STOP GETTING SCREWED

Illustration for article titled STOP GETTING SCREWEDem/em

In the past 30 days alone, here are stories from our customers that got screwed by other shops. THIS IS WHY I opened a shop. I HATE SHOPS THAT SCREW PEOPLE. These are first hand reports.

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1. A lady bought a new vehicle from a local dealer. She brought it into us (thanks to her son) after she was quoted $1000 for an “A1 Service” maintenance reminder on her 2014 vehicle with about 30,000 kilometres (just over 18,000 miles). I looked up what this particular service entailed on MULTIPLE websites including the manufacturer. It is an oil change (they DON’T EVEN change the oil filter), a tire rotation, and cabin air filter (if necessary). This local dealer wanted to charge her $1000 for an A1 Service (oil change and tire rotation) but didn’t tell her what was involved in that service. Her mistake was A) Being a woman (sorry to say), and B) She told them that her husband is incapacitated in the hospital. THIS BURNS ME UP!!!

2. The same lady was having her oil changed regularly at a shop here in my town. They replaced her cabin air filter EACH TIME SHE GOT HER OIL CHANGED (for a price of course). ARRRGGGG. The cabin air filter gets changed VERY infrequently, perhaps every 100,000 kms or so. More often if you live in polluted or very dusty areas - which she does not.

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3. A gentleman took his vehicle to a local shop that does alignments (amongst other things), only to be told he needed to change his ball joints and tie rod ends before they could do the alignment. Of course they could provide that service to him at a hefty cost. He brought it to us for a second opinion. We don’t have an alignment machine, but could certainly tell the front end didn’t need any work. We sent him to a different shop with an alignment machine that is trustworthy. He got his alignment done without issue. This scam occurs more often than not. YES, your front end needs to be in good working order to get an alignment, but if you are getting quoted more than $200 in parts and labour on top of the alignment fee, please get a second opinion. It might be very worth your while.

4. Another gentleman stopped by our shop for non service-related business, and told me how he got his oil changed at one of the smaller shops here in town. They also changed his front and rear differential fluids, as they showed him the samples which were very dirty. He was able to see the work being done, the diff covers coming off, everything being cleaned out and refilled properly, etc. The next day he needed warranty work done at a dealer here in Salmon Arm. They did the warranty repair, and after also doing a routine full inspection, they told him his differential fluids were quite dirty and needed to be changed. This gentleman was extremely reserved, simply went to the vehicle to retrieve the receipt from the other shop’s work on the previous day, and placed it on the counter of the service person. He firmly asked them to explain this. All of the employees with earshot became dead quiet, and all the service person could say was they would look into it. THAT’S CRAP CRAP CRAP.

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I’ve seen the shows on TV where reporters go undercover to expose fraudulent shops big and small. You’ve probably seen the programs too. I didn’t think that shops or dealers could still be that devious. I was wrong.


View From The North is written by Shawn T. Greek, located in the Great White North of Salmon Arm, BC. That’s in Canada, eh! “Silly” is my default setting. Visit on Facebook

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