it's good to see people be so passionate about their feelings. about jkazzoun's comment about:
---------I agree. There are people that simply distrust mechanics and assume they are all the same. Obviously, they are not. There are also mechanics who distrust certain groups of customers and assume they are all the same."
This boils down to a relationship and trust that is hard to find. When you have a car and are passionate like a lot of us, it's like searching for a soulmate, someone who you can trust and know that will be there through the good times and the arguments. Well that's exactly what I was looking for in a mechanic literally "be there for my car". You want to have that personal relationship
If someone can find that in a local shop, or even got forbid find that at a dealership, then I praise that just as much. Even more, if they feel that the prices they pay are perfectly fine and they don't feel the need to look at another mechanic shop and are content, then I respect that 100%. I feel the need to support the little shop more than a dealership that is bringing in millions a month. My mechanic got sick of the bull**** at the dealership, ripping people off, and . He's not avoiding business costs, he just doesn't have a need for them currently. OH, and did I mention that he doesn't do the "bring in your own parts thing" for customers that walk in the door? It's all about building a relationship with each other and trust, then you work it out amongst each other. This is next to impossible to do at a dealership. A lof of the time I pay him more than he quotes me as I use my judgement on how much I feel is fair.
btw- a good benz tech makes more than $10-15/hr (20-30K /yr). If you own the business and are paying them that much, then couple things are wrong. You don't have enough business and are hurting financially, or they are not getting paid enough per job (assuming they are on a per job basis like most).
After analyzing steve's comments now, I have a better understanding where your coming from. I guess I won't understand fully where your coming from as I'm probably half your age and haven't felt the business pains and ups and downs that you've felt over the years. But the only way we get wiser is to listen to others previous experience and add that to our bank of knowledge. You seem a little bitter with some people's tactics, but there's always other sides of people that isn't conveyed in a simple thread. You ALWAYS see one side of the story and have to assume the rest. Internet stuff is so impersonable, I wish lots of us could meet in person, everything changes when you meet in person and talk face to face.
A couple questions Steve:
1. You own your own shop?
2. How many techs are there?
3. What is your shop labor rate?
4. If you quote someone book rate value of 3 hrs to do a job, and a experienced tech can do it in half that time, are you honest and only actually charge the client 1.5 hrs instead of 3?
5. For question #4, would that question differ if the person was a newbie customer off the street, or a good repeat that has spent a couple grand with the shop?