Good point Steve
I have not been on the other side of the fence with regards to your profession (haven't walked in your shoes). I wasn't even aware when I wrote the statement.
I guess I've just been burned a few times and can not help feeling that way. I have tried to be loyal to a few local guys (paid top dollar) and each time I've gotten the short end of the stick primarily due to ignorance on my part.
I think trust is the issue with me, the local techs I've tried in the past have made inaccurate representations of their knowledge, skills, and abilities. With my problems either not being resolved or my overpaying (multiple fold). As a result, I end up doing the work myself (don't get me wrong, I enjoy working on my cars). And unsure why, but the dealerships don't seem to want to even work with me, I go for parts and am stared at for 10 minutes before my presence is even acknowldged and trying to strike up an intelligent conversation with those guys is like farting in church. Maybe it's my plad shirt and greesy jeans not sure but what ever the reason I get no satisfaction with the dealer, and I consider myself an easy customer. Never once have I questioned a techs hours (to the tech at least).
Finally, as this is my first Mercedes Benz, I am worried about finding a mechanic skilled with my vehicle and in possession of the tools necessary to repair my car. Actually the first "Merc familiar" mechanic I went to was refered to me by someone on this site. I do not know if he has the equipment to perform the allighment, if he does, he'd be the first place I go after I get the rough allignment done. Need to call him. And, once my front end work is done, I am going to him for help with my AC. I think I am way over my head with the AC.
In closing, the offense was unintentional (thanks Larry for trying to fall on the sword) and I clearly understand, based on your hard earned credentials and experience, people like yourself are why people like myself get value from this site.