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Old 08-21-2009, 07:34 PM   #1
FunkerVogt
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Default Why is there so much shadiness in the auto repair business?

What is it about the auto repair industry that leads to so much shadiness in terms of taking advantage of customers with unnecessary repairs and various other scams to bilk people out of their $$$$?

I know scams befall all industries, but it seems as though it's especially prevalent amongst auto repair shops.

I was thinking perhaps it's because so few people understand cars, that it's all the more easy to rape them. But the same holds true with say computers, and I rarely hear about customers getting taken advantage when having their computers repaired.

Is it the personality type that tends to end up in auto repair; are they just generally shadier people? In the repair shop chains like Meineke, I'm guessing they have quotas, and as such, might tend to play fast and loose when reccommending (or scaring customers into) unneeded repairs.
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:36 PM   #2
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Because the majority of people don't care about their cars and therefore don't know anything about them. To most a car is just something to get them from A to B.

And yes, mechanics tend to be fairly uneducated individuals.
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitford View Post
Because the majority of people don't care about their cars and therefore don't know anything about them. To most a car is just something to get them from A to B.
Yeah, but the same can be said of computers. Most people think of them as an appliance, like a TV or even a toaster. But I don't know of many PC techs that run scams to get folks to replace components unnecessarily.

Quote:
And yes, mechanics tend to be fairly uneducated individuals.
Uneducated, or unethical? Or do uneducated people tend to be more prone to unethical behavior?
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:41 PM   #4
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Because it is easy to tell someone that they are running low on blinker fluid and their muffler bearings need to be replaced. People will pay to have the work done.
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteH2O View Post
Because it is easy to tell someone that they are running low on blinker fluid and their muffler bearings need to be replaced. People will pay to have the work done.
OK, but the same goes for many other repair businesses, like computers. Yet, there doesn't seem to be a huge problem there with customers getting shafted.
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:49 PM   #6
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Well I think most people just default to either their manufacturer or something like Geek Squad when it comes to computers. I doubt a lot of people go to independent 'computer repair specialists' like they do with their car.
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Well I think most people just default to either their manufacturer or something like Geek Squad when it comes to computers. I doubt a lot of people go to independent 'computer repair specialists' like they do with their car.

Geek Squad is to PC Repair what Midas/Meineke/AAMCO is to auto repair. I've heard of plenty of scams at those three auto chains, but very few at Geek Squad.
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FunkerVogt View Post
Geek Squad is to PC Repair what Midas/Meineke/AAMCO is to auto repair. I've heard of plenty of scams at those three auto chains, but very few at Geek Squad.
So would you settle for - It's because mechanics are ******** ?
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:59 PM   #9
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More **** can go wrong with your car than your computer.
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FunkerVogt View Post
Geek Squad is to PC Repair what Midas/Meineke/AAMCO is to auto repair. I've heard of plenty of scams at those three auto chains, but very few at Geek Squad.
Really?
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FunkerVogt View Post
Geek Squad is to PC Repair what Midas/Meineke/AAMCO is to auto repair. I've heard of plenty of scams at those three auto chains, but very few at Geek Squad.
Because Geek Squad advertises their scams. $50 for software installation? Seriously? That's like a mechanic charging $100 to pump your gas for you (gas not included).
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:15 PM   #12
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Yes, really. Scams happen in ALL repair industries, of course. I've seen scams in: HVAC, auto, computer, construction, etc.

But scams seem way more prevalent in the auto repair business.

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Old 08-21-2009, 08:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJT View Post
Because Geek Squad advertises their scams. $50 for software installation? Seriously? That's like a mechanic charging $100 to pump your gas for you (gas not included).
But that's not the same as telling the customer that they need repairs that they really don't need.
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitford View Post
So would you settle for - It's because mechanics are ******** ?
It does make one wonder. Auto repair techs and shop owners seem to suffer from challenged ethical behavior far more than most other service industries.

DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT SAYING THAT SCAMS NEVER HAPPEN IN OTHER SERVICE AND REPAIR INDUSTRIES, JUST THAT THEY SEEM TO OCCUR FAR MORE FREQUENTLY IN THE AUTO REPAIR BUSINESS.
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:20 PM   #15
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It happens in any service industry where most folks don't have general knowledge on the subject and therefore do not know if they are getting taken to the cleaners.

This reminds me of a 20/20 (or similar show, can't remember) episode where they did an investigation on chimney sweepers. Before having any chimney sweepers come by they had the chimney swept/cleaned. Most if not all of the guys that came said it needed cleaning. They had a hidden camera viewing what the guys were doing on the roof. One of them peed on the chimney. Some actually did some cleaning while others just sat up there.
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:45 PM   #16
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lack of education and lack of integrity.
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetrep View Post
It happens in any service industry where most folks don't have general knowledge on the subject and therefore do not know if they are getting taken to the cleaners.

This reminds me of a 20/20 (or similar show, can't remember) episode where they did an investigation on chimney sweepers. Before having any chimney sweepers come by they had the chimney swept/cleaned. Most if not all of the guys that came said it needed cleaning. They had a hidden camera viewing what the guys were doing on the roof. One of them peed on the chimney. Some actually did some cleaning while others just sat up there.
you mean like the guy that came by and told me that i had a soot problem and needed my chimney cleaned?




i don't have a chimney.

needless to say hilarity ensued
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [27] View Post
you mean like the guy that came by and told me that i had a soot problem and needed my chimney cleaned?




i don't have a chimney.

needless to say hilarity ensued
care to shed some light on this?
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitford View Post

And yes, mechanics tend to be fairly uneducated individuals.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FunkerVogt View Post


Uneducated, or unethical? Or do uneducated people tend to be more prone to unethical behavior?
These kind of statements make me cringe. I'm just curious what kind of rocket science you boys do for a living.
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:32 PM   #20
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Also cars are much more expensive than a computer so that gives a scammer a lot more wiggle room than a PC. Another thing is that people have come to expect several hours of work to repair a car ("I'm gonna have to remove the alternator to get at your power steering pump. That'll take an additional 2 hours") wheras a PC chassis is much smaller.

People can get by with their PC out of commission for a couple days (if they can't odds are they are tech savvy enough to repair themselves). More often cars need to be back on the road asap ("$2000? Well you said the work needs to be done or the car is unsafe. I need to work tommorrow. Sigh, just fix it.")
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:45 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FunkerVogt View Post
Uneducated, or unethical? Or do uneducated people tend to be more prone to unethical behavior?
I doubt it

Quote:
Originally Posted by grinner hester View Post
lack of education and lack of integrity.
and the wall street execs with all sorts of certifications and letters after their names are more ethical because they've sat in classrooms for longer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayberry View Post
These kind of statements make me cringe. I'm just curious what kind of rocket science you boys do for a living.
+1

The answer is probably because cars are confusing.
People don't take time to educate themselves on how cars work, therefore they pay "stupid tax".
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:49 PM   #22
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I have been in the auto-repair industry for a while now. I can't say I have really met the "shady" guy that everyone always speaks of.

From my experience, people think that they are being ripped off or scammed because they don't understand WHY they need said service or repair.
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:07 PM   #23
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They feel like they're being scammed or ripped off because it's rare to walk out of a repair place for less than $500.

It's never just a little jobby-do part that's like fifty bucks and an hour labor.
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:17 PM   #24
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The biggest auto industry ripoff I can think of are dealership prices. I always feel bad when I P&A something like EVO brakes and they come out to some insanely high price (new pads/rotors for an EVO from the dealer are $1500..)
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:22 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJT View Post
Because Geek Squad advertises their scams. $50 for software installation? Seriously? That's like a mechanic charging $100 to pump your gas for you (gas not included).
exactly.. same for installing memory. 50 bucks to open a case and put in a stick of RAM? Not to mention the already marked up prices on th RAM.
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