Not Happy Jan

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 17, 2016 at 21:31
ThreadID: 132153 Views:4016 Replies:12 FollowUps:12
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Just a rant to get this S***t experience off my chest.

Had to undertake some work on my 75 series cruiser recently, and after reviewing repairers I opted to take it to CC 4x4 in the western suburbs.

Brief from my perspective was simple:

Repack wheel bearing
G/Box and transfer oil change
Diff oil change, I have lockers
Trace leak out of G/box
Change belts
No oil change, I specifically stated.
Replace front steering damper with a named brand of which I specified

Simple enough I thought, was given a ball park cost of which was competitive, and dropped it off

Got a call, ready to be picked up, went there , had a brief look at the invoice and saw some issues, tried to argue the point to no avail, paid and left as they had my car and would not release until I had paid

First problem as I left, no brakes, almost ploughed into the car in front, rang them up and was told it was road tested, surely not, if I couldn't stop it then how in hell did they when they tested it.

Took it back and the brakes were bleed and all ok

Next issues the bolts/nuts on the hubs were loose and were seeping grease, had to tighten them

Looked at the invoice in closer detail and found that they changed oil after being specifically told not to, written instructions and the filter a ryco looked like the one that was already there even down to the orientation, $100 thanks for nothing

Put std gearbox oil in my diffs, rather than oil to suit the lockers l

Told me that they fixed the oil leak from my g/box, charged $80 for washers, leak still there

Fitted new fan belts, only top find that the outer one is looser than the inner one and cant be tightened. When I queried that was't told that, its standard

Looked at the steering damper and found that rather than the named brand that I specified and paid for I got what looked like a company badged el cheapo generic even down to their own logo stamped on it.

Obviously listening to what the customer wants and given that I even provided a written list to ensure that there was no verbal misunderstandings, that was ignored, figured my list ended up being used as toilet paper so all in all, I felt that it was a totally unsatisfactory experience given what I paid for to what I received back.

Lesson learnt, will never go back there again and given this was the second time that I did go back ( thought that my first not ideal experience was a one off) , must have rocks in my head

End of rant.........

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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Apr 17, 2016 at 21:40

Sunday, Apr 17, 2016 at 21:40
Rojac, don't rant - take action by going to your local Consumer Affairs/Vehicle Repairers Licencing office, lodge an official complaint, and provide comprehensive details of the poor standard of workmanship and poor level of customer service.

The offences are - fraud - unsatisfactory workmanship that was short of any acceptable level - failure to carry out customers specific instructions - and substitution of specified, requested parts.

Anyone who performs repairs in the manner that you have stated, doesn't deserve to be in business.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 598784

Follow Up By: Rojac - Sunday, Apr 17, 2016 at 21:48

Sunday, Apr 17, 2016 at 21:48
Unfortunately Ron, that does very little, undertook that course of action for crap workmanship on an outboard rebuild of which the motor blew up after having being repaired for the same problem, went to consumer affairs who tried to arbitrate with the repairer to no avail and was recomended that we attnd a small claims court of which it was our word against the legal team of the repairer.

All to hard and with what we viewed as having little chance of success, this case would be no different.

Lesson learnt.

FollowupID: 867954

Reply By: Member - ACD 1 - Sunday, Apr 17, 2016 at 23:27

Sunday, Apr 17, 2016 at 23:27

You should have followed through with the Small Claims Tribunal...

It is you and the other party - not their legal team. That is why the process exsists. So that the little guy can have recourse through Natural Justice.


AnswerID: 598787

Follow Up By: Rojac - Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 08:07

Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 08:07
May be good in theory, but thats exactly what we thought, justice for the small guy, in practice however it was a PIA

The rep from fair trading that was assigned to us was less than enthusiastic and getting them to do anything was akin to pulling teeth, the dealer that we had the issue with was difficult, as from their prespective, they had fixed the motor, not their concern that on the third time it was used it holed a piston, the original issue,

The amount of money that we lost from time off work to pursue this would have covered for the cost of the repair the second time around.

We were advised that we could pursue it through small claims but were advised that one of the dealer principles would represent their company, he was a lawyer and it would be their word against ours

The whole process may look good in theory but unfortunately we found it to be the opposite so much that I wouldn't waste my time again.

We even took it up with the industry body the BIA, who are only interested in looking after their members.

FollowupID: 867959

Reply By: Rojac - Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 08:12

Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 08:12
Why go back, the second time one may ask, location is very convenient to where I work.
AnswerID: 598790

Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 08:28

Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 08:28
Bad all right, and a mate with his LAndcruiser had the same issue with diffs after a rebuild.
Found in the middle i=of the Simmo north that his diff housing bolts were all loose, and it was leaking oil badly !!
Luckily he had spare oil suitable and could get it all ok to continue.

It's a crap shoot getting a good mech, most times you are REALLY better off buying a good manual and doing work yourself, which is a sad indictment on the industry in general.

Unfortunately it's a case of 98% of mechanics give the rest a bad name !!!
AnswerID: 598793

Follow Up By: Rojac - Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 08:40

Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 08:40
Yep agree wholeheartly that doing the work yourself is the best way to go but unfortunately an injury ( hopefully temporary) has prevented anything involving bending or lifting

I don't mind paying for work done but in the past and with various repairers, taking care when doing work doesn't seem to come into it anymore and given that most charge over $100/hr one would expect more
FollowupID: 867960

Reply By: Sigmund - Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 10:13

Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 10:13
If you want restitution I'd recommend a staged approach. Going through a tribunal is the last step.

Start with a written demand and at every step indicate that you're not going to let it slide. The workshop manager has to conclude that it's easier to make it right than to fight on.
AnswerID: 598798

Reply By: Member - bbuzz (NSW) - Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 11:46

Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 11:46
The Small Claims is the way to go, AFTER you have written to the firm stating your displeasure and what you expect them to do to fix the situation.

Keep all your paperwork from before and after. Make sure you write it all down especially if they only give a verbal answer (phone).

I took Toyota to the Consumer Tribunal, was a bit of a time investment as they didn't turn up to the first hearing (which didn't do their case much good - 'magistrate' was peeved at the no show).
But, I got satisfaction and if the part fails again on my current Prado, I will be in a very strong position.

Sometimes just having a go, documenting it all and following it up, without actually having to front a Tribunal will bring them to the party.

Fair Trading can ONLY negotiate on your behalf. They have no teeth. The Consumer Tribunal can make an order on a firm. No escape then.

Bill B

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AnswerID: 598805

Reply By: Rojac - Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 12:00

Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 12:00
All done and dusted.

AnswerID: 598807

Follow Up By: fisho64 - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016 at 00:16

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016 at 00:16
you got a resolution?
FollowupID: 867998

Follow Up By: Rojac - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016 at 12:20

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016 at 12:20
Nope, as they say its just not one person that will never come back due to dubious service, its the dozen plus of his associates through word of mouth.

FollowupID: 868004

Reply By: mountainman - Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 18:18

Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 18:18
Which state is this place, which suburb ????
AnswerID: 598831

Follow Up By: Rojac - Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 18:25

Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 18:25
Adelaide, western suburbs
All that I can put up really, as its my interpretation of the issues, others may find a totally different experience so I'm not prepared to name their organisation based only on my experience, needless to say that I won't be back,if you want additional informatiom, PM me if that is an option
FollowupID: 867973

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 19:04

Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 19:04
Lol, now no western subs mechs in Adelaide are going to get ANY work from EO forum readers !!
They're going to be wondering why it's so quiet !!! :D
FollowupID: 867975

Follow Up By: Rojac - Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 19:23

Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 19:23
Unfortunately its not limited to 4X4 repairs, there are horrow stories on all sorts of areas.

More so, more of a DGAF attitude nowdays, time is money, the more you turn over the more $$ you get

Where's my Tardis.........
FollowupID: 867977

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 19:31

Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 19:31
Yep, it's definitely not just mechs where this is an issue.

I'm going through possibly the worst service I have ever had (or even heard of) from a big 4x4 forum associated supplier (some sort of 4WD Super Centre place supposedly :D) and now after nearly a month, today I am close to seeing a resolution.
Still have to get the faulty 2nd hand unit they sent me picked up, returned to them, then go into a refund line up no doubt, but at least they have acknowledged the issue finally.

I'm just not sure how these places stay in biz, I suppose if people don't say / do anything, they keep getting away with it !
What about a 4x4 picket line at this mechs place ??
I'm sure a few EO 4x4 drivers will give up a sat morning to help out !! :D :D
FollowupID: 867979

Reply By: Member - Robyn R4 - Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 23:06

Monday, Apr 18, 2016 at 23:06
I work in a trade where I cop flack for the world's problems, so I really don't want to attack "all mechanics in general" (bless all the decent ones out there!)...but...
My hubby has discovered some things about his car's servicing over the past few years. Bought it new from a big Gold Coast place and took it back to them twice for servicing.
The first 2 services were awful (like you, Rojac, he gave them another try) so he told them he wouldn't be back and decided to do his own.
Fortunately he's in a complementary trade and very mechanically minded and can do so.
As part of the advice re heading outback, people always say "Get your car serviced"...and you assume the experts are doing the right thing by you!
But are they?
Did they really put in the full quota of oil?
Did they really check all those things?
Did they really adjust and tweak and tighten?

Just a thought for you before you head off the beaten track...!

:) Robyn

AnswerID: 598844

Reply By: Ron N - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016 at 01:04

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016 at 01:04
Motor mechanics rate pretty highly on the list of disputes - and many are genuine.
However, a lot of mechanics fail to explain to the customer what could go wrong and what went wrong when they operated on the clients vehicle.

As we who fix stuff, all know - when you get a mongrel of a job, it can turn into a horror story.
The studs that break off unexpectedly and which give you heartburn trying to get the broken sections out.
The components that break right as you remove them, having shown no signs of problems prior to removal.
The things you found wrong that are in need of immediate attention, when you were working on something else.
Then the customer claims you're trying to diddle them, and make them pay more than they should.

All this can be resolved with clear communication and explanation and display of the troublesome components.
But a lot of mechanics won't spend the time trying to explain it in detail, convinced the customer still won't understand, anyway.

But when it come to ignoring customers explicit instructions and not replacing components, yet charging for replacements - that's just plain stupidity and outright fraud.

I can recall way back in the late 1970's, when the brother and I supported the old man in his retirement years, he had a HQ Holden wagon that we'd bought for him.
He got the servicing done locally and we refunded him any money he spent on it.

One time, we rocked up after not having seen him for a month or so, and he told us how he took the car in for a tune-up and oil change - and when he went to pick it up, the garage bloke told him the diff had crapped itself and he'd had to fit a new one.
He accordingly billed the old man for a sizeable additional sum, and the old man presented us with the invoice that he'd paid.

The brother and I were very suspicious - the wagon had only done modest kms, it had shown no signs of diff problems previously, and no-one in the family had been flogging it.

We both crawled under the car and checked for any signs of diff replacement.
There was none.
There was untouched dirt around all the rear axle bolts, and not a single component in the rear axle showed signs of any wrenching.

We hot-footed it down to the garage with the invoice and the old mans wagon, and fronted the mechanic, who was a Pom.
We told him he was a fraud and a con man to boot, and we told him that we knew his diff replacement story to the old man was a straight-out lie.

He blustered and BS'-ed and carried on, until we told him the police were going to be informed, unless he refunded the full amount for the phoney diff replacement - that we KNEW hadn't been replaced, because of our wrenching knowledge.

At that, he produced the money and repaid it. Naturally, he didn't get any more work from either us, or the old man.
I often wonder how many others he'd taken for a ride, and how we probably should have dobbed him into the police.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 598847

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016 at 05:58

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016 at 05:58
It's funny you know, a case like that Ron is clear fraud, so too could you say that about scheduled servicing at a set price, for example to include a diff oil change and a dealer doesn't do it.
But it seems your only recourse is to go through some consumer advocate, ACCC, motor association, or small biz centre BS, rather than it being treated as a fraudulent dealing.
FollowupID: 867999

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016 at 09:48

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016 at 09:48
We bought a new Rav4 3 years ago in August this year. It came with the usual 3 yr warranty and capped price servicing. As I wasn't going to give the dealer any extra excuses to deny a claim, which fortunately hasn't happened, I have been taking it back to them. Also I know that without a capped price they seem to want to fund their share holder's retirements off every service.
As a retired mechanic I could have done my own servicing but getting a bit sick and tired of climbing under cars these days as well. This car is just the wifes shopping basket and grannymobile so it has only just clocked up 24,000 ks in the last 2 1/2 years. I reckon considering the advances in modern vehicles and lubricants if it only got the oil and filter changed once it couldn't do much harm.
Am I going back to the dealer once the warranty and capped price servicing expires?
Fortunately the husband of one of my daughter's friends is a mechanic that had his own workshop and now works from his shed (complete with hoist) and seems to have an above average moral code so he will be doing the servicing from then on. He reckons he would have no problem me sitting in the corner watching as long as I bring a 6 pack with me (;=))

FollowupID: 868002

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016 at 18:12

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016 at 18:12
Like Pop, my vehicle in in warranty so I pay a dealer for capped price servicing.

What I don't like is when you go to pick it up some non-mechanic counter person reads through a reprint of the item list from the service schedule as though they have just invented it themselves and are trying to impress. Which they are.

And they say things like " We checked the tyre pressures - all good" and I know they didn't because the external TPMS sensors and their locking devices haven't been touched. As most of the servicing these days is just check and inspect, what else hasn't been checked and inspected?

I did check some of the more important items - sump plug, oil and fuel filters - and they had been worked on, but the little fib does not increase my confidence.

After every service Mazda Australia sends out a satisfaction survey. I registered my concerns there.


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FollowupID: 868018

Reply By: Rojac - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016 at 12:24

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016 at 12:24
So that all don't get tarred by the same brush another western suburbs repairer Alltrac, I've had good service from in the past, bit pricier than some of the others but allways get a good job back and get what one has paid for.

Unfortunately at the time of the other work, there was over a week pre advance notice required for bookings and I could not wait that long.

AnswerID: 598852

Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016 at 14:00

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016 at 14:00
What many businesses’s don’t understand or fully appreciate is the value “Customer Advocacy” (word of mouth appraisals).

And this goes for all types of enterprises not just motor mechanics.

Companies use all forms of advertising to promote products or services, but that is them telling you how good it is. What is far more powerful is a mate, friend, or acquaintance willing to put their reputation on the line and recommend a business to you that they have good dealings with.

The reverse of this is just as powerful.

And that isn’t to say that the customer is always right, frequently it comes down to miscommunication, but ultimately it will always be the customer that gets the last say!

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
AnswerID: 598853

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