Well, in my continuing saga that is my life, I spent most of my afternoon in search of a fair price to fix my wife’s brakes on her car. Turns out I should have gone to my mechanic in the first place.
The first two places I went to or talked to on the phone didn’t exactly like my research prices before you approach tactic. They made me feel like I’m just a stupid consumer who knows nothing about the car repair business. In fact one spoke to my wife on the phone and freely admitted that the parts places and the business “deserve to make a fair mark up” on what they sell.
My mechanic frankly informed me that the highest end piece for the brake that needed to be fixed would be necessary only if the back brakes were gone, due to the fact that it also controls the emergency brake system. However we are talking about her front brakes- so I felt correct in going with my instinct in knowing that I was going to get literally taken for a ride in terms of the cost.
So the car will be getting serviced tomorrow. I know that the job will get done correctly. I know that my mechanic will only do what’s absolutely necessary to get the car driving again safely. I know that I will be called before any repairs are done with the estimate of the price. This is why I should have gone to my mechanic in the first place- even if he’s never done work on my wife’s car before.
In case you don’t know, I’ll be happy to spread the word to my friends and family about the other auto services and their poor practices. Too bad that their quick judgments and unhealthy attitudes will cost them a lifetime of oil changes and other minor preventive maintenance services. I’m guessing that these businesses believe it’s easier to make up the difference in number of customers rather than keeping a customer for life.
Whatever happened to people going the extra mile to retain a customer? I’ve been reading books about networking over the past couple of days, and when it comes to connecting with people you need to look outside yourself and genuinely help the person you want a relationship with. These employees obviously look at the auto service industry as a job and not as a passion- because they couldn’t fairly and honestly answer my questions and when I did have good points to make, instead of acknowledgment I received disdain and ignorance.
So remember in a world where people spend so much time building a relationship with a new person- always remember you need to sustain your old relationships much like fruits and vegetables in a garden if you want total satisfaction. For someone you’ve lost touch with in the past year, figure out a way to creatively get back in touch with them.
Maybe there’s something going on in their favorite hobby or passion that you can inform them about. Maybe you can take them out to lunch or go out to a play. Whatever it takes to reconnect not only on-line but also face to face- reach out and do it. Check yourself every day and see that you are enhancing the lives of others at least once a day and you’ll receive a balance of good health, good harmony and good graces.
In the meantime I’ll be doing my best to learn more about my mechanic and plug into his interests, as he’s been there for me in my times of car needs for the past year. The connection I made through my body shop (when I had to get my car fixed twice from previous accidents) is worth the development not only in terms of my finances, but also in terms of the good person that he is.