Date: Mon, 26 May 2003 10:06:22 -0500
From: "Walt Kienzle" <>
Subject: Re: Puzzled by a SAAB dealer's cliam of billings convention

> The bottom line for me is that I do 99% of all my own repair and maint. > work. Well said; same here. And when people ask me why I work on my own cars, my half-joking answer is that I can screw up the job myself for a lot less money. Even when I have to buy tools for the job, I still end up saving 60% to 75% while I learn more about my car. And if something goes wrong with the repair, I probably know why it went wrong and how to set it right. I avoid the problems of having to drop the car off and pick it up later, and then repeat the process if the repairs weren't performed correctly. Too bad the original poster was in a situation that didn't allow him to perform his own repairs. Walt Kienzle "John Horner" <> wrote in message > Almost all shops in the USA go by a "flat rate manual" which gives time > estimates for various jobs. They bill you for however long the book says > it should take. > > The scam is that they add up each individual job time to reach a total, and > when multiple jobs are being done at the same time it is of course more > efficient. > > For example, say that the book says: > > Replace pulley #1 = 1 hour > Replace pulley #2 = 1 hour > Replace serpentine belt = 0.5 hours > > Then they bill you for 2.5 hours. > > However, if what the mechanic actually did was to replace two pulleys and > the belt all in the same go, it may well have taken only 1.25 hours, yet > they still bill you for 2.5 hours. > > Personally I think this is an area of practice which is ready for large > scale investigation and class action lawsuit status. The fact, however, > remains that this kind of thing is so called standard practice. > > The bottom line for me is that I do 99% of all my own repair and maint. > work. > > John > >

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