagnostic


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How you would you handle this situtation.

A customer brings in her vehicles insisting on a certain repair to be performed in hopes of solving her vehicles problem, but she does not want us to perform nor pay for a diagnostic. She stated she already had a diagnostic performed elsewhere and that the requested part to be replaced was the source of the problem.

 

Would you willingly perform the repair? Do you have a document/waiver/disclaimer outlining that she denied a diagnostic to be performed by you and still wanted to go thru with the repairs?(If so, can you share a bit of it I would greatly appreciate it). As a professional in this industry, do you assume responsibility if you know that the requested repair will not solve the problems the vehicle is experiencing but still do the repairs?

 

I hate to see jobs literally walk out the door, but I would also like to avoid as much headache as possible (though that seems inevitable in this type of business). But, it also makes me wonder why she did not go through with the repairs at the shop she got it diagnosed at....

 

Thanks for your thoughts and opinions!

 

 

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That's a tough one but we see it all the time. It usually comes from some redneck dude who thinks he knows just about everything about cars. And they usually bring in there own parts. Most people we can talk into going ahead with our diagnostics. Some folks though are just hard headed. We will do the repair, but explain to them the consequences first and have them sign off on it. The only reason we are doing this now is because we need the work. Someday when we are established enough we will no longer use carry in parts or do the whole home diagnostic thing.

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Clients like this is nothing but trouble whether you are established or new. Do what you like but you won't do another.

 

I would take it seeing we are new and need every dollar. If we had an established base I might pass, but no one charges for diagnostics in my area, no one.

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This is a tough cookie. The customer may be a decent one and just in a spot where she had a professional diag done somewhere and chose to not repair the vehicle with them. On the other hand the customer could be trouble. I've also run into issues where no matter what a customer signs or or verbally agrees they may be unhappy or unwilling to pay. Of course the ball is in your court at this point since you have their car and they don't get it back unless they pay :D but the downside is that you'll have one pissed off person regardless if they are right or not. A pissed off customer can be very damaging in terms of ruining you reputation. Better off to let these people walk IMHO. I do not take my own advice a lot of times and I get burned. A lot.

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No one charges for diagnostic testing? This is a problem, wouldn't you agree? The world is changing around us. All the gravy work is slowly being removed. Even belts will be a thing of the past as more and more components will become electronic. The future will require more and more testing. Sorry for getting off topic. I just want to learn how we as an industry will survive in the future if we cannot charge for testing. Thoughts?

 

Agreed about the lack of gravy work. We are fortunate that we have very low overhead and operating expenses in our area. We are working on ways of charging for diagnostic time but it won't come easy.

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I have seen in the past that some general repair shops charge for diagnosis if the customer does not have the repair done but waives

the diagnosis charge if the repair is done. No one do this anymore?

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None of the independent shops around our area charge for diagnostics either. Except for us. And you know who get's a bunch of diagnostic work? We do! Apparently the other shops diagnostics are not worth paying for. When you charge for diagnostics (correct diagnostics) you eventually get a good rep around town and people will come in willing to pay to have there car fixed correctly. The people who have a problem with it are C or D customers most likely. I had a guy once tell me that if someone is not willing to pay $70-$100 to find out what's wrong with his car then he probably ain't serious about getting it fixed anyways.

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None of the independent shops around our area charge for diagnostics either. Except for us. And you know who get's a bunch of diagnostic work? We do! Apparently the other shops diagnostics are not worth paying for. When you charge for diagnostics (correct diagnostics) you eventually get a good rep around town and people will come in willing to pay to have there car fixed correctly. The people who have a problem with it are C or D customers most likely. I had a guy once tell me that if someone is not willing to pay $70-$100 to find out what's wrong with his car then he probably ain't serious about getting it fixed anyways.

Well said! The last sentence is 100% true in my opinion, I've heard it many times before.

 

http://www.motor.com/article.asp?article_ID=369

 

This is the most interesting article I've read to date about charging for diagnostics.

I'm not sure whether it's viable or not, and I'd like to hear what you have to say (preferrably from shop owners who already charge for diag, I'd rather not hear from naysayers who refuse to charge for it)

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How you would you handle this situtation.

A customer brings in her vehicles insisting on a certain repair to be performed in hopes of solving her vehicles problem, but she does not want us to perform nor pay for a diagnostic. She stated she already had a diagnostic performed elsewhere and that the requested part to be replaced was the source of the problem.

 

Would you willingly perform the repair? Do you have a document/waiver/disclaimer outlining that she denied a diagnostic to be performed by you and still wanted to go thru with the repairs?(If so, can you share a bit of it I would greatly appreciate it). As a professional in this industry, do you assume responsibility if you know that the requested repair will not solve the problems the vehicle is experiencing but still do the repairs?

 

I hate to see jobs literally walk out the door, but I would also like to avoid as much headache as possible (though that seems inevitable in this type of business). But, it also makes me wonder why she did not go through with the repairs at the shop she got it diagnosed at....

 

Thanks for your thoughts and opinions!

 

 

I call it "ropin' a steer" if that's what they want fine... As soon as I put the last bolt in, connect the last connector, I'm done. I call time, throw my hands in the air and I'm done. I don't even want to know if it worked or not... it's not my responsibility at that point.

 

If it fails to do whatever it is it's supposed to do... to friggin bad. I tell them, "You can now take another guess, and I'll be happy to charge you to do that too." Usually gets them to allow me to diagnose it first.

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I rarely run in to this anymore because we are insistent that we MUST diagnose it ourselves. I have, however, done a few replacements where our customer requested it to be replaced and would not pay for diagnostics. I always write up workorders as "Customer requests ...." NO MATTER WHAT THEY ARE ASKING FOR. If I recommended to replace struts I still write "Customer requests replace stuts....." So if a customer comes in asking to replace this and will not pay my diagnostics and after all attempts to convince them otherwise still request it. I will simply write it in the workorder.

 

"Customer requests to replace Throttle Position Sensor. Customer states they had vehicle diagnosed elsewhere and declines diagnostic time to confirm needed repair."

 

Customer signs the workorder and there you go. Its all in writing, now of course you may have some jerks but a lot depends on how you approach the situation.

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I personally love customer diagnosed vehicles. After I fail to convince them that it will be cheaper for me to diag the car I get to do the requested service and then I almost always get to sell the diag time and the correct repair.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I normally inform the customer that if it doesn't work, I am not one bit responsible. And when their diagnosis turns out to be wrong I offer to diagnose it correctly at a "discounted rate"(its my normal rate, they just think they are getting a deal) It almost always works in my favor. If they complain, I show them where the door is and "have a nice day".

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None of the independent shops around our area charge for diagnostics either. Except for us. And you know who get's a bunch of diagnostic work? We do! Apparently the other shops diagnostics are not worth paying for. When you charge for diagnostics (correct diagnostics) you eventually get a good rep around town and people will come in willing to pay to have there car fixed correctly. The people who have a problem with it are C or D customers most likely. I had a guy once tell me that if someone is not willing to pay $70-$100 to find out what's wrong with his car then he probably ain't serious about getting it fixed anyways.

When you charge for diagnostic do you itemize it out for the customer to see that you are charging them or how do you go about presenting the charge to the customer?

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Last week I had a guy with a BMW come in with a list of codes pulled by Pep Boys written on a slip of paper. He tells me that he wanted a price on replacing all of the oxygen sensors. I tried to explain to him that there was a very large possibility that the oxygen sensors were not bad. He didn't understand and didn't want to hear it. I then went to Identifix and showed him what the codes he was showing pulled up as fixes. Identifix had 40 plus fixes as a Mass Air Flow Sensor. That got his attention. He then became convinced that it needed to be diagnosed.

That seems like a good way to get people's eyes open to the fact that having a code read isn't a diagnosis. I wonder if it would be feasible to show all customers a list of potential fixes for a code if they don't want to diagnose?

 

I like the quote someone said that a check engine light being on is like a pain in your body.

Reading the code tells you which part of your body has a problem (like head, chest, arms, legs etc).

A true diagnosis is like a doctor actually doing tests (like x-ray, MRI, cat scan) and telling you what is wrong (infection, pneumonia, cancer etc).

 

EDIT: BMW at Pep Boys, and he's refusing diagnosis? You're driving the wrong car buddy, haha! It's never cheap to fix a BMW lol!

Edited by bstewart
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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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