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Old 01-06-2011, 05:46 PM   #1
that's what she said

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Why is it....

that when a customer wants to get something for nothing the actual amount of time that has passed is significantly more than the amount of time they claim has passed? furthermore, why is i that when a customer has been waiting on a part or repair the actual amount of time that they have been waiting is significantly less than the amount of time they claim they have been waiting?

actual example from this past september:
Customer: "i had my mower serviced a few weeks ago, and i just when went to use it the blades wouldn't turn. you charged me for a blade belt i think you forgot to replace it."

me: "ok sir, let me take a look and see what i can do......
hmmm. sir, unfortunately there isn't much that i will be able to do for you. the mower was serviced in april; we changed the belts and blades and changed the oil, plugs, and filters."

customer: "ya, well, i went to use it and the blades aren't turning and there is no belt!"

me: "sir, i assure you that when the machine was returned the belt was on and the blades were in working order."

customer: "you just don't want to admit you forgot the belt."

me: "sir, we test all machines before returning them. it says on the service ticket that the machine used to cut grass in out test. also, the new blades that we put on are clearly used. the edges are rounded and there are nicks in them from rocks. we can tell that these have been used for several mowings."

customer: "**grumble, whine**, fine. how much is the belt? i'll replace it myself."


actual example #2:
a customer called this past monday
customer: " hello, i dropped my snowblower well over a week and a half ago. is it done yet?"

me: "please hold while i check for you..... it is not done quite yet. the auger cable that is needed was ordered on Monday; I am just waiting for it to get here and it will be finished."

customer: "this is unacceptable! it has been at you shop for OVER a week and a half, it should be done already!"

me: "blah, blah, blah **being nice even though i want to slap him** blah, blah, blah."

i got done getting yelled at for my "unacceptable" performance, i checked the service ticket to see when it was dropped off. "well over a week and a half ago" is actually less than a week ago. he dripped it off last thursday and called ab out it on MONDAY (we were closed on friday and saturday for new years).

i get stuff like this all of the time. it seems like "actual" time is completely different than "perceived" time. sometimes i just want to smack people.

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Old 01-06-2011, 05:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgano23 View Post
that when a customer wants to get something for nothing the actual amount of time that has passed is significantly more than the amount of time they claim has passed? furthermore, why is i that when a customer has been waiting on a part or repair the actual amount of time that they have been waiting is significantly less than the amount of time they claim they have been waiting?

actual example from this past september:
Customer: "i had my mower serviced a few weeks ago, and i just when went to use it the blades wouldn't turn. you charged me for a blade belt i think you forgot to replace it."

me: "ok sir, let me take a look and see what i can do......
hmmm. sir, unfortunately there isn't much that i will be able to do for you. the mower was serviced in april; we changed the belts and blades and changed the oil, plugs, and filters."

customer: "ya, well, i went to use it and the blades aren't turning and there is no belt!"

me: "sir, i assure you that when the machine was returned the belt was on and the blades were in working order."

customer: "you just don't want to admit you forgot the belt."

me: "sir, we test all machines before returning them. it says on the service ticket that the machine used to cut grass in out test. also, the new blades that we put on are clearly used. the edges are rounded and there are nicks in them from rocks. we can tell that these have been used for several mowings."

customer: "**grumble, whine**, fine. how much is the belt? i'll replace it myself."


actual example #2:
a customer called this past monday
customer: " hello, i dropped my snowblower well over a week and a half ago. is it done yet?"

me: "please hold while i check for you..... it is not done quite yet. the auger cable that is needed was ordered on Monday; I am just waiting for it to get here and it will be finished."

customer: "this is unacceptable! it has been at you shop for OVER a week and a half, it should be done already!"

me: "blah, blah, blah **being nice even though i want to slap him** blah, blah, blah."

i got done getting yelled at for my "unacceptable" performance, i checked the service ticket to see when it was dropped off. "well over a week and a half ago" is actually less than a week ago. he dripped it off last thursday and called ab out it on MONDAY (we were closed on friday and saturday for new years).

i get stuff like this all of the time. it seems like "actual" time is completely different than "perceived" time. sometimes i just want to smack people.


The wonderful world of dealing with the public.

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Old 01-06-2011, 06:00 PM   #3
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Case and point why I hate the position I'm currently in.
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:05 PM   #4
i'm......... lost

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i do tech support for a local ISP. some of the most obnoxious people call me man. i feel your pain. and i sympathize
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:10 PM   #5
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I deal with it all the time. Everyone wants something for nothing. I hate retail.
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:07 PM   #6
that's what she said

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I have just about had it with people this week.... tomorrow is friday at least
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:32 PM   #7
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I used to install satellite TV for Dish Network back in the day when I lived in Denver. You think they,are bad on the phone, or in person at your shop? Wait till you are on their turf, in their home! People as a population, and by numbers, can be unbelievable some times.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:27 PM   #8
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:45 PM   #9
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I have the same issues at my shop. A few years ago the stress of dealing with bad customers finally got to me. I had enough. The customer is not correct and I have no problem telling them so. We have a lot of fun at my shop and the customers enjoy all the BS. When a customer does get out of line I tell him to take his business to Cabela's.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:51 PM   #10
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Something for nothing does not exist but something for free after spending a wad of cash for a good returning customer should be a written policy. Doesn't have to be much just something that says "thanks for being a repeat customer". As long as they aren't dicks in that case you nail em for everything whether they know it or not.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:55 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jgano23 View Post
I have just about had it with people this week.... tomorrow is friday at least
And today is Friday!!! woohoo!!!

These are the reasons I kept my butt out of anything dealing with a customer... Except for bus driving... When it comes down to do you want to go or not that usually shuts them up.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:21 PM   #12
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what i want to know is, where do shops get off on charging me for an hour's worth of work when the job took 20 minutes?
this is why i do everything i have the ability to myself.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:39 PM   #13
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what i want to know is, where do shops get off on charging me for an hour's worth of work when the job took 20 minutes?
this is why i do everything i have the ability to myself.
You want to get charged by the minute get a cell phone.


They are trying to run a business. I set a rate for a repair job based on time if I finish before that means I am able to start another. Same with materials if I open a bottle of cleaner the customer is paying for the entire bottle. Welcome to the world of business.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:58 PM   #14
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^ X2!

When I do contract Wireless networking, or PC work, $60/hr. Never had anyone flinch at it. If they need something done, I give them quality work for what I charge. Otherwise, they can call Geek Squad and get... well, you get the point.
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:23 PM   #15
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i know why it is, i worked for a dealership. the bottom line is i'm paying for you to work on the next guy's car. then that guy pays for you to work on the next guy's car. we both know the book rates are BS, even for rookie part hangers. we also both know the number of occasions where it takes you longer than book rate are like unicorns. i made good money doing book work, but it doesn't mean i thought it was fair to the customer, because it isn't.
you can't justify it by saying that's business. it's like being charged for 60 gallons of gas when you only needed 20. you can't say "go somewhere else" in every instance either, since so many manufacturers will give you hell for getting service work performed anywhere but a dealer.
i'm not trying to give you a hard time, but you have to see this from the customer's standpoint. surely you've been charged more for something than than what you should have paid.

hammerwalk: i can agree quality deserves a premium, but you're not always getting quality and still paying the premium fee. in these shops, you pay the same rate to have a kid right out of high school work on your car as you do with a ase certified veteran.
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:53 PM   #16
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If you don't like it open your own shop and charge every customer what they think is fair.

Better yet take your new business plan to a small business center and see if they will help you find financial help getting it started.
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:00 PM   #17
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If you don't like it open your own shop and charge every customer what they think is fair.

Better yet take your new business plan to a small business center and see if they will help you find financial help getting it started.
i'm simply stating fair is how long it takes you, not how long a book says it should take. maybe police should start charging what they think a life is worth when they stop a murder? firemen should charge what your house and all your belongings are worth to put out a fire?
flat, hourly wage. fair to both parties.
no need to make this hostile.
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:19 PM   #18
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i'm simply stating fair is how long it takes you, not how long a book says it should take. maybe police should start charging what they think a life is worth when they stop a murder? firemen should charge what your house and all your belongings are worth to put out a fire?
flat, hourly wage. fair to both parties.
no need to make this hostile.
It could be worse. My company charges $210 an hour for my labor. 1 hour minimum. We're about average on that for the work I do. Wish I saw more of that than I do, but oh well...
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:29 PM   #19
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i work in purchasing, so i'm keen on what i pay for services. we have one vendor who has a $7500 job minimum. we just sent them a job that actually cost about $2500.
it makes me sick, especially in this economy. i just keep my mouth shut about it at work.
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Old 01-07-2011, 04:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Sinister

i'm simply stating fair is how long it takes you, not how long a book says it should take. maybe police should start charging what they think a life is worth when they stop a murder? firemen should charge what your house and all your belongings are worth to put out a fire?


These analogies make no sense to me sorry.




flat, hourly wage. fair to both parties.
no need to make this hostile.


This is exactly what they are doing. Flat hourly shop rate. Everyone pays the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Sinister
i work in purchasing, so i'm keen on what i pay for services. we have one vendor who has a $7500 job minimum. we just sent them a job that actually cost about $2500.
it makes me sick, especially in this economy. i just keep my mouth shut about it at work.

What in the world does the economy have to do with this??????

Just because times are tough I should change how I charge people.



Do you happen to have a mower that is in need of a belt?




I also responded to the above quote but can't bold my response to identify from the WF app sorry.
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Old 01-07-2011, 04:27 PM   #21
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in a way i hear what you're saying Sinister. It does suck at times, and there are times when I have to take my vehicles to my mechanic to get work done, or whatever, and i get the business end of the shaft. But, then again, i support my mechanic, and always refer people to him, so he cuts me some slack from time to time.

But also, knowing a master mechanic for Volvo, and my grandfather being master mechanic for John Deere back in the day, i understand how the whole mechanic time works. Profit and bonuses. The time they charge for your car (mower, whatever) and it takes less than quoted on their work sheet, the more cars they get out the door, but also in the door at the same time, the more they make for their bonuses. But the next guy is also paying that $60/hr 1 hour minimum just like you did, so in all reality, you arent paying for the guy to work on the next guys car. You are paying for the bonus the mechanic makes for getting his work done under the estimated time his sheet says it should take.

Supply and demand is what is all boils down to. You (being Joe Customer) need my service, i have the tools and know how, but you (Customer Joe) do not have what it takes.

Of course I'm sure you know that, but it is what it is. Thats why i really need to get my tools in line so i can stop paying for my mechanic's son to go to college
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:09 PM   #22
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I always thought quoting an hourly rate was lame, whether you're an appliance repairman or a lawyer. I understand with repairs you don't know what you are in for until you diagnose the problem. Give the customer a quote to diagnose, then a quote to repair. If you don't know your profession well enough to give a firm quote then you're not a professional. The whole hourly rate thing leaves things too open ended. And when you tell someone $100 an hour they think it's too much even when it isn't. I wouldn't want to work under someones sink or wrench on their toilet for less than that. So like Mr. Sinister said, I'll do it myself if I can.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:11 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepjones View Post
Something for nothing does not exist but something for free after spending a wad of cash for a good returning customer should be a written policy. Doesn't have to be much just something that says "thanks for being a repeat customer".
I actually do do that . I give Christmas gifts to my good repeat customers (not just the commercial customers, the homeowners too); it's not much, but it let's them know I appreciate their business. I also thank my customers and make sure to let them know that they are doing ME a favor by giving me their buiness (rather than vice versa.) I really do appreciate my customers, because without them I wouldn't be in business. Most of my customers are really nice, but every now and then you get the jerks.

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what i want to know is, where do shops get off on charging me for an hour's worth of work when the job took 20 minutes?
this is why i do everything i have the ability to myself.
I don't know how shops are around you, but I charge per 1/10th hour. For every 10 minutes it takes to fix a machine the customer gets charged $6.50. If it takes me 10 minutes to fix you machine, you get charged $6.50.
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:42 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by nick50471 View Post
What in the world does the economy have to do with this??????

Just because times are tough I should change how I charge people.



Do you happen to have a mower that is in need of a belt?




I also responded to the above quote but can't bold my response to identify from the WF app sorry.


i tried to be civil.

an hourly wage is fair practice. like "i make xx per hour." not i work 60 minutes and got paid for 180 while the customer got hosed.

my example is MY JOB, NOT YOURS. IT MAKES ME SICK TO SEE HOW MY JOB THROWS MONEY AROUND LIKE THAT IN THIS ECONOMY. jesus christ, you had better never once bitch about poor customer service you received with the way you think.
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:59 PM   #25
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in a way i hear what you're saying Sinister. It does suck at times, and there are times when I have to take my vehicles to my mechanic to get work done, or whatever, and i get the business end of the shaft. But, then again, i support my mechanic, and always refer people to him, so he cuts me some slack from time to time.

But also, knowing a master mechanic for Volvo, and my grandfather being master mechanic for John Deere back in the day, i understand how the whole mechanic time works. Profit and bonuses. The time they charge for your car (mower, whatever) and it takes less than quoted on their work sheet, the more cars they get out the door, but also in the door at the same time, the more they make for their bonuses. But the next guy is also paying that $60/hr 1 hour minimum just like you did, so in all reality, you arent paying for the guy to work on the next guys car. You are paying for the bonus the mechanic makes for getting his work done under the estimated time his sheet says it should take.

Supply and demand is what is all boils down to. You (being Joe Customer) need my service, i have the tools and know how, but you (Customer Joe) do not have what it takes.

Of course I'm sure you know that, but it is what it is. Thats why i really need to get my tools in line so i can stop paying for my mechanic's son to go to college
i can see your point, thanks for making it in a civil manner.

i can understand if you're done in 20 minutes and out the door, but that's never the case. case in point: i took my jeep in for its first oil change back in november. i made an appointment. i dropped it off promptly at 8am when service told me to. i said i'd be back after work (5pm) to pick it up. when i got there, they had not even touched it yet. they said they got slammed with walk in's and i'd be done soon. well it was damn near 7 when i got out of there. well why in the hell did i bother making an appointment when you can just walk in and get handled first? i let it go, and was still polite and even chatted with the service writer for a bit. but i think it helps illustrate my point. the guys who get prompt service pay the same as the guys who don't. so somebody is clocking a bunch of book rate jobs while i'm sitting there waiting. i'm all for getting paid, but it's the customers paying your salary. some folks could stand to remember that.
like i said above, i pay the same rate for a kid to work on my car as i would for a guy who has been doing it 30 years. i understand book rate is an incentive for the guys to work quickly, but it's driven service work through the roof and you don't always have the option of doing it yourself. it's also a crutch for lazy mechanics.
like i said, i worked at a dealership, i've seen this firsthand. i could kill myself to get a tough job done in an hour, while someone else can loaf along doing oil changes or replacing batteries and make multiple book rate jobs in the same time. the only good thing is the service writers tried to rotate who got the tough jobs and when.

again, just my opinions and thoughts. it's nothing personal.
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:04 PM   #26
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what i want to know is, where do shops get off on charging me for an hour's worth of work when the job took 20 minutes?
this is why i do everything i have the ability to myself.
MR. Sinister, not to open a can of worms but this statement raises the hackles of every self-employed small business owner. I know , I am one. Bully if you can do it yourself. But if it takes someone else 20 minutes and they charge you for an hour usually you are paying for experience not time. My hat goes off to every small business owner on this forum. Catering to the general public Is not an easy task.
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:07 PM   #27
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I actually do do that . I give Christmas gifts to my good repeat customers (not just the commercial customers, the homeowners too); it's not much, but it let's them know I appreciate their business. I also thank my customers and make sure to let them know that they are doing ME a favor by giving me their buiness (rather than vice versa.) I really do appreciate my customers, because without them I wouldn't be in business. Most of my customers are really nice, but every now and then you get the jerks.


I don't know how shops are around you, but I charge per 1/10th hour. For every 10 minutes it takes to fix a machine the customer gets charged $6.50. If it takes me 10 minutes to fix you machine, you get charged $6.50.
i have absolutely no problem with that and i appreciate your honesty. it's not the rate that bothers me, it's paying for 60 minutes of work when it only took 20. it's like buying tickets for a football game and watching the teams walk out after the first quarter.
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:15 PM   #28
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MR. Sinister, not to open a can of worms but this statement raises the hackles of every self-employed small business owner. I know , I am one. Bully if you can do it yourself. But if it takes someone else 20 minutes and they charge you for an hour usually you are paying for experience not time. My hat goes off to every small business owner on this forum. Catering to the general public Is not an easy task.
not at all.
like i've been saying, you pay the same for a rookie mechanic that you do for an experienced guy. this is not always the case, but in auto shops it's very common. the experienced guys might make more for their work, but the customer still pays the same rate. some shops are implementing lower rates for routine jobs the young guys do and i think that's a great deal. ask yourself, would you rather pay $100 to have a guy that's been in the trade for 20 years work on your car, or $100 for a kid just learning how to turn wrenches? kid has to learn some time sure, but i'm clearly not paying for his experience.
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:40 PM   #29
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I work at Kenworth of Indianapolis, and I can attest to what you mean OP.

Customers will come in there griping because their T600 dumb truck isnt done, when we get slammed all day with already processed and called in jobs. Most truck jobs easily take atleast a day to be done. Not for the work, but the time getting it in.

I mostly chimed in here to talk about walk-ins. We don't usually put a walk-in customer ahead of a called in customer. But in the trucking industry when a truck is down, it means loss for that person or company. So if a customer comes in needing a new platinum in frame engine overhaul kit, and there a call in customer that just needs some mudflaps and a exhaust put on but isnt in a hurry. The company needing the truck comes first.

One story... We close at 4pm on saturday. A guy comes in at around 2:30. He came right off the highway on a wrecker and needed his T2000 worked on. It was broken down completely and needed around $5,000 in parts. Well we told him that we will get to the job priority monday when we open back up and will put him up for the night. He said, I have a full load that needs delivered and another load to bring back sunday. I need the truck done.

So we told him, we will do the work but he will have to pay the usual rate of $95 an hour, plus the overtime wages for the one service writer, the parts department guy, and 4 technicians. But they would get it done in the night.

He did it and got on his way that morning. A probably $5,500 dollar repair, came out to around $12,000 but he needed to get on his way and it actually saved him money. Always appreciate the customer and they will usually always continue business with you. Don't make exceptions for people unless you will for everyone.
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:46 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Sinister View Post
not at all.
like i've been saying, you pay the same for a rookie mechanic that you do for an experienced guy. this is not always the case, but in auto shops it's very common. the experienced guys might make more for their work, but the customer still pays the same rate. some shops are implementing lower rates for routine jobs the young guys do and i think that's a great deal. ask yourself, would you rather pay $100 to have a guy that's been in the trade for 20 years work on your car, or $100 for a kid just learning how to turn wrenches? kid has to learn some time sure, but i'm clearly not paying for his experience.
I understand what you are saying. But any work done by whoever should come with complete satisfaction and warranty on parts and labor. The only thing I can add is become a small business owner and the world of work and finances will be seen in a totally different light.

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