Attempting to charge me for parts that were not needed.
We put our Echo PE-2000 edger in for service. The only issue with the edger was it was not running smoothly, so I needed it to be tuned up. I had just replaced the fuel line, filter, fuel tank seal, etc. We waited 2 1/2 weeks for the call back on the estimate. They said they would call if it was over $100.00 to fix. When they called, they mentioned the carburetor needed to be cleaned and all the above mentioned parts needed to be replaced. When I called them on it, they said it was because the fuel I was using had degraded the lines and they were no longer good. I told them I had replaced the lines the day before we turned it in for service.
I was not happy with this response so I immediately went to the business to pick up my piece of equipment - I felt the integrity of the store was in question. The service dept said it was just an honest mistake and that the lines were fine when they went and checked them again. I asked why was this not caught before creating the estimate and calling me on the price? All they could say was it was an honest mistake.
They then proceeded to charge me $35.00 for the diagnostic check they had done. I feel that this charge should have been waived given the shady practice of trying to charge for unneeded parts was discovered. I paid the fee and walked out feeling like I had been completely taken advantage of!! This is not good business and I feel that this is probably a common practice with this company and they prey on unsuspecting customers. I was just fortunate I knew those parts were not bad - I called them on it and all they could do is call it an "honest mistake".
I would like my $37.54 refunded to me - and a formal apology for treating me that way. I have served my country for nearly 30 years so that Americans have the freedom to run small businesses - I don't appreciate being taken advantage of like this...really makes me question why I and my family have sacrificed so much for others in this country when things like this happen!!
When our mechanic starts to work on an edger, or any hand-held equipment, brought in for a tune-up he begins with a visual inspection of the equipment then he primes and runs the unit. During this process he makes standard adjustments to improve the running of the unit. If adjustments are not successful he recommends work be done to the carburetor. The mechanic (a 30+ year employee who is ranked as a master service tech and who is well respected in our service business) informed the business owner of his findings. Standard procedure for carburetor work is to replace the fuel line and fuel filter to assure the entire fuel system is clean and this work would have put the repair over the original $100 estimate given to the customer so the business owner called the customer. He spoke to the customer at 2:10 on July 30th to inform her that the carburetor would need to be cleaned/replaced and that could cost up to $125. She approved the cost of the repair. Within 15 minutes the customer's husband called back and spoke to the business owner, informing him that he had replaced the fuel line and fuel filter the day before the edger was brought in for repair. The business owner assured him that once the mechanic actually tore into the unit he would only replace parts that need to be replaced so if the fuel line and fuel filter were okay they would not be replaced and the repair would be less than $125. There was no mention by the customer on the signed shop receipt that any parts had been installed by the customer prior to leaving it with Heil Bros. for repair. The customer's husband felt that he was being cheated and informed the business owner that he would be in to pick up his edger. He was informed that there would be a $35 charge as stated on the shop receipt (In the event you choose to not have work completed, a minimum estimate/disassembly charge of $35 will be charged.).When the customer came in to pick up the edger he was verbally abusive, claiming that he was being ripped off. He did pay the $35 charge then left the shop.
Heil Bros. maintains that they followed expected business practices by giving an initial estimate and then calling the customer when it became possible that the repair would exceed that estimate. When they were informed that some parts had been replaced by the customer they tried to assure him that those parts would be used and he would not be charged for their replacement, thus lowering the estimate, but the customer became accusatory and belligerent. He chose to pick up the edger with out having it repaired. When he came into the shop he continued to be accusatory and belligerent, obviously upset but unwilling to understand that he had been quoted an estimate for repair based on the need to replace all parts and that there would have been no charge if parts were determined to be in good working order. If the customer would have notified Heil Bros. of the replaced parts at the time the edger was dropped off for repair there would have been no misunderstanding. Heil Bros. is willing to return the $37.54 to the customer but there will be no apology due to the fact that they did nothing wrong. The customer will need to call Heil Bros. at XXX-XXXX in order to get the $37.54 credited to his Visa card.
The owner makes it sound as if I was a crazed lunatic ranting and raving in his store. I never raised my voice once and feel that I was very much in control of what I said. I do not think that I was abusive in any form - to use terms such as "accusatory and belligerent" is absurd! I feel that he was uncomfortable with being caught and called out on it.
Additionally, I do not feel it is my responsibility to inform a business that I have just put new parts onto the machine - that is an attempt to shift the blame over to the customer - somehow it is my fault that I did not inform him of the new parts?
I did call back and spoke to someone (appears to be the owner) to inform him that I had just replaced the fuel line and fuel filter the day before the edger was brought in for repair. However, he did not assure me that once the mechanic actually tore into the unit he would only replace parts that need to be replaced so if the fuel line and fuel filter were okay they would not be replaced and the repair would be less than $125. The only thing he assured me of was that the parts were in fact bad - In fact he specifically told me that the lines were gummy, and deteriorated caused from using ethanol in the fuel.
During the phone conversation I did ask him to put himself in my shoes - if you are being told that newly replaced parts are bad, you would obviously question that. If that is being accusatory, so be it. He was not willing to see my point and tried to explain that his mechanic of 30+ years says the parts were bad so I must understand his point of view. He said the parts can go bad very quickly with the ethanol in today's fuel - I was not buying it so I just showed up to the business out of the blue after thinking about what had transpired over the phone...he was surprised to see me because I made no mention of coming in to take the edger during our phone conversation.
When I arrived to get the unit, he stated that the work had already begun and it was in pieces. I told him that I was not comfortable with them working on it anymore and that I wanted to pull it out of the shop. He went to the back and returned the edger to me - obviously still in the same condition as delivered 2 1/2 weeks earlier. He said they had inspected the lines and determined that they were good and did not need to be replaced. I again asked why this was not done prior to calling us on the estimate? The response - just an honest mistake.
I am still having a hard time with the explanation - "unwilling to understand that he had been quoted an estimate for repair based on the need to replace all parts and that there would have been no charge if parts were determined to be in good working order"....that never happened.
"If the customer would have notified Heil Bros. of the replaced parts at the time the edger was dropped off for repair there would have been no misunderstanding"....this is blame shifting; somehow this is my fault...interesting. Maybe if the a thorough diagnostics/visual inspection of the unit transpired instead of ASSUMING everything was bad, this could have avoided the misunderstanding.
My argument has been that what I was to be paying for did not happen and there was an attempt to replace parts unnecessarily. If I did not call them out on the new parts, would they have just went ahead and replaced them anyways? That is something I will never know, but have to trust that this was just an "honest mistake". If they truly did the inspection and diagnostics as I paid for ($35 is easily 30 minutes of work), we would not be in this situation. I actually bought the parts and did the job myself - the entire job took less than 30 minutes and $15 in parts.
I will say, when I was leaving the store I did say, "I hope you can sleep well tonight". If that is being abusive - guilty