Added charges standard practice?

I noticed “A 9.99% charge will be added to the retail list price of all service work” added in fine print on a coupon for a chain. Is this a standard practice at most retailers including independent garages?

Does it say what the charge is for?
Some states have taxes.
And all shops factor in “shop supplies” in some manner or other. That’s for grease, rags, cotter pins, and stuff that’s necessary but impractical to charge in detail. Those charges are legitimate IMHO.

Greed mostly,one of my Dealerships added a several hundred dollar “hard to obtain fee” on a Nissan supercharged pickup,so eventually I went and bought A Dodge truck with the same HP,that didnt have an"hard to obtain fee" tacked on(kinda like a Luxury tax-hurts business rather then generates a lot more revenue).a gas station around here has reasonably priced gas,but charges a 10 cents per gallon fee,for using a credit or debit card,needless to say ,they very rarely get my business now.

No, that’s not standard practice, at least not for me. Some shops charge disposal fees, shop supplies fees, environmental fees, but for me those things are only charged when they are legitimately used or needed.

The price for a standard oil change is $34.95 plus tax. I have no control over sales tax. The price for an alternator replacement is the part plus labor plus tax. For something like timing belt/water pump replacement, major engine or transmission work, or particularly messy jobs I will add 3% to the parts total to pay for things like extra rags, cleaners, miscellaneous pieces of hose, cotter pins, misc fluid top off, etc.

But what you describe is a coupon stating that they will quote you a price and then charge you 10% more. I call bullsh*t.

Most dealerships have become pros at “adding charges” or that’s my experience anyway. Not as bad as hospitals but they are getting there.

This is a chain not a dealership though.

Its a business transaction, you can negotiate. If the business does not want to negotiate, go somewhere else.

This is the miscellaneous fee. For small jobs, its not worth the trouble to negotiate, but for large jobs, you can ask for a cap on this fee and I think most shops would agree to it.

Its a business transaction, you can negotiate. If the business does not want to negotiate, go somewhere else.

True, but then again it would never occur to me to try to negotiate a lower price at Macy’s or Target for some underwear and jeans, or for a lower price on the chicken enchiladas at our favorite Mexican restaurant.

This is the miscellaneous fee. For small jobs, its not worth the trouble to negotiate, but for large jobs, you can ask for a cap on this fee and I think most shops would agree to it.

Here, that fee when applied is automatically capped at $20 in my shop software.

While I never tacked on a standard “surcharge” I never hesitated to itemize for significant unexpected problems. Four wheel drive vehicles brought in covered in mud were charged clock time to pressure wash them and I once added a heavy charge to a customer whose car was so filthy that the odor from accumulated garbage that would “gag a maggot” needed to be cleaned out before bringing it into the shop. Needless to say that customer didn’t return.

As for the 9.99% surcharge, I suspect that it is an effort to move a significant amount of the rapair invoice off the franchise fee column of the ledger and directly into the local owner’s column.

I know people who do negotiate at Macy’s and Target. Macy’s actually is more likely to negotiate for some items, Target not so much.

As for negotiating. I had several customers who seemed to enjoy “horse trading” and I learned to calculate some room for bickering into their invoices. A great many men my age and older seemed certain that paying in cash should give them a better deal and I made it a point to finagle their invoice so that rounding down to the nearest $20 would make them feel that they had been given the bargain that their cash deserved. One good customer made it a point to remain one invoice behind as he would pay the previous invoice when bringing in car for service. He always over paid the invoice sometimes rounding up to the nearest $hundred. He had a wife, an ex-wife and 3 teenage sons. When I went out of business he gave me 2 $hundred bills and asked me to help his ex and his sons get their problems to a good shop when he was out of town. Life can be fun in a small town.

Most shops here add an “environmental charge” to oil changes, tires bought, coolant changes, and some other tasks. They have to pay for waste oil disposal and tire recycling, battery disposal, etc. However the charges are usually much higher than the actual cost of doing it; in fact used batteries bring in money. I got $3 for the one from my lawnmower which has a lot less lead than a regular car battery.

speaking of smells and surcharges . . .

now that pot is legal in many states, can a shop owner still complain when a customer brings in a car that reeks of skunk . . . ?

I respect anybody’s rights and/or desires to smoke pot, but I find the smell can be annoying, especially if it’s permeated the entire interior of a vehicle

While the owner may get a kick out of sitting in a vehicle that smells like skunk, I don’t

I feel . . . depending on how badly it smells . . . the shop might want to consider a surcharge, to make up for the yuck factor

After all, fleet mechanics get noise codes and smell codes, for working in noisey and/or smelly environments

The same can be said for cigarettes, or cigars.

You can always politely refuse to service the vehicle.

While marijuana may be decriminalized or legal in some states, it is still not legal to smoke while driving. If a police officer smelled the interior, they might site the owner for DUI. After all, they had to be driving high if the car smells of it.

It’s ok to ask any reputable service provider to explain all of the charges. One that has nothing to hide is more then happy to before you sign on for a job. IMHO, as long as you know up front what the charges are and what the final cost will be, you can then have the opportunity to go elsewhere. If a shop wants to add 10% to a charge they can explain but the final cost is still low bid and they do good work, who cares. I never try to negotiate a price down if I have already decided the cost was fair going in. Everyone has to make a living.

"They have to pay for waste oil disposal and tire recycling, battery disposal, etc. "


Gee, don’t you actually get PAID for oil and junk batteries? I’d (at least try to) decline the fee, and agree to take my own dang battery to tge junk yard! (Oil probably being too messy to dicker over, though.)

Usually you have to trade your battery in and most shops have waste oil heaters now,so no harge for that,some tire shops I’ve used said,dont worry we will get rid of the tires

Apparently, not uncommon:

http://www.google.com/search?q=9.99%+charge+added+to+car+service&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&client=firefox-a&oq=9.99%+charge+added+to+car+service&gs_l=heirloom-serp.3...10270.15146.0.15367.15.1.0.14.0.0.165.165.0j1.1.0.msedr...0...1ac.1.34.heirloom-serp..15.0.0._CScFokRbIw

From AutoTire Car Care Centers:

"A 9.99% charge will be added to the retail list price of all service work, not on tires, not to exceed $39 and represents shop supply and equipment costs and profits (does not apply in NY)."

I can see the consumer protection law now: “Unitemized costs shall be less than 10% of the listed retail price.”