A simple auto repair took over one year to complete. I was then overcharged and handled rudely and threatened with additional charges if I didn't pay.
I had a 1994 Toyota pickup truck that needed simply a computer replaced on it. I took it in November,of last year (2012, it is now November 2013,and he just finished it. I've called his shop once a month for the past year, and gone in there around 4 or 5 times. 3 months ago I went in and told him it was getting rediculous and he assured me it would be done that week. It wasn't and he kep putting it off. 3 days ago I went into his office and told him he had 3 days to finish or I would be back with a tow truck to get it. He said it was fixed and driving but I couldn't take it because he had taken the computer back out. I asked why and he said to make sure it worked? I told him I didn't want any more excuses and I would be back to tow it out in 3 days. He called me the next day and said I could come get it.
When I went in today to get it, I spoke with ***** (****) who is the owner of the buisness and the man I droped the truck off with last year, and he presented me with a whopping bill of $805 for parts and labor. I told him that was unreasonable considering he kept it for a whole year. He said that wasn't his problem and he wasn't budging on the price. He said when I dropped it off last year I told him I wasn't in a super rush to get it back, so I'm lucky he wasn't charging me storage on it for a year. He then told me if I pressed the issue he could add storage costs onto the bill.
The whole time I remained calm but firm, I did not raise my voice at all, not once, but the receptionist piped up and said she didn't like my attitude and if I didn't stop, there would be trouble. I clarified for her I was justly having a dissagreement with a bill and being upset about them taking a year to complete a job that other michanics have told me should only take a week or two. She then proceeded to speak rudely to me until ***** the owner told her that he was handeling it.
They maintained it was my fault for not telling them up front that it was urgent that I have it back right away, and that I pay the bill or have storage charges added to it. I asked them if the go to a restaurant and order food, do they tell them to rush it every time, or do they trust it will be brought to them in a timely fashion? If it takes them 6 hours to have their corn dog brought to them, will they not be upset? Will they not speak to the manager and expect him to be a good business man and compensate them for the inconvenience? They said it's not food, it's a car. Pay the bill or we keep the truck.
I explained that I didn't expect to not pay anything, but it was good buisness for him to compensate me for my unreasonable wait by discounting the labor costs or something. I asked ***** specifically if that was how he did buisness, he said that he was trying to run a buisness and it taking him a year to do a weeks work wasn't his problem. He continued to insist it was my fault for telling him not to rush it and that if I had wanted it back in a timely fassion I should have been calling him every day reminding him. I told him I wasn't his mother and it was not my job, as a coustomer to remind him, as a buisness man, to do the work he had agreed to do. Also, I am to be held accountable for him interpreting a figure of speech like "no rush" to "take an entire year"? He maintained that I should have been more agressive about seeing the work completed. I asked him "so I should have been a **** and less kind to you upfront? Those are the kind of coustomers you want? I'm being punished for trying to be patient and kind." He laughed and said there was nothing I could say that would effect the balance of the bill. After about 10 minutes of arguing, I realized it came down to three options. Don't pay the bill and risk storage costs being added, don't pay the bill and have him keep the truck, or pay the bill and fight it later. I chose to pay the bill and fight it later. I informed him I would be writing a complaint to the BBB and he told me to go ahead.
If he would have knocked the labor costs off at the time, or even taken the bill from $805 to like $600, it would have been something. I would have seen that he was sorry for the inconvienience and that wanted to maintain my buisness, but by the treatment I recieved I don't feel like that will suffice anymore. A refund and an apology from him and his receptionist would be the only thing to restore my faith in his buisness practices at this point.
This response was provided verbally to BBB:
The customer brought this truck in about a year ago. It was towed in on a trailer and they had purchased it up north from somewhere. They said there was no rush in repairing. I did keep them informed on the progress and there was an electrical problem. We checked the wiring system extensively in order to avoid burning up another computer. It was a little more time consuming than what it should have been but every time I talked to the customer he said it was no problem. He never indicated he needed the truck right away or that there was any problem. We finished the repairs and called him to come pick it up. We have more labor into the repair than what we charge him for. I didn't charge him for extra work that was done and I did apologize to him when he was in here to pick it up. We have several hours in to the wiring system and yes it could have been done sooner but he never said he needed it right away.