My daughter let herself be ripped off today.

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D60

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I think you missed some other time like them doing the check to find anything wrong. Include that time in and also the time to write up the bill and process the payment. Then there's also the cost of having inventory on hand, it costs money to maintain as you have to order parts as they're used up and they're not making any money while just sitting on the shelf waiting to be used. I wouldn't say she was ripped off, but it was certainly no bargain, but probably the going rate at a garage. It's like places that have $100 oil changes, you could buy the materials yourself for $25 and DIY but it's not a total rip off, you can certainly shop around and find cheaper places.
I was thinking exactly this. The mentality of "geez man you've already got the bulbs just sitting right there" overlooks the preparation it took for the business to be, well, prepared.

It's always felt a bit like the kid who wants to copy your homework in school: "Geez man, you already did it, why can't I just copy it??" Don't wanna pay?? Then do your own homework, ie stock or source the bulbs yourself.
 
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I'm not sure I follow your reasoning.

First, I sure hope that the shop didn't have a minimum wage grunt changing the bulbs for his daughter. I sure wouldn't want unskilled labor touching my car, even for a simple bulb change. I would want a skilled, trained, experienced technician, who knows how to change a simple bulb without breaking off any plastic tabs, pulling on the lead wires too hard and creating an open, or any other minimum wage stunts.

Second, shop rates do not only cover the tech's wages. The shop has bills to pay too. Someone has to pay to keep the lights on, maintain all the equipment, pay the rent, and at the end of the day, make a profit for the owners.

I sure hope that the daughter isn't made to feel stupid because she made a decision that her father feels was a ripoff.
I mean the other way, if someone is making $12-15/hr, paying someone else even $30 for something simple starts to become a bigger deal.

I fully realize that that shops have overhead and lots of expenses other than a mechanics wages, chains have franchise fees, and owners who need a return on their investment... So it is the cost of doing business. It does probably cost near $30 to change a light bulb in an environment like that. Doesn't mean its worth paying that for everyone.

Personally I try not to pay for all that overhead if I can help it, so for simple stuff that I can learn to do at home, I try to do at home which saves a few bucks.
 
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OP, Sorry if I missed it but what all did the coupon included from her employer? You said the employer paid for the tire rotation so I'm wondering what all was included in the coupon and her out the door cost for everything.
 
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Well, let's say the shop charges $147 an hour in labor which is the average rate they say is for MO. This is a small town so I doubt they charge that much. That's $2.45 a minute. Let's say the job takes five minutes which is being generous because I was able to open the trunk, unclip the bulb holder from the trunk lid in less than a minute. Pulling the bad bulbs and installing the new ones takes around a minute and then the entire assembly snaps back in place. No tools required.

That's $12.25 in labor if I go off of 5 minutes of labor. So, with labor, taxes, and the parts, that would be around $20
I'm sorry but this is the type of thinking that got our society to where we are, where everything in the corporate world is micromanaged to the point of how much tasks should cost per minute to do.
 

wtd

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Maybe the 2010s are different, but on my Cobalt there is a sound-deadening carpet on the underside of the trunk lid that has to come off first before I can even see the 3rd brake light assembly. It's held on by nine plastic clips. I've never taken it off, but I assume they need at least a little bit of care to avoid totally ruining them upon removal. It might be more than a five-minute job.
Her car does not have this on the underside of the car.

As far as the cost to do this job, I'm obviously not in touch with the going prices for these types of repairs so while I think it's excessive, maybe it's not.

As far as me wanting to lock the thread because my feelings are hurt or that I didn't get the responses that I expected, that is not the case. I don't care if you guys don't agree with me and I'm sure not going to get my feeling hurt over a difference of opinion. You guys have made your point and there is no point in restating it multiple times.
 
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My mechanic would have got ya for ehh call it $50 if just the lights, $30 if you're a repeat customer. Break an hourly labor rate down to a half, don't do quarters. Okay. Now.. rotate the tires? Okay that's $100. (Well, mount on rim and high speed balance 4 tires is $100. So $130.)

If you came on a good day, your directional tires won't say INSIDE on the OUTSIDE side.

What, exactly, is your complaint?
 
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Your daughter didn't get ripped off. They rotated her tires FOR FREE and did a courtesy safety inspection.

$2.64 per bulb isn't outlandish & $25 for the labor is cheap.

Some math, assuming they use the $80 standard labor rate.

25/80=0.3125 x 100=31.25 so 31.25% of the total hourly rate.

Lets find the actual book time they used to calculate that.

60 x 0.3125=18.75, so they calculated almost 19 mins labor time to do the job. Now sure she could have done it herself but she had no idea they were even out. A ticket from a cop would be a lot more expensive than 19 mins of labor and 2 bulbs.

You are making something out of nothing.
 

wtd

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Your daughter didn't get ripped off. They rotated her tires FOR FREE and did a courtesy safety inspection.

$2.64 per bulb isn't outlandish & $25 for the labor is cheap.

Some math, assuming they use the $80 standard labor rate.

25/80=0.3125 x 100=31.25 so 31.25% of the total hourly rate.

Lets find the actual book time they used to calculate that.

60 x 0.3125=18.75, so they calculated almost 19 mins labor time to do the job. Now sure she could have done it herself but she had no idea they were even out. A ticket from a cop would be a lot more expensive than 19 mins of labor and 2 bulbs.

You are making something out of nothing.
Well, if you think charging 19 minutes labor for a job that takes less than 5 minutes a good deal than more power to you.

She already knew the bulbs were out but had never gotten it addressed or even told me about it. I would have shown her how to fix it herself or done it for her if I would have known.
 
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I brought my Toyota Yaris into the local dealer for an inspection, and the service writer said, " I cant pass you, your rear window wiper is worn out. We can replace it for you." I said, " Can I replace it myself? I will grab it out of parts". He said, " I have to FAIL you and you will have to reschedule." I bent over for this one.

They charged me 19 bucks to slip a refill rubber into a 12" in wiper arm. Man I was P.O'd. More about being held hostage than the charge. All this at my selling dealer, nonetheless!
- Ken
 

D60

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Well, if you think charging 19 minutes labor for a job that takes less than 5 minutes a good deal than more power to you.

She already knew the bulbs were out but had never gotten it addressed or even told me about it. I would have shown her how to fix it herself or done it for her if I would have known.
Again, you seem to be missing the concept of a minimum labor charge.

It simply wouldn't be worth their time at 5 minutes at present labor rates.

If you want shops to literally bill by the minute, we can do that, but like attorneys (who often do bill by the minute, including over the phone) you'll see labor rates shoot to $400 per hour.

Pick your poison: pay a minimum rate at a lower hourly rate or pay by the literal minute at a MUCH higher hourly rate. Also shops would have to charge for the time to answer your call, book your appointment, generate and print your invoice etc. A minimum charge helps to offset these mandatory incidentals

You'll also see parts mark-up climb dramatically if a shop had to bill 5 actual minutes for replacing a couple bulbs.
 

4WD

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As for tire rotation - I tend to do the whole certificate thing at DT … but it’s getting so darn difficult to get in - that I opted for PM on the new Tahoe and will let them do tires and oil together - Now back off Tribol clan - I still have 3 others for DIY pains 👀
 

wtd

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Again, you seem to be missing the concept of a minimum labor charge.

It simply wouldn't be worth their time at 5 minutes at present labor rates.

If you want shops to literally bill by the minute, we can do that, but like attorneys (who often do bill by the minute, including over the phone) you'll see labor rates shoot to $400 per hour.

Pick your poison: pay a minimum rate at a lower hourly rate or pay by the literal minute at a MUCH higher hourly rate. Also shops would have to charge for the time to answer your call, book your appointment, generate and print your invoice etc. A minimum charge helps to offset these mandatory incidentals

You'll also see parts mark-up climb dramatically if a shop had to bill 5 actual minutes for replacing a couple bulbs.
I'm not missing the point. I know what minimum labor charge is. I was replying to the person who was breaking down how many minutes were being charged for the job.

Why do shops even post what their labor charge per hour is then? They should just say that this job is going to cost this much without even talking about an hourly rate. They set themselves up for being questioned when something doesn't take long at all but then charge what seems like a high rate to do it.
 
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