calling all cars…

I need the insight of somebody who’s worked in an auto repair shop before because I think we got screwed earlier today.

Last week we took Sara’s car into the local Kia dealership because her driver’s side window went down and wouldn’t come back up. Long story short, instead of it being a cheap and quick fix, we needed a $160 part from another state. It would’ve cost another $20 to overnight it, so I asked that they just order it for Friday and we’ll share my car for the extra day. I take the car back in on Friday and have them do a tune-up and oil change while we’re waiting for the part, and low and behold, 4 1/2 hours later they confirm that the part is still in f’ing Georgia. I’m irritated because I spent the whole afternoon working out of the dealership’s lobby because I had to wait for the car, and still it wasn’t fixed, but the service guy says he’ll work out a discount for the part for making us wait, so I guess it’ll be ok.

The part’s supposed to be there Monday now (New Year’s Eve), so I get the call that they received it in the morning and we get the car there around 1pm, only to be told that the shop sent all of their repair guys that could do the install home for the holidays so now we’d be waiting until Wednesday. Mind you, yeah, it was kind of a holiday and I know that a lot of places close early on New Year’s Eve, but why didn’t he mention that when he called me to say that the part was finally in?! A simple “Hey, if you could be here sooner than later because I want to send people home early for the holidays, we’ll still get you taken care of this morning…” would’ve been more than sufficient, but instead the dude nearly cops an attitude with me, as if it’s my fault that they didn’t read his mind to know that they’d be short-staffed that afternoon.

We finally just gave up, left the car there, and picked it up this morning, and thus here’s my question regarding the bill. He decided that a fair discount would be to simply waive the “shop supply fees” that normally get tagged onto the end of the bill – he said 15% of the total. Which I’ll buy for the install of that part itself, but here’s the thing – I also had them do a tune-up and an oil change, which they advertise at $99.95 and $19.95 respectively. My price, after the “discount”, still reflected $99.95 and $19.95 for these services, so do most auto shops not include shop supplies in the flat fee that they charge for these kinds of services??? I even specifically asked him this because I could’ve sworn that I always saw them bundled in with the package price – i.e. oil + oil filter + disposal fees + misc. shop supplies = $19.95, not $19.95 + another 15% extra!

I’m too tired to pull out any of my old invoices from other repair places, but I’d love to hear somebody’s input who has experience in this sort of thing because I’ve just got a funny feeling that we got hoodwinked over all of this. All in all, we walked away having spent over $400 to fix the driver’s side window lift, replace the spark plugs, and do an oil change … oh yeah, and he also wanted us to drop $60 to replace a single tire, too. I think I’ll go someplace else for that one, though. I guess that’s what I get for going to the damn dealership… :<

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