On Sun, 24 Dec 2006 22:46:22 -0600, Angela Marsh
>"Ray O" <rokigawaATtristarassociatesDOTcom> wrote :
>> Midas is not high on my list of recommended repair facilities, even
>> for mufflers. ;-)
>How come? I sure can't afford Toyota themselves.
Midas, Sears Auto Centers, Goodyear Auto Centers, Jiffy Lube, all
the big chain repair operations have one thing in common - Corporate
ownership and lots of micro-management from above.
Known fact: Jiffy Lube tries to lure you in with a $19.99 or $24.99
Oil Change Special - but Corporate wants them to push the hard-sell,
the add-on sale, and their is a stated goal to get an average of $60
out of each ticket, on each visit. (On camera testimony from a
"Former Manager" with his identity protected, see KCBS series below.)
And all these big companies are doing it - they have their service
tickets and billing computerized, and they track every employee as
they make those sales - with salary bonuses for those who produce, and
eventual dismissal for those who don't.
With that kind of pressure to sell or be fired, fraud is rampant -
KCBS Channel 2 News in Los Angeles just did a big hidden-camera sting
where they were sold those add-ons - radiator flushes and transmission
flushes - that were never performed. They had five people sold a
transmission flush while they were there, and the sole flush machine
they had on the premises never moved from it's display spot out front.
In California, it's prosecutable fraud if they "Oversell" unneeded
service or repairs through fraud (the old "Squirt oil on the shocks
and say they're leaking" trick) coercion fear or misrepresentation,
and another crime if they never perform the work.
The CA Bureau of Automotive Repair has inspectors who run stings and
make arrests. Sears has been busted numerous times, and once they
were caught doing the same things at so many locations at once the BAR
was about to yank all their auto repair shop permits statewide...
Midas may have "Advertised Specials" but once they have the car up
on the rack I can guarantee they are going to find lots of ways to
bump that bill up. They have to, their job depends on it...
The Toyota Dealer Mechanics are operating under a different edict
that also inflates the bill: Once they do a repair the work has to be
guaranteed - so they can't "Just" do a spot repair and change just the
contacts in the starter solenoid, even if that's all there is wrong.
If the starter motor fails next, they'd have to replace it for free.
So they always have to install a complete "Genuine Toyota
Remanufactured Starter" that costs three times as much as it should.
A good starter shop can go through the starter for about $50 - $75,
change all the wear items and give it back ready for another 100,000
miles of average use. And on most cars the starters are easy enough
to get out and in yourself, or an independent mechanic can do it for a
--<< Bruce >>--