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Oil Never Be Coming Back Here Again!

, , , , , , | Working | January 12, 2023

A few weeks ago, my car was totaled by a drunk driver. I am borrowing my mom’s car while I wait for the insurance payout to replace it. I notice that the oil needs to be changed, so I take it to a shop from which I have a coupon for a $17 oil change.

The mechanic is inside a department store. I go through the main entrance to get on the list and show the clerk the coupon.

Clerk: “What type of car and color is it?”

I give a description.

Clerk: “What year?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t know. It’s my mom’s car; I’m just using it for a bit. I can go check and see if that information is in the car.”

Clerk: “No, that’s all right. We will figure it out. You can look around the store, and we will call you when it’s ready.”

About fifteen minutes later, I am paged to the auto department.

Me: “Hi. I was just called. I believe my car is ready.”

Clerk: “No, not yet. I just wanted to inform you that, during the inspection, we discovered that there was [issue I don’t remember] with the car. We are going to have that fixed for you, so with the oil change and repairs, your total is $700, and it will take about four hours.”

Me: “No, just the oil change, but I will let my mom know and I’m sure she will get it to her mechanic soon.”

Clerk: “This needs to be fixed, or it could continue to wear down and destroy the motor. You need to have it done.”

Me: “Like I said, it’s not my car, and I do not have $700. Plus, I need to be at work in two hours, so I can’t wait that long. Is it something that will cause issues within the next week?”

Clerk: “No, but we already started the repairs.”

Me: “Well, I did not agree to anything but the oil change. It sounds like a problem I did not cause, and I am only going to pay for the oil change.”

Clerk: “You need to pay us to fix it.”

Me: “No.”

Clerk: “But it—”

Me: “NO.”

The clerk lets out a frustrated growl and storms out to the back. She comes back about five minutes later. While I am waiting, I place a few items I had intended to buy on the counter.

Clerk: “They are putting the old parts back on, but [part] was damaged when we took it off, so you’ll need to pay for the replacement. Your total is $200.”

Me: “No, I am only paying for the oil change. You caused damage doing work I never agreed to. You need to repair it since it was your error, and I would like to speak to the manager.”

Clerk: “He is unavailable, but fine. We will just lose money on the parts. It will be $38 for the oil change.”

Me: “No, I have this coupon for a $17 oil change.”

Clerk: “That coupon is only for the oil change; the disposal fee, extra oil, and air filter are priced separately.”

Me: “Isn’t that all included in an oil change?”

Clerk: “Most places lump it all together, but we charge for everything separately. You would know that if you bothered to read our sign.”

She gestures behind her to a partially obscured sign with strange, nearly illegible lettering.

Me: “Fine. Whatever.”

Clerk: “Would you like me to ring up these other items, as well?”

Me: “No, thank you.”

I pay for the oil change and leave the items on the counter. About two minutes later, the mechanic comes in with my keys and tells me the car is ready. I head out the door.

Clerk: “You forgot your items here.”

Me: “No, the oil change cost more than it was supposed to. I no longer want them. Have fun putting them back.”

Clerk: “You need to take them back to the correct departments.”

Me “No.”

Then, I walked out and never returned to that store again.

My mom took the car to her regular mechanic two weeks later, and they charged her $200 for everything that needed to be done.

Pump The Brakes On This Establishment

, , , , , | Working | December 2, 2022

My sister’s car needed new brakes as they were making that “crunching in snow” sound when applied. It just so happens that the local tire store had a coupon for a brake job. [Sister] called me for advice as they said she needed her rotors turned. I agreed. [Sister] paid the bill and retrieved her car.

Within a few weeks, the brakes were making the same noise. Obviously, the rotors were never turned and tore up the new pads quickly.

I went down to the tire store.

Me: “I want you to give my sister her money back for the brake job.”

Clerk: “I can’t do that because we did the service she was billed for.”

Me: “I’m an accountant. The mechanic shop across the street is my client. That shop is the only one in town that has the equipment to turn rotors. The office manager records the make and model of every car that they turn rotors on. I checked, and she has no record of my sister’s car coming into their shop, ever. Now, send her the money she paid you for the job you never did and charged her for.”

My sister got a check a few days later. I found out at a local coffee shop that they had done that to several people. Needless to say, they were out of business not too long after.

Someone’s About To Learn The Mechanics Of Bank Disputes

, , | Legal | October 18, 2022

My husband is a mechanic. He is very good at his job; he is an honest man who will be truthful about what is wrong with your car and how to fix it. He is also very knowledgeable about what he does and will not overcharge or cheat people in any way. Due to this, his shop is always busy with a steady stream of customers.  

Unfortunately, he does get his share of problem customers. This one in particular stands out even among the worst of the others.

[Customer] starts communication with [Husband] via telephone and asks about a price quote for an engine swap. A price quote is given. Then, there’s silence for a few weeks.

[Customer] calls again, and again asks for the price of an engine swap. When he is given the same price quote, [Customer] then starts to inquire about a head gasket replacement service.

Husband: “That would be [new price quote].”

Customer: “Why does it cost so much?!”

[Husband] explains in detail what is included in the service. He also explains that if the car engine has already overheated, it is recommended to swap the engine. Overheating of the engine can cause the components of the engine block to warp and cause damage.

[Customer] drops off his car and makes it clear that he wants a head gasket replacement service. [Husband] completes the service and the customer picks up his vehicle.

Two days later, the car is returned to the shop via tow truck (paid by [Husband]). It is leaking oil badly. Upon inspection, a hole is discovered in the engine block. The components of the block have warped and caused damage. There are also other visual signs of the engine block having been previously overheated.

[Husband] calls [Customer] to give him the diagnosis of the engine. [Customer] is very angry.

Customer: “Why wasn’t this fixed when my car was in?”

Husband: “The car was dropped off for a head gasket replacement service. In this type of service, the block is not removed and inspected as the engine is not being rebuilt.”

Customer: “My engine block problems are your fault! Something must have happened in the shop that caused the warping and the hole!”

After a lengthy conversation, filled with accusations, [Husband] encourages [Customer] to take his car to the dealership for a second opinion.

Husband: “Those mechanics can diagnose the engine damage, and you’ll see that the damage did not happen in my shop. They can also critique the professional head gasket replacement service I did, and you will see that the job was done professionally and completely.”

[Customer] refuses all encouragement to get a second opinion and strongly insists that [Husband] is to blame for his engine block issues. When [Husband] will not fix the engine block for free, [Customer] files a complaint against my husband’s shop with the state’s Attorney General.

He states in the complaint that he dropped his car off for a head gasket replacement service. Two days later, the engine block became damaged, and [Husband] is refusing to take responsibility for the block damage. [Customer] files this complaint while storing his vehicle for free at [Husband]’s shop. The customer never complains at all about the actual head gasket service [Husband] completed.

After our written response is received by the Attorney General’s office, the complaint is quickly closed without investigation into my husband’s shop. The customer finally picks up his car after a month of free storage.

[Customer] then calls his bank and brings a dispute against [Husband] via [Payment Service] which we use. His new accusation to get the money returned? “Goods or Services not as described.” This is a complete lie, as he was told in detail prior to the service what was included.

The dispute is still open. To prove [Customer] is lying, we have provided all of [Customer]’s original complaints against us and our written response. Both are signed under perjury of law to be truthful and accurate.

[Payment Service] has pulled the payment from our account and is holding it while they investigate [Customer]’s claim of “Goods or services not as described.” We are still waiting to see if the banks will see the truth in this situation, or if [Customer] will win and have his money returned to him.

Pump The Brakes And Turn On The Light!

, , , , , | Right | September 14, 2022

As I was driving around on a Friday, my truck repeatedly warned me that my windshield washer fluid was low, so I decided I would top up the fluid as soon as I got home.

Now, the windshield washer fluid reservoir in this thing is huge. In the six years of driving this truck, I think we’ve had to add fluid about six times. So, cue me looking in the manual for how to open the flipping hood (the release is hidden on the bottom of the steering column), opening the hood, digging out the jug of washer fluid, and getting ready to add it — just as the garage opener light times out, making the garage a lot darker.

Undaunted, I spotted something that looked like a windshield washer reservoir, took off the cap, and poured the fluid in… only to have it splash over my hands. It was already full! Cue WTF moment, turning on the garage light switch, and looking at the truck manual once more.

I had just added windshield washer fluid to the brake fluid reservoir! Yikes!

Long story short, the auto club towed my truck to the garage, where the mechanic flushed the brake fluid completely. Fortunately, everyone had time in their schedules, so I was back on the road by the end of the day (at a price, of course).

Lesson learned. Don’t do a task like this when: 1) you haven’t done it in over a year; 2) you’re tired; 3) you’re hurrying (when there is no good reason to hurry); 4) you can’t actually see properly.

I was glad that I had a regular, trusted mechanic who I could call to check just how bad my mistake was. Otherwise, I might have risked driving the 20 km (at highway speeds) to the garage, which would have pumped the washer fluid through the brake lines.

Radiating Pure Entitlement

, , , , | Right | August 26, 2022

I’m a mechanic. A lady calls in.

Customer: “I need a new radiator. I have it in my car and I’m on the way to get it replaced. The shop I trust diagnosed it, but you’re closer and I really need to get it done. I’m in a rush!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am. Just bring that in and we’ll have a look for you.”


My boss, the quick-thinking guy that he is, pulls up her information and tells her that the radiator installation is going to be around $250 in labor.

Customer: “Okay! I’ll be there in around twenty minutes!”

Usually, we are a pretty busy shop, but today we are deader than a nun’s Friday night, so the two head techs flip a coin to see who is going to get paid. We’re all going to pitch in anyway because we want to get this lady in and out.

She pulls in and my manager and head tech go out to greet her. She tosses the keys at them.

Customer: “Get it done, ASAP!”

The head tech pulls the car in. In an awesome display of teamwork and skill, we take a still-steaming radiator and replace it with the brand-new one the customer has within an hour. The head tech pulls the car around and we go in with smiling faces to talk to the customer and thank her for our business and generally be proud of ourselves.

Alas, this is not to be.

The lady is angry. Super angry. She starts screaming at our manager about how we cheated her, we screwed her over, and we’re gonna get sued by her lawyer husband, etc, etc.

Manager: “We did our best and had three techs working on your car to get it out as fast as possible.”

He shows her the old radiator and reminds her that she watched us pull the old radiator out and put the new one in.

Customer: “I’m not paying any money! You’re going to cheat me because you did the job too fast!”

My manager, who is normally a very kind and understanding guy, has experienced quite enough of this lady’s attitude:

Manager: “Ma’am, you have two choices. One, we could call the cops and tell them that you’re refusing to pay for services rendered. Or two…”

He now has a devilish smile on his face:

Manager: “…we could replace the new radiator with the old one free of charge.”

She decides to take the second option! We’re sitting just outside the waiting area listening to her wail like a banshee. Our manager comes back out and says:

Manager: “Hey, you guys want lunch? You know that Chinese place you guys like so much, but it takes forever for them to get you your food? Why don’t you guys go there and eat in? My treat.”

He handed us a wad of money and told us to go.

After we left (this is according to the manager, but I believe him due to the customer’s evil glare when we came back), he went back in and informed her that all the techs went on their mandatory lunch break and wouldn’t be back for an hour.

After we came back, funny enough, it took us two hours to put that old, leaky radiator back in.