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A feel-good automotive tale for the holiday season!

Wouldn’t it be nice if other collision shops did something similar for local charities?



Agree this would be nice if other collision shops & also repair shops would get involved as most of these groups are usually short of funds.::relaxed:

That was a nice story

Occasionally, I read about regular auto repair shops . . . not body shops, to be specific . . . doing something similar

Customers in dire financial straits will sometimes get their cars serviced/repaired on the house . . . tires, brakes, tune-up, get it through the safety inspection, etc.

This story, of course, involves FAR more labor

I wasn’t able to see the pictures, unfortunately, so I can only speculate as to the condition of the van

The question I would have about this story relates to the guys doing the work.

Are those guys really donating some labor of love or are they being coerced in some way by management to donate their time for a project which is also basically a free feel-good dang it I’ll take my business to them commercial?

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I feel the owner of the shop “suggested” that his employees donate their time for this project. And undoubtedly the local newspapers reported on this charitable activity. Maybe the local tv station also did a story. An excellent way to drum up business, as we well know

I’ll go a little off-topic now . . .

The last few weeks, I’ve been noticing Wells Fargo ads in the LA Times. It prominently shows young men wearing “Wells Fargo volunteers” t-shirts working on a habitat for humanity house

Does anybody truly feel they are really doing this because they are charitable? Again, I suggest their supervisor(s) told them it would be in their best interest to volunteer and get their pictures taken. After all, the Wells Fargo reputation has taken a beating in the last few months, and they will need to remedy that situation :smirk:

If people had good jobs, or the government allowed people to survive when in dire straits, carp I do not have the answer, and appreciate the charities, and donate on a regular basis, but I am unsure

Here is another one where I live;

When I read it, I thought along the lines of what @db4690 is saying; cheap advertisement. Then I thought at least someone deserving might get a free car (albeit a car not know for reliability).

Given all the trouble I am having finding a shop that could put lug nuts properly on, I might give this shop a test next time I need work done that is out of my DIY realm.

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And speaking of Habitat for Humanity…

Many of you are no doubt familiar with the tornados that tore up Moore and El Reno OK about 3 years ago.

Earlier this year the local news reported on a new brick home that was built by H for H and “given” to a lady and kids who lost their home in the Moore tornado. Sounds good, right? End of the story, right? No.
That woman is having to make payments on that home and they were trying to justify this by stating that her payments will be a little less (75 bucks or so) compared to rental payments on other homes in the 'hood.

Not mentioned is the fact that this new “owner” of the H for H home will now be paying their own maintenance costs and property taxes. The taxes alone will more than offset that 75 a month…

Guess I’m a wee bit cynical…

Well I’ll chime in. I was on our local Habitat board for about 8 years. Habitat does not donate houses but the whole idea is to provide interest free loans, plus houses that are built with lots of volunteer hours so the labor is very low. Lots of materials are donated and lots of trades throw in their services for nothing. Plus, it is a requirement that the family getting the home put in so many sweat equity hours so they have a stake in it. Jimmy Carter started it in Georgia so times then were a little different with “huge” interest costs that priced folks out of the market. With low interest rates now, some of the model is not so great. So it would be normal for the recipient to pay the mortgage (actually contract for deed).

I don’t want to throw a cloud over it but I got tired of donating nights and weekends and feeling I was being taken advantage of by some of the recipients. I’ll work along side them but not instead of them. Plus some of the old habits of money management that prevented home ownership just allowed them to buy a new truck and a new home. Another one of the issues was a single person that income qualified but wouldn’t have if her live-in boy friend’s income was also included. They do lots of good work but the housing problems in Minnesota are just not the same as they are in Georgia.

Now as far as auto shops donating to a cause, I think it might happen more than people think. We had a pastor from Sudan for a few years and he spent a lot of time on the road serving Sudanese around the area. Didn’t know much about cars though and when it died we towed it to the Goodyear dealer (also a church member). We were a little concerned about the cost but when we got the invoice it was marked no charge. I later asked him how much he had to swallow and he just rolled his eyes. I think it was around $1100 for everything. No one knows though except a few in the congregation and he never advertises it, and I’m sure we never hear about others doing the same thing. I buy all my tires there.

I’m always cynical about these things as I’m familiar with how some of the BS works at repair shops; and especially at new car dealers.

A dealer i worked for got a little positive press one time over a car sale. A lady bought a used car and less than a month later the engine went south. After a fair amount of griping, hand-wringing, and so on the dealer just took the damaged car back and put her behind the wheel of a nicer and 2 years newer model at no additional charge. The lady was thrilled of course and told the world what a great dealer they were.

So why was the dealer so benevolent?

  1. A genuine sense of remorse over a prematurely failed car which left the single mom with no wheels and no options…

2 OR; the fact that she bought an extended contract, the dealer pocketed the money, there WAS NO contract, and the dealer was hoping they wouldn’t get found out.

The actual answer is No. 2 but the press never knew that particular part of the story… :frowning:

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I read various trade magazines for mechanics

As you can imagine, there’s usually a profile of a particular shop. There have been quite a few articles, where the shop owner mentions charitable work, such as providing free repairs for needy people, or even providing entire cars for a church group, or what have you. They straight out say it’s good for business. Not because they’re making any money on that repair, they clearly are losing money. But they win in the long run, because the community hears about this and the shop gains many new customers

It’s not entirely altruistic

I am not doubting that these shop owners are kind-hearted people. But I am saying they’re looking at this from multiple angles, one of them being “How can I improve my image and gain new customers”