Take em' to the cleaners?

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Thread: Take em' to the cleaners?

  1. #1
    Banned
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    Question Take em' to the cleaners?

    Hey All,

    I've been wondering this and wanted peoples comments about this. I just recently had my car's brake system inspected to see if there are any problems with it. In return, I recieved a list of 12 products that apparently need to be changed, totalling 470$. Now I know that some of those parts might need changing, but not all. Obviously someone is trying to take me to the cleaners. Just because I ain't a mechanically inclined person, does that mean rob me of my money and screw me into believing I need all this?

    Same comes to computers. I've heard of technicians check a computer, charge $$$ per hour and tell a customer they need all this software and hardware. I understand that many people can be idiots and leave the plug in the back of the computer out, or leaving a powerbar off, but is it fair to pick on the uneducated? Does grandfather brown need a 300$ backup power deck? Or a creative labs platinum live 5.1 soundcard and speakers? (especially those with hearing aids) or a 23" flat screen monitor? Would you not agree this is highway robbery? I mean these guys are good to go with a 800mhz, 128mb ram, on board sound and video, 5gig hd and some software.

    Now I ask this. Do you screw people over into purchasing these extras with their computer because you want to make a sale? Or do you help the person out and focus more on public relations? Would you rather confuse your client into buying something, or explain to them in plain english what the problem is and what you recommend and why? Just curious to see how this community looks at sales vs. service. (the buck vs. the respect)

    Edit: Had changed it from General ChitChat to Cosmo and wanted to add a poll, somehow the link was missing? odd, eh? Anyways, here it is.

  2. #2
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    I have two comments to say about your question(s)

    1) I just had my car taken in yesterday to get two of the tires changed (300 bucks), and i had asked the mechanic to check the brakes, and they came back with an estimate for 850 bucks to change all four brakes (rotors and pads). Since changing brakes isnt too much of a streatch (im not so mechanically inclined myself), I priced out the parts online, and can get new pads and rotors for my beemer for about 250 bucks. Guess which option i am going to take. I would suggest that you go get decent mechanic to give you a brake inspection (cost me 20 bucks) and have him print you out a parts list. Shop these online (if you have a common car, this shouldnt be too hard to find). Next, find an online manual for the instructions on changing brakes for your car, or go to a Kragan and get the owners manual for your car, which should diagram how to do this. Finally, recruit a buddy or buddies who knows the difference between a torque wrench and a ratchet, and make promises of beer and good times. The project shouldnt take more than an afternoon, and you will get to have a good time hanging out with your friends, and saving money (600 bucks in my case).

    To your second point - about adding unnecessary parts/stuff...

    Since I am in sales, and i deal with fortune 500 accounts where keeping a customer is infinately easier than finding one - I NEVER cheat my customers on selling them something they dont need...ever... period. You might get one good sale out of them by raping and pillaging, but the real reward is in the long term relationship sales that i have had over my career.

    Hope this helps!

    PS if you do the brakes yourself, PM me with how it went
    freedom is a road seldom traveled by the multitude

    freedom aint free

  3. #3
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    I always go with respect, and patronize companies and businesses which do the same.

    When I built my first computer, I couldn't get it to run. Kept try to figure it out, but came up empty. Frustrated, I took it to a local computer shop. Come to find out, my CPU wasn't seated properly in the adapter card. But since it was an easy fix, they fixed it for almost half of what they normally charge -- plus cleaned up some stuff in my case.

    When I worked retail, I made sure that the customer got what they wanted, at the cheapest they could -- even if it wasn't where I worked.

    The problem is commision -- everybody is a dollar, sell it even if they can't really afford it or even need it.

    There is some descency left in the world -- but it's few and far between.
    Just remember: Abraham Lincoln didn\'t die in vain. He died in Washington D.C.

  4. #4
    Originally posted here by DarkGuardian
    When I worked retail, I made sure that the customer got what they wanted, at the cheapest they could -- even if it wasn't where I worked.
    I have this problem. I was in Wal~Mart picking up some CD-RW's and had seen an elderly couple looking for a mouse, and I told them they could go to a shop and pick one up for $4. instead of $12. or if they wanted I would walk out to my car and give them one. I always have spares on me. I also have been kicked out of Staples for correcting the sales people if I notice they are trying to BS a deal out the door. I know this isn't in regards to the automotive problem, but this is my outlook on how things should be handled. As for automotive work, I work out deals with people I know do mechanics. I upgrade this or that in your PC for you if you do "my oil change, breaks, etc". I just think that if people could learn to put money aside, and respect the point of bartering. It would make the cycle so much respectful, but you find you can't barter if the society focuses on greed.

  5. #5
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    Actually, this topic isn't about mechanics and vehicles. It isn't even about computers (well, ok, it is) I'm just wondering, since most of us deal with computers, if when you have a sucker at your fingertips, do you screw him or educate him.

    From what I've seen so far, most people here at AO are decent people. For that I feel a little faith in computer inclined humanitarians. I totally agree that commission is what people aim, but I always looked at it that if I give the customer what they want, and they are satisfied, they'll tell others, and others tell others, etc. Which is they way I'd prefer doing business.

    Thanks for suggestions on my car, wasn't what I was aiming for, but I'll take the bonus tips

  6. #6
    Originally posted here by tyger_claw
    From what I've seen so far, most people here at AO are decent people. For that I feel a little faith in computer inclined humanitarians.
    I would agree with that 100%. I feel confident enough to say a good percentage of the members would go out of the way for another member. I believe the user in need would have to earn a bit of respect and confidence prior, but I wouldn't think anyone would leave another out to dry....


    Originally posted here by tyger_claw
    I totally agree that commission is what people aim.
    It is sad, but 100% true. You have a greedy society, and now with a hurting enconomy you are going to see more and more. I don't believe it would be that way if we were able to share out abilities without a price tag. That is why it is always great to have friends. I don't think I have one friend that would put a price tag on a favor.

    Originally posted here by tyger_claw
    I always looked at it that if I give the customer what they want, and they are satisfied, they'll tell others, and others tell others, etc. Which is they way I'd prefer doing business.
    The way it should be, but then again. Morals are lost when greed takes over.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    IMHO, balance is the key. no, you dont try to screw the guy by leading him to believe this peltier cooling system is what he NEEDS to truly experience this flash script on his favorite website. that would be misleading and unethical. however, if the guy asks for this certain item who am i to say that he doesnt really need it. if i'm at someone's business and they ask me my opinion on whether i should buy this item over that one, i will suggest the one that i believe will work the best for that situation. i'm not out to screw anybody and i think education is your best friend sometimes. its better to give him what he really needs at a cheaper price so they keep coming back to you than it is to jip him out of alot of money once, then his cousin tells him he was raped in the computer store and he never returns.

    so to sum up... a bird in hand will stay in your hand until you lie to it or screw it. ok that sounded absolutely wrong, but i hope you get what i am saying.
    just like water off a duck\'s back... I AM HERE.

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  8. #8
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    I totally get what you are saying.

    Sure if someone wants something, why not give it to them.
    However, if they just want a soundcard to hear "You've got mail", why give them a Platinum Live 5.1?

    I hear ya

  9. #9
    Why would you just want to hear you got mail, when the higher quality of a Platinum Live 5.1 with some higher quality speakers and a nice sub will give you a greater You've Got Mail edge. You haven't head a WAV file until you heard a wav file on the top of the line sound system.. Sorry had to do it...

  10. #10
    Gray Haired Old Fart aeallison's Avatar
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    Now I ask this. Do you screw people over into purchasing these extras with their computer because you want to make a sale? Or do you help the person out and focus more on public relations? Would you rather confuse your client into buying something, or explain to them in plain english what the problem is and what you recommend and why? Just curious to see how this community looks at sales vs. service. (the buck vs. the respect)
    I live in a small midwestern town and help run an ISP service. Our best advertisement is our satisfied customers, word might get around slow, but, it does get around. On the other side of the coin ( excuse the pun ) dis-satisfied customers tales will spread like wildfire and put a business belly-up real fast.

    Honesty is still the best policy...

    P.S. I always do my own mechanical repairs, If you can build a pc and configure a network, you can certainly fix a car given the right resources.
    I have a question; are you the bug, or the windshield?

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