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“Professionals” ripping people off…

ka0tyk

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Mother in laws pool heater stopped working. They had a pool guy come out and his response was that it was old and needed replacing. Gave a $4000 quote to swap it out. They had neighbor come out who was an electrician and he couldn’t figure it out. I’m out here this weekend and so I was like “can I take a look? It can’t get more broken…”. Tore into it and I had my meter in my tool bag in the truck. Had power in all the right places but it wouldn’t turn on. I ended up giving the fan a little push and sure enough it started spinning, pilot came on, fired right up and made heat. Turns out it needs a new capacitor. $10 on amazon and it’ll be here tomorrow. Saved them like $3000 + labor for a new 400k btu heater.

F0503622-784D-4028-871D-C7B79F8D7F3C.png


They are super relieved. So then they had me look at their riding mower. Wouldn’t start so they had their same electrician look at it. Also took it to a mower repair place. Same thing you need a whole new one. I took my meter and checked it all over. Ended up getting that working too with some magic.

Are people just really that bad at their jobs or are they just trying to make a quick buck? Both issues had multiple people look at it. They said they felt bad asking me because I usually come out and fix a bunch of things when I am here. I’m just an IT guy with some tools. It makes me furious to think of all the other people in the world being taken advantage of.
 

hallett21

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Mother in laws pool heater stopped working. They had a pool guy come out and his response was that it was old and needed replacing. Gave like a $5000 quote to swap it out. They had neighbor come out who was an electrician and he couldn’t figure it out. I’m out here this weekend and so I was like “can I take a look? It can’t get more broken…”. Tore into it and I had my meter in my tool bag in the truck. Had power in all the right places but it wouldn’t turn on. I ended up giving the fan a little push and sure enough it started spinning, pilot came on, fired right up and made heat. Turns out it needs a new capacitor. $10 on amazon and it’ll be here tomorrow. Saved them like $3000 for a new 400k btu heater.

View attachment 1046113

They are super relieved. So then they had me look at their riding mower. Wouldn’t start so they had their same electrician look at it. Also took it to a mower repair place. Same thing you need a whole new one. I took my meter and checked it all over. Ended up getting that working too with some magic.

Are people just really that bad at their jobs or are they just trying to make a quick buck? Both issues had multiple people look at it. They said they felt bad asking me because I usually come out and fix a bunch of things when I am here. I’m just an IT guy with some tools. It makes me furious to think of all the other people in the world being taken advantage of.

I struggle with these scenarios. If I tell you it cost $200 an hour for me to diagnose the problem, I’m taking advantage in the eyes of the customer.

If I replace a broken part for $500 plus labor we are the hero. And we really took advantage.

What I really hate is charging someone an hourly rate to not fix anything.

Edit: perfect scenario.

I show up to a home and the garage power, garage fridge/freezer, HVAC FAU and garage openers are all dead.

I throw a meter on the panel and every circuit is good to go. I’m thinking a bad GFCI but every single one I look at is good to go.

Finally I see up in the corner a janky junction box with a door bell transformer. I ask if the Ring Doorbell is new? Of course our “friend” helped us install it.

Well they didn’t make up the box correctly and the hots arced and burned up the wire nut. A new wire nut and 3 turns with my linemans and the issue was fixed.

So what would you charge for roughly 30mins of diagnosis plus travel time?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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C-2

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Buy two, the new ones don't last long.

I wondered why I received two for my whole house fan, too. One year later and now I know!

Good job :)
 

RVR SWPR

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Well,from your Utube RV Bus build the appearance of the in-laws property their maintenance is top notch,obviously have done well for many years. They appreciate your efforts, should be no doubt they are proud of you and their daughters way of going.
 

Kachina26

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Mother in laws pool heater stopped working. They had a pool guy come out and his response was that it was old and needed replacing. Gave a $4000 quote to swap it out. They had neighbor come out who was an electrician and he couldn’t figure it out. I’m out here this weekend and so I was like “can I take a look? It can’t get more broken…”. Tore into it and I had my meter in my tool bag in the truck. Had power in all the right places but it wouldn’t turn on. I ended up giving the fan a little push and sure enough it started spinning, pilot came on, fired right up and made heat. Turns out it needs a new capacitor. $10 on amazon and it’ll be here tomorrow. Saved them like $3000 + labor for a new 400k btu heater.

View attachment 1046113

They are super relieved. So then they had me look at their riding mower. Wouldn’t start so they had their same electrician look at it. Also took it to a mower repair place. Same thing you need a whole new one. I took my meter and checked it all over. Ended up getting that working too with some magic.

Are people just really that bad at their jobs or are they just trying to make a quick buck? Both issues had multiple people look at it. They said they felt bad asking me because I usually come out and fix a bunch of things when I am here. I’m just an IT guy with some tools. It makes me furious to think of all the other people in the world being taken advantage of.
I'm going with bad at their job. At least that's my experience.
 

TrollerDave

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Are people just really that bad at their jobs or are they just trying to make a quick buck?
Both.
Neighbor pulls up while I’m outside and asks if I know an A/C guy. “Yeah me”. He tells me they had a guy out he was there 5 mins and said the control board was no good, about $3500. Tech told him, “but your system is old, Maybe consider whole replacement-$16,000.”
I grab my meter and check things out, a little arcing on the cooling fan relay on the board and neighbor says that’s what tech saw and condemned it. I’m taking readings , no voltage on Y to turn compressor on. Neighbor says tech never put meter on anything.
Turns out tstat had a jumper switch for RC and RH (heating and cooling supply for control voltage). Make the jumper, turn on cooling, compressor comes on. Neighbor’s brother replaced stat about a year ago.
I know it is summertime and time is money for these guys, but come on. 😕
 

hallett21

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Both.
Neighbor pulls up while I’m outside and asks if I know an A/C guy. “Yeah me”. He tells me they had a guy out he was there 5 mins and said the control board was no good, about $3500. Tech told him, “but your system is old, Maybe consider whole replacement-$16,000.”
I grab my meter and check things out, a little arcing on the cooling fan relay on the board and neighbor says that’s what tech saw and condemned it. I’m taking readings , no voltage on Y to turn compressor on. Neighbor says tech never put meter on anything.
Turns out tstat had a jumper switch for RC and RH (heating and cooling supply for control voltage). Make the jumper, turn on cooling, compressor comes on. Neighbor’s brother replaced stat about a year ago.
I know it is summertime and time is money for these guys, but come on. [emoji53]

So what should a licensed HVAC contractor charge?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Flying_Lavey

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Years ago my mom's AC went out in her PT cruiser. She took it to a guy and they wanted to replace the whole system. My brother in law (dodge mechanic) replaced a relay and it was back up and running [emoji849]
I had a buddy experience something similar. The AC in his truck went stopped working. He took it to a shop and they diagnosed it as a bad compressor. I saw him the day he was supposed to go get it replaced. I asked if I could take a look. Turns out his low pressure sensor plug was unplugged. Ran perfect after that.



Now granted, I knew it was that before he popped the hood...... cause I purposely unughed it about 2 weeks prior. Lol!

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Melloyellovector

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I can give my perspective. 1 - that’s a minimax nt 1st gen. They are notorious for burner trays being out of adjustment and exploding and catching on fire. 2 - you can see the rat nests and rat shit inside the heater. Notorious for chewing everything up. 3 - I’d charge 300 plus to clean it out before I even diagnosed problem. 150-200 for service call to diagnose problem 4 - discover ok needs capacitor. Now I have to special order and make another trip to come back. Charge another 200 for labor and part. With no guarantees heater will actually fire. Owner is now 700 deep into fixes. If it works, great. If it doesn’t we continue down the rabbit hole chasing fixes. The other problem is it works for a week. Then stops , now the customer calls me back again and expects a free repair because I touched it last.
Exposure to future liability and never ending calls to fix again. No thanks


It’s awesome you have the knowledge to diagnose and fix.
And they likely won’t blame you if it stops in a week/month/next year etc... it will be thank you for extending purchase date a little further out.

I rarely do repairs anymore, so no dog in this fight. Just giving perspective from the other side
 

zhandfull

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My fridge water and ice didn’t work. I suspected a new filter was needed as the water was slow before it completely stopped working. Months go by because I was to busy to mess with it. My mother in law trying to help and called an appliance repair man from a reputable shop out to change the filter without my knowledge. I had mentioned it needed a new filter.

When I arrived home and saw the service call bill. It said the mother board was going bad, the filter holder was broken and the ice maker was not repairable. $125.00 for that but no mention of replacing the filter as originally requested.

Slightly pissed off at this point. I go to Home Depot buy a $90 filter and install it. No leaks, water works in the door and is making ice like crazy overnight.

Called the appliance repair outfit and got my mother in laws money refunded.
 
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Riverbound

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I can give my perspective. 1 - that’s a minimax nt 1st gen. They are notorious for burner trays being out of adjustment and exploding and catching on fire. 2 - you can see the rat nests and rat shit inside the heater. Notorious for chewing everything up. 3 - I’d charge 300 plus to clean it out before I even diagnosed problem. 150-200 for service call to diagnose problem 4 - discover ok needs capacitor. Now I have to special order and make another trip to come back. Charge another 200 for labor and part. With no guarantees heater will actually fire. Owner is now 700 deep into fixes. If it works, great. If it doesn’t we continue down the rabbit hole chasing fixes. The other problem is it works for a week. Then stops , now the customer calls me back again and expects a free repair because I touched it last.
Exposure to future liability and never ending calls to fix again. No thanks


It’s awesome you have the knowledge to diagnose and fix.
And they likely won’t blame you if it stops in a week/month/next year etc... it will be thank you for extending purchase date a little further out.

I rarely do repairs anymore, so no dog in this fight. Just giving perspective from the other side

Yup.
 

ka0tyk

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I can give my perspective. 1 - that’s a minimax nt 1st gen. They are notorious for burner trays being out of adjustment and exploding and catching on fire. 2 - you can see the rat nests and rat shit inside the heater. Notorious for chewing everything up. 3 - I’d charge 300 plus to clean it out before I even diagnosed problem. 150-200 for service call to diagnose problem 4 - discover ok needs capacitor. Now I have to special order and make another trip to come back. Charge another 200 for labor and part. With no guarantees heater will actually fire. Owner is now 700 deep into fixes. If it works, great. If it doesn’t we continue down the rabbit hole chasing fixes. The other problem is it works for a week. Then stops , now the customer calls me back again and expects a free repair because I touched it last.
Exposure to future liability and never ending calls to fix again. No thanks


It’s awesome you have the knowledge to diagnose and fix.
And they likely won’t blame you if it stops in a week/month/next year etc... it will be thank you for extending purchase date a little further out.

I rarely do repairs anymore, so no dog in this fight. Just giving perspective from the other side

is It just society in general that has created this unwillingness to repair anything because the second you touch it that the owner assumes you’re liable for everything that happens after that? Like if a mechanic saying you need a new car because the alternator is dead and worried you’ll blame him for when you get a flat tire?
 

2FORCEFULL

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I can give my perspective. 1 - that’s a minimax nt 1st gen. They are notorious for burner trays being out of adjustment and exploding and catching on fire. 2 - you can see the rat nests and rat shit inside the heater. Notorious for chewing everything up. 3 - I’d charge 300 plus to clean it out before I even diagnosed problem. 150-200 for service call to diagnose problem 4 - discover ok needs capacitor. Now I have to special order and make another trip to come back. Charge another 200 for labor and part. With no guarantees heater will actually fire. Owner is now 700 deep into fixes. If it works, great. If it doesn’t we continue down the rabbit hole chasing fixes. The other problem is it works for a week. Then stops , now the customer calls me back again and expects a free repair because I touched it last.
Exposure to future liability and never ending calls to fix again. No thanks


It’s awesome you have the knowledge to diagnose and fix.
And they likely won’t blame you if it stops in a week/month/next year etc... it will be thank you for extending purchase date a little further out.

I rarely do repairs anymore, so no dog in this fight. Just giving perspective from the other side
I have the same fee for me to work on stuff... a piece of ass and a hot dinner.... that seems to keep me from having to work for anyone but my wife...
 

lbhsbz

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I can give my perspective. 1 - that’s a minimax nt 1st gen. They are notorious for burner trays being out of adjustment and exploding and catching on fire. 2 - you can see the rat nests and rat shit inside the heater. Notorious for chewing everything up. 3 - I’d charge 300 plus to clean it out before I even diagnosed problem. 150-200 for service call to diagnose problem 4 - discover ok needs capacitor. Now I have to special order and make another trip to come back. Charge another 200 for labor and part. With no guarantees heater will actually fire. Owner is now 700 deep into fixes. If it works, great. If it doesn’t we continue down the rabbit hole chasing fixes. The other problem is it works for a week. Then stops , now the customer calls me back again and expects a free repair because I touched it last.
Exposure to future liability and never ending calls to fix again. No thanks


It’s awesome you have the knowledge to diagnose and fix.
And they likely won’t blame you if it stops in a week/month/next year etc... it will be thank you for extending purchase date a little further out.

I rarely do repairs anymore, so no dog in this fight. Just giving perspective from the other side

You’d think a professional would carry stock of at least capacitors…a simple “send me a picture of the unit” during the initial call and you could grab the common “consumables” for that unit before you head out on the call…of course then you wouldn’t be able to charge for a second service call and a special order part that the customer didn’t know was under $20 more often than not.
 

lbhsbz

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The automotive industry is the same way. Most “professionals” won’t perform a repair on an engine with over 150k miles on it….they simply offer a replacement engine. I chalk this up to incompetence…they are concerned that their incompetence will bite them in the ass.

Some of us still invest the time to understand how things work and why they failed and fix things. It’s rarely anywhere near the cost of replacement.
 

BHC Vic

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That’s why I don’t run a business. I refuse to rip people off. I’d rather work for someone else and earn an honest paycheck than stand behind some of the responses I’ve read here. I’m being 100% honest. I’m not the guy that’s going to nickel and dime somebody to death.matter of fact I just recently did a side job for an inmate. Basically did my part for free because someone else had already jerked them around and I hate that shit.I charged less than some of the “diagnostic fees” and I actually built what they wanted built. Am I going to get rich that way? Fuck no. But I sleep real good at night and helping someone makes me feel better than money. Not everything in this world is about money
 
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pronstar

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The automotive industry is the same way. Most “professionals” won’t perform a repair on an engine with over 150k miles on it….they simply offer a replacement engine. I chalk this up to incompetence…they are concerned that their incompetence will bite them in the ass.

Some of us still invest the time to understand how things work and why they failed and fix things. It’s rarely anywhere near the cost of replacement.

Or try getting a problem diagnosed that doesn’t throw a code…many techs just shrug their shoulders.


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Vib

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That’s why I don’t run a business. I refuse to rip people off. I’d rather work for someone else and earn an honest paycheck than stand behind some of the responses I’ve read here. I’m being 100% honest. I’m not the guy that’s going to nickel and dime somebody to death.matter of fact I just recently did a side job for an inmate. Basically did my part for free because someone else had already jerked them around and I hate that shit.I charged less than some of the “diagnostic fees” and I actually built what they wanted built. Am I going to get rich that way? Fuck no. But I sleep real good at night and helping someone makes me feel better than money. Not everything in this world is about money
Ever consider side work in Utah ?😁
 

LakeMead Boater

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is It just society in general that has created this unwillingness to repair anything because the second you touch it that the owner assumes you’re liable for everything that happens after that? Like if a mechanic saying you need a new car because the alternator is dead and worried you’ll blame him for when you get a flat tire?

Unfortunately, you’d be surprised how often the scenario in the last sentence actually plays out.

Edit- let me clarify by saying that we’ll replace an alternator and then get blamed for the flat tire. I don’t recommend new cars unless it’s a Pontiac Aztec, Saturn Outlook, or a Chevy Trax 🤣
 
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rivermobster

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is It just society in general that has created this unwillingness to repair anything because the second you touch it that the owner assumes you’re liable for everything that happens after that? Like if a mechanic saying you need a new car because the alternator is dead and worried you’ll blame him for when you get a flat tire?

This is Exactly right. But you also need to include stores like Costco, that used to accept Anything for return. They trained "society in general" that they can pay for something, use it for their immediate needs, and then return it for full price.

What Tim said is spot on.

I worked at car dealerships for over thirty years. Sure, I've seen some techs pull some serious bullshit. I've also seen far more customers try and get away with stuff you wouldn't believe.

Costco has since changed their return policies. Go figure.
 

BHC Vic

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This is Exactly right. But you also need to include stores like Costco, that used to accept Anything for return. They trained "society in general" that they can pay for something, use it for their immediate needs, and then return it for full price.

What Tim said is spot on.

I worked at car dealerships for over thirty years. Sure, I've seen some techs pull some serious bullshit. I've also seen far more customers try and get away with stuff you wouldn't believe.

Costco has since changed their return policies. Go figure.
What did they change it to? The customer is always right. Again that’s why I work union and don’t own a business. I think some people are just shitty to deal with. That would be like me calling you pissed off because the Durango left pops stranded at winco the other day. Truth of the matter is you had nothing to do with it. Car gets towed it gets fixed how could I blame someone for that?
 

nowski

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Great Job Kaotyk!!! And to answer your question, I think people are lazy, not good at their job and want to make a quick buck...

In the late 70's my sister Sandy (single mom) bought a new Olds Delta 88, about 7 years later the transmission goes bad. She has the trans rebuilt and about 2 years down the road the trans will no longer shift through the gears. She takes it back to the shop that did the rebuild and they say sorry out of warranty that will be another $2k.

My sister calls me crying and wants me to take a look at the car to see if I can help her out of this jam. Having rebuilt my automatic transmission back in my high school auto shop class I was up for the challenge. I take the car for a test drive and the car will not shift from 1st to 2nd gear, first thought faulty vacuum modulator. I put the car up on the curb and crawl underneath to see what's going on, to my disbelief a broken rotted vacuum line that leads to the vacuum modulator. I'm frickin pissed because not only was that shop trying to take advantage of my sister, they new she'd be a repeat customer.

I tell my sister I found the problem and she asks what do yo think it will cost, I tell her not more than $2 bucks. She thought I was BSn her, she gives me $2 bucks and off to the auto parts store I go.

When getting out of the car I noticed an empty seal n air can in the auto parts store parking lot. I look at the air hose attached to the can and said to myself perfect, rip it off and drive back to my sisters house. I crawl back under the car, trim the hose to size and put it on. I get in the car, drive it off the curb and go for a nice little test drive. The car is now shifting through the gears as expected and I felt great knowing I was about to make my sisters day.

I walk into her house, gave her the $2 bucks back and tell her the car is fixed and shifting like new. She couldn't believe her ears and couldn't thank me enough and all I asked for in return was a little favor. I said if you ever have an issue with any of your cars in the future please call me first...

RIP Sandy RIP...
 

rivermobster

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What did they change it to? The customer is always right. Again that’s why I work union and don’t own a business.

They only honor the manufacturer warranty now. I had to return something recently. Luckily it took a shit still under the original warranty!
 

riverbrian

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With appliances and things the way they are I have been fixing everything, did my own floors, doing some stone work etc.. no one wants to work and if they do it’s inflated cost.

My wife’s friend down the road AC went out…repair guy was $350 quote for a $20 capacitor. I believe people need to be paid for work, but that one was tough….
 

BHC Vic

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With appliances and things the way they are I have been fixing everything, did my own floors, doing some stone work etc.. no one wants to work and if they do it’s inflated cost.

My wife’s friend down the road AC went out…repair guy was $350 quote for a $20 capacitor. I believe people need to be paid for work, but that one was tough….
My sister in law just got a quote to cover a hole in the wall where the had a wall mount ac unit. They guy wanted 500 for a patch. It was a 10 minute job. Letting the mud and paint dry was the hardest part. 500 was for the drywall. Another 300 to ghetto rig the outside and stucco it. That was maybe a 20 minute job 🙄
 
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nowski

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Or try getting a problem diagnosed that doesn’t throw a code…many techs just shrug their shoulders.


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Classic example: Ford Edge Automatic Transmission problem that doesn't throw any codes. The cars will suddenly quit shifting and sit there like your pushing in a clutch and not move. Instant short term fix, shut off the engine for about a minute (reboot the system) then restart the car. Long term fix, replace two internal transmission sensors that cost about $80 bucks...
 

HALLETT BOY

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Great Job Kaotyk!!! And to answer your question, I think people are lazy, not good at their job and want to make a quick buck...

In the late 70's my sister Sandy (single mom) bought a new Olds Delta 88, about 7 years later the transmission goes bad. She has the trans rebuilt and about 2 years down the road the trans will no longer shift through the gears. She takes it back to the shop that did the rebuild and they say sorry out of warranty that will be another $2k.

My sister calls me crying and wants me to take a look at the car to see if I can help her out of this jam. Having rebuilt my automatic transmission back in my high school auto shop class I was up for the challenge. I take the car for a test drive and the car will not shift from 1st to 2nd gear, first thought faulty vacuum modulator. I put the car up on the curb and crawl underneath to see what's going on, to my disbelief a broken rotted vacuum line that leads to the vacuum modulator. I'm frickin pissed because not only was that shop trying to take advantage of my sister, they new she'd be a repeat customer.

I tell my sister I found the problem and she asks what do yo think it will cost, I tell her not more than $2 bucks. She thought I was BSn her, she gives me $2 bucks and off to the auto parts store I go.

When getting out of the car I noticed an empty seal n air can in the auto parts store parking lot. I look at the air hose attached to the can and said to myself perfect, rip it off and drive back to my sisters house. I crawl back under the car, trim the hose to size and put it on. I get in the car, drive it off the curb and go for a nice little test drive. The car is now shifting through the gears as expected and I felt great knowing I was about to make my sisters day.

I walk into her house, gave her the $2 bucks back and tell her the car is fixed and shifting like new. She couldn't believe her ears and couldn't thank me enough and all I asked for in return was a little favor. I said if you ever have an issue with any of your cars in the future please call me first...

RIP Sandy RIP...
You had to take $2 from your Sister ??
 

evantwheeler

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With appliances and things the way they are I have been fixing everything, did my own floors, doing some stone work etc.. no one wants to work and if they do it’s inflated cost.

My wife’s friend down the road AC went out…repair guy was $350 quote for a $20 capacitor. I believe people need to be paid for work, but that one was tough….

The cost of doing business is extremely high, $350 doesnt even come close to covering exposure to risk for touching an old unit and getting blamed for the next time it shits the bed as MYV explained very well.
 

nowski

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You had to take $2 from your Sister ??

I did that as a joke, my sister had a great sense of humor and was one of the funniest girls you'd ever meet.

Example: Before my sister gets remarried there going to have two of everything, blenders, toasters, irons you get the picture. Instead of having a yard sale or donate the stuff to a Goodwill she decides to box and wrap everything up and give all the stuff away as door prizes at her wedding reception at Los Coyotes Country Club. The look on all those door prize winning faces, Priceless...
 

Riverbound

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The cost of doing business is extremely high, $350 doesnt even come close to covering exposure to risk for touching an old unit and getting blamed for the next time it shits the bed as MYV explained very well.

Yup. I have people call me all the time complaining about pricing. Yes it’s a $20 part. But there’s a lot more than part cost involved.
Employee salary who answered the phone.
other personnel costs. (Accounting, dispatching, management, purchasing, etc etc etc etc…..)
vehicle cost
Fuel cost
Vehicle insurance.
inventory
Employee wage
Employee tools
Workers comp
Liability insurance
City licenses.
employee training costs
This list goes on and on.

so yes it may be just a $20 part, but everything wrapped around getting a skilled tech to-your house with the “$20 part” and the knowledge to diagnose and warranty it makes it a $350repair.
Some people understand and some are clueless.

FYI. skilled labor isn’t sitting around waiting for a homeowner to need them so they can do work at cost. If you don’t like paying someone and them making a living, you’re more than welcome to educate yourself, buy the tools and have the inventory on hand to do the repairs. 😉
 

77charger

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Some do just not know their jobs.If they arent good at diagnosing they just prefer to replace whole thing.A good tech will figure it out and fix it and will charge you for it as deserved but then again if he charged you 300 bucks to do a 10 minute fix and say 20 min to diagnose it price is worth it.

My wife had ac in her car suddenly go out went to local chain place tech says no freon they supposedly leak tested said compressor looks good gets home about an hour later no cold air anymore paid 150 takes it back they just say compressor is shot and needs replacement.I say bulshit neighbor recomends his buddy who is really good with foreign cars we take it to him looks it over says compressor is good leak test is finds seals at compressor replaces seals and all is good paid 300 there.
 

77charger

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Yup. I have people call me all the time complaining about pricing. Yes it’s a $20 part. But there’s a lot more than part cost involved.
Employee salary who answered the phone.
other personnel costs. (Accounting, dispatching, management, purchasing, etc etc etc etc…..)
vehicle cost
Fuel cost
Vehicle insurance.
inventory
Employee wage
Employee tools
Workers comp
Liability insurance
City licenses.
employee training costs
This list goes on and on.

so yes it may be just a $20 part, but everything wrapped around getting a skilled tech to-your house with the “$20 part” and the knowledge to diagnose and warranty it makes it a $350repair.
Some people understand and some are clueless.

FYI. skilled labor isn’t sitting around waiting for a homeowner to need them so they can do work at cost. If you don’t like paying someone and them making a living, you’re more than welcome to educate yourself, buy the tools and have the inventory on hand to do the repairs. 😉
Thats the stuff people dont see id rather pay for experience to a guy who can fix it right vs throw parts at it.
 

BHC Vic

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It really just depends on the job. Time someone has to learn and then invest in some tools. Like a boat service for example. I don’t have the knowledge or the tools. Maybe the skills. I pay 700ish. I would really love to learn and maybe spend half of that by doing it myself. Right now I don’t have the time so the extra money I spend is for the convenience and a little peace of mind that I’m paying to have it done right and hopefully not have any issues.
 

nowski

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"Knowledge is key, otherwise you're at the mercy of morons."

It's not always the knowledge, the key is getting out of your comfort zone, get off the couch and investigate the problem of the root cause.

This past Friday our over the range microwave quits working. In my mind the root cause of the failure is the microwave location. Over the years the microwave has been collecting all the vapors and oils into the circuitry, over time a failure in the making. I'm not an appliance repairman by any means just an old guy with some common sense and a little knowledge.

On my way home from Car's & Coffee this past Saturday morning I pick up some CRC contact cleaner. I take the microwave panel off and clean all the male and female connectors on the control board and all others I could get to, it doesn't fix the problem.

Common sense takes over, what have I got to lose at this point. I remove all the plugs and remove the control board. I then sprayed down the control board, reinstalled everything and Wallah it's back up and running like new again. Common sense, it's like magic when applied...
 

dribble

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The automotive industry is the same way. Most “professionals” won’t perform a repair on an engine with over 150k miles on it….they simply offer a replacement engine. I chalk this up to incompetence…they are concerned that their incompetence will bite them in the ass.

Some of us still invest the time to understand how things work and why they failed and fix things. It’s rarely anywhere near the cost of replacement.

Before I went to work for BAR I was a tech in a shop. You always have to balance customer need but you don’t want to end up being married to their car. Example. Had a customer come in in an old high mileage Pontiac wagon with a flat cam. The repair would have cost more than the car was worth. I called him and told him the problem and told him that I did not recommend doing the repair (cam and lifters) as the engine was probably on its last leg anyway. He chose to have me do the repair and fortunately it worked out. This is a perfect example of how helping someone out could come back and bite you in the ass. Of course I could write volumes about the shit I saw people pull while I was at BAR.
 

Mandelon

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What's that old joke about a ship engine that won't run, and they hire an old man to fix it. He hits it with a hammer and charges em $1,000 dollars.

The punch line is something like hitting with a hammer was only $100. But knowing where to hit it is $900.
 

LuauLounge

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Anyone who has ever worked with the general public in recent years is wondering why they do. With all the "information" available, Joe Sixpack already knows what the problem is and wants you and and 3 other companies to come out and give him a free estimate. If he hires you to repair his "insert auto, appliance, HVAC, etc" for $250, he expects at least a 2 year bumper to bumper warranty. If you read the Yelp reviews, you get the idea.....
They fixed the engine in my car 2 months ago and now the transmission doesn't go in reverse.
 

Spot

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Communication is truly key. The best companies I deal with in the car repair, home repair, "any type repair" space are just flat out honest. Upfront pricing, and a well detailed invoice go a long way. Big bills sting everyone but communication before hand goes a long way.

My biggest concern are people who flat out take advantage or worse, rip people off. I would suggest you all take care of your elderly parents. Go over all of their bills, handle their major purchases and services, and even go to the dentist with them. Sadly people prey on our old, trusting folks.
 

lbhsbz

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Before I went to work for BAR I was a tech in a shop. You always have to balance customer need but you don’t want to end up being married to their car. Example. Had a customer come in in an old high mileage Pontiac wagon with a flat cam. The repair would have cost more than the car was worth. I called him and told him the problem and told him that I did not recommend doing the repair (cam and lifters) as the engine was probably on its last leg anyway. He chose to have me do the repair and fortunately it worked out. This is a perfect example of how helping someone out could come back and bite you in the ass. Of course I could write volumes about the shit I saw people pull while I was at BAR.

On a Pontiac, I’d recommend a replacement car if it needed much better than an oil change.

I understand balancing risk with reward.

I’m getting a bunch of business from shops that “don’t want the liability” of rebuilding calipers in house…literally replacing a single seal…is to scary for them. They replace can and crank seals all the time…but this square cut thing in a caliper is a liability? So instead, they source and install super high quality commercially “rebuilt” calipers done by an illiterate idiot that gets paid $2/hour in Mexico and has never driven a car.

Customer gets overcharged for junk that will fail more often than not…but at least there’s a chance of the distributor paying a labor claim…what with all the money they’re piling in the bank since they’re not paying US labor costs.

It confuses me.

If you fix something…you have 100% complete control of the outcome of the job. If you replace something, you’re at the mercy of whoever had hands on it before you. If the guy performing the repair gives a shit…it almost can’t go wrong.
 

hallett21

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That’s why I don’t run a business. I refuse to rip people off. I’d rather work for someone else and earn an honest paycheck than stand behind some of the responses I’ve read here. I’m being 100% honest. I’m not the guy that’s going to nickel and dime somebody to death.matter of fact I just recently did a side job for an inmate. Basically did my part for free because someone else had already jerked them around and I hate that shit.I charged less than some of the “diagnostic fees” and I actually built what they wanted built. Am I going to get rich that way? Fuck no. But I sleep real good at night and helping someone makes me feel better than money. Not everything in this world is about money

Running a business does not = ripping people off.

Running a business is extremely expensive. A tiny legitimate CA construction outfit with one or two trucks, insurance, workman’s comp, shop space etc probably costs 5k a month.

60k annual operating cost spread across the the average “40 hour work week” comes out to $28 an hour, or $230 a day.

If you don’t turn a profit you’re not only letting down your family financially, you’re also letting down your employees and their families as well.


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BHC Vic

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Running a business does not = ripping people off.

Running a business is extremely expensive. A tiny legitimate CA construction outfit with one or two trucks, insurance, workman’s comp, shop space etc probably costs 5k a month.

60k annual operating cost spread across the the average “40 hour work week” comes out to $28 an hour, or $230 a day.

If you don’t turn a profit you’re not only letting down your family financially, you’re also letting down your employees and their families as well.


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That’s why I won’t do it and I work union. I sleep easy at night. I’m sure somehow that contractor can justify the cost of the patch. Me I just can’t see it
 

LargeOrangeFont

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It really just depends on the job. Time someone has to learn and then invest in some tools. Like a boat service for example. I don’t have the knowledge or the tools. Maybe the skills. I pay 700ish. I would really love to learn and maybe spend half of that by doing it myself. Right now I don’t have the time so the extra money I spend is for the convenience and a little peace of mind that I’m paying to have it done right and hopefully not have any issues.

I could teach you how to do all in one afternoon and the $700 would cover 4 years of service and the tools to do it forever.
 

nowski

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It really just depends on the job. Time someone has to learn and then invest in some tools. Like a boat service for example. I don’t have the knowledge or the tools. Maybe the skills. I pay 700ish. I would really love to learn and maybe spend half of that by doing it myself. Right now I don’t have the time so the extra money I spend is for the convenience and a little peace of mind that I’m paying to have it done right and hopefully not have any issues.

The tool investment to do a basic (impeller, fuel filter, gear oil change, oil change and filter) boat service, maybe $30 if that and the tools are just basic. The real investment I see is investing in yourself to do a basic boat service. If time is the issue do it one step at a time...
 
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