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Old 10-11-2019, 07:24 PM   #26
snobordboi
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Have definitely seen performance shops bill for special order parts up front, but they should be very clear on that, and any charges should be approved per the dollar amount by you.

Also worked for a shop that did restoration on classic euro cars, and many customer with ongoing projects were billed monthly, but yet again, they had an invoice for the charges and had to ok before being charged, or they sent checks in. One guy even came by to say hi while he was in town, wrote a check for like 92K, and was about to leave without even seeing the car. The main tech on the job had to chase him down at the front door and ask if he even wanted to see what he was paying for.
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:42 PM   #27
Jersey Man10
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You are far too trusting man. I would never give them my card information or anything whatsoever. Unless of course a deposit is required but in those situations it's a set amount and nothing is added or deducted.

I would notify my bank immediately to issue a stop payment or hell just close the card if you have to.
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Old 10-11-2019, 08:11 PM   #28
lsWRX
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Judging by that story this car is gonna have a handful of problems after this "work" is completed. Always paid the bill after all work was completed. If other parts or labor was required I always received a phone call. Id get that car out and into another shop if it was me.
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Old 10-12-2019, 09:25 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by lsWRX View Post
Judging by that story this car is gonna have a handful of problems after this "work" is completed. Always paid the bill after all work was completed. If other parts or labor was required I always received a phone call. Id get that car out and into another shop if it was me.
The parts were discussed up front but they never told me to pay for them upfront.
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Old 10-13-2019, 11:15 AM   #30
RakumiAzuri
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If there are issues inform the shop, if they act crazy take it up with your card.
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Old 10-13-2019, 12:42 PM   #31
Norm Peterson
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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.
I could understand being charged up front for exactly the amount of money that the shop would have to front you for (in other than stock original-equipment Subaru parts, at least, like the shift forks I saw mentioned elsewhere). I would expect an itemized invoice and exact charging, just like you'd get if you were doing the jobs yourself and either ordering the parts or getting them across the parts counter.


My outlook has been similar to JonW's in that I've been doing nearly all of the maintenance, repair, and modification work on all the cars I've ever owned. That dates back into the 1960's, and as I type this I'm actually partway through getting a couple of drivetrain and suspension mods for the Mustang done.


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Old 10-15-2019, 02:24 PM   #32
pizza_pablo
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Hell no!
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Old 10-15-2019, 03:00 PM   #33
super_subie
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i believe its a against the law for shops to charge you without your confirmation. look up your local laws...but like most people have stated already...you usually pay after the work has been done, lesson learned for you i guess. I understand if the job is going to cost 1k+ the shop might want X amount upfront but that should have been discussed and agreed before the work started. Just because they are a reputable shop doesn't mean they are right.

I would ask for weekly updates on the car in writing so you have paper trail incase anything else happens
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:40 PM   #34
Subaru4lyfe42
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Heck no, the sign of a good business is that they don't need money upfront unless maybe for parts.
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:25 PM   #35
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side work is one thing...if they are a reputable shop they have credit they can work with vendors through without charging you. all work should be approved before charge goes on, I have similar state laws that say if you didn't get an upfront quote and they do repairs then anything done is basically on the company. I have only heard one of my friends say they got work done for free, but if they are charging you, I would just let them finish, get the bill and call the credit card company advising all charges for x time were not approved by myself that way if they do get mad they don't trash your car and you have to legally pursue them on top of everything...
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:49 PM   #36
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I paid up front 1 time for the guy to order parts. His shop had been buy my house for years so I thought id be OK. He folded up 2 weeks later with $6k I never got back. Moral is, If they need money up front you may not want to do business with them. On the other hand if you don't pay anything and they order all the parts and you bail then they are screwed.

Not sure my post was any help but its my actual experience.
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Old 10-30-2019, 09:22 PM   #37
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Sounds like you were taken for an expensive ride but I hope not.

How about an update, OP?
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Old 10-31-2019, 11:58 AM   #38
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its a rough industry for sure, especially with todays market, a lot of people really try to take advantage which screws the small companies that barely make anything and are just squeaking by to keep open...personally did work for a gentleman, took payment via paypal, should have gotten a signature that he had received work and vehicle...he filed a dispute through his bank, which then took ~600 from me and had to go through dispute process which took roughly 5 months to which, thankfully, I won, but if I were dependent on that money I would have been in really big trouble...
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:52 PM   #39
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Charging before work is pretty odd, but you should have an idea/estimate on what it costs before the work is done.
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Old 11-01-2019, 08:20 PM   #40
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I find it odd how many people are SO surprised by shops asking for money up front. Car shops are pretty much the LAST industry to transition to this model. Every other industry does it... so why wouldnít auto shops do it?

If you have any clue about businesses, especially small businesses, youíd know whatís going on. No one stocks anything anymore, everything is made to order. Everyone wants a deposit. And the days of small businesses holding accounts and issuing credit are going away too. Why? Because businesses figure out that having money tied up in stock, materials, or hanging in the wind for 30-60 days is stupid.

It bugs me that people have expectations based on old fashioned notions. And it bugs me more that people have one standard for one industry, but not another. People complain about the cost of getting upgrades at a shop because ďthatís a rip off I can put it in for half of that myselfĒ.... but have NO PROBLEM paying $5 for a happy meal that cost MickeyD about .30 cents to produce.

Soapbox over.
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Old 11-01-2019, 08:40 PM   #41
Norm Peterson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdubblu View Post
I find it odd how many people are SO surprised by shops asking for money up front. Car shops are pretty much the LAST industry to transition to this model. Every other industry does it... so why wouldnít auto shops do it?
OP's problem seems to be that his shop is billing him like they were on retainer rather than as parts needed to be sourced or with any explanation of labor hours expended.


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Old 11-01-2019, 09:51 PM   #42
Jersey Man10
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Also modding can get expensive and most time no refunds. If I don't like my McDonalds I can always order something else or get a refund.
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Old 11-03-2019, 04:39 AM   #43
bdubblu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norm Peterson View Post
OP's problem seems to be that his shop is billing him like they were on retainer rather than as parts needed to be sourced or with any explanation of labor hours expended.





Norm


100% agree. The discussion morphed and Iím more responding to a lot of the other comments.
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Old 11-03-2019, 04:44 AM   #44
bdubblu
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Also modding can get expensive and most time no refunds. If I don't like my McDonalds I can always order something else or get a refund.

OK... I was using McDonalds or restaurants as an example everyone can relate too. But it applies to literally every other business in the world dude. A successful business has to make profit, cover overhead, and cover materials and labor. In general most companies aim to make 1/3 in profit. Iím saying that when it comes to car shops, folks complain about this concept, but they donít complain about the restaurant/ clothing store/ carpenter/ massage parlor/ daycare/ haircut.... blah blah blah. Itís hypocrisy.
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Old 11-04-2019, 07:25 PM   #45
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Simple solution: Buy all parts yourself and then you only have to worry about paying for labor.
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Old 11-04-2019, 07:38 PM   #46
Norm Peterson
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Simple solution: Buy all parts yourself and then you only have to worry about paying for labor.
Learn how to do the job yourself and don't even worry about the labor . . .


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Old 11-04-2019, 09:37 PM   #47
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Learn how to do the job yourself and don't even worry about the labor . . .


Norm
I agree but it also dpends on what's being done. Simple stuff like putting on and taking off an exhaust or intake or something isnt a big deal, but its not exactly practical to learn how to assemble a built motor in ones spare time. I don't have a garage and my complex specifically has rules against doing mechanical work in the parking lot (even changing oil is not allowed), just finding a place to do work can get annoying. Not everyone has the same situation that working on their car is as easy as walking to the garage and opening the hood.

Theres nothing wrong with taking a car to a shop to get work done and it's not unreasonable to expect a business to act professionally and ethically on your behalf.
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:34 PM   #48
08SpecB_DE
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I could be completely wrong, but it sounds like a shop that is having financial problems. They don't have the money to pay the vendors so they're charging you to cover the cost of the parts. You should pay them a visit and see what condition your vehicle is in.

Have not seen a shop process charges in that fashion, ever (unless it was agreed upon). I've been wrenching for 13 years.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:47 AM   #49
Norm Peterson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlarryHoodDIT View Post
I agree but it also dpends on what's being done. Simple stuff like putting on and taking off an exhaust or intake or something isnt a big deal, but its not exactly practical to learn how to assemble a built motor in ones spare time. I don't have a garage and my complex specifically has rules against doing mechanical work in the parking lot (even changing oil is not allowed), just finding a place to do work can get annoying. Not everyone has the same situation that working on their car is as easy as walking to the garage and opening the hood.
Actually, engine assembly is well within the capabilities of a patient DIY'er (I've done several full and partial builds myself, and I was trained as an engineer rather than as a mechanic).

I do understand it's a different situation when HOAs and apartment complexes have rigid and comprehensive rules against DIY car work. Wouldn't live in a place like that, but maybe that's just me.


Quote:
Theres nothing wrong with taking a car to a shop to get work done and it's not unreasonable to expect a business to act professionally and ethically on your behalf.
And they've got to be able to do the actual work right, without screwing something up in the process (possibly even something totally unrelated to the original job).


By way of explanation . . . if it's harder for me to see taking your car to the shop as being the default way to proceed, maybe it's because when I was growing up (think 1950's and 1960's here), hotrodding your car was something that you far more commonly did for yourself than pay to have done for you. Old habits die hard, and I'm actually in the middle of a differential swap and axle gear change for the Mustang.


Norm
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:43 AM   #50
bdubblu
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Default Do you pay your mechanic before the work is done?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norm Peterson View Post
Actually, engine assembly is well within the capabilities of a patient DIY'er (I've done several full and partial builds myself, and I was trained as an engineer rather than as a mechanic).

I do understand it's a different situation when HOAs and apartment complexes have rigid and comprehensive rules against DIY car work. Wouldn't live in a place like that, but maybe that's just me.



And they've got to be able to do the actual work right, without screwing something up in the process (possibly even something totally unrelated to the original job).


By way of explanation . . . if it's harder for me to see taking your car to the shop as being the default way to proceed, maybe it's because when I was growing up (think 1950's and 1960's here), hotrodding your car was something that you far more commonly did for yourself than pay to have done for you. Old habits die hard, and I'm actually in the middle of a differential swap and axle gear change for the Mustang.


Norm


Not everyone is like you or from your era, or even has the time to learn and execute every trade on their own. The same could be said for plumbing, carpentry, mechanical work, tailoring, cooking, hair cutting, and the list goes on and on. I DIY a ton of stuff, but having young ones now, I have a lot less time, and frankly place more importance on spending time with my family than the money Iím ďsavingĒ, or the certainty that itís perfect by doing certain things myself. Iíve learned to find out who can do the job correctly, contract them, and hold them accountable for the work.

There are also situations where the job isnít worth doing myself. I make more per hour than MANY jobs cost to have done. Why would I pressure wash my house when Iíd make 3 times what Iíd pay others to do it if I were working?

So you see, the end all answer to these issues with shops/ work quality/ cost, isnít ďwhy donít you do it yourself?Ē...

Thatís kind of a cop out answer when I think about it. One: because some people just are not mechanically inclined at all. But also because people donít learn to deal with a shop or contractor. Communicating, setting your expectations, following up (staying on top of them without being a nuisance) and inspecting the work are all valuable skills to have. If you donít have the where with all to do this, youíre going to be more lost in life and have bigger issues than the cost of installing your footprint gas pedal on your 72 skylark.

Edit: and I do all my own car work.. so Iím not arguing this from the standpoint of not being able to.
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