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Old 10-09-2019, 02:22 PM   #1
DoubleyouAreExMan
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Default Do you pay your mechanic before the work is done?

For the sake of a fair comparison let's say it's multiple jobs they're doing and they have to order a bunch of parts. My credit card has been getting charged seemingly randomly. I didn't think much of it but the amounts they're charging me seem kind of weird, even numbers (for example getting billed exactly $500). I'm waiting on a response from them but I am curious whether this is normal or not. Usually I pay after the fact. And they have charged me a handful of times with no notice at all for what the charges are for.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:39 PM   #2
Stretch18
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I've only ever been charged after work was complete. I could maybe see being billed for parts on the front end, if you're ordering aftermarket stuff, but I've never actually seen that IRL.

They're using a card on record? I'd have a serious problem with that...
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:42 PM   #3
DoubleyouAreExMan
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I've only ever been charged after work was complete. I could maybe see being billed for parts on the front end, if you're ordering aftermarket stuff, but I've never actually seen that IRL.

They're using a card on record? I'd have a serious problem with that...
Yes exactly. Was asked to put a card on file but I figured they would still notify me when they charge me. And part of my confusion is that some of the charges like the $500 dont correlate with specific parts on the receipt.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:43 PM   #4
pickleSlapOG
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Give them a call and ask? Usually they charge for parts prior to service then charge for labor and extras post service. Deffinately ask for updated invoices after each charge.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:48 PM   #5
rtv900
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you're asking for trouble man
no legitimate business should need to charge before work is done, ordering parts or not.

then you are totally screwed if there is an issue and they have your money already
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:01 PM   #6
F1EA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleyouAreExMan View Post
For the sake of a fair comparison let's say it's multiple jobs they're doing and they have to order a bunch of parts. My credit card has been getting charged seemingly randomly. I didn't think much of it but the amounts they're charging me seem kind of weird, even numbers (for example getting billed exactly $500). I'm waiting on a response from them but I am curious whether this is normal or not. Usually I pay after the fact. And they have charged me a handful of times with no notice at all for what the charges are for.
You normally sign an "authorization" for the quoted work but no payment. Worst case, you do a pre-arranged deposit, which goes towards your final bill. But I have never seen partial charges from a card on record. That's crazy.

Unless it's a very small shop which you are familiar with or they're doing work totally outside of their scope; then this is something they should have discussed with you.

I'd say just call them and discuss what's the payment plan and let them know this was not discussed with you. I guess they have your car, card and money; so in any case you have to be on your tippy toes as you have just about ZERO leverage.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:08 PM   #7
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no legitimate business should need to charge before work is done, ordering parts or not.
^This. Especially with them repeatedly dinging your card - payment should have been agreed upon up front. Sounds like they are robbing peter to pay paul.

I used to work for a Porsche performance shop and we would take half as a deposit up front, but these cars were being shipped from all over the world and builds usually approached the $100k mark.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:09 PM   #8
DoubleyouAreExMan
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you're asking for trouble man
no legitimate business should need to charge before work is done, ordering parts or not.

then you are totally screwed if there is an issue and they have your money already
This is a very well-known shop too. That's why I am a little on edge.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:17 PM   #9
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You normally sign an "authorization" for the quoted work but no payment. Worst case, you do a pre-arranged deposit, which goes towards your final bill. But I have never seen partial charges from a card on record. That's crazy.

I'd say just call them and discuss what's the payment plan and let them know this was not discussed with you. I guess they have your car, card and money; so in any case you have to be on your tippy toes as you have just about ZERO leverage.
I dropped my car off and I want to say about a week later (when it was supposed to be done according to their initial ETA) they told me it was going to take longer (car needed additional work). That's when they asked to put my card on file. I guess I should have asked whether they were going to charge it but they never mentioned billing me for anything so I didn't think anything of it. They charged me thousands of dollars before sending me any kind of invoice! Like, most people dont even have thousands of dollars available in their checking account to begin with! I'm surprised the bank didn't decline any of them!
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:22 PM   #10
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I'm surprised the bank didn't decline any of them!
the bank won't decline it if it's a current card and you aren't maxed out

unless you call your bank and have them stop allowing charges from there
I'd probably do that if I were you
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:24 PM   #11
DoubleyouAreExMan
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no legitimate business should need to charge before work is done, ordering parts or not.
Well what's happening is since it's quite a few things they're working on, they're billing me as the work is getting completed. Which is what I figured but the even-number charge really bothered me. Usually I get a call to let me know what work got done and what the total is and THEN I pay for it.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleyouAreExMan View Post
Well what's happening is since it's quite a few things they're working on, they're billing me as the work is getting completed. Which is what I figured but the even-number charge really bothered me. Usually I get a call to let me know what work got done and what the total is and THEN I pay for it.
Looks like they are simply treating your intermediate payments as "deposits" hence the round number. In the end they will balance out the total...

What you should do is call them and ask them to give you call before making any charges. That way you can discuss what the charges are for each round and confirm you're ok with it before they charge your card.

Another option is to actually go in person and ask to see your car and arrange that ^^ plus confirm the work they have charged for has been done
and you're satisfied with it (and/or that the parts are actually ordered and in place - either installed or in the process). This can be taken as "un-trustworthy", but you can go with a smile and just friendly ask and check, especially since they are already late.
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:03 PM   #13
Jack
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Let me guess. You're in Florida.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:59 PM   #14
BlueRibbonRyan
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I have owned my garage for over 6 and a half years, the only time I have charged anything prior to service is when major work is being done and it's only a parts deposit. For instance purchasing a remanufactured engine, customer gives a deposit for the engine, which is discussed and agreed upon, then pay the difference when vehicle is finished. I have even denied people paying in advance for things as simple as oil changes so there would be no issues, all services paid for upon completion.
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:04 AM   #15
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Doing work on the side I wont accept money until I'm done with the work. I've worked for 2 shops throughout my life and neither of them take money upfront for work to be done.

Them asking for a credit card to put on file after work has already been done should have been the biggest red flag to not proceed any further, especially without detailed explanation.
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:34 AM   #16
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I pay my mechanic after the work is complete.
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:47 PM   #17
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You don’t pay your doctor before your visit do you?
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:07 PM   #18
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You donít pay your doctor before your visit do you?

Bad example... most doctors offices are collecting copays when you walk in the door.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:58 PM   #19
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Let me guess. You're in Florida.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:35 PM   #20
bdubblu
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Folks... sorry to say, but more and more service providers are taking money up front these days. That includes car shops. Regular old service shops... not so much. But specialty performance shops are doing it. There's a very well known Subaru shop here near me that is doing it.
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Old 10-10-2019, 03:31 PM   #21
willowlee
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Both parties agree on a set price. You pay half up front, and when mechanic is done with the car, you pay the last half. Thats how my shops do it here. Its fair for the shop and the customers as if shiet happens in between the deal, both parties can walk off without paying full price or full service.

However, to be charged in between service like that is questionable. You should go and talk to your mechanic what is going on? Maybe someone is using your card to buy lunch for everyone?
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Old 10-10-2019, 04:01 PM   #22
JonW1990
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Originally Posted by DoubleyouAreExMan View Post
For the sake of a fair comparison let's say it's multiple jobs they're doing and they have to order a bunch of parts. My credit card has been getting charged seemingly randomly. I didn't think much of it but the amounts they're charging me seem kind of weird, even numbers (for example getting billed exactly $500). I'm waiting on a response from them but I am curious whether this is normal or not. Usually I pay after the fact. And they have charged me a handful of times with no notice at all for what the charges are for.
One of the many reasons I try to do everything myself..
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Old 10-10-2019, 05:58 PM   #23
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File a fraudulent charge claim with your CC and then ask the shop to present a signed receipt for the items. Then ask them for their phone records when they try to say you authorized the charges by phone. Or at least have your CC ask the shop for those items. Then find a new shop because those guys/girls are going to be pissed at you.

But that's what they get for being shady.
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Old 10-10-2019, 09:13 PM   #24
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I don't know about where you are but here its illegal for shops to do that. They have to provide a written estimate before starting any work, if you request one, they have to itemize the costs of labor and the parts they install (or what they charge for them) on the estimate and they have to ask you if you agree to any price increases before performing additional repairs are needed if that is going to result in an increase to the final bill. They can't just add to the bill as they go along without telling you unless you agree to it. I would definitely consider this shady if not outright fraudulent.
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Old 10-11-2019, 04:47 PM   #25
DoubleyouAreExMan
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Well thanks for your help, I did get a written estimate after the fact (after being charged a few thousand bucks out of the blue with no contact!. When I asked they told me they were paying for the work as it was being completed and said it is because they didn't want to risk getting ripped off. I do get that, but Jesus c'mon what if I needed to move money around or something? We're not talking an oil change and allignment here.

Between that and the fact that they waited to tell me the day before my car was supposed to be ready when I CALLED THEM to verify everything was getting finished, that parts werent even there yet and that my car might be done in another week ASSUMING they actually have the parts to do the work.

If I hadn't reached out to them I doubt they would have even made any effort to update me on what's going on at all. I mean I'm only 23 I dont have two cars luckily my mom has been letting me drive hers around otherwise I would really be upset and would be spending a stupid amount of money on transportation.

Luckily where I live there is an abundance of Subaru performance shops and they all update me and let me know what's going on before they charge my credit card so once it's all over and done with I can move on and be happy I have my car again.

It's been a month since I dropped my car off too. Was originally supposed to take a week or less then when I called to see if it was done they hadn't even started the work (told me one thing waa left that they still needed to and said it should be done later in the week or so but when I called days later when it was supposed to be done that's when they told me they were GETTING READY to pull my trans out to work on it).
We also decided to do fluids and timing belt but that decision was made after the car was supposed to be done. "It should be ready next week hopefully" and here we are a month later and still waiting on the parts to fix my transmission.

I 100% get it if one of their guys was out or something but for the love of God at least call me and tell me what's going on 😑

I worked as a customer service manager at a music store for a few years and if I told someone their order should be in on a specific date and I later find out it's on backorder you better believe I'm calling them to let them know that. The difference here is this I only was talking about guitars and drum sets not someone's mode of transportation.
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