NEVER FELT SO RIPPED OFF IN MY WHOLE LIFE
(A lesson to be learned in all of this)
a little bit long, but keep reading there's a message in all of this.
To say I feel ripped off today is putting it mildly. Two weeks ago today my car broke down. As I don't have any males in my immediate world that could come and check it out, I realised I was at the mercy of any mechanic I could find.
I found a mobile mechanic in the phone book and called him up to come and look at my car..... and unfortunately for me that was my first mistake. Unfortunately there was more wrong with my car than I thought, however, as I definitely need my car I decided that I would get him to go ahead and fix it. It was supposed to be cheaper than buying another one ..... $1200 to 1300 he quoted to fix the timing chain, which had broken. Whilst I know that sounds like a lot of money, for what needed doing, and although I gasped, I wanted to get it fixed.
I should have known this wasn't going to end well when it took them 3 days to come and collect my car and tow it to the workshop ... which turned out to be at the mechanic's home. At first I was told that the car would be ready by last monday ..... around 5 days after they towed my car away. Next phone call I get from the mechanic is to tell me that they need to fix a couple of other things and it was now going to cost $1700..... with this little added comment "or maybe a little bit more". To say I felt mildly ill at that piece of news is probably under stating how I was truly feeling at that point. Alarm bells should have been going off fairly loudly by now, but being a trusting soul, I still didn't get what was happening.
Fast forward to today ..... another 4 days down the track and the mechanic didn't phone me, I had to phone him. He said the car would be ready today. Hooray I said (lots of cheering)!!! He said that he was taking it out for a test drive and it would be ready in about an hour .... again I just thought Hooray, finally after 2 weeks without a car, I'll have it back.
Then came the bad news ..... and it was bad ...... I think I switched off once he said "it was a 'LITTLE' bit more than I said" ..... "The final cost is $2330 he said". He was telling me that he had had to replace this, and fix that, and when he'd told me that earlier, at no time had he mentioned that it was going to cost more. At no time did he tell me that he was going to do all these extra things, and it was going to cost me over $700 more than the original quote. He'd basically decided he'd fix them while he was doing the rest of the stuff. Oh yep, that's okay I have an open check book ... no worries MR.
To say I was dumb founded and speechless is putting it mildly .... I think I was in shock. I cried and couldn't say too much.
I said that we wanted to pay by Credit/Debit card and he said "oh so your not paying by cash", like I'd ever said I was going to, and I really don't know where he got that idea .... "oh, then that's going to be more". I'm in the land of disbelief right about now. 3% on top of what I was already paying he said. To be honest, right about now, I'm thinking where does this nightmare end.
So let me get this straight, not only are you charging me $700 over and above what you quoted, you are also going to charge me 3% on top of that ..... AND ..... you won't allow me to pay it by bank transfer, I have to pay card or cash.
Well I have my car back now and it's running well .... that's the only good thing I can say and only time will tell if he has done a good job!!! I'm not disputing his actual physical work, just his terrible lack of transparency and ethics and just the fact that basically he was not honest. I wonder how he would feel if it was his wife, or mother or daughter that had been ripped off and overcharged.
I've always had a fear of being ripped off by a mechanic. I used to take my car to a friend who would fix it for me and he was a fantastic mechanic, but as he no longer has his own business, I couldn't go to him. He was honest and only ever did what needed doing and that's all he charged me for.
I will never be ripped off again I can tell you. I will never ever allow another mechanic to work on my car without giving me a definite and final quote. At this moment I am deciding how to handle this and what action I will take. I'm going to contact consumer affairs on Monday to find out what I can do about this guy. I don't think I'd be wrong in thinking that he was trying to do a 'SHONKY' when he seemed shocked that I wasn't paying by cash. Am I going to recommend this guy to anyone .... not on your life and not if my life depended on it.
After all of this I just want to mention (no names) the beautiful angel and friend that I have watching over me who came to my financial rescue ..... thank you from the bottom of my heart, I will never forget your help and what you have done for me.
It's been quite a day ......