Venting...

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Venting...

ThePharmacist
One of our accounts, which the agreement was they bring us smogs and refer us customers and we give them a discount, was really pissing me off the other day. He comes in with his "friend" in a '99 Accord, who needs a smog because she wants to sell it and the buyer so happens to be here also. So I run the test and of coarse the rubber intake was torn. I show it to our guy and tell him it needs to be replaced he responds with, "yeah yeah we'll do it later," thinking that I'm just gonna pass it or something. So I complete the test and don't charge him like how we always do when they bring us a failed car. He starts to act all surprised and gets on my case about failing it. He rambles on and on about his friends buyer is about to buy this car right now and it needs to pass blah blah blah. I tell you run a repair shop you can easily get this fixed up today and he's telling me he doesn't have time and I shouldn't have failed it just a bunch of BS. He was getting on my nerves with this but I didn't want to embarrass him any further because they do bring us a lot of business. Next time he comes around I'm gonna tell him what's up. I hate it when accounts think I work for them and forget that this is a fair deal with him bringing us car and we give them discounts nothing more
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No One
I got rid of those ppl a long time ago. They are nothing but a pain in the ass and always want freebies.
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ThePharmacist
Yeah, unfortunately all the other guys who bring in cars from that shop they know whats up and don't give me any problems when a car fails. I guess it was the fact that he had the buyer right there in person but that's not an excuse to get irate with me
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No One
These are the people that are always resetting the MIL around my area and then selling the cars to unsuspecting ppl. The money wasn't worth the headaches.
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805smogtech
When I was first starting as an inspector in Santa Barbara about 4 years ago, a guy from the body shop around the corner, asked me if I could smog his 89 chevy blazer. I said sure, just bring it on by. He goes on to state that he had taken out the dash, and had taken out the bulb for the check engine light and when he put the dash back, didnt put in a new bulb. He told me if I passed it he'd get me a 6 pack of beer LOL...Needless to say I told him if he did bring it in for a smog i'd fail it. He never brought it by. Used to get those kind of people all the time. Mostly body shop guys or used car lot owners. No thanks. Glad i dont smog in Santa Barbara no more.
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Re: Venting...

tampered
Administrator
805smogtech wrote
Needless to say I told him if he did bring it in for a smog i'd fail it.
For a single Tall Boy, of course!
The only thing about wearing a mask that bothers me is that the girls are a lot friendlier.
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Best Answer I Can Give
 Explain the FACTS to them. It's not what I pass today, it what the next guy FAILS next time.

 I take your "WORD" that you will "FIX" it after I'm done and you don't. The next person, IT FAILS, I'm out of a JOB.
So if you want me to keep doing the FINE work I am doing for you,
FIX IT!
 Never make fun of the choices your wife makes. You were one of them.
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none
In reply to this post by ThePharmacist
PHARMACIST, You know he wasn't going to fix it anyway so you did the right thing AND you have to have to put your foot down with some people to get their respect. They know that you aren't a push over and respect you more for it.
People are usually shocked when they find out I'm not a very good electrician.
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Re: Venting...

ThePharmacist
You are absolutely right. At my previous shop I worked for I remember failing a 2000s Volvo for a broken PCV hose. Ironically, my coworker was there when I failed it and it just so happens to be the very same Volvo my coworker passed 2 years ago and gave that lady a break by not failing it. He even went as far as marking it with white out so she would get it fixed up, 2 years later same broken hose. So yeah, they'll say whatever they want to get you pass their car after that they could care less.  
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805smogtech
I've had dealers and flippers come and ask me to pass something that is broken, they always say something like, "Please don't fail it. I don't want it in the system. I'll fix it later." To which I respond, "Why should I pass it without you fixing it? If I pass it, what incentive is there for you to fix it? It already passed." Lesson here is if you don't fail it, they wont fix it. Or they will end up taking it somewhere else to pass it without having to fix it.
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Re: Venting...

805smogtech
Also helps if you are Pass or Don't Pay in situation like this. You fail it, they aren't super angry about having to pay $50+ for a fail. Then you offer to get the parts in and fix it, they say ok, you order and install the new part, smog it, it passes, they pay you for the part, labor and the smog. Everyone is happy, and no one writes you bad yelp reviews.
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Re: Venting...

none
805smogtech wrote
Also helps if you are Pass or Don't Pay in situation like this. You fail it, they aren't super angry about having to pay $50+ for a fail.
I'm curious about how many cars you test that fail and you don't see back? I have about a 10% fail rate across the board and I imagine it would be higher at a place advertising "NO PASS/NO PAY" because the people who know they will fail will try there since it won't cost them. It still costs you though and takes a big hit on your profit margin.

I quit doing free retests because of this when I saw how much I was working for free.
People are usually shocked when they find out I'm not a very good electrician.
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Re: Venting...

805smogtech
none wrote
805smogtech wrote
Also helps if you are Pass or Don't Pay in situation like this. You fail it, they aren't super angry about having to pay $50+ for a fail.
I'm curious about how many cars you test that fail and you don't see back? I have about a 10% fail rate across the board and I imagine it would be higher at a place advertising "NO PASS/NO PAY" because the people who know they will fail will try there since it won't cost them. It still costs you though and takes a big hit on your profit margin.

I quit doing free retests because of this when I saw how much I was working for free.
Why just today I had one that I failed two days ago (05 Ford Diesel for check engine light due to fuel level sending unit code, no catalytic converter and a monitor not set) that came back and got a smog and passed (after I checked monitors, DTC's and checked underneath for the proper Cat). 10 minutes after he showed up he was on his way and he was happy. Happens all the time. I realize not everywhere can do it this way. A low volume shop wouldn't survive this way.

Disclaimer: I don't own the shop, I'm just an employee. I don't lose any money. You know what they say "you attract more bees with honey, than vinegar." Yes, a few people don't pay when they fail, but we see a vast majority of them back later after repairs, or for oil changes, brakes, etc...IMHO it helps retain customers.  

The last shop I was at charged for fails and we almost never saw any of those customers back, especially the ones that were "Not Ready". Now the shop I'm at, they don't pass, we explain what they need to do to fix it, they usually do within a reasonable amount of time, they come back, pass their smog and pay. Much less headache, but we also do a whole lot more smogs than the last shop I was at too.    
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none
I think it depends a lot on the area too.

There are no "NO PASS/NO PAY" anywhere near me and around here you attract flies and maggots with honey and bees that will sting you.  
People are usually shocked when they find out I'm not a very good electrician.
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Ser Dan
100% depends on the area
While working in San Bernardino that would not fly
too many junkies
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Best Answer I Can Give
 It is for shit, but I some what do it. Depends if they have been in before.

 If you look at the number's it's not a bad deal. What 10% fail. So out of 100 maybe you won't see 5 of those again? But you will see more vehicles.
Yes you are doing a vehicle at half price, but you get how many more because you are Pass or Don't pay.

 The Guarantee to pass CRAP. WHAT A SCAM. Only a 10% fail rate? And what amount of those follow up and get the money back?
 Just the number of those who NEVER needed the stuff. What a SCAM.
 Never make fun of the choices your wife makes. You were one of them.
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Re: Venting...

805smogtech
it really depends on the customer. if they are a regular every two years or if I change their oil every 3-6 months and they come here with multiple cars, etc... ill check monitors, even run a 99 or older in manual mode if they are a little concerned about it passing. but what can i say, i'm a nice guy most of the time lol...just don't get mad at me when the car you haven't maintained for the last 1-20 years has a check engine light on, or monitors not ran and it fails

just an fyi, if you are pass or don't pay, then you never have to worry about refunds. although you will still get the occasional BAR complaint. that just comes with being in the smog business for long enough. some people will complain about anything even when they pass!!! "whhhhaaa. you dont offer a senior discount? or a aaa discount?
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none
We all know at this point what business model works best for our shop and it sounds like you have it pretty dialed in with yours, especially being a repair shop also. I'm T/R but I do very little repair work anymore. Also a shop with high numbers may make less profit then another shop with lower numbers. Some spend so much on advertising but lose on customer service.  

I don't charge repair shops and car dealers who bring cars in for fails either and I will check monitors for anyone first. I still do free retests on a "per case basis" (something obvious but we tested anyway or monitors when it is legitimate but not when they just cleared a light and didn't repair anything.

I read on a repair shop forum once that once your shop is staying busy that you need to get rid of your bottom 5% of your customers to make room for your good new customers , either through scheduling or some other "nice" way. I agree. For me the bottom 5% are the heavily modified vehicles and the clapped out POS cars. The modified ones take too long looking up EO#s and trying to figure out if it is all correct or not. It's not worth the time to me anymore and the owners often have an attitude like I should just pass it. The junk cars overheat, stink, and the customers are a time sponge when it has a problem and play the victim.  
People are usually shocked when they find out I'm not a very good electrician.
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Re: Venting...

xcinlb
Good answer None. We do the same, by charging more for older/modified clunkers. We still get some that complain about the price, but like we all know, some complain about everything. What gets me is when the post a 1 star review, based on our price! I try to fight the review but Yelp most of the time keeps it. I argue, haw can they review the service if they didn't have us do anything? If you don't like the price, go somewhere else. It's like giving Rolex a bad review because the cost thousands?

So None, do you filter those customers with high prices? Or just flat out refuse to do them?