I went to Jack Williams to get my studded snow tires changed back to normal tires. I had two normal ones I bought last year, and needed two new ones this year. With a nice deal on two new tires, and my car in the shop, I was given a ride down to my job and all was good.
At about 11AM, they called me and the following conversation occurred:
Them: Yes, we've found that your front struts are leaking and will need to be replaced.
Me: ...? I'm not sure what those are.
Them: They're what keep your car from bouncing when you go over a bump, a pot hole...
Me: ...The car isn't even four years old yet, is that normal?
Them: Yes. We found them to be leaking fluid when we replaced your tires.
Me: If they're leaking fluid, wouldn't there be a puddle or something under my car? It was parked in the same spot for 2 1/2 days...
Them: No, its a small amount of fluid. We found the struts completely soaked in the fluid which told us there was a leak.
Me: Well, how much is it?
Them: With the two tires you bought today and labor, 964.12.
Me: ...............................oh, wow. That's a lot.
Them: Do you want us to do the work today?
Me: I don't have enough to pay for that, just the tires today.
Them: Alright, you can come get your car in about 30 minutes.
Something just felt... off about the conversation. So, I called up my mother's brother-in-law, who is a mechanic but lives about an hour from me.
Me: BIL, so I had my tires replaced... *tells him story about what Jack Williams said*
BIL: It's only four years old? Struts usually don't need to be replaced that soon...
Me: If they did need to be replaced, how much would it cost?
BIL: Well, I'd have to get an exact price, but two brand new, top of the line struts I have here from BMW only cost $100.
Me: ....Huh. They wanted to charge me more than 700 for it.
BIL: You're getting ripped of. All you need to do is a bounce test to see if they need to get fixed. Your car would be bouncing up and down like a pogo stick if your struts were leaking.
Me: *no idea what a bounce test is* Thanks, I might be coming up there this weekend to get them replaced.
BIL: Let me know.
But something still felt OFF. Specially when he seemed absolutely shocked when I mentioned the car's age. So, after some asking around, I found out one of the people I work with.. her father owns a garage right down the road. He also takes care of all the cars that are used at the place I work, so he's a good person to go to. So, she called him and he said to bring my car over on my lunch break. I literally picked my car up from Jack Williams and drove 2 miles down the road.
They pulled the car into the gargage, and much to my amusement, started bouncing the car. They were leaning on it and getting off quickly so it bounced, seeing if it kept bouncing or stopped immediately (which I now know a car is supposed to do). Ah, so this was the mysterious bounce test! It took them only a minute or two to get my car raised off the ground, and he called me over.
Friend's Father: ...Your struts are completely dry. If they were leaking, all this *he points* would be covered in fluid.
I look to where he's point and indeed, the place he is pointing to (what I assume are my struts) are COMPLETELY dry. Bone dry. It wasn't like someone wiped off the fluid so it was dry, they were still covered in mud and filth from typical driving.
Friend's Father: *after another minute or two of checking* Your struts are perfectly fine, nothing wrong with them.
So fuck you, Jack Williams. Thanks for trying to screw me over with a completely unnecessary repair. I'm not coming back. I have a hell of a feeling you were trying to screw me over because I'm female and wouldn't know any better, but I'm not completely stupid. Plus, your $75 dollar an hour repair rate is INSANE. BIL works at $45 an hour and Friend's Father works at $55.