Monday, August 5, 2013

The Pinch

If I were Rex, a jungle gym named after me would come as a great insult. Me, I can't stand being pinched. 

Our van is in Ohio, at an Aamco station receiving a used rear end from a Georgia junkyard. Today came the inevitable phone call from the mechanic, the one
where he states that they broke something additional (something hard to break, something they probably just cut to save time), and then offers to replace this part for 400% of the street cost but no labor charge because, after all, they had to come off anyhow to fix the original problem. I balk, I felt he was taking advantage of us. 

He demands that he needs to make money! Ha! I know what the cost of the used transaxle is! I know what you are making on that! I didn't go and break the shock absorber and how did that happen anyway? Now I view your whole operation with distrust. What? You were doing us a favor by taking our van in for repair? Seriously, you just said that? For two thousand dollars? And now you want to charge us one hundred and six dollars for twenty dollars worth of cheap, crap shock absorbers all the while you pretend to not charge us labor for the install? Maybe you should get back on your turnip truck. 

Look, I don't like to have adversity and confrontation with anyone, certainly not the person who has my vehicle on a lift 1000 miles away. But please, extend me this favor next time you want to take more of our money -make me an offer that respects my experience. Offer me two good shocks for 50% markup, not the worst available for 400% markup. I've never replaced the rear shocks and would have accepted that, might even have seen it as an opportunity. But I get it, your business is selling to ignorant technophobes, and you're in the habit of selling crap to locals to keep them coming back. We have to eat the transaxle job, but not your bullshit. 

He acquiesced and offered the cheap shocks for cost, but I still would have preferred higher quality. And he told me not to come back. No worries, just as he calculated before he made that call,
we're not coming back because we're not from around, just passing through. 

People, if you fear visiting a mechanic, get to know your vehicle. The Internet has made finding parts and prices simple and quick. The Aamco proprietor did not want me to take 5 minutes to "think" about it and he groaned when I said so. Get on the Internet and see what it is they're trying to sell you. Allow them a markup, but don't get pinched! Labor is labor and I never begrudge the mechanic on this, but ensure that they're using reliable, quality parts and that they're charging you fairly for them. 

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