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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My driver's side window stopped working a few days ago. I got an appointment at the dealership and took it in today to get it fixed. I was given an estimate of 94.94 and an hour, give or take.

Two hours later, the dude comes back out and give me a long list of crap that's wrong with my car. Um... I came to get my window fixed. I didn't ask about all this other junk. He can fix it, he says, for $1800. That's a bit more than my estimate, and secondly, I came to get my window fixed, why was he even looking at my spark plugs?! Was he lost?

He hasn't even started to fix my window. He's got it open and apart so he can fix it, but he hasn't.

The window is going to cost about 400, he says.

"Ok. You told me 100."

"Well, that was just to look at it."

"Ok, whatever. My kids are cranky. Please just get it done."

He finally finishes up and I'm leaving about 470 poorer. I'm sooo ticked that I just avoid talking to him until I can calm down. After I leave, I start looking at my receipt and they charged me 261 for labor. I also have a "courtesy inspection" listed at 0.00. Their hourly rate for labor is about 100, so that means they charged me for every second my car was in there, including the time it took to do the "courtesy inspection" that I neither requested nor agreed to.

I'm so agitated. It took 2 hours to figure out what was wrong with it and only half an hour to fix it. I suspect that that stupid inspection took a huge chunk of that time and I had no desire for it whatsoever.

He gave me an estimate of an hour to get my check engine light analyzed. (It takes about 3 minutes at autozone.) Fuel injector cleaner? Throttle cleaner? They don't know I need that stuff... Twenty six bucks for a bottle of coolant?!

I'm beyond ticked off. I don't like to play the gender card, but I do feel as though they were trying to put one over on me.

What's the deal, folks? Am I being overdramatic?
 

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That would tick me off too. I wonder if that is just their standard procedure? I would probably call in the morning and ask to talk to the manager and explain all these cost and how it works and you came there only concerned about the window.

But I can tell you when my Grand Am window stopped working, it cost me 500.00 bucks. It seemed like such a boring way to waste money, but it had to be done.
 

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I've always been told that dealerships are a rip off. I found a local small shop via family/friends that trusted them.

My car has had a lot of issues but I've never felt taken advantage of. My dad's a mechanic so I call him up and run the information and prices by him. Do you have anyone close to you that could do this for you?
 

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I would not have paid, without speaking to a manager/supervisor. They saw you with the screaming kids, and knew they could take you for a ride.

As it stands, I would start as high up as possible. Search the website for the dealership, and find out who is at the top. Send an email, specifying everything that happened; what you went in for, what they said they would do, what they did, and what you felt forced to pay for that you didn't actually want. If there is a phone number, consider calling it, but you'll have to remain calm. Forget the BBB, they will do nothing for you.

Windows are generally pretty easy to fix. Talk to friends and neighbors, and find someone who would be willing to do simple repairs on your car for a small fee, food, or beer. Don't go to a dealership for anything other than recalls, unless your warranty requires it.
 

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I don't think you're overreacting. It sounds suspicious to me, too. I have a friend I've known for years who owns his own shop and I try to take my car there when I can, for repairs. (some stuff he can't do) I don't get any buddy discounts from him but I for sure know I'm not getting ripped off. If I have to go elsewhere I try to at least have my DH make the appointment or make an appearance if I can't get him to bring it in. I've had mechanics try to rip me off several times. If you don't get any satisfaction from complaining to the dealership, I'd google to see if you can find your state automotive licensing bureau that you can file a complaint with. Sorry you got burned :( and I hope you can find some recourse. Good luck.
 

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im in the same boat and my window stopped working
luckily my dad is a mechanic so i never pay labor..but i would tell them you want some money back..that you didnt request those things and will not pay for them
 

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No over reacting on your part for sure. One way that I've found effective when needing to discuss a problem is to write it down - document what happened and what you want as a resolution.

I would start with......
.....I went in to get my window fixed, received this $ and time amounts.
.....then go on with the facts.....as to how after so much time, the work was not yet begun and do they really charge $100 to just look at a problem.

Go get 'em. Sad business IMHO - and please let us know what happens!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone. I guess what I'm most ticked off about is the fact that I paid for this "courtesy inspection" when I didn't ask for it. I wanted to get out of there so much sooner and I'm sure that held me up. I'm going to write an email or something, soon as I find out to who.
 

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No over reacting on your part for sure. One way that I've found effective when needing to discuss a problem is to write it down - document what happened and what you want as a resolution.

I would start with......
.....I went in to get my window fixed, received this $ and time amounts.
.....then go on with the facts.....as to how after so much time, the work was not yet begun and do they really charge $100 to just look at a problem.

Go get 'em. Sad business IMHO - and please let us know what happens!!
I totally agree - write a letter to the service adviser stating your complaint with the facts as you just told us, include a copy of your receipt/invoice and then CC it to the service manager and dealership manager.

I've been in a similar situation and that is exactly what I did. I emailed my letter of discontent and sadness of how I was let down by the dealership. I took my car to them to be fixed b/c they would be the best at fixing their own product right the first time. Then followed with the facts and what I expected as a resolution and left it open stating I was waiting for contact from them for fair resolution.

I then faxed the email to the main # with attention to the dealer/branch manager and then faxed the same email to the service dept with the attention of the service manager.

Boy did I ever get called back. We had a meeting at the dealership and was refunded monies owed to me and from then on, they knew NOT to try to BS me or pull this crap again. Because I had copied the dealer/branch manager...this incident was noted on the service advisers file. They wouldn't want this done to them so why do it to others? I just wanted things settled properly and fairly.

I hope you're able to get this resolved and some of your monies back. If need be, write a letter or send whatever you've sent to the dealership to the corporate office. They need to know this BS is going on at the front line customer level.
 

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Courtesty? Ha!

But I agree with Maui that you need to present everything very objectively, with no hint of emotion. Otherwise, you just become the "screaming woman" and won't be taken seriously.
 
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Dealerships do this regularly. If I have warranty work, I take it to the dealership, otherwise I avoid it like the plague. I've had oil changes at the dealership, and they've always got something else I need "fixed". Last time I took their list of things to the auto part store, bought the parts, and did it myself for a fraction of what they wanted (simple stuff like air & cabin filters). They wanted to rotate my tires last time. LOL
 

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One thing to do is get the mechanic's license number and you can report him. That license is their bread and butter and those that abuse it can lose it. I would definitely send a letter to the dealer manager and the service manager.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Funny thing is, I've always taken my vehicles to dealerships. I've never had this problem, even back in the day when I would have put up with it.
 

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Funny thing is, I've always taken my vehicles to dealerships. I've never had this problem, even back in the day when I would have put up with it.
I imagine fewer and fewer people are going to dealerships to get work done. Between the higher prices, and stories like yours, dealerships are getting bad raps. Of course, cheating the customers perpetuates the problem, but businesses rarely seem to see past their nose with regards to finances.
 

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I've only taken my vehicles to the dealerships if it was under warranty or some 'specialty' that I could only find there. They do have a reputation for being higher all around.

Thank goodness now we have a car mechanic friend we barter with, plumbing friend, computer, electrician, and it would be sweet to find a lawyer friend. :laugh:
 

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Do not send an email or call.

Type a letter to the owner of the dealership, with CC's to the Service Manager and to the CEO of the car brand (Toyota, G M, etc). Most automobile companies are publicly traded and corporate officer information is readily available. PM me if you want help with this.

Remind them of your loyalty and how their reputation has been tarnished.

I did this about a three hour wait on a one hour service and received a letter of apology from the owner of the dealership with a free oil and oil filter change; got them done and never went back.

I found a local mechanic who is AAA approved and I am happy.
 

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You know what the nuclear option is for this- right?
If you try the excellent advice given, and get no satisfaction - you make up a couple of picket-type signs and walk back and forth in front of the dealership on a Saturday. Guaranteed to work - but do give the manager/owner a chance to make it right first.
 

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This is the same advice I give to parents if they are having any difficulties at school. If you put it in writing - it cannot be ignored.
 
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Most dealership mechanics go by a book that estimates how long it will take to fix so that is what they charge by. If it takes them 15 minutes to fix they still charge you the book hr.
 
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