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BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

For That you Get the Head...

The Tail...

The Whole Damned Thing

Inspector 34 posted:

Sounds like you need to find a shop that you actually trust, like maybe the one who told you about the hose. Nothing wrong with getting a second opinion I guess but sometimes poo poo's hosed and it's nice to know the place you take your car to will treat you right. They're out there, not everybody is a douchebag.

I did. That's the shop I was writing about.

But I work an hour away from them if I leave my car there I can't get to work. Like most people, when I need my car fixed it usually gets taken to the most convenient place since, you know, i'm immobile and everything.

Also, their shop is covered in Trump stickers and poo poo so I'm conflicted.

I stand by my general assertion that auto repair shops are mainly concerned in general by flat out ripping you off though.

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Inspector 34
Mar 9, 2009

DOES NOT RESPECT THE RUN

BUT THEY WILL


BiggerBoat posted:

Like most people, when I need my car fixed it usually gets taken to the most convenient place since, you know, i'm immobile and everything.

If you're immobile because major works needs to be done then take it wherever you need to to have it done properly, not wherever is most convenient, I don't think that's "what most people do."

If it's just a flat tire or something then that's different and they can only really gently caress you over so hard besides trying to upsell you an entire drivetrain overhaul or whatever.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

For That you Get the Head...

The Tail...

The Whole Damned Thing

I think by and large most people take their car to the closest shop or one they can access that's close to were they work. Nobody knows an honest shop from a dishonest one until they get burned and most working folks don't have the luxury of shopping around or seeking out second opinions in my experience anyway.

Are people in this thread honestly suggesting that repair shops don't routinely try to rip people off and that the onus is on the car owner?

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


I think repair shops should get consequences for trying these scams. Exactly because of the reason you describe, people depend on shops to do good work at a reasonable price and if not they can become stranded.

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013





Absurd Alhazred posted:

I think repair shops should get consequences for trying these scams. Exactly because of the reason you describe, people depend on shops to do good work at a reasonable price and if not they can become stranded.

The only time I’ve seen it happen is when a local news-team does a “are you getting ripped off” with tiny cameras hidden in the car or in their hat or something.

Inspector 34
Mar 9, 2009

DOES NOT RESPECT THE RUN

BUT THEY WILL


BiggerBoat posted:

Are people in this thread honestly suggesting that repair shops don't routinely try to rip people off and that the onus is on the car owner?

I think it's been mostly me and you talking about this (other than the above 2 posts) so I'm not sure who else you're referring to as "people in this thread". I never said repair shops don't rip people off, of course they sometimes do. But you're behaving as though every single auto tech is an rear end in a top hat out to turn your wallet inside out.

This is why you spend time talking to whoever has diagnosed the problem and about what parts/labor need to go into the fix. If the person can clearly and concisely show you the damaged part(s) and the catalog of replacement options with labor and help you feel comfortable with whatever they're going to do then great. If they just ask you to poo poo $300 for a fictional project then you leave. If you can't determine whether they're trustworthy or not you leave.

Absurd Alhazred posted:

I think repair shops should get consequences for trying these scams. Exactly because of the reason you describe, people depend on shops to do good work at a reasonable price and if not they can become stranded.

I agree that there should be some legal consequence for this, and I'm sure that in the right situation you could probably catch them for some kind of fraud. But in general the consequence is lack of return business and bad word of mouth. I don't know if shops depend on Yelp/Google reviews the way some other businesses do, but make sure you let as many people as possible know when you've been hosed over.

Inspector 34 fucked around with this message at 04:06 on Jan 20, 2019

AlbieQuirky
Oct 9, 2012



It has literally never happened to me, but also I am super neurotic and ask everyone I know for recommendations to their trusted, non-ripoff shop and will go there no matter how inconvenient. Our current dude is amazing but if he ever retires, everyone I know will get another round of grilling.

I definitely hear stories both in person and on line about auto shops ripping people off and/or being incompetent. So far my out of control neurosis has helped me avoid this.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


Proteus Jones posted:

The only time I’ve seen it happen is when a local news-team does a “are you getting ripped off” with tiny cameras hidden in the car or in their hat or something.

It requires a new regulatory framework, unless there is one already that isn't being enforced, in which case it's worth checking out why that is.


Inspector 34 posted:

I agree that there should be some legal consequence for this, and I'm sure that in the right situation you could probably catch them for some kind of fraud. But in general the consequence is lack of return business and bad word of mouth. I don't know if shops depend on Yelp/Google reviews the way some other businesses do, but make sure you let as many people as possible know when you've been hosed over.

Sure, and we don't need the AMA because you could just leave a bad review if the doctor is bad, and you don't need to really regulate hospitals because people can just leave bad yelp reviews and then next time you have a heart attack you can insist on being sent to the ER four hours away instead of the closer one which is really poo poo.

The problem with car repair shops is that you are stuck with a car repair shop that is somewhere where you can easily access without a car, and that severely limits your options. Plus a real scammy place isn't really banking on return customers, they only need to fleece you once. Add to that that people might not even know that they are being scammed, and you have a situation where you need to crack down somehow.

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





My previously-great car repair shop changed hands, and the new guys absolutely ripped me off and I had to find a new place.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

For That you Get the Head...

The Tail...

The Whole Damned Thing

Ok, but how the gently caress do you know if you've been ripped off if you know jack poo poo about cars?

I might have agreed to fix my "broken washer pump" for $300 and been pleased that it works without ever knowing that the loving hose just came off.

I might have replaced my grandmother's "broken AC compressor" and felt good that the AC works now without ever knowing it just needed $20 worth of freon.

Now imagine me broken down somewhere far from home, needing to get to get to work tomorrow and replacing my entire transmission when all I had wrong was a broken belt somewhere. How on earth would I ever know that? Repair shops feed off of this ignorance and, yes, I'd say the majority of them are in fact dishonest.

In my experience.

Most people can't afford the luxury of towing their vehicle from place to place to seek out second and third opinions or get competitive quotes while they hop into a rental. This seems fairly simple to suss out.

Inspector 34
Mar 9, 2009

DOES NOT RESPECT THE RUN

BUT THEY WILL


edit: I think you're kind of frustrated by recent events and will leave it at that.

I just don't get how people have the attitude of "I don't know poo poo about X" and then get surprised when they are taken advantage of. Learn a little bit.

There are almost certainly YT videos about any issues your car has unless it's a super rare make/model, so do a little research before you have somebody look at it. I've had plenty of work done by good and bad mechanics, I've been burned by close friends, treated great by complete strangers, and have had plenty of people tell me I need work I didn't need. Lookin at you Les Schwab telling me my rotors were hosed two days after I installed them.

Inspector 34 fucked around with this message at 07:40 on Jan 20, 2019

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




Just become a car mechanic!

mariooncrack
Dec 27, 2008


Some of the mechanics in my area have begun to take pictures while they do inspections. It's easy to show to the customer what the problem is and on the flip side, it probably gives a customer some confidence.

You can always ask to be shown what the problem is, whether physically showing you or with a picture.

i.e.

ToxicSlurpee
Nov 5, 2003

-=SEND HELP=-




Pillbug

I think the internet and business reviews have been helping for that. If a shop has a cavalcade of "gently caress this guy" reviews then it's probably a bad place.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Inspector 34 posted:

I think it's been mostly me and you talking about this (other than the above 2 posts) so I'm not sure who else you're referring to as "people in this thread". I never said repair shops don't rip people off, of course they sometimes do. But you're behaving as though every single auto tech is an rear end in a top hat out to turn your wallet inside out.

Yeah, this is true. It's only about 80% of them.

I'm ridiculously fortunate to have a trustworthy mechanic living literally across the road from me. He's just the archetypal good natured dude who likes to work on cars all week and get drunk all weekend. He's the mechanic and his dad and brother do body work out of their two garages. They have no one running the business end of things; like, I had a couple hundred bucks' worth of work done last July and didn't pay them for it until November, because it took them that long to produce a bill. It's that kind of shop.

The downside is that any mechanic who is honest, competent AND inexpensive is going to be in ridiculously high demand, and time management isn't his thing. When I need routine maintenance done I'll stop in (if you try to call, I've learned, it's like a 1-in-10 chance you'll get an answer, and I doubt he even listens to voicemails) and he might say "sorry man, I'm booked for the next 2 weeks" or he might say "yeah, just leave it here tomorrow and I'll do it sometime during the day, pick it up in the evening" or if it's really my day he might even say "yeah sure, I'm almost done with this exhaust, I'll do you real quick here in 10 minutes." You get the idea; he's that kind of guy who would work on cars in all his spare time anyway and can hardly believe people keep bringing him cars to work on and paying him for it.

But since he's usually busy on far more interesting things than oil changes, I'll usually go elsewhere for those. That's how I've found three different shops over the past few years whose business model is to rip off the ignorant. Same M.O. every time: I'll leave the car with them for a routine oil change/rotation/whatever, and they call later in the day and say "it's done, but, uh, I discovered [part] that needs replaced or you're probably going to die before you get the car home (paraphrased), I can do it for $600, is that OK?"

Well, no, that's not OK, thank you. I think I'll get a second opinion.

In one case, the mechanic I trust found no such problem. In the other two cases there was a legitimate issue, but it was less critical than advertised and he fixed it for less than half what the scammers were trying to charge me.

The auto repair industry is very attractive to scammers for four reasons:
1. Huge profit margins for successful scams (in the 3 cases above they were trying to charge $200 to $400 for less than an hour of labor)
2. Huge numbers of marks come to you without your even having to go out looking for them (every adult regularly needs car work done, and most people know nothing about cars and don't want to know anything about cars, they just want their drat car fixed)
3. It's often extremely, painfully inconvenient to take your car to a different mechanic for a second look
4. Pressure tactics are extra effective ("you can do what you want of course, but if you try to drive your car without this problem being fixed you're probably going to die", I've also heard "I can't in good conscience allow an unsafe car like this to leave my garage")

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

Eric the Mauve posted:

But since he's usually busy on far more interesting things than oil changes, I'll usually go elsewhere for those. That's how I've found three different shops over the past few years whose business model is to rip off the ignorant. Same M.O. every time: I'll leave the car with them for a routine oil change/rotation/whatever, and they call later in the day and say "it's done, but, uh, I discovered [part] that needs replaced or you're probably going to die before you get the car home (paraphrased), I can do it for $600, is that OK?"
I got hit by this multiple times before I wizened up.

Car ownership is a scam.

MightyJoe36
Dec 29, 2013

:minnie: Cat Army :minnie:


BiggerBoat posted:


Now that my car has all new fluids I'm going to take my car to the quick oil change place I use sometimes and see what they recommend.


Be careful that they don't drain your oil and then put 4 quarts of new oil in your transmission.

stringball
Mar 17, 2009



Is a chain/franchise going to be more or less likely to scam than a local guy? I have 4-5 chains I could probably push my car to by my apartment (unrelated, why is this a common business thing? You can see the others they're so close if you were at one location, and two auto part stores across the street from each other) but always drive 30 minutes for someone my dad/family has trusted for years

stringball fucked around with this message at 13:57 on Jan 22, 2019

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

stringball posted:

Is a chain/franchise going to be more or less likely to scam than a local guy? I have 4-5 chains I could probably push my car to by my apartment (unrelated, why is this a common business thing? You can see the others they're so close if you were at one location, and two auto part stores across the street from each other) but always drive 30 minutes for someone my dad/family has trusted for years
I don't know about more or less likely, but many of them definitely have no problem scamming the poo poo out of people.

AlbieQuirky
Oct 9, 2012



This is one of the ways it’s cheaper to have money, I guess? When you have money, you have your car serviced regularly by the person you’ve had recommended to you as honest and not a ripoff, so you have a track record of that person being reliable. When you’re broke, you might not have the cash to stick to the service schedule, so you don’t necessarily have a track record with the same shop :shrug:

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

For That you Get the Head...

The Tail...

The Whole Damned Thing

stringball posted:

Is a chain/franchise going to be more or less likely to scam than a local guy? I have 4-5 chains I could probably push my car to by my apartment (unrelated, why is this a common business thing?

They like to do the "Sure you can JUST get an oil change but you need your radiator flushed, transmission serviced,..." etc. etc.

EDIT:

I hate HATE televangelists and all the skeevy poo poo they pull. Anyone remember this guy? Jim Bakker who served time in jail for ripping people off? Welp, people still hand him their money and trust him enough to buy this slop.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOH37W0jPpA#t=188s

$2500 bucks

BiggerBoat fucked around with this message at 12:34 on Jan 23, 2019

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


stringball posted:

Is a chain/franchise going to be more or less likely to scam than a local guy? I have 4-5 chains I could probably push my car to by my apartment (unrelated, why is this a common business thing? You can see the others they're so close if you were at one location, and two auto part stores across the street from each other) but always drive 30 minutes for someone my dad/family has trusted for years

it's a wash, the chains theoretically have management you can complain to in order to hold an individual location's owner accountable, but on the other hand they also have quotas and sales targets to hit

CannonFodder
Jan 26, 2001



Passion’s Wrench

stringball posted:

Is a chain/franchise going to be more or less likely to scam than a local guy? I have 4-5 chains I could probably push my car to by my apartment (unrelated, why is this a common business thing? You can see the others they're so close if you were at one location, and two auto part stores across the street from each other) but always drive 30 minutes for someone my dad/family has trusted for years
For the bolded bit, it could be zoning laws and noise regulations, it could be cheap land for the auto parts stores that attract mechanics shops. It happens all the time, think of the areas with 5 car dealerships all in a row.

PhazonLink
Jul 17, 2010


BiggerBoat posted:


$2500 bucks

what the gently caress is that yellow caloric substance?

Azerban
Oct 28, 2003





stringball posted:

(unrelated, why is this a common business thing? You can see the others they're so close if you were at one location, and two auto part stores across the street from each other)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotelling%27s_law ???

tinytort
Jun 10, 2013

Super healthy, super cheap

I've been getting calls from someone my phone is identifying as Scotiabank from a US location. It's a robocall, claiming to be calling for me about a "personal banking matter" and asks me to input my birthdate for security purposes.

(I haven't done that, of course. I hung up as soon as it got that far.)

I just blocked and reported the number, because it has been the same number each time, but I'm planning on talking with my bank to check wtf is up, just in case this was someone trying in a really dumb way to get hold of me.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

For That you Get the Head...

The Tail...

The Whole Damned Thing

PhazonLink posted:

what the gently caress is that yellow caloric substance?

Salvation.

I think MLM's have come up a few times in this thread and I have burning hatred for the entire business practice. Listening to some podcasts led me uncovering a similar model called "direct sales". You know those people in Costco and Sam's that set up booths and hawk blenders and pans and poo poo? They're "business owners" too and work themselves to death for poo poo pay under "sponsors" that use similar brainwashing techniques, "positive thinking" and the promise of future riches if you just keep working harder.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyCRzBt7GuY

^^^^Edit^^^^:

I keep getting robocall phone messages from 2 or 3 different numbers all leaving the same recording but the fuckers are so dumb that they don't wait to leave the message until my greeting plays so all I hear is "please contact us about this important matter, etc." But I have no idea wtf it is.

BiggerBoat fucked around with this message at 23:03 on Jan 24, 2019

Inspector 34
Mar 9, 2009

DOES NOT RESPECT THE RUN

BUT THEY WILL


There was somebody in the Costco thread in GBS that said they did the vendor thing for Vitamix or Ninja blenders or something and it didn't sound too much like a brainwashing cult bs thing, just that he'd sometimes walk away with a few thousand bucks in a day and other times come away with basically nothing since it didn't pay by the hour. Other products/companies could treat it differently of course.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

I have seen both the Ninjas and Cutco in Costco.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


BiggerBoat posted:

I keep getting robocall phone messages from 2 or 3 different numbers all leaving the same recording but the fuckers are so dumb that they don't wait to leave the message until my greeting plays so all I hear is "please contact us about this important matter, etc." But I have no idea wtf it is.

Over the past 10 days or so I've suddenly gotten an eruption of robocalls from a wildly different number every time. Looks like the hemorrhoids on the rear end of humanity have gotten wise to people blocking numbers and dramatically widened their spoofing web.

Dr.Caligari
May 5, 2005

"Here's a big, beautiful avatar for someone"


BiggerBoat posted:


I hate HATE televangelists and all the skeevy poo poo they pull. Anyone remember this guy? Jim Bakker who served time in jail for ripping people off? Welp, people still hand him their money and trust him enough to buy this slop.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOH37W0jPpA#t=188s

$2500 bucks

https://youtu.be/wWhcm7O6o0k

B33rChiller
Aug 18, 2011





Biscuit Hider

Good chuckles around our office lately. We carry voice pagers for after hour / not currently sat at your desk emergency call outs. All of our pagers over the course of a few days have gone off with "Hello. This is the Canada Revenue Agency, blah blah, you owe taxes, scary sounding consequences, etc. Press 2 to blah blah" First off, you dumb fucks robo called voice pagers. We have no ability to press 2, or send any kind of transmission from this device. Secondly, you dumb fucks robocalled voice pagers owned by the Canadian federal government! Pretty sure my employer doesn't owe itself money. But, given how broken our pay system is, this might, somehow, actually be possible.

MadDogMike
Apr 9, 2008

Can I come out and play?

B33rChiller posted:

Good chuckles around our office lately. We carry voice pagers for after hour / not currently sat at your desk emergency call outs. All of our pagers over the course of a few days have gone off with "Hello. This is the Canada Revenue Agency, blah blah, you owe taxes, scary sounding consequences, etc. Press 2 to blah blah" First off, you dumb fucks robo called voice pagers. We have no ability to press 2, or send any kind of transmission from this device. Secondly, you dumb fucks robocalled voice pagers owned by the Canadian federal government! Pretty sure my employer doesn't owe itself money. But, given how broken our pay system is, this might, somehow, actually be possible.

To be fair, the US government kind of does owe itself money now :D.

Obviously as a tax preparer my hatred of those assholes is fairly keen (field SO many panicked phone calls, and more than a few convinced we “screwed up their taxes”). Never heard of them calling the government, though they did ring up our office once which was pretty funny. You’d think computers would be advanced enough now to run some sort of “don’t call numbers that show up in this part of the phone book” script by now...

HerStuddMuffin
Aug 10, 2014

YOSPOS


It’s not just mechanics that try to rip people off. Any profession with a large information asymmetry is susceptible to this phenomenon of “experts” trying to pressure regular people into expensive services they don’t need. My girl went to a dentist to have a piercing wisdom tooth that was causing her a lot of pain looked at. He told her it was badly infected and she needed surgery to remove the tooth to the tune of several thousand dollars. A round of amoxicillin later she’s doing just fine. The scam artist even charged her insurance $240 just for looking into her mouth. Didn’t touch poo poo, didn’t treat her.

Shipon
Nov 7, 2005


HerStuddMuffin posted:

It’s not just mechanics that try to rip people off. Any profession with a large information asymmetry is susceptible to this phenomenon of “experts” trying to pressure regular people into expensive services they don’t need. My girl went to a dentist to have a piercing wisdom tooth that was causing her a lot of pain looked at. He told her it was badly infected and she needed surgery to remove the tooth to the tune of several thousand dollars. A round of amoxicillin later she’s doing just fine. The scam artist even charged her insurance $240 just for looking into her mouth. Didn’t touch poo poo, didn’t treat her.

Dentists are by far some of the worst offenders when it comes to scamming people and taking advantage of people's lack of training in that field, and of course lets not forget the absurd uselessness of dental insurance in general.

MightyJoe36
Dec 29, 2013

:minnie: Cat Army :minnie:


Shipon posted:

Dentists are by far some of the worst offenders when it comes to scamming people and taking advantage of people's lack of training in that field, and of course lets not forget the absurd uselessness of dental insurance in general.

This. What the gently caress good is insurance that only covers stuff you can afford to pay for out of pocket (exams, cleaning, X-rays), but doesn't cover things you need insurance for (fillings, extractions, crowns, etc.)?

Namarrgon
Dec 23, 2008

Congratulations on not getting fit in 2011!

MightyJoe36 posted:

This. What the gently caress good is insurance that only covers stuff you can afford to pay for out of pocket (exams, cleaning, X-rays), but doesn't cover things you need insurance for (fillings, extractions, crowns, etc.)?

And we call it... The American healthcare system!

WithoutTheFezOn
Aug 28, 2005
Oh no

MightyJoe36 posted:

This. What the gently caress good is insurance that only covers stuff you can afford to pay for out of pocket (exams, cleaning, X-rays), but doesn't cover things you need insurance for (fillings, extractions, crowns, etc.)?
Very little, but what kind of insurance is that?

Our insurance covers 70% of class B stuff (fillings) and 50% of class D stuff (crowns, implants). Not great at all, but if poo poo gets real bad it helps noticeably.

Last time I calculated it, if my wife and I had 1 ceramic filling in a year between us (in addition to regular cleanings and x rays) we ended up saving money.

sadus
Apr 5, 2004



...up to a laughably small max amount per year, typically $1000 per person.

Another dental scam: I once moved states and Delta Dental (new state) made me wait a year before covering fillings, even though I had Delta Dental (old state) for years before that.

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Sydin
Oct 29, 2011

Another rainy day commute





Yeah it's real easy for a dentist to claim you have [issue] and how the gently caress would you know? Not exactly simple to stick a mirror in your mouth and identify cavities. My old family dentist tried to pull this poo poo on me and claimed I had four (!!!) cavities that were really bad and needed to be filled ASAP despite the fact that I was in zero pain. Thankfully both my parents and I were moving out of the area for various reasons, so I had an excuse to not schedule the filling and go get a second opinion from a dentist near my new place. Sure enough he found nothing and pointed out that I'd probably be in considerable pain while chewing if it had been the case.

Thankfully the dentist is something you can mostly avoid as long as you're not a goon about dental hygiene, outside of uncontrollable poo poo like wisdom teeth. You can't really avoid mechanics unless you learn to wrench yourself or are incredibly lucky.

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