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Getting ripped off and treated poorly

On Wednesday, the 4th of March, my vehicle broke down on the way home from work. I called my dad frantically, and he came and stood with me while a friend called a tow truck. While waiting there, my dad found the problem. It was the tensioner pully on the drive belt. It had corroded and crystalized and was falling apart. When the tow truck came, he followed us back to Baldwin to the Reed's Auto Repair parking lot. Located at 319 Ames Highway in Baldwin City, KS. I called David Reed at his shop the very next morning to explain why my truck was sitting there. He told me he would probably be able to get to it that afternoon or the very next morning. Around noon I got a phone call letting me know what the costs were going to be to fix my vehicle. He quoted me $215.03. I later found out from a friend and a co worker that the tensioner pully runs only about $40-50 and takes about 15-20 minutes to an hour to put on. So I was asked to call David Reed back to see what he charges for labor fee's and what the itemized charges would be. When I called back to talk to David Reed, I first asked what he charged for labor fee's. He said $65/hour. so I asked him why it was going to be so high to fix my vehicle. A friend of mine told me the part only runs $40-50 and should take no more than an hour to put on. He then told me that "maybe you should have your friend fix it," and hung up on me. I was upset. I called my dad. My dad told me that since I was in a tough position, with my vehicle not running and stranded in David Reed's Auto Repair parking lot, that I should go ahead and have David Reed fix it, and then we won't take my vehicle ever again. So I called David Reed back. I barely was able to say, "Dave, I didn't mean to anger you.... " before he completely cut me off and said "Well you did anger me. Come get your f--king vehicle off my lot and never knock on my door again," and hung up on me again. I completely lost it at this point. By the end of the day, the tensioner pully part was purchased by a GOOD friend of mine, Justin Smith for only $49.42 at O'reilly's, then I went ahead and bought a new serpentine belt at AutoZone for $22.00 just in case, and two jugs of antifreeze for $10.99 each. So.. the total cost was $94.39. and it took from approximately 5:45p til about 7:30 that evening to fix, about an hour and 45 minutes. Thank you to my dad, my sister and my good friends Justin and Michael for all your help that night.

March 17, 2009

Reed's Auto Repair

Comments

baldwinfan 5 years, 1 month ago

Forgetting about the service for now, let's do the math and see if he was ripping you off. Parts cost you $94.39 and if you billed yourself $65 per hour, you'd be looking at $130 for labor for two hours of work for a total of $224.39. Looks to me like you should change the name of your post to "A decent price, but rude service".

I'm not defending him, but it doesn't seem like an outrageous price considering Baldwin City's taxes, electric, and water rates.

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p_zinzer 5 years, 1 month ago

The math seems straightforward enough to me. I've listened to another mechanic in town (one who's never been rude) explain how customers will gripe and moan about the cost of anything and fuss about how he marked up the repair part. Yet these same people have no problem going to somewhere like Outback Steakhouse and pay $12.95 for a piece of meat that would run you perhaps $4.00 in the grocery store.

I agree that those business owners that aren't able to maintain their composure and treat customers (potential or actual) rudely do not deserve our business. Interestingly enough, the market has a way of sifting these characters out without too much bother from us. But for customers to constantly think they know better and know how much something ought to cost HAS to be frustrating for a Baldwin business owner.

Glad you got your problem worked out with a bit of elbow grease and some really great family and friends.

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woofwoof 5 years, 1 month ago

LilBaldwinone- Oooops- You forgot to add in 2 hours of time running for parts and gas and wear on the vehicle that did the running.

Yes, friends are great to have. Dave is trying to make a living, not be your bud and do a favor.

It seems his price wasn't out of line.

As for the rude behavior, it doesn't sound like Dave, but I can see where he might have gotten a little ticked off after your first conversation. You essentially told him that he didn't know how to do his job and that he is a thief.

Not a good way to start a relationship with a mechanic or anyone else. woofwoof

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LilBaldwinone 5 years ago

For a mechanic that's done this, I'm sure, hundreds of times, and with the tools that he has and we didn't, it wouldn't have taken him the HOUR AND 45 MINUTES to put on that it took us. we also put a part on that it didn't need, we just did to be on the safe side. and it didn't NEED antifreeze, we just topped it off. not to mention, we were working in his parking lot, with no lights and no ramps.. not nearly the equipment he has.

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p_zinzer 5 years ago

So had it been raining or snowing or perhaps below freezing, might it have presented additional challenges to you that having a covered building would alleviate? How about the fact that you actually worked on private property that someone paid for (both in land payments and taxes) instead of being forced to work out in the street, and the fact that the place where you worked was paved instead of a mud puddle? Do you understand that these seemingly inconsequential things (to your way of thinking) actually cost money and allow him to perform his work year-round, get it to work right, and allow him to warrant some or all of his work? Not to mention that he has to bear the cost of a telephone line for him to be there during business hours to take both your first and second call?

I think you had better give up on this argument. If you don't want to do business with him, that's dandy fabulous. If you feel more qualified to do this kind of work, then I suggest you go into business for yourself and then see how long it takes for someone to call you and suggest that A.) you don't know what the flip you are doing, and B.) you are trying to rip off customers with your ultra-high prices.

I bid you good day.

pz

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woofwoof 5 years ago

WOW - I can't believe that no one else has jumped on here to trash Dave. I don't know just how long he has been in business, but it has to be around 20 years.

Torch - Maybe you know of someone in Key West, Florida who had a bad experience with their boat mechanic?

Oli - I'm thinking this is your write-in guy. Obviously he understands fiscal responsibility and is not afraid of being honest with the public.

Of course, I'm also wondering why no one is coming forth with any accolades.

I'm so confused.

woofwoof

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123456 5 years ago

Way to go Dave, every once in awhile a person gets fed up with the crap and has to fight back. If that person was to go to McDonalds and order a Happy Meal would they ask managenment why it cost so much and if it didn;t make them happy would they want theit money back?

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Torch 5 years ago

"Torch - Maybe you know of someone in Key West, Florida who had a bad experience with their boat mechanic?"

Nope. I can help you with Hawaii, Alaska, Maine, and Guam...but don't know anyone in Key West.

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Torch 5 years ago

P.S. LilBaldwinone - it's mandatory for me to post this as part of my End User Agreement:

The paragraph = your friend

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BaldwinDad 5 years ago

I'm sorry having been a mechanic myself, that price was not bad. Also keep in mind the reason it takes him 30 minutes to do the repair is cause of his 20 years experience. That is what your paying for and the implied guarantee had something else gone wrong in the installation of the part you would be covered since he is the one doing the work.

This to me sounded more like someone was a little cheap and could not afford it, then when you call him a rip off artist he got pissed and told you to bugger off. (granted I did not really hear the call, but only your version)

Sorry, but you seem to have gotten what you deserved here.

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Gopher 5 years ago

I'll Speak out for Dave. Maybe its the way I treat Dave in our dealings but I've never felt that he's beat me up on pricing or his quality of work. He works on all 4 of our vehicles. In fact, he's working on my truck today.

I've dealt with the public for years and sometimes my reactions are instigated by a comment or comments from a customer. I can only assume that LilBaldwinone triggered his negative response.

That said, I think Dave's a stand-up guy.

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woofwoof 5 years ago

Not to mention-

LilBaldinone robbed a couple of his family' meals by making Dave pull off a job 3 times to answer the phone and call for parts pricing.

I hope LilBaldwinone sends Dave a ham for Xmas this year.

woofwoof

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Bloggerboo 5 years ago

While it appears that Dave's initial quote of $215 and change isn't very far off, I can't understand anyone in business who responds to an honest inquiry for an itemized list to run off that potential customer. He certainly didn't do himself any favors and lost customers by saying "have your friend do it then." What is the point? Is Dave so above explaining his prices and fees that he can't "lower" himself to have to give details? Let's remember that reactions like that usually stem from inner feelings of guilt, or they are just a mean person in general.

Point is, why lose a customer over that question? Just explain it best you can, and potentially keep the customer. Win-win. As it turned out, it was lose-lose, and possibly another lose for Dave if anyone reads this and avoids Dave's place of business, as I am likely to do from now on.

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flying26u 5 years ago

Reed was RUDE and it will cost him.

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LilBaldwinone 5 years ago

Amen. Thank you Bloggerboo & flying26u for your support.

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123456 5 years ago

This won;t cost Reed anything, sometimes you have to fire a lousy customer so you can take care of the good ones.

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motherof2 5 years ago

LilBaldwinone and everyone else reading, I think we need to be happy about the prices that the small businesses have to offer. Two weeks ago we had an issue with one of our vehicles. We took it to a dealership in Lawrence and they were going to charge us an outrageous amount. We called some local shops around Baldwin and decided on giving our business to Wolff Diagnostics in Eudora. They saved us over $1000 in costs compared to what the dealership was quoting. Not to mention to get it off the Lawrence dealership’s property we paid over $100.

Now that is a rip off!

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