Question by Hotspot: “Regulator” question and car repair rates?
I just had my car’s electronic window repaired, and would be interested in hearing from others. The shop (first time I had been there, it was an emergency situation) wanted almost $ 300 for a new part – saying it was basically “fishing line” – but did find a used one with almost no guarantee, for $ 110. Okay, fine I thought, and he told me it would take less than an hour to put it in.

I prepaid for the part, made an appointment, when again he told me it would be less than an hour. I sat in the lobby of the shop, where I could clearly see my car. They didn’t move it for almost a half-hour, and then brought it back 25 minutes late, all finished. The repair guy told the front desk it was ready (I could see it sitting in the parking lot, no one near it). About 10 minutes later, I went up to the desk because no one was coming to get me. I had a feeling they were stalling…

When she gave me the bill, I saw that they had charged me for an hour and a half labor! I asked how they figured that, and they told me it was based on “approved standards”. Not even the hour that he told me it would be – twice – but an extra half hour to take the door panel off, then an hour to do the actual work. Grrrrr…

First question: how do they get away with charging me 3x the amount it should’ve been? 10 or 15 minutes I could see, but a full hour (at $ 75 an hour) is fraud in my opinion.

Second question: doesn’t $ 300 for “basically fishing line” seem crazy? As I understood it, there were no moving parts to it. The motor did NOT need repairing. That was fine.

Thirdly: what can I do about it? Do I have any recourse? I paid for it, so I do have my car.

Auto mechanics? Others who have had this happen to them? Any feedback on this?
I meant to say “brought it back 25 minutes LATER” 😉

Best answer:

Answer by Ice
Unfortunately, auto shops have this ridiculous policy that they use a standard time frame for everything. In other words, if it had taken them 4 hours to do your repairs and the book said an hour and a half, and they didn’t do anything other than that repair, you’d only pay for an hour and a half. I too think it’s ridiculous, but most shops do it, and if you’ll read their policies before you leave your car, you’ll see that by allowing them to work on your car you accept those terms. As far as the window part, I can see it costing that much. It sucks, but you’re at the mercy of their markup. If you had bought the part yourself, you probably would only have paid $ 100 or so, but they won’t put in parts you carry in. It’s a racket, and it’s legal. Good Luck.

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Categories: Prepaid Legal Q & A

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