PDA

View Full Version : Ethics Question


ski_king
08-25-2008, 10:12 PM
I am not sure if this is the right group to ask a ethics question to, but here goes. I am looking for opinions on what to do.

Back in late June, I took my kids car, a 98 into the dealer to get some service. It needed a water pump and I had a list of a few other things that I did not want to tackle myself and get the state inspection while it was there.
I went against my better judgment and didn’t take it to the small shop mechanic I usually use and took it to the new car dealer service department.
It took them a week to get to it and they called me with an estimate of $1800, which I thought was outrages. We went thru item by item and got it down to a more reasonable price in the $1000 range after dropping the $550 brake job they wanted to do as well as a few other overcharged items it didn’t need.
They said it would take about 3 days as they needed to get a few parts. After a week went by without the car, I found out it was almost complete, except one small part wasn’t in yet. They agreed that it was safe to drive and I could pick it up and bring it back in when the part came in to finish the service.
I stopped in with checkbook in hand to pickup the car and pay for the service they completed. The service department was closed, but after the manager looked for half an hour for the bill or service order, he told me to stop back on Monday and pay for it as he trusted me.
I stop back in on Monday, again with checkbook in hand and approach the service manager and tell him I am there to pay for my service. He spent half an hour, looking for the bill or service order only to tell me that the part still had not come in and they would invoice me for the entire service when it was complete. I asked when the part would come in, and he responded, hopefully in a few days. I verified that he still had my home, work and cell phone numbers and went on my way.

A month passes and I am wondering what to do. I am not the type of person to try to find ways out of paying what I owe, so I call the dealer and ask for the service manager. After being on hold for 15 minutes, I was cut off. I call back and get to talk to someone and tell them I need to talk with the service manager and leave my name and phone number. That was 4 or 5 weeks ago.

What do I do now?
1: Go back in person one more time to see the service manager and try to pay my bill.
2: Give up and see if they ever figure they are short $1,000 overcharged dollars.
3: Other?

Oh yea, I have since got the state inspection done elsewhere and it passed with flying colors. The brakes were in great shape.

c_craig
08-25-2008, 10:16 PM
depends on what the "missing part" was...

ski_king
08-25-2008, 10:17 PM
A control arm bushing, that really didn't need to be replaced.

Roonie's
08-25-2008, 10:19 PM
I would call the parts department and ask for an ETA on the part. Then go from there.

I have been waiting for a new seat skin from MC now for 4 + months and I still haven't given up. Not sure if my dealer is just giving me the run around now however as he still doesn't have an ETA. (it was their mistake and their cost to replace the skin)

TMCNo1
08-25-2008, 10:21 PM
Try one more time in person, then if it's not still resolved walk away, but keep a record of the timeline, all your trips/calls/names/etc. if they decide to come after you at a later date and you want to fight it.

dapicatti
08-25-2008, 10:36 PM
Personally as a small business owner with employees who don't always do their job correctly, I say pay. They still have to pay the overhead incurred even though they can't seem to get the billing right. You want them to be around the next time you need them. Clearly one job won't put them out of business, but you never know.

ShamrockIV
08-25-2008, 10:38 PM
screw them!! if they want their money they will call u! sounds like u got screwed anyway!!

mlay
08-25-2008, 11:00 PM
Ditto, your initial post documents it pretty well. Document everything and I agree you are trying your best to be a stand up guy but there comes a point when you start subtracting the cost of your time to run this issue down. I know I have better things to do than trace down a problem that seems to be only an issue to me. If nothing else if they do come after you deduct the time it costs you trying to do the right thing.

On the other hand, I try to stick to local garages also....I've had it with dealers around here.

Try one more time in person, then if it's not still resolved walk away, but keep a record of the timeline, all your trips/calls/names/etc. if they decide to come after you at a later date and you want to fight it.

Willski
08-25-2008, 11:07 PM
I definitely think the right thing is to pay. You did cost them money, but how many times do you have to keep trying? At some point, they are not listening to their customer, who is actually trying to help them out! I voted other, because I would get tired of trying to help someone out if they don't call back etc. If you need to go back to the dealer for future work, then I would probably pay!! If not, then it is up to you. Is guilt getting the better of you?

6ballsisall
08-25-2008, 11:10 PM
My vote, try one more time to settle up on the bill. If the continue to be disorganized about the subject let it ride. They'll contact you once they figure it out. As someone else said, keep track of the conversations, your time, and mileage, etc.. as it relates to trying to reconcile this .

shepherd
08-26-2008, 12:07 AM
screw them!! if they want their money they will call u! sounds like u got screwed anyway!!

I'm with Sham here. I've never dealt with a car dealership service department that I could trust or didn't (or didn't try) to screw me. The fact that your dealer tried to talk you into work you didn't need just reinforces my opinion.

I'm not saying I wouldn't pay for work that was done if I was asked. But at this point, I'd let them come to me asking for the money. And even then I'd make them wait at least a few weeks in the same manner they've been blowing you off.

Willski
08-26-2008, 12:22 AM
At any rate, set the money aside if it means much to your running budget. That way if they do finally contact you, it is money already spent in your eyes.

ski_king
08-26-2008, 08:32 AM
Thanks for all the input.
With everything else that has been going on in my life, this outstanding bill had slipped my mind until I passed by the dealership yesterday. It was after hours, or I may have stopped in and had a talk.

It just upsets me when people make it difficult to do the right thing.

The money has been set aside. Since it is my daughters car, she is the one paying the most (in a weak moment, I did agree to pay almost half).

mbeach
08-26-2008, 09:08 AM
i voted "other" because you have made every reasonable effort to contact them and pay the bill. the ball is in their court to get back to you, so sit tight, have fun, and enjoy your $1000 while you have it. believe me, they know who you are and where to find you (anal accountants are aware of this pending payment). lastly, when they do bill you be sure there are no late charges sneaking in.

SNATCHEM
08-26-2008, 09:08 AM
Ski King,
No doubt honesty is the best policy.
Why not drop a line to the Dealer Principal outlining everything you have said on this Board and request a meeting with him personally.
You will find most Business Owners will welcome such an approach and I bet he will thank you you bringing the matter to his attention and you may be very pleased with the outcome.
Of course the main person to gain in this whole excersize is your daughter who has seen how honest her Dad has been.
That's what I think anyway!
Proud owner of a Spunky X7 !!!!

coz
08-26-2008, 09:18 AM
Ethics??? some say pay some say nay, who's got the ethics?

Ric
08-26-2008, 10:03 AM
Ethics??? some say pay some say nay, who's got the ethics?
where is moses when we need him?

causewayskiier
08-26-2008, 10:27 AM
Pay them what you owe them, and forget about the part that hasn't come in. Reverse the roles, if you owned the business and your shop guy couldn't find the bill would you want the customer to get a free job just because your employee couldn't find the bill.

Maristar210
08-26-2008, 10:39 AM
Denny,

You have made every effort to pay. I still would not sleep well knowing I really owed them the money, regardless of thier incompetence.

As a final thought. Type out a note stating the number of times you have attempted to contact them. Send them a copy and state they have ten days to present you with a bill or you will consider the matter closed.

Then the onus is on them , not you.

I Applaud your honesty, by the way. :cool:

ShamrockIV
08-26-2008, 10:53 AM
Then the onus is on them , not you. :cool:

dude i would see a dr about this onus!!! it sounds bad!!

flipper
08-26-2008, 11:27 AM
I hate to owe anybody anything, but you've gone above and beyond I think. Really, It's their job to collect the money. You've spent a lot of time waiting for them to get their stuff together.....that's got to be worth something. They charge you for every second, look at it as a back charge.

If they want their money bad enough, they know where to find you.

chudson
08-26-2008, 12:10 PM
Just a thought but everyone has a web site now with an email, contact them through email that way you have a documented proof that you tried to contact them about making the payment. After that it's up to them and keep the $1000 set a side though!!!. :twocents:

CantRepeat
08-26-2008, 12:16 PM
It's really easy to just pay the grand and get a receipt for that. You've done your part then and they can figure out who to bill it.

djhuff
08-26-2008, 01:39 PM
My rule of thumb in matters such as this... ask 3 times to pay them the money, after the third time, you have done your part, and it's up to them to make it right. You have spoken with the service manager, who no doubt has P&L responsibility, so you have gone high enough up the chain to feel fine about this.

On my first house, I asked the lighting supplier for an invoice when I picked up the lights, he said he would have to get back to me and it was all I could do to get him to take down my address to send the bill to. I called him twice more looking for the bill, his answer was always, yea, i'll get that to you in a few days. After that, in my mind, it's up to the creditor to ask for payment. He never did, that was almost 5 years ago.

Willski
08-26-2008, 02:48 PM
My rule of thumb in matters such as this... ask 3 times to pay them the money, after the third time, you have done your part, and it's up to them to make it right. You have spoken with the service manager, who no doubt has P&L responsibility, so you have gone high enough up the chain to feel fine about this.

On my first house, I asked the lighting supplier for an invoice when I picked up the lights, he said he would have to get back to me and it was all I could do to get him to take down my address to send the bill to. I called him twice more looking for the bill, his answer was always, yea, i'll get that to you in a few days. After that, in my mind, it's up to the creditor to ask for payment. He never did, that was almost 5 years ago.

Oh, that was me. Can you send me the money now. I think it was a few hundred dollars.
Just mail it to: Just Kidding!

bcampbe7
08-26-2008, 04:03 PM
Denny,

You have made every effort to pay. I still would not sleep well knowing I really owed them the money, regardless of thier incompetence.

As a final thought. Type out a note stating the number of times you have attempted to contact them. Send them a copy and state they have ten days to present you with a bill or you will consider the matter closed.

Then the onus is on them , not you.

I Applaud your honesty, by the way. :cool:



I'd say this is your best option. That Maristar210 is a smart guy!

Make sure that you do a certified letter so that you can show proof that you sent it and it was received by the service department.

Jim@BAWS
08-26-2008, 04:46 PM
I would not worry about

Obama will take care of it for you...wait one minute there. That means I have to pay for it.

Please pay your bill so I don't have to

Thanks in advance

Jim@BAWS

dapicatti
08-26-2008, 08:24 PM
I would not worry about

Obama will take care of it for you...wait one minute there. That means I have to pay for it.

Please pay your bill so I don't have to

Thanks in advance

Jim@BAWS

HAHAHAHAHAHA!
ROFLMAO!

rholmes
08-27-2008, 12:43 AM
If it was you who did the work and forgot to bill someone, would you still want to get paid? I agree the best thing to do is try one more time. If nothing, then leave it up to them to come to you. I voted other.

JohnE
08-27-2008, 09:40 AM
I wouldn't contact them again. If they send you a bill, that's when I'd pay. You can have a clear conscience since you've tried to pay them and are willing to pay them when they bill you.

atlfootr
08-27-2008, 09:41 AM
In your heart, you know what's right ...

ski_king
08-27-2008, 01:03 PM
I know what I am going to do.

It is still interesting to hear the different points of view from everyone.
I never knew it would be so difficult to pay someone what I owe.

ski_king
11-21-2008, 09:27 PM
I last posted in this thread almost 3 months ago.
I made 2 visits to the dealership and tried to pay for the service and they couldnt find the work order... made 3 phone calls to remind them I owed them money and wanted to know how much only to be told they would get back to me..... all this back in August... then I gave up.......

Then a week ago I got a call asking if I was going to bring my car in to get the service completed...... I told them I gave up on them and got it fixed elsewhere and told them the story again. Today I received the bill.... not bad about $300 less than I expected!
I will be mailing a check tomorrow..... or better yet, I may stop in and pay it in person.

tommcat
11-24-2008, 12:18 PM
where is moses when we need him?
Doing drugs