Things Dealers tell Customers

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by ak_diane, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. shaddix

    shaddix Banned

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    I had a dealership try to charge me to replace my ignition, battery, and wiring harness, new set of keys for a burnt wiring harness on my DR650 for 1300 bucks. I said no thanks and replaced only the wiring harness myself in about 2 hours for 70 bucks, ignition and battery were both fine.
  2. Cerberus83

    Cerberus83 The Wingman

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    I see I managed to open a can of worms here... I suppose this is a good thing ;) Plus, I definitely do not mind constructive feedback (or a lil' bit of bashing) :)

    I do see and understand where you're coming from. But in your example, I honestly don't see how can you charge me $40 if you say that your hourly rate is $20 and you do the work in 30min? If you told me, it's $40 to do the job, sure, here's $40. The fact that you have more sophisticated and better equipment that allows you to the work faster and "better" justifies the cost of $40, but it does not logically, mathematically or common sense-wise justify $40 if the cost is time-based. What I would expect to see is that the rates went up (you had to invest into better equipment) and as a result, the time to do the job decreased.
  3. Flyinace1

    Flyinace1 Been here awhile

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    If he was to change his hourly rate tho he'd be charging $80/hr in that example and you'd probably turn him down because it's too expensive and you can find someone else who'll do it for $20/hr. Or he tells you the job would've taken 2 hours but he's got a fancy machine that lets him do 2 hours of work in less time. Therefore the amount of work hasn't changed but how fast he can do it has. It's still 2 hours worth of work.
  4. Cerberus83

    Cerberus83 The Wingman

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    That's my point -- it's the average time and not the actual time.

    I had to replace the flywheel on my Hyundai. I called four Hyundai dealerships within 25-30mi radius. The cost to do the job was around $1,000. When I asked them what is that $1,000 composed of, I got 3 or 4 different responses
    -Dealer1: 4hr labor, $600 in parts
    -Dealer2: 6hr labor, $400 in parts
    -Dealer3/4: mixture of labor and parts that was somewhat similar to each other

    How is this possible? They all came up to virtually the same total amount, yet all had different "charges" and all were authorized Hyundai dealerships.
  5. 1greenmachine

    1greenmachine Long timer

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    He is charging per hour so he is ripping the customer off charging for 2 hours but only there for half, the right thing is charge 1 hour at a higher rate. I cut grass thru school and I charged 1 hour minimum and every half hour after that, sometimes it took longer and I'd eat that time.
  6. Cerberus83

    Cerberus83 The Wingman

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    :clap

    THANK YOU!
  7. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    put something on and stay in that position.
    because it's a *chuckle* Hyundai.

    Look, BMW has a book-- now a computer program-- that tells the tech how many hours for a clutch install or a brake flush. They shouldn't be pulling numbers out of their arse.

    I mention BMW because that's the only shop in which I've work done. When I asked him what it costs to replace pivot bearings, he told me a number then double checked it on the computer.

    I think it's always been understood that the time per job was how work was billed, not time actually worked.

    Keep in mind that doing a new clutch can be a mindfield of unknowns, and these techs are cradling their bollocks during the winter if they aren't off to baja riding. So I sincerely hope the best techs in whatever shop they work are able to bill more than 100% of their time.

    And the skill with which they do their job-- not the time spent/dollars paid-- is what keeps me coming back for serious work or for work I just can't be arsed to do myself when I'm busy.

    Think of all the horror stories about dealerships you can read here and other places. To have your machine repaired well, with care, for the quoted price seems to me something to be enjoyed.
  8. bwalsh

    bwalsh Long timer

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    Some mechanics I've dealt with will charge the time it actually took, not what the book says. Seek out these mechanics if you are concerned about it...and no, I'm not talking about dealerships. I wouldn't take a bicycle tire to a dealership.
  9. acesandeights

    acesandeights Asperger

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    It shouldn't be based on hours at all, but it is and it's standard to refer to it that way. Really, it's a flat rate, they just say it's hourly because they multiply a labor rate by the published labor time, having nothing to do really with the amount of labor the individual tech will take.

    It would be easier to explain if shops just told customers what it cost for the job, just like any product sold. A hamburger costs whatever it costs, say $.99. They don't tell you it's x-cents for buns, lettuce, tomato, individual condiments and the amount of time it takes the fry-cook to cook and assemble the burger. Really, it's a $.99 burger.

    So, as an example, an alternator is $199/parts, and labor is $80 x 1.5 hours (total $319), regardless of whether it takes 45 minutes or 90 minutes. If the shop just said, it's $319 you'd be happy since that's what it costs. They could get you back on the road in an hour instead of keeping your car parked in the back lot while you wait two hours thinking they're still working on it. It's a stupid game, but it's the game we play.
  10. Cerberus83

    Cerberus83 The Wingman

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    +1 Agreed!

    Thank you for explaining it in the way I wasn't able to lol
  11. Dismount

    Dismount Boring bastard

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    That's where I wound up.
  12. HooliKen

    HooliKen Awesome is a flavor

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    We have gone from funny shit that dealers tell customers to; "who and who doesn't think we are getting ass raped by shop labor rates?"

    For you whinaholics......Learn to work on your own shit.....Problem solved! :ken
  13. GoNOW

    GoNOW Long timer

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    It's all really flat rate time. They just calculate it as shop rate X book hours. They do that because shop rate is different for every shop. Because every shop is in a different area with different cost.

    A shop located in a higher class area, will have to pay their techs more, and have higher rent/ shop cost. So the cost of doing business is higher and the prices are higher. But it's that for everyone in the area and the customers expect it.

    Now a shop in the ghetto will have cheaper rent, the techs will work for less and the customers will want to pay less.

    It's the same oil change, but different rates.


    Flat rate is easy on cars. You can look up any one of the number of online resources like All Data and On Demand and they will have a complete service manual and rate times for all the work.
    Nothing like that exist for motorcycles/quads. So if you are not a Honda dealer, and a Honda pulls in that needs work, you have to guess at how long it will take.
    We had a Chinese quad that needed work pull in a few days ago. No manual on that, so we estimated high side at $420, but the work took less time then we figured, so the total bill was $350. It seemed like the right thing to do.

    Unlike most cars, bikes/quads are heavy customized, so a flat rate is just a guide. If the book says it will take 1 hour to do a job, but the customer has added many aftermarket parts that have to be removed before the work can start, then the cost will be higher. It's not fair to the tech that they will be paid for a 1hr job, when it will take them 2 hours to do.

    The same can be said about charging a customer 1hr for a 30 minute job. But you can't be sure it will take 30 minutes it may take 2 hours do to rusty bolts. In the end, it evens out. You loose money on some jobs, and make it up on others.

    A friend took his truck into the dealer for a new water pump and thermostat. He was charged full book time for the water pump, and full book time for a thermostat replacement. The thermostat is housed inside the water pump. That was very dishonest and I don't do crap like that.
  14. 1911fan

    1911fan Master of the Obvious

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    Yeah, that's bullshit. I'll bet somebody looked up water pump time, then thermostat time, then added them together instead of looking at the water pump plus thermostat. Also, if the thermostat is in the water pump, there should be no extra labor as tech has to either swap in the existing one or put in a new one. I'd go talk to the service manage about that one, and ask for a refund of half the labor. Your friend can look up the times online and show them to the manager.
    A reasonable argument, well backed up, will get either A) a refund, or B) your friend never going back. Most dealers will give up a lot to retain customers, since it's much cheaper than recruiting new ones.
    My boss gives us a lot of freedom to make judgement calls on the drive. His criteria is simple: Is the customer happy? Pass. Is the customer mad? Fail.


    1911fan
  15. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

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    No, not "good on the owenr and the staff." The owner fucked the staff right in the ass. Hey, if the owner wants to pay the staff overtime to get a tire change done after hours, great. If the owner wants to do the tire change himself, great. But forcing the staff to stay an extra hour off the clock (off the clock?! Are you fucking kidding me!) so the owner can make a few bucks and suck up to a customer is a shit thing to do to the staff.
  16. KG6BWS

    KG6BWS Been here awhile

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    I agree to a point. Ill work the occasional half hour to get something important done. I figure it pays off in the end by meaning that I keep my job. But if its a regular occurrence....no thanks. No job is worth working for free.
  17. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

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    In this economy you gotta do what you gotta do. Nothing good about it though.

    The techs will even the score though. They always do. The owner will be completely mystified when the occasional set of tires disappears out the back door. "How could they be stealing from me? I treat them so well. Just last week I bought them donuts after I made them work an hour off the clock on a Saturday. Ingrates!"
  18. acesandeights

    acesandeights Asperger

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    I've never known a shop owner that didn't try to make it up to good techs when he asked them to do something extra for a customer. After hour drinks, closing early on a Friday, BBQs, etc. But if you're right and all that's going on is he's fucking them in the ass, well I'd quit right away and look for something with less ass fucking.
  19. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    Years ago when I was working straight commission (50-50) with a guarantee, the owner would pay me if one of his gimme jobs got involved and took a lot of time. Most were for his buddies, who he would sometimes tell to pay the mechanic what he had coming to him in cash. He was the most honest person I've ever worked for. If the shop wasn't busy, I was allowed to rebuild starters, generators and alternators for shelf stock and got paid for that.
  20. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Been here awhile

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    Back in the mid '90s I was touring around Europe on a 12 year-old Honda CB250RS that i had picked up for £500 about 3 years before in England. As I rode the 600 km Leper (Belgium) to Baden Baden (Germany) leg in one day on main roads the bike got quite "floaty".

    "Rear wheel bearing", I reckoned, and quick investigation suggested the same. Not a major on straights, take it easy through corners..... get it sorted in Baden Baden.

    At first I thought of removing the wheel off at the YHA Hostel I was staying at and taking it to the nearest motorcycle place to get fixed, but that was quite a hike away, so I rode there the next morning, and asked if they could help.

    "No, no, you need to go to the Honda dealer."

    I had seen it on the way in, so I made my way the several km to get there.

    "Yes, we can do it," they said at the Honda shop, "but you'll have to wait a week, maybe two for parts for an old bike like that."

    I wasn't impressed.... Not a big job, I could have done it myself with the right tools handy, but I just had the Honda issue tool kit. I toddled off and eventually found a proper little engineering workshop.

    "No worries; get that wheel of and we'll get it sorted".

    I took the wheel off, he punched out the bearings, and his wife took them to an engineering supplier to get a matching set. He popped them in, and i put the bike back together. In not much more than an hour I was on my way. at minimal cost.

    The engineer and his wife were on the top of my Xmas gift list, When I got back home to NZ a few months later I sent them a nice greenstone pendant and a book, which they appreciated.