Support your Mechanic


#1

Tom and Ray’s column in my paper today dealt with a customer that got chewed-out by the shop owner for not buying his tires from him(is it the same in every city?)I say the customer is the one who should re-think his behaviour.The only answer I see to this auto repair nightmare that the shops and the customer are going through is loyalty to your mechanic.Dont let saving a few (maybe more than a few)bucks dictate where you go for auto related needs.Stick with a man you trust and has proven himself to you,let him do the jobs that maybe a chain could do for less,show him you value him.All the reporting and legal moves havent stopped the repair nightmares it will take a solid relationship with your mechanic for change for the better.Thank You


#2

No, the shop owner was out of line if he “chewed out” the customer for anything. It’s not in the shop owner’s position to make demands on the customer. It’s not a matter of loyalty. The shop owner doesn’t make demands to provide goods or services.


#3

I agree with hellokit. A service provider gets the business he deserves. If he can’t compete with a tire store, he either needs to take his lumps or find a way to provide competitive service. In this case, he might direct the car owner to an on line tire store and maybe even help hip pick the tires. Then he can provide mounting, balancing, and alignment at a competitive price. All doing a good jog earns you is the chance to do it again; as long as it is at a competitive price. That’s capitalism. It’s tough, but it works.


#4

If the shop owner actually went so far as to actually “chew out” the car owner then the shop owner is way out of line IMHO.
I see nothing wrong with a shop owner pointing out the pros and cons of something to a customer but they should not resort to strong arm tactics, and that’s assuming here the shop owner actually chewed out the car owner and it’s not simply a matter of the car owner being too easily offended.

There’s nothing wrong with customer loyalty (a very good thing) but it’s also still a business proposition and the customer should make the final decision as to what’s best for them.

Several years back my son was looking at a set of tires on Tirerack.com. I suggested he hold off on them and allow me to check a local tire store that was known to carry this brand.
The local store quoted a price of 92 dollars each (mounted/balanced) and the price from Tirerack was 52 dollars each + 10 on the shipping + 6 bucks each to mount/balance.
By ordering them through TR he saved 96 dollars on a set of the exact same tires. To a grad student a 100 bucks overrides any customer loyalty.


#5

The words “chewed out” were mine. The story read “owner took me aside” “was visibly upset” “got very upset” “told me to let the other guy do my oil changes too” I know doesn’t sound good even with the clarification. Doesn’t every city get the same Click and Clack story on Sunday? No I don’t support verbaly abusing anyone.I don’t think I need to repeat my position about supporting your oil change guy with other work so I will not.


#6

I have a guy that does any MAJOR work I need done or jobs that I don’t have the equipment for or I don’t have the time for. Struts, wheel alignments, clutch, muffler. He sells tires…and I do NOT buy tires from him. First off his selection is very very limited. Last I checked he only carried ONE tire that fit my pathfinder. Second his prices were almost DOUBLE what a decent tire shop price was. Loyalty only goes so far. If he doesn’t like it I’ll take ALL my business elsewhere.

I also have to ask…does the independent mechanic do the same. Do they buy ALL their parts from the same parts place??? Do they buy ALL their tools from the same place?? Do they have all their services done from the same place??? I’ve yet to see any business that does. The place I use buys their parts from 3-4 different places. Their tools from Snap-on, Mac-Tool and even sears…They use 2-3 different machine shops…2-3 different glass companies…

This reminds me of the Lee Iacocca commercials back in the 80’s. He’s telling the consumers they should all buy American…Yet at that exact same time…he was buy a good portion of his steel from Japan…Many of his plants were being fitted with Korean and Japanese robotics. HE’S telling people they should buy American…yet he himself wasn’t.