I had nothing to lose, so it is a much easier call.
While I probably would offer diagnostics to a phone in inquiry, you shouldn't be too hard on a business for their phone diagnostics. Among other reasons, even at my shop chances are you won't talk to me unless you ask for me. I am with the cars. We have others who talk on the phone. In my case, someone inquiring about a trans problem will probably talk to my 25 year German partner, Walter, who is very competent, but the overhaul price is one of the distinct subject posibilities on an over 15 year old car.
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician