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Mechanic Work, Price, Quality? What the...?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Boredom inc., Mar 24, 2011.

  1. I've recently put my motorbike in for it's first service whilst under my possession. The bike has been in good running order other than the fact my chain was loose and couldn't be tightened anymore (i.e. the chain and sprockets were dead).

    I booked my bike in for a service and tune and have been in contact back and forth a few time about what is happening. I dropped the bike off last week and every time I speak to the mechanic suddenly more work needs to be done. Also it took me a long time to get an real actual total price from the mechanic. I'd asked numerous times and always got vague responses, which were always around the $750 mark but when I got a hold of the actual details it was around $1300 The bike didn't even get tuned despite the fact this is one of the things I booked in for. Instead I was told it's not running at 100% but they didn't see the point in doing it.

    Here's a list of what's been done/replaced:
    - General service stuff; changed oil, checked horn, indicators and replaced minor parts as needed.
    - Supposedly inspected engine (but never even took the head out of the bike).
    - Supposedly checked brakes (as a part of the main service, we'll come back to this).
    - Replaced Fuel Filter.
    - Replaced spark plugs (on request after I realised they'd actually done nothing with the engine, of course this cost me more money).
    - Replaced sprockets and chain.

    This is all fair enough but was way more expensive than I expected, around $1000 for parts and time.

    Now the fun starts:
    - Replace fork seals and fork oil.
    - Replace front tyre.
    - Replace front brakes and 2 disc pads.

    Except now they've called me to say that they pulled the brakes off and can't put the bike back together because the brake callipers are stuffed. So they're going to charge me $140 + parts to fix my brake callipers. Other than the fact that the price is already a lot more than expect how come the mechanic who inspected the brakes as a part of the initial service did not realise they were stuffed. I suggested just grabbing a set of brake calipers from a wrecker but he said he'd have to inspect them and that they will be broken anyway so he will have to fix them.

    Overall this is costing me a bit over $1500, of which about $800 is labour. My brother suggested consumer affairs, is it worth taking this to consumer affairs? Is this as insane as I think it is? Or is this what you expect when you take your bike into a mechanic?
  2. Ouch. Hope they at least bought you dinner first :bannanabutt:.

    I'd insist on getting an itemised bill, and going over it very carefully.
  3. Let me guess, Peter Stevens?
  4. hand back the lube, stand up straight and be very firm with them.

    talk to the manager and discuss your concerns, that they did stuff you didn't want or need, and they didn't do stuff you requested (ie, removing the head).

    get an itemised list of everything with prices, exactly what they've done, compare it to what you've asked to had done.

    if things aren't adding up and they're still trying to screw you over, take it to consumer affairs.
  5. The price is about right if they did what they say they did. Get them to prove that they did it.
  6. I feel your pain buddy, got stung less than a week ago for $1900, up from $1200. I ended up telling him that everytime he called me the price increases. Told him to get it fixed and to expect me there in person to go over the prices with a fine tooth combe. Told him to get the damn bike fixed and that the cost better not increase......be firm and dont be taken for a ride. Next time get him to list down everything and only do those things. Mechanics will always try to add in bit here and there or replace small items here and there.....these all add up.
  7. Sounds like a typical cost in service for what you have outlined, but I wouldnt be giving any permission to do any other work (other than what you requested) without inspecting it myself first (otherwords, leave it the **** alone and I will re-book it later)
    One time, I booked in for a valve clearence only, and specifically said nothing else, and mentioned dont do the oil, ive just replaced it, guess what, invoice apart from clearance work **replaced Filter and Oil** - dickheads didnt get paid for it either!
    So, lesson learnt - never leave your bike with an open cheque book. If they cant give a straight up cost on your required needs, you walk off.
    You need to be blunt and direct with some of these assholes!
  8. Quoted for truth
  9. It's not Peter Stevens. To be fair I won't say who it is unless things really turn out bad and I'm obviously in the right and he's in the wrong. He generally seems like a good mechanic. The issue is I'm not a regular customer and he really doesn't seem to care about my particular bike. As far as I can tell he's just looking to make some cash. I'm going in there to speak to the mechanic this afternoon.

    I approved all the work however the price I was quoted was not the price I'm going to be charged. That's a little annoying and I understand that things can take longer than expected. But if that's the case give me an upper bound quote, don't tell me the price of parts when I ask for the overall cost (which is apparently what happened). I didn't realise how much the forks would cost cause I was told it was a simple job given that the front wheel will already be off the bike to replace the tyre.

    Although I think I've been screwed price-wise I did approve the majority of the work. I'm just annoyed that it's cost so much and yet when they "inspected the brakes" they didn't find a problem. But suddenly when it comes time to replace the front disc pads they've fallen apart.
  10. sounds like you are in the process of being violated.

    in the ass.

    I thought i was getting screwed with a $600 service. Atleast my mechanic was honest and up front. He rang and asked if I wanted the extra work done. I said yes. Price was exactly what he said it was. Mostly because the dealer i had been going to had been doing just enough to keep the bike running. My mechanic was recommended to me by a couple of other riders. Maybe you need to find a similar person. Ask around and see if there are mechanics near to you that are recommended by people you trust.

    In so far as the bill, I'd be speaking to the manager. I'd also be blaming them for causing the extra work and refusing to pay it. I'd also say that $750 was the quote, that is what i'll be paying. Oh, and lastly, make sure you get in contact with a lawyer and the office of consumer affairs, see what your legal position is.

    Let us know how you get on.
  11. Pads and fluid are a ten minute job, fork seals and oil add an hour or two if it's a first attempt. Dead set easy jobs if you've got a manual, no wonder you're getting fleeced. They probably think you are a rich idiot. Are you?
  12. at a minimum you should be doing the oil/filter change yourself. spark plugs are not that hard either.

    if you haven't got one, get a workshop manual, start doing basic maintenance yourself, to lessen the heart palpations when next you see a mechanic.
  13. One word: Ombudsman.

    Kick them where it hurts, often its the only way you'll get anything back from this sort of thing. I had an incident with a large bank that messed me around, and after repeated humiliating incidents at their service desk I cracked and got the ombudsman onto them. I was eventually awarded $100 in reparations (phonecalls, travel expenses and my time) and the bank was a lot more civil to me. Not that I use them anymore.

    Anyway, just a thought.

    I agree with what the fellows above said, too - you would definitely be better off doing this stuff yourself. Its easy, cheap, and doesn't take long. An hour on a weekend will see you with a newly serviced bike that you KNOW has been done properly... because you did it! Nothing beats that feeling.

    Cheers - boingk
  14. What bike, and how many K's on it?
  15. Dont put up with that, its utter bull.

    Even just refuse to pay for work you didn't ask for.

    Sod them
  16. Rich, hell no, I'm a uni student, this service is costing me more than I earn in a month (despite the fact I have rent and bills to pay).

    An idiot? Well, perhaps. I do know how to change the forks seals and discs myselfs (with a bit of help from my brother) and was originally going to do this myself. However I changed my mind as I figured it wouldn't cost too much more given that the front tyre was already being changed. As it turns out I'm quite confident I could have done everything the mechanic has done myself, however that's because the engine hasn't been touched. I booked in cause I wanted the engine looked at and figured I should get the chain and sprocket done at the same time... big mistake!

    Well I was trying to remain fairly anonymous so as not to piss off the mechanic. But hopefully if he understands that I'm being reasonable, just trying to find out information and what others think. The bike is a ZX250A (aka ZXR 250, ZX2R). It's done about 50,000 kms. I'm not sure how many it has done since its last service however when I bought it, it had just been serviced (cleaned plugs etc.)
  17. So this is costing you half the value of your bike! (Not that that's a problem - that happens if you want to keep a vehicle running.) If a mechanic's charging $100 an hour, and using parts from the original manufacturer, then right there your costs have trebled or quadrupled. This is why I like old simple bikes, and ordering parts off the internet, and (despite I actually don't like it that much) doing the work myself.

    You won't make this mistake again! :)
  18. My mechanic once went to get parts for the service. He walked out with Wash'n'wax, a regotube holder, a magazine and a few other items that were completely unnecessary for the service.

    Sucks doing my own servicing. I charge myself so much sometimes. :p
  19. Just an update, I've resolved this now. I spoke to the mechanic and he explained everything to me. He was pretty nice about everything once we understood each others' point of view. It's more expensive than I would have liked but apparently this is just how much it costs to get the work done by a mechanic. In future I'll probably have to do more work myself as I can't afford this regularly, but ah well.
  20. I'm going to be the first to say you've been sweet talked, its happend to us all. Hey, like you said, you've learned from this!