Alcina (alcina2) wrote in bad_service,

Car repair annoyance

Some recent stories about car mechanics reminded me of this incident from last year...

My clutch started slipping quite badly, and needed replacing. Not surprising as the clutch had been in for about 100k miles. The timing was unfortunate as I was on holiday and had intended to make some long drives, so I was anxious to get it seen to quickly.

My local garage told me they couldn't see me for 5 days, and advided that if I was in a hurry I should try the authorised main dealer for my make of car. I phone them, and ask 'I would like my clutch replacing. Is there any chance you could book me in in the next couple of days?' Yes, indeed; they can make an appointment for it to be done the day after next. I tell them the model and year of my car, and ask if they are sure they can fit the clutch that day, as I need the car. Yes, indeedy! They can definitely fix it.

Fast forward two days and I take the car in. I greet the receptionist and identify myself and things rapidly begin to go wrong...

Receptionist: We'll need you to pay the standard fee of 60 pounds for the diagnostic check upfront. We'll ring you with an estimate before we actually start any repair work...
Me: Hang on! I didn't book the car in for a diagnostic check, I booked it to have a new clutch fitted.
R: Yes, but before we do any work on your car we need to do a diagnostic check.
Me: Why?
R: to rip you off So we can give you an accurate estimate of how much it is going to cost.
Me: Surely you must know how much it costs to replace a clutch?
R: Well, it is our policy that all vehicles have to have a diagnostic check. It might not be the clutch that is faulty.
Me: Well, can't you just replace it straight away, whether it's faulty or not?
R: It might very well not be the clutch, and you'd be wasting money...
Me:* at this point I decide to Hell with it, I'm clearly going to have to pay an extra 60 quid on top of the cost of replacing the clutch* Ok. I'll pay the 60 quid. I assume you do have a clutch in stock for this car?
R: When we know the results of the test, we will check that for you.
Me: Could you check it now please?
R: It might not be the clutch that's faulty.
Me: Nevertheless, could you tell me if you have the part?
R:*checks computer* No, we would have to wait for the part to be delivered...

Not surprisingly they didn't get my 60 quid...or any of my business. What pisses me off is not so much the policy, but the fact that they didn't mention it when I booked the car in, or the fact that they confirmed the appointment was to change the clutch and then waited until I showed up with the car to tell me it wasn't.

Tags: car/truck repair
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