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  • holding payment/releasing vehicle

    Posted by gcauto on July 8, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Earlier this week we had a customer approve about $400.00 worth of repairs. This was a customer that had been to us before, but it’s been a couple of years since we saw him. Our process is, we schedule the appointment to confirm the vehicle problem. We call the customer with an estimate before we do any work to the vehicle. With approval we complete the work and call the customer when the vehicle is ready for pick-up. I spoke to both the husband and wife in this instance and had prior approval. The customer came to pick up and asked me to hold his check as he wouldn’t get paid until Friday. He then followed it up with the comment “we want to keep doing business with you but…”, implying that if I didn’t hold his payment he would not be back in the future.

    Against my better judgement, yes, I’m holding the check. I have noted this customers file to always get a deposit in the future for any work.

    Anyone else have any other suggestions on how to deal with this situation, if it occurs in the future?

    Thanks!

    Cheryl

    chopshopcustoms replied 10 years, 7 months ago 7 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
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  • Tom Ham

    Member
    July 10, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Cheryl Lindbeck wrote:

    > Earlier this week we had a customer approve about $400.00 worth of repairs. This was a customer that had been to us before, but it’s been a couple of years since we saw him. Our process is, we schedule the appointment to confirm the vehicle problem. We call the customer with an estimate before we do any work to the vehicle. With approval we complete the work and call the customer when the vehicle is ready for pick-up. I spoke to both the husband and wife in this instance and had prior approval. The customer came to pick up and asked me to hold his check as he wouldn’t get paid until Friday. He then followed it up with the comment “we want to keep doing business with you but…”, implying that if I didn’t hold his payment he would not be back in the future.

    > Against my better judgement, yes, I’m holding the check. I have noted this customers file to always get a deposit in the future for any work.

    > Anyone else have any other suggestions on how to deal with this situation, if it occurs in the future?

    > Thanks!

    > Cheryl

    While what I am about to say is much easier said than done, it is well worth the effort.

    Look for better customers. What things can you do to attract a better class of customers?

    As for questions like his, smile big while you say “Sorry…we cannot do that.” If he really he wants you to work on his car, he will find another way to pay at pick-up.

  • Frank Scandura III

    Member
    July 12, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    check is likely bad, you’re under no obligation to give the car back with out payment – If this customer were to go home and find the water heater failed – do you think they would tell the family “sorry, we owe for the car repair and the hot water will have to wait”. No, the car is inn the driveway- fixed – they will use the funds to fix the water heater, or what ever emergency should come up before Friday. I don’t want to sound jaded, but I have been there- done that-

  • davesgarage

    Member
    July 12, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    When I started in this biz 22 years ago, the policy was to get the customer to initial on the RO what type of payment was to be expected at time of vehicle delevery after service, cash, check or credit card.

  • Patrick McElroy

    Member
    July 13, 2011 at 4:43 am

    If I may quote Tom Piippo of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, ” I made a deal with my bank, I won’t make loans to customers and they won’t fix cars.”

  • gcauto

    Member
    July 13, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks Tom,

    I’m still learning marketing/advertising in the hopes of getting a better class of customers here. One of this years goals is to increase our customer base but to increase it with customers that are looking for a higher quality of service.

    Thanks for the comment and from now on I will go with my gut feeling, smile big and say, sorry. We’ll release it when we get paid.

    Thanks again!

    Cheryl

  • gcauto

    Member
    July 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Not a bad idea. What do you do in the case of customers dropping off before/after hours or scheduling/approving by phone? Do you fax the estimate to them?

  • gcauto

    Member
    July 13, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    So far there’s been no problem with the check, but I agree, that’s my gut feeling too. What if something else comes up that they need the money for? Sure, we have a check, but if it bounces, we’re out of the money, no vehicle to hold for collateral and time/fees involved with collecting.

    Thanks, I’m going to go with my gut from now on. This is money that MY family needs too!

    Cheryl

  • gcauto

    Member
    July 13, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    I’ve heard that quote before and love it! Thanks!

  • Linc Lewis

    Member
    September 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    We began to use tele-check several years ago. That is we will accept a personal check if it is able to be processed electronically. The burden of a good check is shifted to telecheck and we remain neutral and nonjudgmental. The cost is about the same as a credit card discount rate….. FWIT.

  • chopshopcustoms

    Member
    November 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    yes- dont do business with them. Simple as that- He isnt a customer. A Customer pays their bill. You arent the bank and even then THEY dont hold checks….