WWYD - Customer won't pay for tranny swap

Joined
Mar 15, 2012
Messages
1,503
Location
PEARL River la
I wrote many estimates and doing whatever needs repairs I as some call it pad the estimate. I put fluids, program, shop supplies, disposal fees if applicable. In other words it was always easier to tell customer bill was 900 instead of 1000. Had jobs that went bad and extra charges paid for it. Had one that had his car to several shops then to me. He furnished parts which my boss agreed but was still a nightmare to get him to pay even with signed work order. Months but he paid in full. We got to the point of inspecting damage and accessories before doing work.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2020
Messages
4,678
it’s an e83, I believe it does have a GM trans. $200, wholesale, fluid from the dealer. Full flush. only used OE fluid becuase we offered 6 month labor warranty with it, and this way I can trust that it won’t go bad.

I think you mean E38, that is a 90s 7-series.

An E83 is a 2021 X3...
 

blupupher

Site Donor 2021
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
Messages
7,181
Location
Katy, Republic of Texas
She came to her senses and realized she’s not gonna win this case if it escalated to court. And we, as the shop, have full legal means to seize her car and charge 12+ months of storage fees til the judge makes the decision. It’s luckily over now. She came and paid the $1000 and took the car like nothing happened. We still covered the programming but it’s a loss that was worth it.

But now I have another customer who’s sorta pulling the same “I want it for free” move. Guess the cycle just doesn’t stop smh.
Glad it worked out.
The ironic thing is, if she had decided to go to court, her bill would have been much higher due to the storage fees, even if she had gotten the work done for free.
Unfortunately it seem there is an endless supply of these type of "customers" out there.

I wrote many estimates and doing whatever needs repairs I as some call it pad the estimate. I put fluids, program, shop supplies, disposal fees if applicable. In other words it was always easier to tell customer bill was 900 instead of 1000. Had jobs that went bad and extra charges paid for it. Had one that had his car to several shops then to me. He furnished parts which my boss agreed but was still a nightmare to get him to pay even with signed work order. Months but he paid in full. We got to the point of inspecting damage and accessories before doing work.
They guy I used to work for part time as a mechanics helper did this all the time for his new customers, and would not use their parts at all.
Most times it came in under the estimate, so he had happy customers that tended to return.
I call it the Scotty effect (from Start Trek, Mr Scott always gave estimates super high, and did them in 1/2 the time, making himself look good).

Once you had been a customer of his for a while, he would give more reasonable/accurate estimates, and would let you bring your own parts (with no warranty whatsoever if the part failed, or even if it did not work at all after install, you still had to pay the labor, and the work order signed by the customer said as much).
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2015
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1,741
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US
The whole "padding" thing works well in a lot of situations.

Often, at work, if I'm putting together a project or just am trying to get approval for a project, I'll list things at retail price and put in extra stuff I PROBABLY won't need. I do that full well knowing that I'm going to be able to work a discount on most everything I buy(sometimes 10% lower, sometimes as good as 50%) and also that I probably won't buy every little piece that I list in the proposal. If I get approved for the original amount, and then manage to work some magic on prices, I know that a. it's going to look good on me when it's less expensive than I said b. If something comes up I hadn't counted on, I probably have the budgeted money to cover it and c. if I come in way under budget, I likely will get approved to add "extras" I wanted but weren't strictly needed for the original proposal and STILL be under budget.

If I'm quoting work for others, I follow a similar philosophy. Almost no one is going to be upset if they agree to $1500 and you charge them $1200, and for that matter they may ask you to do additional work within the "wiggle room" left. If you quote a repair at $1200, someone sets aside that much money, and the final bill is $1500 you may well have an unhappy customer, or in some cases may have a customer who's unable to come up with the extra $300 to complete the repair.
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2020
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USA
She came to her senses and realized she’s not gonna win this case if it escalated to court. And we, as the shop, have full legal means to seize her car and charge 12+ months of storage fees til the judge makes the decision. It’s luckily over now. She came and paid the $1000 and took the car like nothing happened. We still covered the programming but it’s a loss that was worth it.

But now I have another customer who’s sorta pulling the same “I want it for free” move. Guess the cycle just doesn’t stop smh.

Glad to hear it ended as well as possible.

(bolded) That's why I said earlier you have no choice but to see these through and don't relent. Once the "word" gets out, they start crawling out of the woodwork.
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Messages
66
Location
Minneapolis, USA
Shouldn't have let her work you. This behavior, which probably seems completely irrational to you, is actually a method some people use to get things for free. They simply complain and stamp their feet until somebody gets tired and lets them have their way. Keep the car until they pay. Keep it permanently if you have to. Mount it on a pole outside your business. Drive it past their house every day. Don't give them the satisfaction, because they'll just do it again to someone else.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Messages
844
What about if she doesn't even want to pay the $800? I'll take the loss over $400 but I'm certainly not letting her take the car for free.
If she's not paying at all then yeah that is on HER.

This could be a civil suit.
 

avacado11

Thread starter
Joined
Aug 12, 2015
Messages
557
Location
Central NY
Glad it worked out. What's the new issue now? If this keeps up you'll be an expert soon!

been a while. But the issue was another customer demanding a new engine when nothing was wrong with it.

Motor had the regular direct injection tick. Guy takes it to the dealer and they false diagnose it as timing chain(mind you no CEL). The guy just couldn’t get it out of his head, so in order to satisfy the customer we eventually did the job after a few months. 19 hours labor @ $85/hr to pull off the front end and put it back together. Nothing changed. The tick was normal, but whatever.

guy takes it home and a week later calls the shop demanding we replace his motor. What for? Because it ticks. Again, no CEL + dealer diagnosed issue repaired using genuine parts. We show him the old timing guide/tensioner, then he starts going off about his suspension acting up. Said he was gonna sue. At that point I was sick of it so I told him go ahead. It’s been a long time still haven’t heard anything. Guess his lawyer talked some sense into him.

I passed on the sales manager position to someone else. Way too much bs to deal with for the money i got from that end. Now I just handle the repair side, and I always quote on the higher end.
 

JC1

Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
6,541
Location
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
been a while. But the issue was another customer demanding a new engine when nothing was wrong with it.

Motor had the regular direct injection tick. Guy takes it to the dealer and they false diagnose it as timing chain(mind you no CEL). The guy just couldn’t get it out of his head, so in order to satisfy the customer we eventually did the job after a few months. 19 hours labor @ $85/hr to pull off the front end and put it back together. Nothing changed. The tick was normal, but whatever.

guy takes it home and a week later calls the shop demanding we replace his motor. What for? Because it ticks. Again, no CEL + dealer diagnosed issue repaired using genuine parts. We show him the old timing guide/tensioner, then he starts going off about his suspension acting up. Said he was gonna sue. At that point I was sick of it so I told him go ahead. It’s been a long time still haven’t heard anything. Guess his lawyer talked some sense into him.

I passed on the sales manager position to someone else. Way too much bs to deal with for the money i got from that end. Now I just handle the repair side, and I always quote on the higher end.
Sorry to hear this. Hopefully his lawyer told him he's got no claim.
 
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