Who are more often deceived
Any driver can get into the network of unscrupulous car service employees. But there are several characteristic varieties of people who are most vulnerable in the realm of lifts and wrenches.
First of all, these are inexperienced drivers, poorly imagining the device of the car. Each master or mechanic instantly determines the degree of technical awareness of the client and, having sensed a slack, can elementarily “dilute” him into additional, completely superfluous work. Say, you should not tell the mechanics that the car has not been serviced for a long time: the result will almost certainly be a lot of unnecessary work.
Also, a young woman who is likely to be poorly versed in technology or, in principle, considers this a man’s business, can easily become a victim of an avid car service employee.
Melancholy or very busy people often suffer from poor service, giving the master keys with a request to figure out what is there and how, and leaving for their business for several hours.
Which service to prefer
Despite the obvious arguments in favor of branded service centers where only original spare parts are used, and the work is under the control of car manufacturers, no one will give a full guarantee of quality service here. The work of services since 2001 in Russia is not licensed, which allows them to broadly interpret their responsibilities.
Do not go to the nearest service. Saving time can cost serious damage to the machine. Always ask your friends and the Internet in advance which company is trustworthy. Pay particular attention to ratings.
Also give preference to service stations that work with one or two brands of cars, which will give some confidence in the "sharpened" mechanics to perform work specifically with the cars of your brand.
Unofficial or “garage” service is almost always cheaper than branded, and the quality of services is often comparable. But if you are not lucky with the service and the car breaks down (or, God forbid, an accident occurs), it will be much more difficult to achieve compensation.
When the choice falls on a previously unfamiliar branded service center, first ask the staff to show a valid certificate from the manufacturer confirming this status.
Do not go in cycles in one center and at the first dissatisfaction with services address in another. If we are talking about official services, such a transition will not affect the guarantee.
It’s probably impossible to sort through all the existing methods of “divorcing” a client. In addition, inventive servicemen always come up with something new. Maybe it’s our mentality, but even employees working in the same company are sometimes proud of putting each other in a difficult position (I know such mutual “divorces” even between top managers of service centers). In any case, you need to know the main types of fraud in order to at least somewhat secure against unnecessary expenses.
Often, unprepared customers turn to the service with a request to check the source of some strange knock or ringing. Even if it’s immediately clear to the mechanics that nothing serious has happened, most likely he will offer you diagnostics (not free), which in the best case will not show anything.
It is much worse if, after such a check, the master reports that the car has a serious malfunction (of course, imaginary) and repairs are urgently needed. Needless to say, it will result in a round sum, and the result will be unpredictable. At least they won’t do anything with the machine (for your money) or they will exchange some serviceable nodes for others. Or they can, taking advantage of your absence, replace some new parts with old or left ones in general.
Likewise, a car may be specially damaged, the results of which will be proposed to be repaired on the spot. But some types of such injuries are hidden, therefore they appear after some time. With the expectation that the client will visit the service again.
One of the common, but relatively harmless ways of “divorce” is to offer unnecessary additional services or parts / materials of “improved quality”. Of course, at an inflated price. Typically, such actions are successfully carried out with "dummies."
The manipulations of technical centers employees with standard hours, that is, the labor costs approved for and included in the price list of the service for standard operations, which correspond to specific prices, also flourish. Other masters are pleased to increase the number of standard hours in the work order and add extra consumables, motivating this with related work that does not exist in reality.
How to avoid cheating
It is unlikely that you can fully insure yourself against the destructive effects of other car service employees. Our tips will help minimize troubles.
Having got acquainted with the master-receptionist and explaining the purpose of your visit, immediately take an interest in what work will be done. Ask for all additional paid services to be agreed with you. The cost of the main work should also be agreed in advance. After that, all agreements (including price) are fixed in the order-order, which is signed by you and the master.
Make possible additional work documented, so that later it would be possible, in case of problems, to file a claim. Ask suggestive questions about their need, which will reduce the likelihood of "unfriendly maneuvers."
Do not give your master inexperience. If your technical knowledge leaves much to be desired, briefly describe the problem and ask for a solution. If you have any doubts about the intentions of the master, ask for time to think and leave. Better yet, bring a “savvy” acquaintance with whom you are unlikely to be forced to do extra work.
Also, do not inform the master that they themselves have recently been repairing the machine. He will probably accuse you of some kind of breakdown and add some “correction” work.
Always ask the receiving master to let you into the workshop to be present during diagnostics and repairs (in serious centers this request is satisfied). With you, the mechanic is unlikely to dare to replace parts or damage something specially. In addition, it will be possible to verify that the work is completed in full and with the right quality. If you personally cannot be in the repair area, ask a friend or relative to do this.
But the sleight of hand of some mechanics allows you to do "dark things" even in the presence of the client. Therefore, when buying expensive spare parts, before replacing them in the service, mark them with some invisible mark (scratch, barely visible paint), and after completing work, ask them to return all the replaced parts to you.
Finally, taking the work done, carefully check everything, and also ask the master-receiver to report the diagnostic results and enter them in the final version of the order. Only after that pay for the services.