Research: Don’t Take Things at Face Value

Today at the local automotive service the employee let me know that I would be needing more than just a replacement of brake pads and rotors for my car. Yes indeed, the calipers are gone as well. When I asked what the price would be to fix them including labor, I heard a familiar quote: “they are expensive”. However after hearing the price for both the calipers and labor, I decided to do a little research of my own.

My first stop would be the local auto parts store where I fed them the information regarding the part in question and make and model of the car. Amazingly, the quote was 50% of the original price the auto shop quotes me for the parts. Wanting to make sure this was consistent with other shops, I asked my wife to look online and see what the average prices for that same part would be. The price was within the same ball park figure as what I was quoted at the auto parts shop, not the auto service.

Why in this day and age would auto places think that consumers would not do the research if they believe they are being over charged for parts and service? Do they believe I have zero access to looking information up on line, finding other stores that service the make and model of my car and comparing and contrasting the prices?

This same particular automotive service store six weeks previous tried to over charge me when originally replacing the pads and rotors for the same car. It’s amazing when I stated that there’s no way I could afford it and that I would be going someplace else how a 25% discount came into the picture. Whatever happened to honesty and integrity within the car repair business? What other businesses practice similar bait and switch ethics to try to increase their profitability?

Remember in today’s market, if you don’t like the service, pricing or standards you receive from one business, there’s nothing stop you from switching in an instant. I don’t mind paying a higher price for certain items or services based on my needs, wants and desires (as I do with my bowling needs), yet I do practice the quality versus pricing issue on other areas in my life that I think can be variable (my cell phone… I chose the free one that comes with the plan because I don’t feel like I need the latest and greatest model the cell company is advertising to the hilt).

It’s ok to seek out opinions from others who’ve used the company or service, find forums online that discuss a particular make or model you are thinking about purchasing before you impulsively get yourself into a mess. I took my family’s thoughts into account, did my own store research and also looked into a few things online to come to a collective conclusion: I’m not accepting the inflated price at face value!

On a brighter note, my oldest daughter decided to take my words at face value and apologize to me, unprompted by my wife, for how she’s treated me as a father over the past week. Her feelings were hurt when I felt like I needed some alone time over the weekend, but I had an honest discussion with them about the words they say and their attitudes in the afternoons that make me feel like I’m not worthy to be their father. We’ll see if this week she makes more of an effort to be aware of her feelings and emotions and uses her therapy skills to be appropriate with me.

I’ll keep everyone posted on both events as they play out. In the meantime- don’t go into any unsure price or future purchase without doing some research. People are tempted to accept the first item thrown at them- assert yourself and be unafraid to ask the questions you need to know as ultimately you have to be the one satisfied with the outcome.

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