If I had my mechanic order a part, but didn’t sign anything to have the work done, and now decided not to get the repair, can I just call them and say forget about it?
Legally probably not…ethically YES.
Some parts can be returned for a restocking fee. Other parts, like electrical parts, often are not returnable. You should be responsible for any fees (restock, shipping) incurred by your verbal agreement to proceed.
If you have a verbal agreement, is not your word your bond? If the work has not yet been, you can tell the mechanic< “Nope!”, but, you owe the mechanic for diagnostic time, any prep., and any lose such as return fees.
it is your word that is at stake here.
you are not committed, but neither should you expect to have this shop ever work on your car again.
as far as the return of these parts, if they are common, ordinary parts then it’s no big deal, but if it is a special widget for a studebaker, then you asked the shop to go out on a limb for you.
Legally you’re able to do this, but wouldn’t you feel like a real " #%!&# " afterwards? (If you don’t think you would, then we’re wasting our time answering this.)
As others have noted, your mechanic is out some money because of this. You should at least approach them and offer to pay for their time and any out-of-pocket costs (restocking fees, etc).
In this economy, it is not very nice to “stick” the mechanic with the cost of a part or the restocking fee for a part that he ordered for your repair work. If your mechanic reneged on a verbal agreement, you would likely be the first to speak ill of him, so unless you want to be a hypocrite, you should approach him with an offer to pay whatever costs he incurred by ordering that part.
All too often, people only see their side of an argument or their position in a particular situation. In this instance, try to put yourself in the position of a small businessman who may be struggling as much as everyone else in this economic downturn.
Do the right thing and pay whatever the mechanic’s expenses were. Unless you want to be viewed as a hypocritical, lying, cheapskate–Don’t go to that repair shop again!
If it is a “stock” part that is on the shelf locally, then it’s probably no big deal.
If special parts were ordered from out of state, there will be shipping charges and restocking charges that they’d be stuck with, if you decided not to have them do the work.
By the way, a verbal contract is equally binding as a written contract (just a lot harder to prove in court if you choose to lie).
You are morally (if not legally, I don’t know) responsible to keep the mechanic ‘whole’. As others have said, that includes any restocking fees, and, perhaps more importantly, payment for his time to diagnose the problem in the first place, as hellokit said. Did the mechanic spend time doing this? His time is very valuable.
Mike aren’t you backwards on this one?
Depends if they ordered the wrong part. They can’t charge you for that. If it’s right, you’re under “contract” by leaving them the keys.
By the information you provided, you are not legally bound to have the repair done.
I avoid this situation by having the customer pay for the part up front. I will not order any part if it isn’t paid for in advance then I don’t have the situation where I’m paying for a part I can’t return. If it is a “special order part” there is no way I order it unless it’s paid for up front.
Now if it’s a normal stocking part but they happen to run out of that part then that is a different issue.
If you authorized the mechanic to order a part, whether in writing or verbally, you should pay a restocking charge, sometimes as high as 25%, but usually around 10%. It would be the right thing to do, especially if the mechanic has to pay a restocking charge to his parts distributor.
Legally you may not be and odds are a shop won’t go after you on a verbal promise, but if this part was a special order and you backed out of the deal on me I would be plenty hot and pass the word around town about you along with refusing to touch your car again.
I’ve made the mistake of special ordering a few parts for people who then disappeared off of the face of the earth and this left me holding the bag for a few obscure parts. I’ve still got a couple of those oddball parts (Audi window switch for example) that have been stashed back for over 15 years now.
My money is flushed unless I just happen to run across someone who needs the part.
This sounds like one of those “found a better price elsewhere” things and it’s a pretty common thing to occur.
If this is a special order part and if you want to do the right thing at least buy the part from the mechanic and throw it in the closet until you need it rather than leave him in the hole on it.
Sure you could…but why would you ? . Then you’ll want to walk back into this shop in a few months and ask for more free diagnosis ?
Ok doctor, thanks for the x-rays and diagnosis. And, y’know that medicine you just drew into the syringe ? I don’t want it now…see ya later…
Oh waiter…Y’know that steak I ordered that is now on the grille ? Don’t want it now…bye bye.
Sure you could…but why would you ?
Ethics ?, P.R.?, where do you place yourself in this picture ? What business or career are you in ? Reverse the scenario and THINK ABOUT IT REAL HARD.