Should Have Maintained Radio Silence

| USA | Right | November 6, 2014

(I work in a stereo shop in a not-so-savory neighborhood. We see stolen radios A LOT. It’s really obvious when one is stolen. We also log EVERY serial number sold, just in case.)

Customer: “I just bought this from my friend. I need it installed.”

Me: “Okay, what kind of car is it going into?”

Client: *gives car info: an older Nissan pickup*

Me: “Well, this is from a Toyota, so we can’t reuse the parts still on it. We’re going to need new install parts. It also looks like the main radio harness is missing, as is the faceplate.”

(Faceplates are removable as a security feature. They basically cost as much as the radio does, just to prevent theft. Harnesses are almost always left behind when stolen because they unclip and thieves think ‘how much could it be?’)

Me: “Check with your ‘friend’ if he has them. Otherwise it’s $150, plus $65 for the install and install parts.”

Customer: “$150!? Are you f***** kidding me!?”

Me: “No, sir. $40 for the harness, $110 for the faceplate. I can have them here in three-to-five days; it’s a special order.”

Customer: “Well, how much is this radio?”

Me: “They’re on sale right now for $129.99. Install is the same price; I still need the same parts.”

Customer: “That’s f****** crazy! I just paid $50 for this. You’re telling me the parts cost more than a new one!?”

Me: “Well, that would be a great deal if you bought a radio with all the parts. For half a radio, it sounds like you got scammed by your friend. The parts cost so much as a deterrence to theft.”

Customer: *just stares; I struck a chord with those words*

Me: “So would you like me to order the parts? Or would you like to just get the same one installed, brand new, with a warranty, for less?”

Customer: “I’ll take the new one.”

(The customer hands me his keys and gives all his info: name/address/phone number.)

Me: “Great, I’ll give you a call as soon as it’s done.”

(He left. I ran the serial; it was sold by us. I called the client. He confirmed his car was robbed, even faxed a police report. We called the police and informed them we recovered stolen property. Moral of the story is, we called him down, he paid for the work, walked out, sat in his car (with the stolen radio still in it) and was arrested in our parking lot. Caught a thief, and sold him a radio at full price, with install. Customer who got robbed gave me a $100 tip. Not a bad day.)

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