Employee Ripped Off By Chain Shop - Helping Her Out

mdtaylor86

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Firestone can be a trap. When they do legit work, they seem to be fair IME. It the upselling of useless services that is the problem. Every time I have gone there for tires and alignments over the last 25 years, you can not get out the door without them asking " Sure you don't need a oil change"

Always wanted to tell them I do my own oil changes. No need to irk them. They are a decent place for alignments, coolant flushes and things you don't want to do yourself. Also was quite pleased once when they redid a wheel balance that ultimately needed to be road force balanced and the balance was good up to 80mph. No charge. Although they did ask me if I needed a oil change. Go figure

OP thanks for attempting to educate
I should clarify that not all Firestones will be that bad. I know the one by me seems to have better reviews than most. Unfortunately, the one she went to really pushes the upsells in a morally (and legally) questionable way. When service writers work on commission, what do you expect though?
 

AutoMechanic

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I’m glad you helped her. It’s a shame what shops will do. I could not live with myself if I forked someone out of a bunch of money that they didn’t need to spend. I’m glad she didn’t spend more than she did already with them. That’s why I work where I do we don’t practice that. If it needs something then absolutely I’ll recommend it. At my work if the customer is a waiter we actually take something like the filters to the service advisors for them to show the customers that way they know we are telling the truth. Except one service advisor who won’t touch a dirty air filter. Which she never sells anything either. The good thing is we get bonus from what we sell but I’m not putting money in my pocket if someone doesn’t need something that’s wrong no matter who the person is.
 

D60

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By brothers friend who knows little about cars went to Firestone recently for something simple. They came back and gave him a list a just a few things that needed attention...$3000. He paid it.

It's pretty sickening that one could prey off another like this.
Happened to a kid here with our Grease Monkey. They sold him a grand worth of services on a late 90's Contour. It died 2 hours later as he was driving home to Denver.

I'm not blaming GM for the death of the vehicle, although it was automatic trans that went and I'm sure they touched that.

It's just unethical to sell an unsuspecting kid $1000 worth of "something" on a car that at the time was worth $1000 tops. They tried to GIVE it to me after it died, I said no thanks, I've got zero use for a beat up Contour with a toasted transmission.

Plus, how do you hit $1000 of anything at Grease Monkey?????
 
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Kind of you to her help out. Unfortunately every profession has its shady individuals. The ambulance chasing lawyer, the doctor pushing unnecessary meds for kickbacks, the HVAC tech recommending a new unit when a repair/cleaning could fix the issue, etc.
 

Zee09

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I’m glad you helped her. It’s a shame what shops will do. I could not live with myself if I forked someone out of a bunch of money that they didn’t need to spend. I’m glad she didn’t spend more than she did already with them. That’s why I work where I do we don’t practice that. If it needs something then absolutely I’ll recommend it. At my work if the customer is a waiter we actually take something like the filters to the service advisors for them to show the customers that way they know we are telling the truth. Except one service advisor who won’t touch a dirty air filter. Which she never sells anything either. The good thing is we get bonus from what we sell but I’m not putting money in my pocket if someone doesn’t need something that’s wrong no matter who the person is.
Here most shops keep one dirty filter they show to everybody as a scam. VW here is so cheap on the filters you can get one installed at the dealer cheaper than you can buy these days. That said Honda here rips big time on air-cabin filters
 
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Her biggest mistake right there. All those chain places are totally sleazy.
In Firestone’s defense, they aren’t as aggressive at upselling like a dealership or quick lube is. Many dealerships in NorCal use MOC chemicals and services - MOC has a “menu” system for dealers that integrates into their DMS(ReyRey or ADP) and appointment tracking and works in the good(no MOC services)/better(some)/best(all) scale.

I haven’t gone to a quick lube in a while but I hear of upselling at many. Lyft has recently dipped their toes into service - probably to keep their drivers from getting ripped off by Big O/Midas/Firestone/Jiffy Lube.
 
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Thank you OP for doing this. The world is a better place because of people like you. It is heart breaking to see people's ignorance get exploited. I wonder if her parents didn't know or don't care... Anyway good for you @mdtaylor86 !

just my $0.02
 

CKN

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Happened to a kid here with our Grease Monkey. They sold him a grand worth of services on a late 90's Contour. It died 2 hours later as he was driving home to Denver.

I'm not blaming GM for the death of the vehicle, although it was automatic trans that went and I'm sure they touched that.

It's just unethical to sell an unsuspecting kid $1000 worth of "something" on a car that at the time was worth $1000 tops. They tried to GIVE it to me after it died, I said no thanks, I've got zero use for a beat up Contour with a toasted transmission.

Plus, how do you hit $1000 of anything at Grease Monkey?????
Yea-hitting a $1,000.00 at Grease money is impossible assuming no brake job or the like.

BTW- I had three Contours. And yes the CD4E transmission was the cars weak spot along with the plastic water pump impeller. On the upside the optional V6 Duratec really moved that thing!
 
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mdtaylor86

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Thank you OP for doing this. The world is a better place because of people like you. It is heart breaking to see people's ignorance get exploited. I wonder if her parents didn't know or don't care... Anyway good for you @mdtaylor86 !

just my $0.02
I don't want to comment too much on her family life, but let's just say that they aren't exactly car people either and wouldn't have been any help, even if they had wanted to help.
 
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I haven’t gone to a quick lube in a while but I hear of upselling at many. Lyft has recently dipped their toes into service - probably to keep their drivers from getting ripped off by Big O/Midas/Firestone/Jiffy Lube.
Toyota Dealer is pushier with upselling (treatments, filters, etc) than the Firestone in my experience.
 

mdtaylor86

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Toyota Dealer is pushier with upselling (treatments, filters, etc) than the Firestone in my experience.
My wife used to own a 2007 FJ Cruiser. She took it to the dealer for service one time, before we were married. She called me and asked if I could come over to the dealership to verify what they were telling her. They were telling her she needed two new CV axles because the inner boots were torn, plus a charcoal canister to fix the EVAP code. Big $$$. I showed up, asked to the see the car, and guess what? Boots looked pristine. Not even a dent or nick on a single one of them. The writer's face turned all sorts of pale and he looked at the tech as if he was tearing him a new one telepathically. The tech was stuttering and mumbling, all sorts of flustered when I called him out on it. She told them to get lost and took her FJ back. The service writer at least had the decency to waive the diagnostic charge. I went on a hunch and bought a gas cap, changed it out, and the EVAP code disappeared, never to be seen again.
 
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That would be nice if she did that. I'm sure she'll be talking about it. The whole experience for her was pretty eye-opening.

That's a good question about the P/S fluid. I'll bring it up to her and see if she wants to look through the old receipts. It really wouldn't surprise me if it was on one of them.
If so, sic the state AG on the shop!
 
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BTW- I had three Contours. And yes the CD4E transmission was the cars weak spot along with the plastic water pump impeller. On the upside the optional V6 Duratec really moved that thing!
I thought the V6 was, ok, only 170hp but not bad for the 90's. Unless you had the SVT Contour which was 200hp. I had the 95 which was probably the worst year as it was a new model. Didn't even make it to 100k before I got rid of it, bought it brand new. Had 3 sets of catalytic converters on it.
 
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I can't remember which place it was but my stepdaughter was going to one of the tire places for oil changes and after a few they started dropping oh you need this and that on her. She would call me before letting them do anything and usually I would say I'll do it. Once, they pulled her cabin filter out and showed it to her. It was pretty nasty. They told her 75 bucks. I looked it up and was an 11 dollar filter. They put it back in and I swapped it out in under two minutes for 11 dollars. If they would have said look, it's already out, we'll put a new one in for 25 bucks, I would have said just do it.
 
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It has gotten pretty scary out there. And it's going to get worse. If you're not a DIY'er with a decent finance sense you're going to get conned more and more in the coming years.

What you describe is not unusual, it is commonplace.
 

mdtaylor86

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It doesn't sound like they have been charging her for work they didn't do though, but they are making an unethical 15 profit on the air filter each time.
As far as I know, they have only charged for work they have actually done. But using scare tactics to pressure her into work that was not at all necessary or as critical as they made it seem, they have been doing frequently, based on her description. She has been asking a lot more about her car and how things work. I was serious when I said this really opened her eyes. She seems like she has stepped into a whole new world. It's pretty cool.
 
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In Firestone’s defense, they aren’t as aggressive at upselling like a dealership or quick lube is. Many dealerships in NorCal use MOC chemicals and services - MOC has a “menu” system for dealers that integrates into their DMS(ReyRey or ADP) and appointment tracking and works in the good(no MOC services)/better(some)/best(all) scale.

I haven’t gone to a quick lube in a while but I hear of upselling at many. Lyft has recently dipped their toes into service - probably to keep their drivers from getting ripped off by Big O/Midas/Firestone/Jiffy Lube.
I don't know about comparisons, but I had two calls this week from people visiting dealers. One was my daughter and I was shocked my normally trustworthy Toyota dealer was trying to upsell her on some things for her Prius with 75k miles. The second was a friend from the Y at the local Nissan dealer with a laundry list for his 2016 Altima with 60k miles.

For my daughter's Prius, I said just get the oil change done. (And why aren't we doing it in my garage?) For the friend at the Y, I said do the CVT fluid, but see if your independent had a better deal. It was about $300 at the dealer. He was there for a recall. I said it would be a good idea to do the fluid, but maybe not there.

Both got the big push for fuel injector service, and so on. If it's not running bad, pass.

I suspect there is a bit of desperation since they are not prepping as many new cars AND parts are in short supply sometimes. But apparently questionable services seem to have plenty of parts and/or fluids available.
 
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