This is the most incredible thread I have seen in all the years I have been on Cartalk. Nothing anyone could say about you guys could portray you in a worse light than you do. "It's all about meeeee! Customers are all liars and morons and thieves and perjurers. Waaaa!"
I do understand your problem, and I am well aware most customers are not Senior Techs who actually understand OBD. The problem is you are not looking at it from my viewpoint, but expect me to look at it from your viewpoint. Really?
An old friend says to understand something find out which way the money is flowing. You would not be paying me for the privilege of working on my car. It is not my fault your boss takes 80% of the money I pay to pay for his yacht at the South Padre Islands. (That does irritate me; you guys are busting your intestines trying to support your families, while he lounges around bikini girls at the beach. And, don't tell me this doesn't happen.)
I had a car with a serious problem. In places where they verify smog, that unrepaired failure will cause my car to be taken off the road. I know what the problem is. I have two choices. Turn it over to someone who most probably will not be able to diagnose it, pay a lot of money and still have the problem. Or, since I don't have the tools or hoist, pay someone else to replace the part.
It is no insult to be unable to effectively diagnose an intermittent. That was the whole point of my OP. They are a real pain.
Yet, while you think it's all about you, and your feelings, I happen to think it's all about my car and getting it fixed. That is what that waiver form is all about. I took responsibility for my diagnosis as it should be.
No, in spite of your protestations most of this anger and rage was about was mechanic ego. I understand your point very well; it's just that your feelings dominate and my real needs become unimportant. That is a strange business model.
Do you really understand what an undiagnosed intermittent means? In most cases, after the second or third expensive NTF, the customer is forced to dump that car on the market and get another, at great expense. Or, you didn't know that? Or, don't care?
If Alex had come back and told me his mechanic didn't like it and refused to do it, I'd have ordered the canister and my son-in-law, who is a long-term friend of Alex, would have put it on. So, Toyota would have produced a very unhappy customer and the angry mechanic would have had less work.
Plus I would have told the whole world how I was treated. You don't think that affects your reputation?
And, of course, your posting also assumes I do not understand your viewpoint without you explaining it to me. Bad, bad moron customer. In fact, I did understand that view point. I need my car fixed, period!!!
This does explain why high priced places like Toyota have service writers. It is necessary to keep the hostile, smart-aleck mechanics away from the customers as much as possible.
If that mechanic threw a little boy tantrum when Alex told him a customer wanted a canister replaced, no trouble-shooting desired, Alex can sympathize with him, pat him on the fanny, then come back to me with a big smile, and tell me. "Mr. Jones, he will getting right on it. Do you want the shuttle driver to drop you off at your house and come get you when the work is done?"
And, if I were wrong, it is Alex who has to tell me to go bleep myself, that I signed the waiver.
And, yes, I understand your numbers on the percentage of customers who can't do what I do. But, what percentage of mechanics are totally incompetent or dishonest? Yet, we know there are rare great mechanics if we can only find them (which is what Mechanix Files on this URL is all about.) You guys seem to be totally unable to deal with a customer who really knows what his problem is. Think about it.
edited: Further, I don't think most of you care if there is a customer who really knows what his problem is. Tell him where to go, it's all about me and my needs.