Monday, October 6, 2014

Can't afford you!

Its Friday around 1:30 pm and I get a frantic phone call.   "Do you work on motor homes?   I need to have the alternator and the power steering pump replaced and also the brake system flushed.  Can you do it today?"

Mind you, it's a Friday and late in a busy work day.
We don't work on motor homes. I should have said that and it all would have ended right then. The caller would have had to find some other shop to take care of those urgent Friday needs. But they were passing through town when they found themselves needing this much work in such a short period of time.  Having realized they must have been huge procrastinators for them to find themselves in this precarious position, I felt pity and then said, yes, we can help you.
That's when it all went downhill!

"How much is the total going to be?"
 I guess I must be a magician, where I know all the answers immediately in my head.  And this on a 33 ft long, yet to be seen, motor home.  I dare anyone to give an accurate quote off the top of their head without the help of at least seeing the vehicle.   You can put a guesstimate together, but under the circumstances,  why put yourself in that position.
Obviously I resisted giving the quote, which I knew would be woefully inaccurate. Back and forth and back and forth we went, until he bugged me about it enough that I caved in. Ugh!
"Listen, if you just need a ballpark figure, then it's probably around $400 for the alternator, about the same for the power steering pump and around $150 to perform the brake fluid exchange."

The response was "I CAN'T AFFORD YOU!" and the phone went dead.
I wonder what would have happened if I had said "it'll be about $250 for all that work". He probably would have rushed to the shop and try and get the work done. At which point, upon properly inspecting the vehicle, I would have adjusted the quote to the appropriate price (which probably would have been about $950 bucks)

So I'm perplexed!  I know this person will continue to call other repair shops until he finds one that will give him a quote so low that he will jump on it. That doesn't mean the quoted price is going to be the final one. All it means is someone was willing to play the "quote the low price game" in order to get the vehicle in. So, is that what it has come to?
I keep being told time after time to never quote anything over the phone to a stranger. Maybe now I will just do that!  I can't afford not to!

#alternator #powersteering #brakeservice

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