April 1, 2010 at 4:34 pm #7959
Great post Dave, I agree with a with a lot of what you state. One think not considered is regional and socioeconomic factors. Here in Michigan there is a LOT of folks down to their last dollar, and repair price does matter. I do cave a lot and help with estimates over the phone, usually only after I’m gone through the enire routine of trying to get the car in the lot. The phone estimate form that is available in the management section is a great tool, especially in regarde to asking what other quotes have been given. I cut to the chase and ask if the car is at another shop when the caller has quick answers to all the particulars need to get a correct estimate. If they are honest and tell me the other price I can usually figure out what they are or are not getting for the money, and I give them some questions to ask who ever is working on the car.April 6, 2010 at 11:51 am #7964
This whole thread can be refered to George Witt’s recent article about phone estimates. Many times people don’t know the questions to ask when calling a shop, especially an unfamiliar shop, so they ask for a price. Sure, they want to know how much they are going to spend, so just answer their questions (“brake pads are $xx, labor is $xx) but explain that until someone actually takes the wheels off and inspects the brakes, this price may mean nothing. Offer them an inspection, tell them if there is a charge for the inspection or not. Our estimates are free, but we do charge money to take things apart and inspect. We will waive the charge if we get the job while it is still on the lift. I find customers often just want to start a conversation about their needed repairs when they ask “How Much??”April 12, 2010 at 9:12 pm #7966
I just began using repair pal and have had several interactions with them in regards to what I considered lowball estimates. I was contacted as to what my time would be and will wait to see if the changes are made. I am getting a lot of calls thru the service just cant seem to get the customers to commit. I am afraid they are shopping for the low price “quoted” on the reapir pal sight and will call till they get that price. If this continues I will drop the sponsered service I am paying for cause so far it aint paying for itself.April 13, 2010 at 1:37 am #7969
Did you get the awesome new report from RepairPal this month?
It gives us a list of all phone calls made through them and
you can Listen in on each call to find out: which calls turned into
sales, which didn’t and maybe the reason why…..
What an incredible tool!April 13, 2010 at 12:21 pm #7970
Yes I did. The report is cool. I still believe tho that the bulk of the calls are price shoppers that will call till they find a shop that meets the low price or will bend to it. Maybe I am to cynical but so far the numbers are not adding up for me. I also found a lot of calls from out of this area. Many are from metro areas as far as 100 miles south of here. Ya I know people move around and cell phones do not reflect that but? I would like nothing more than for it to work, time will tell.January 27, 2016 at 10:37 pm #14423
RepairPal.com review by hard working tech trying to make a living :I use repairpal.com. My rep talks a game, she always has a explanation as to why their price is inaccurate, generally too low, below cost that any part supplier can find me the part for, or why the manufacturers book shows 1.8 hours and her book shows .8 hours.The two issues I experience are customers upset that my first estimate is higher than repairpal.com. The second is that repairpal.com is too low and I am required per the contract according to my rep to match the price or else she will cancel me.Now she says the following ” if your price estimate is higher we will refund you if we find an error on our site” So I found an error, their price for labor was pretty close within $8 I can deal with that, but the part price was $178 less than the ford dealer, and $180 less than the manufacturers list price for an aftermarket part, and $80 less than the lowest cost I could find from any local parts house. So I spoke with the customer who would not hear it – she wanted the repairpal price, so I spent an hour searching online if I could get any new part for close to the repairpal price, so with amz prime I found it for $9 less than the repair pal price (dont forget that with prime I paid for membership to get the free shipping…) and this was the only way I could meet their quote but I want to make the customer happy even though I was making only $9 on the part and my policy is we sell at the manufacturers suggested price, not even a mark up, but just mfr list. Remember that.So I adjust the customers invoice, order the part, its in the next day, done. I email my rep at repair pal and she starts the double talk “well, what you needed to do was show the list prices and then show the difference and dollars off in order to comply with our price guarantee. Since you just gave her the repairpal prices its not eligible.” huh? she goes on to threaten me “if your list prices dont conform to our pricing model then we can cancel you..” really? Ever hear of the Sherman Act? This issue is not over yet, but rest assured, exactly what I expected to happen when I signed up has, they under price the job to attract clicks and consumers and now they dont want to cover me for somewhere between the $80 and $180 I think I am entitled to. I pay $199 a month for this?Look, when my customer has an issue and wants a refund and they have been a loyal customer who spends $2400 a year – would you kick them off over less than 1 months billings?This is my feelings about what you may experience. I am asking my rep to contact her management team. If this is the sharing economy, I am not feeling it. Technician shops are performing multiple trades, extensive knowledge of many systems, massive capital investments and tools, and generally less net income than a building trade (I am sure hard working and conscientious, no disrespect) but at some point shops should demand fair labor rates to offset the many factors we face daily.To that tangent – I will end by saying I called a three garage door repair men who said their hourly labor rate was $150 – per man hour – to fix a garage door, If I was not so busy fixing my customer cars I would take the time to do it myself. He showed up with a 3/8″ 16″ long steel round bar and a 5/16″ wrench and fixed my door in 50 minutes and billed me $300. We are in the wrong business 🙂March 7, 2016 at 12:01 pm #14469
As an update to the previous RepairPal.com feelings, let me advise all repair shops and consumers that RepairPal.com agreed with me, sent me a check to make good on about the amount it should have been, admitted their system has estimating errors, and then…..bounced their check to me. My bank advised me a week after deposit the “account is CLOSED”. They wrote checks on a closed account? I think writing a check on a closed account is worse than coming up short, I think its a felony?I called the CFO who was almost weirdly cryptic in his conversation, like he was whispering and hiding under his desk. They promised to make good on it in a few weeks. When I addressed the NSF fees I had to pay my bank he said he would see what he could do. I hope he knows that writing a check on a closed account is a felony. I don’t intend of prosecuting anyone, but it seems when the money is flowing towards them all is dandy, when the Guarantee goes from them to a shop there is a question here.Regardless, you should establish your own feelings prior to doing business with any intermediary.
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