My daughter let herself be ripped off today.

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I guess we're still looking for these prices for services.

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I worked as a Mechanic during this time frame. I have never seen rates and charges that low. The poor guy can barely print.

We used to run a $9.95 oil change special to get the customer car on the lift. Then we would tell him all about what was wrong. Crunching rusty tail pipes with pliers, pointing oil leaky shocks and torn ball joint boots, noisy wheel bearing, sloppy U joints ETC.
That went along with compulsory underhood and tire service for gasoline customers at the full service pumps. We didn't rip people off - that is bad for business- but we made our money. This was all helped by ARCO only charging us $770/mo for leasing a 2-1/2 Bay service station. A few years later corporate cranked that up to $1400/mo and drove us out of that spot. The Shell went in with the convenience store model. Bye, Bye Full Service Station.
 
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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.
Would you like to run the shop and change the book labor times? What's even better is she knew the bulbs were out but decided to keep driving anyway. In PA that is an easy ticket which is way more than $25.

Liability wise the shop has an obligation to not let an unsafe vehicle drive away. The fact is you weren't there, you didn't do it, and now it's fixed reasonably.
 

dishdude

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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.

Labor is not calculated in minutes, it is calculated in tenths of an hour.
 

LDB

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Where did the $2.64 per bulb come from? Is that the AZ/OR/PA/NA price? (stores not states) Out of the $30 first subtract maybe $2.50 for sales tax sent to the state. How far is it to the parts store to buy the bulbs, at 50 cents per mile? $4-$5 round trip? So $30 -$2.50 -$5.50 -$5 cost -tax -bulbs -cost of obtaining bulbs means the $30 job cost more like $17. Is $17 still unreasonable? Oh, I forgot sales tax buying the bulbs from NAPA so $16.50?
 

wtd

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Would you like to run the shop and change the book labor times? What's even better is she knew the bulbs were out but decided to keep driving anyway. In PA that is an easy ticket which is way more than $25.

Liability wise the shop has an obligation to not let an unsafe vehicle drive away. The fact is you weren't there, you didn't do it, and now it's fixed reasonably.
How many times do I have to say that they don't give out tickets around here for non- working THIRD brake lights, especially when part of it still works. I have lived in this area for 37 years and not once have I or anyone I know received a ticket or a warning for a third brake light not working. There are still plenty of vehicles around here that don't even have a third brake light. This is not PA. The third brake light on this car is a joke anyway since it sits about three inches above the regular brake lights.

Her car was not unsafe at all. The shop was just trying to drum up more business. They tried getting her to replace her battery for no reason and this was before the brake light fix request. The battery is in the trunk under the spare tire cover so they had no reason to be under there.
 

TiGeo

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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.
"flat rate" or "book rate" - a pre-determined labor cost (hours) for a given job. If they finish fast, they win. If they finish slow, you win b/c you don't pay extra. Most auto repairs are handled like this.
 

wtd

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Where did the $2.64 per bulb come from? Is that the AZ/OR/PA/NA price? (stores not states) Out of the $30 first subtract maybe $2.50 for sales tax sent to the state. How far is it to the parts store to buy the bulbs, at 50 cents per mile? $4-$5 round trip? So $30 -$2.50 -$5.50 -$5 cost -tax -bulbs -cost of obtaining bulbs means the $30 job cost more like $17. Is $17 still unreasonable? Oh, I forgot sales tax buying the bulbs from NAPA so $16.50?
I don't know. That is what they charged her for them. There are two parts stores about a mile from the shop. I'm sure the shop doesn't pay retail for the bulbs unless they don't have them in stock and has to go to the parts store to get them.
 

LDB

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Yes, but where would she have gone for them and at what cost? That's what I'm trying to factor in to come up with a real cost comparison of what they actually charged. My local shop buys from several parts suppliers and often gets things at better prices than I ever could. They might get the bulbs for $2.12, apply a 25% markup and charge me $2.64 and if I went to my local parts store they'd charge me maybe $3.09 each plus the added cost of going and the time to go and do the job myself. That compares to already there and just say yes. The point of my post was there are several things to factor in, not just a straight $30 for the job.
 

Astro14

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How many times do I have to say that they don't give out tickets around here for non- working THIRD brake lights, especially when part of it still works. I have lived in this area for 37 years and not once have I or anyone I know received a ticket or a warning for a third brake light not working. There are still plenty of vehicles around here that don't even have a third brake light. This is not PA. The third brake light on this car is a joke anyway since it sits about three inches above the regular brake lights.

Her car was not unsafe at all. The shop was just trying to drum up more business. They tried getting her to replace her battery for no reason and this was before the brake light fix request. The battery is in the trunk under the spare tire cover so they had no reason to be under there.
“Drum up more business” by giving her a FREE tire rotation? Saving her, what, $60?

More?

Your daughter didn’t get ripped off. It’s that simple.
 

wtd

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“Drum up more business” by giving her a FREE tire rotation? Saving her, what, $60?

More?

Your daughter didn’t get ripped off. It’s that simple.
What about what I said that her employer pays for the oil change and tire rotation that you didn't understand? They got paid for doing the job, just not by her. She has free tire rotations at the place she bought her tires from, so they didn't save her anything except some time. They said it was included and it was time for her to have it done so she let them do it.

Her getting a tire rotation has absolutely nothing to do with what the charge was for changing the two bulbs.
 
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wtd

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Yes, but where would she have gone for them and at what cost? That's what I'm trying to factor in to come up with a real cost comparison of what they actually charged. My local shop buys from several parts suppliers and often gets things at better prices than I ever could. They might get the bulbs for $2.12, apply a 25% markup and charge me $2.64 and if I went to my local parts store they'd charge me maybe $3.09 each plus the added cost of going and the time to go and do the job myself. That compares to already there and just say yes. The point of my post was there are several things to factor in, not just a straight $30 for the job.
She would have gotten them at Walmart. I don't know what they cost there but probably close to what they charged for them. All I know is that she paid $30 for the bulb replacement.
 
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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
If the shop does not perform the repair themselves they are legally required to fail the vehicle. You can put the wiper blade on in the parking lot, walk right back in and ask for the reinspection. All they have to do then is verify the wiper blade has been replaced and sign the sheet at the bottom.

That’s how it works in my state YMMV.

Most shops will not allow customers in the work area and for good reason. You may have done only what you said but most customers want to play 20 questions with the tech or get something “checked out real quick” by them for free by avoiding the desk and paperwork trail. Not to mention the possible insurance implications.
 

Astro14

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What about what I said that her employer pays for the oil change and tire rotation that you didn't understand? They got paid for doing the job, just not by her. She has free tire rotations at the place she bought her tires from, so they didn't save her anything except some time. They said it was included and it was time for her to have it done so she let them do it.

Her getting a tire rotation has absolutely nothing to do with what the charge was for changing the two bulbs.
I used your first post. YOU failed to mention the coupon for tire rotation. So, there was a coupon? I see…

If you would like to keep changing the story to fit your conclusion, feel free. Doesn’t do much for your credibility.
 

4WD

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I used your first post. YOU failed to mention the coupon for tire rotation. So, there was a coupon? I see…

If you would like to keep changing the story to fit your conclusion, feel free. Doesn’t do much for your credibility.
It’s $40 + tax to get 4 tires rotated here …
 
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Based on the amazed, incredulous reactions I get when I tell people that's how I check them, I was starting to think maybe I'd invented the technique. Glad I'm not the only one!
I don't check them. The car tells you if the bulbs are out. You get an annoying reminder in the dash.

I guess we're still looking for these prices for services.
For inflation, it says to multiply by 6.67 to convert from 1973 dollars to 2022. Still not too bad. That $10 alignment works out to $66 and you can't find someone to do it for that price these days but the machine that does it I'm sure is a lot more expensive and complicated than what was available in 1973.
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.
I run into it all the time as a real estate broker. You do one sale or rental and they think you're making a killing. That's only if you factor in the actual sale itself and not all the other duds. You post something for sale, you can't just eliminate all the people who look or ask questions but don't end up buying.
Where did the $2.64 per bulb come from? Is that the AZ/OR/PA/NA price? (stores not states) Out of the $30 first subtract maybe $2.50 for sales tax sent to the state. How far is it to the parts store to buy the bulbs, at 50 cents per mile? $4-$5 round trip? So $30 -$2.50 -$5.50 -$5 cost -tax -bulbs -cost of obtaining bulbs means the $30 job cost more like $17. Is $17 still unreasonable? Oh, I forgot sales tax buying the bulbs from NAPA so $16.50?
They order parts from the local parts store which deliver for free and I guess if they do enough volume, they may get some volume discount and gets billed monthly. The parts stores like it because they get get consistent repeat business.
It’s $40 + tax to get 4 tires rotated here …
You have to shop around, the local indy charges $20 to change the oil and rotate the tires if you bring your own oil/filter. It's $30 for their 5 quart special. They've been around a long time, they used to just charge me $10 when I brought my own oil/filter. That's why I have them do it once in a while, sometimes too busy to save $10-$20.
 

LDB

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She would have gotten them at Walmart. I don't know what they cost there but probably close to what they charged for them. All I know is that she paid $30 for the bulb replacement.
Yes, and I agree. I'm just making the observation the shop did not charge her $30 for the replacement. A good bit of it, maybe 40% or so, are other costs that would apply regardless of who/where the job was done, including at home.
 
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