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Thread: Is this an unreasonable price?

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    Better than that "other" place Not Verified Feedback Score 2 (100%) x2xtreme360's Avatar
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    Is this an unreasonable price?

    I'm by no means trying to rip anyone off here... but I work with a guy who I consider to be a friend. Last week, he wanted me to do a brake job on his 2002 Escort on the rear drums. He gives me the money and I buy the parts. The TOTAL cost of the job came to be $130 parts AND labor. I spent the better part of 5 hours doing the work because I wasn't using the facilities at school and the drums were beyond fused to the hubs. I ended up having to hammer a hole into the drum just to be able to pry it off with a pry bar.

    That's not the problem. He was grateful for that. I ended up making a mere $45 on that job.

    He wants me to do a basic tune up to the car since it's most likely 100% factory since the car rolled out of production. He gives me $100 to cover parts. Cost came to about $70 for spark plugs, wires, PCV valve, fuel filter, and air filter. Tonight at work, we are discussing what time I can do it tomorrow. I mention to him that I will need $20 more to do the job to cover labor (a total of $50 in my pocket for the job). He got pretty mad at me for that one. Claims that I'm supposed to be his friend and that I'm ripping him off. He said that just the other day he drove by a shop that advertised $55 labor. I told him "that's their HOURLY rate. They go by book time, which could end up being 3 hours for all you know. Not only that, shops like that mark up their parts and only have to buy them at COST." Then, he tells me that I'm not some specialized mechanic like they are and that I shouldn't be asking him for that much money. I told him that I'm going to SCHOOL for a bachelors degree in Auto Tech and most of the "mechanics" at those chain shops don't even have a high school degree.

    We exchange some yelling... mostly I was yelling because I felt like he had no right to insult me like that and tell me that my SUNDAY time was not worth $50 to him. Icing on the cake here... the shop that is supposedly "specialized" charged him $600 to do his front brakes 6 months ago (I saw the receipt). When I was doing his rear brakes, he wanted me to look for the grinding noise he was hearing. I removed a front wheel and what do you know... he has NO pads left on his front brakes. I tell him this and he takes the car back to the shop to find out why the brakes didn't last. They charge him $40 labor and free parts to redo them... here's where it gets better. A week later, his fucking caliper falls off. They forgot to tighten down the bolts to the knuckle. And he tries to tell me these shops are "specialized"... yes, they're special all right.

    Am I out of line for charging $50 for a fucking tune up? What a cheap bastard... he can pay a shop $600 for an easy as PIE front disk brake job but can't pay me $50 to install plugs, wires, fuel filter, air filter, and PCV valve? wtf!
    Last edited by x2xtreme360; 10-17-2010 at 02:13 AM.

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    VR-3747 :D Not Verified Feedback Score 1 (100%) futurevr4man's Avatar
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    i dont think you are being unreasonable.

    but at the same time, arguing with him wont help the situation or teach him anything. let the numbers talk. tell him to take it to the shop. $400 later he will understand why you wanted a measly $120 for everything
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    Better than that "other" place Not Verified Feedback Score 2 (100%) x2xtreme360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by futurevr4man View Post
    i dont think you are being unreasonable.

    but at the same time, arguing with him wont help the situation or teach him anything. let the numbers talk. tell him to take it to the shop. $400 later he will understand why you wanted a measly $120 for everything
    I'm honestly considering giving him the parts I bought, throwing the extra $30 in an envelope with a note that says "take this shit to a shop and see what they want from your wallet" and putting it on his doorstep.

    I think he still expects me to do the work tomorrow... but unless he plans on giving me that extra $20 he can forget it.

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    Rice Patrol verified Feedback Score 0 Mean Green's Avatar
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    cut your losses and tell him to take a hike. I would charge roughly just 100$ labor to do a tuneup on that car.

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    Friends and family are typically horrible customers as they feel they "deserve a little break". Something for nothing is what I like to call it. Give him his parts and move on. You're not the bad guy at all for that and he'll get the satisfaction of spending the additional $$ on the specialized experience at the other shop and hopefully in the end learn to appreciate your work done at a very reasonable rate. Good luck to you as there are plenty of other great customers out there that really appreciate the "little guy" making side money on the weekends.

    Jeff

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    The one. The only. verified Feedback Score 11 (100%) stealthee's Avatar
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    Put the parts in a box, put it on his doorstep with a note that reads. "Take it to one of your specialized shops and then let me know how much they charge you for labor. Maybe next time you won't be so ungrateful."

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    Book time:

    spark plugs .6
    plug wires .6 (overlapping labor with plugs open to interpretation by the service writer, most would probably just call it 1.0 for both)
    fuel filter.6
    PCV valve .3

    1.9 hrs in my shop would be $142.50
    A $20 an hour flat rate tech doing the work would make $38 (but probably do that job in less than 30 minutes, so he'd gross $76hr for that time period)
    Last edited by RealMcCoy; 10-18-2010 at 09:32 PM.

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    BAD ASS - I've got one Not Verified
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    Quote Originally Posted by x2xtreme360 View Post
    ...I work with a guy who I consider to be a friend...
    Start by re-assessing this ^.
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    1st ever COTM and COTY verified Feedback Score 9 (100%) green-lantern's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthee View Post
    Put the parts in a box, put it on his doorstep with a note that reads. "Take it to one of your specialized shops and then let me know how much they charge you for labor. Maybe next time you won't be so ungrateful."
    This is probably what I would do.

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  10. #10
    Better than that "other" place Not Verified Feedback Score 2 (100%) x2xtreme360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j2k4 View Post
    Start by re-assessing this ^.
    I did end up doing the work for him... but not before I explained to him why my pricing was so damn cheap. I asked him to feel free to contact a local shop to see what they would charge and he would understand. He declined the offer, said he was sorry for pissing me off, and gave me the other $20 right there.

    I think us not being pissed off helped the issue.

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