Date: 25 May 2003 14:19:05 GMT
Subject: Re: Puzzled by a SAAB dealer's cliam of billings convention

Someone who looks an awful lot like duvalautumn <duvalautumnnopsamnet> wrote: > I would like to seek your advice about repair billings convention. > 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! This is, indeed, common. The shop has a manual which lists how long each job should take - if your mechanic has done it dozens of times, he'll naturally be better at it, and be quicker. It actually saves you the trouble of a worse problem, which is "We had the trainee do your car, it took him longer, so you have to pay more for the same work". > Somehow, I thought I was taken for a > ride since they knew that I am from out of town. I've dealt with 3 Saab dealerships in the last, er, 15 years or so that I've driven them; they all operate this way. Additionally, my wife drives a Dodge, and the dealership there also has standard times for common jobs, which may or may not be higher or lower than the actual applied mechanic time - depending on the mechanic and whatever oddness he runs into. It makes it so that your estimate is almost always accurate, after all, and rewards more efficient mechanics with more pay (if it gets partially passed on to them, I don't know). > 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? Yes, that is my understanding (as a consumer). I really think you're looking at this the wrong way - you should be pleased that the mechanic at this dealership is so adept at the job that he was able to do it more efficiently, and get you back on the road quicker when you were stranded out of town. Dave Hinz

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