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Old 13-10-2011, 12:56   #1
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Please Allow Me to Vent

I called a reputable dealer to send a maintenance tech out to look at my generator. He was here for 1/2 hour, told me the problem (didn't fix a thing) and drove off.

The bill was for $350!! Apparently, they charge by the hour from when they leave the shop to when they return to the shop, PLUS $2 per mile!! By my calculations, they are charging me $220 per hour while DRIVING!!! Please tell me that this is nuts, or that I should just bend over and take it.
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Old 13-10-2011, 13:01   #2
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Re: Please allow me to vent

Did they tell you what they charge beforehand or give you any sort of estimate for a diagnosis? Did you sign anything?

If they did not give you any sort of written or verbal estimate then I don't think they have a case.
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Old 13-10-2011, 13:02   #3
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Re: Please allow me to vent

why we stopped having work done in Florida a number of years ago - poor incomplete workmanship and high prices - it is all centered around the mega yacht community that have no qualms about paying those prices

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Old 13-10-2011, 13:03   #4
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Re: Please allow me to vent

Unfortunately manufacturers shops bill this way. Called portal to portal. Someone has to pay that guy to get to you and for the wear and tear on the service truck. But that seems awful steep. How far did he have to come and why didn't he fix it?
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Old 13-10-2011, 13:07   #5
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Re: Please allow me to vent

Why did he not fix it? I guess I would dispute the bill if there was not a good reason. But that being said, most shops do charge for travel time 2 bucks per mile seems high. Government allows something like .43 per mile on expense sheets.

I have come to the conclusion that although it seems easy to pick up the phone and call for help unless you have deep pockets you cannot beat your own service.
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Old 13-10-2011, 13:07   #6
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Re: Please allow me to vent

How far did he drive? I pay 30 pounds per hour (including VAT) for superb engineering work on the Hamble in the UK. That's about $50 an hour, and no travel time, etc. At that rate, you would have bought 6 or 7 seven hours of time -- sounds crazy to me.
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Old 13-10-2011, 13:08   #7
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Re: Please allow me to vent

He came 30 miles. I didn't ask up front because I've done business with them in the past and although steep, they've never been unreasonably so (my fault for not asking!!).

He didn't fix it because it required the cylinder head to be rebuilt, and they don't do that work. Took him 10 minutes to figure that out. No estimate was given, and I only signed an authorization to look at the engine.

I need a cocktail and calm down before I go any further with this.
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Old 13-10-2011, 13:11   #8
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Re: Please allow me to vent

For that price I could have flew in from Syracuse NY fixed your Genset and had Surf N Turf for dinner and still had some jingle for coffee in the morning
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Old 13-10-2011, 13:12   #9
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Re: Please allow me to vent

Quote:
Originally Posted by hogfighter View Post
By my calculations, they are charging me $220 per hour while DRIVING!!!
You shouldn't have to be doing your own calculations. Their invoice should specify mileage and driving time, plus the rate for that time. Most shops charge less for driving time than for the time they are working on your boat.

By all means you should convey your concerns to the owner of the shop, especially if you did not know in advance that you'd be billed on a portal-to-portal basis.
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Old 13-10-2011, 13:40   #10
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Re: Please allow me to vent

Seen things like this before. My take is pay nothing to people who did nothing.

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Old 13-10-2011, 14:40   #11
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Re: Please Allow Me to Vent

I had a similar experience with one of the big outfits in my area. They were recommended by my surveyor. I asked them to do 4 things. They accomplished none of them and sent me a bill for $550, including $150 for parts they did not use (but left on the boat).

With the big shops they have many techs, and some may be more reliable than others. I agree with the above advice to call the owner and discuss your concerns.

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Old 13-10-2011, 14:56   #12
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Re: Please Allow Me to Vent

I was called out to a farm to find out why the cows were off feed and bloated. I drove 30+ miles to get there and had the problem solved by the time I got out of the truck. Did I do nothing? My time is worth something, and the ability to diagnose the problem is worth more. However, not that much, geezs thats a lot.
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Old 13-10-2011, 15:00   #13
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Re: Please allow me to vent

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Originally Posted by hogfighter View Post
He came 30 miles. I didn't ask up front because I've done business with them in the past and although steep, they've never been unreasonably so (my fault for not asking!!).
I think you just answered your own question
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Old 13-10-2011, 15:01   #14
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Re: Please allow me to vent

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Seen things like this before. My take is pay nothing to people who did nothing.

b.
But he did do something - he diagnosed the problem. Diagnoses are not that easy, and the OP needed one. He didn't fix the problem because the shop could not do that type of work. Nothing wrong with that in concept.

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Old 13-10-2011, 15:01   #15
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Re: Please Allow Me to Vent

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Originally Posted by hogfighter View Post
I called a reputable dealer to send a maintenance tech out to look at my generator. He was here for 1/2 hour, told me the problem (didn't fix a thing) and drove off.

The bill was for $350!! Apparently, they charge by the hour from when they leave the shop to when they return to the shop, PLUS $2 per mile!! By my calculations, they are charging me $220 per hour while DRIVING!!! Please tell me that this is nuts, or that I should just bend over and take it.
This is the way a lot of "Factory Authorized-----blah-blah blah" shops are.

The Biggies don't bill in 1/2 hours.

The clock starts when the guy gets the work order.

Just do a Farley Mowat on his boss......."No cure no pay".

There is another side of the coin tho', some people (read cheapskates) will pump you for info so they can try to do the job themselves.

This seems to be present in the marine trades....never heard of it in say Plumbing or Carpentry or Electrical (ashore)
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