Date: Sun, 25 May 2003 14:20:38 GMT
From: ma_twain <>
Subject: Re: Puzzled by a SAAB dealer's cliam of billings convention

This is not just Saab, but Ford and other as well. The hours of repair time being quoted are not being pulled out of thin air, they come from a published schedule of AVERAGE time to do a job. If the technician is good and/or lucky, the job can be completed in less time - the charge is the same. If there is a problem, like rounded nuts, rusted on bolts, bent bolts etc. - the job could take longer with the idea being not that the shop would not charge you for all of the extra time except the 10% deal. SO, when you take your Saab into your regular shop, ask the service manager how the estimated hours of effort are determined. The other moral behind the original post is to get your car checked out before you go on a long trip. duvalautumn wrote: > Dear SAAB community: > > I would like to seek your advice about repair billings convention. > > Recently, I had a problem with my pulleys on my '95 900s during a > cross country trip. I was in western Virginia and decided to bring in > my car to a local SAAB dealer to get it fixed. The service advisor > gave me an estimate of about 2.5 hr of work at $81/hr and about $100+ > worth of parts (2 pulleys and a new serpentine belt), so total with > tax about $380. > > I thought this sounded kinda high just to replace two pulleys. I was > hoping that he might have over estimated the job would take 2.5 hrs. I > gave the okay anyway since I did not have a whole lot of choices in a > cross-country trip. > > I waited in the lobby. After less than 1.5 hr later, I was called that > the repair was done. When I was presented with the invoice, I was > charged for the full 2.5 hrs even though the repair only took 1.5 hrs! > > After disputing with the service department, I complained to the > service manager but he said that I gave the approval with the > estimate. He further affirmed that it is "the industry standard" that > any reputable repair shop would abide to the estimate the shop gives, > and charges no more than 10% above the estimate. So if the repair took > longer, then the shop would only charge 10% more. If less, it would > charge the longer hr based on the estimate and NOT on the actual > number of hours done on the car. Somehow, I thought I was taken for a > ride since they knew that I am from out of town. > > I am considering to file a complaint with SAAB USA. I would appreciate > your comments on whether the dealer or the car owner is bound to such > estimate. Lets say if the job ended taking 20 hrs, would they > "really" charge only 2.5 hrs plus the 10% as this dealer claims? > > OR, is it because most people drop off their cars for repairs, they > would not know the actual number of hours done on their cars, so they > would not be aware of any over-charges? In this case, I was trapped > at the dealership and waited for my car. > > Thanks for your comments and suggestions. > > Eric >

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