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Bargain Oil Changes - A Rebuttal



A fast oil change owner gives a rebuttal...

Q. This is a response to your article about quick oil change places. (Bargain Oil Changes) I agree with you on some of the items that you mentioned, however there are a few concerns I have. There are certified mechanics out there that are supposed to be good, honest people who have made a living off of their customers by taking advantage of them.

I personally have been ripped off of by some of those certified mechanics. For instance, just recently I visited a shop to buy tires and asked them to exchange one of the older tires for the spare. The old spare is still in place and I was charged a special fee to mount the spare.

Their dishonesty lost my business. What if it had been something more serious that would have endangered my family? Some shops seem to make a habit of charging for services and parts that are not replaced or performed.

In response to the point about these places just hiring fly by night employees, I can honestly vouch for the employees at my shop and say they are just as good as some of the mechanics I've dealt with in the past. They are knowledgeable and quite informative.

There have been quite a few times that we have had customers come in and asked us to take a look at minor items as brakes like a wiper blade that is not working properly and we have fixed it for them at (guess what) no charge. Now can you tell me if you think the average person on the street that doesn't have his own "personal mechanic" is going to stop in at a mechanic's shop just to have this done.

Why is that mechanics charge so much for that item called labor hours and there have been times when I have been charged $20.00 to $50.00 difference on a part than if I went and purchased it myself at a part store. One time when a mechanic upset me with a problem with my heater core. He told me it would take five or six hours to do. When I returned and it wasn't done I got upset and told them that I would go somewhere else.

I decided to try and replace the part myself. With minimal experience, I was able to finish it within two hours and saved about $150.00 to $200.00 of labor charges. If I could do it myself in two hours, why would it take a "professional" mechanic five or six hours?

Now I agree there are some quick oil change places that are not honest but I think you really mean the whole entire automotive repair industry has some very dishonest people out there and we are all in this category together.

I have had people come into my shop and think I am being dishonest when I later find that they don't trust any type of auto repair person because they have been ripped off by the whole entire industry.

I hope you don't think that I am upset with your article but I feel that you may need to look at this with a totally different viewpoint and understand that these quick oil change places really do have a place in this industry.

A. You have brought up some very good points. And hopefully I can respond to them in a fair and equitable manner.

First off, the point of the article was not to condemn ALL fast oil change stores. As with anything else there are the good and the bad. The point of the article is to warn people of the real possibility of what can happen at one of these places. That they should be careful and there are some simple things they can do to protect themselves.

Since these fast oil change places are franchised there are some owners who are, and let's be blunt here, crooks and thieves. I'm not saying all, but there are some. My own personal experience with such a place proves that to me. It was not the guy in the pit that tried to rip me off, but the store Manager (owner?). I have been ripped off. And I think at one time or another, we all have been ripped off. But it's like my Grand Father always told me, "They can only screw you once". Or as I like to say "Screw me once, shame on you. Screw me twice, shame on me".

Additional Information provided courtesy of
ALLDATAdiy.com and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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