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Unusual Phone Call


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I've got a dealer that got the exact offer she's looking for from a new tech. Wrong oil filter hard start turned into 4k spent with the "tech" and I vote we're going to be somewhere around $1,900 just to get the truck safe enough to not burn to the ground.

Injector washers jammed in, injectors loose. Hydrolocked cylinder.

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Missing wiring harness cover. Brittle harness, wires melted together.

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Vgt solenoid busted wires bare.

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Not to mention the 20+ stripped bolts, missing heat shields & oil leaks. Not sure what the other guy actually damaged and what was already done. Dealer won't even communicate with us on the job but we've "CYA" paper worked the whole job to death!

Sometimes savings isn't saving.

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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Today what sounded like an older woman called. She was nice enough and said not to get mad at what she was going to ask so she had evidently called other shops and had gotten some less than nice answers. First she told me she was looking to find a shop that wouldn't use book labor but would just look at her car and tell her a flat labor cost to do a job. Second she wanted a shop that would not put any markup on parts. My gut said this was a customer I didn't want so here is what I told her, "Not Our Shop".

 

What this poor lady doesn't understand is that someone who will work like this probably works under the shade tree, has few tools and no serious diagnostic tools. Won't stand behind their work and has no access to tools like Identifix or Mitchell than can sometimes be priceless. If she finds otherwise she will be very fortunate.

I've had this exact same thing happen many times over the years. The best I can tell is these are the type of people who believe that we mark parts up, charge diagnostics, bump labor costs because we are all so... so rich that we don't need to try and lower the cost for someone just so we can keep our bays full.

 

These are the type of people who ... over generations of their kind, have come to the conclusion that "It ain't that difficult to fix cars and any shade tree can tackle the problem so cheap is the only way I'll get it done."

 

My answer to them is, "I don't work for free, and I don't think asking me to do it for free shows any respect to my business or my trade.... good day to you and goodbye."

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Frustrating call at best. We do occasionally install customer's supplied parts with "NO WARRANTY" clearly stated every step of the way. I explain it is a bad investment. It's dumb for me to do it but sometimes I feel for people. If I'm not making money I'm working for free, so I might as well play with my puppy dog at home and make the same profit. 80% of the time these losers can turn into real customers so I hate saying no, but if it turns out they are taking advantage of me I'm not opposed to firing them as a customer.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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