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AIBU to expect my mechanic to honour the quote he gave me?

(35 Posts)
goodbyekitty123 Thu 28-Mar-13 14:07:23

I have just got my car back after a week and a half after having the timing belt changed. My mechanic is notoriously difficult to get hold of, doesn't reply to texts etc. however his kids go to the same school as my little sister so very often I ask my mum to try and catch him to make appointments etc.

Prior to having the timing belt done I had got a quote from a different garage closer to where I live who told me it would cost £240. However my mechanic assured me (well my mum as she had to ask on my behalf as he didn't respond to my texts and calls) that it would be substantially cheaper than this. After a lot of badgering persuasion he eventually gave a quote of £180, however I have now been given a bill for £245!!

Unfortunately I am unable to drive long distances at the moment due to having bad SPD but the mechanic offered to pick up and drop off my car (never mentioned extra costs). The bill however does not have a break down and only has a description of the work he did on the car. Even if he did include the cost of picking up/dropping off my car £65 difference seems an awful lot.

AIBU to expect him to honour his original quote? If I had known it was going to be £245 I would have taken it to the closer garage which I would have been able to drive to, meaning I paid less in petrol and would have got my car back much sooner. I am now in a position where I haven't been able to budget for this large price difference so will put a financial strain on me. I haven't paid the bill yet and I have tried to get hold of him to find out why there was such a big price difference but alas he isn't available.

Salmotrutta Thu 28-Mar-13 14:17:32

Depends if it was an actual quote or an estimate.

It makes a difference I think?

goodbyekitty123 Thu 28-Mar-13 14:22:22

Well he's so bloody hard to pin down to anything that I really don't know. He is massively flaky but I would say if there is a figure mentioned regardless of if it's an estimate the final figure should be in the same ball park not £65 more.

Salmotrutta Thu 28-Mar-13 14:25:47

Well, playing devils advocate, if he didnt present a written quote then you are probably on a sticky wicket.

It may be that the labour took longer than anticipated (its usually the labour that's the expensive part I think?) and it's just unlucky.

goodbyekitty123 Thu 28-Mar-13 14:34:28

To be honest I'm more pissed off that he wasn't just up front about how much it was going to cost. The stress of not having my car for a week and a half and trying to sort out when it would be done etc. wasn't even worth it as it has ended up costing more than the original quote I received as well as extra petrol costs.
Obviously I haven't spoken to him yet and he may reduce that price or give a proper explanation about the price difference but I don't think I'll be using him again. I had put up with all the other crap before because he was so much cheaper but it's not worth it if he's going to charge the same or more!

gobbin Thu 28-Mar-13 15:02:52

I'd pay up this time and never use him again. I'd also be telling all my mates how he ripped you off.

RafflesWay Thu 28-Mar-13 15:27:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Salmotrutta Thu 28-Mar-13 15:56:37

The OP doesn't really know if he ripped her off though does she?

The job may have taken him longer than he anticipated.

I remember DH changing his own timing belt once (many years ago in fairness) and it literally took him about 3 nights to do it.

Involved taking the whole engine block out because the belt was situated at the back in a very awkward place.

Like I say - just being devils advocate.

goodbyekitty123 Thu 28-Mar-13 16:05:56

He's not dodgy just not a good businessman. I live in a very rural area and he does a lot of work on farming equipment so it's not like a garage in a town that deals mainly with cars.

I was of the opinion that if someone gives you a price whether its verbal or written then it is still a quote. I have my own business and if I gave someone a verbal quote I would honour that. I have at times made a quote and then work has taken slightly longer but a good business person should either give some warning that it will cost more prior to carrying out/completing the work or else honour the original price.

Also salmotrutta there is a difference between doing it yourself and a professional doing the work. I know that a timing belt does not take 3 nights to complete if you are a trained mechanic and would not have taken my mechanic that long. Certainly if I took it to KwikFit, for example, I would expect to have my car back sooner than a week and a half later and not pay above what I was quoted.

Salmotrutta Thu 28-Mar-13 16:14:13

I know there's a difference kitty but even a trained mech changing an awkward part can take longer than anticipated.

I may be wrong but I was told years ago that you should always get a written and itemised quote as opposed to an estimate because an estimate is just that. An estimate.

I'm not being awkward - just suggesting why the price may have gone up.

MansView Thu 28-Mar-13 16:17:44

RE: Depends if it was an actual quote or an estimate.

It makes a difference I think?

yeah, it's a tricky one with garages ime... did the garage do any extra work that what was quoted, if not - did he explain why there was a discrepancy?

Freddiemisagreatshag Thu 28-Mar-13 16:22:06


good business person should either give some warning that it will cost more prior to carrying out/completing the work or else honour the original price.

Everything else you have said up there ^^^ about him being flaky and not answering phone or texts and having to get your mum to get him at the school when she's dropping off your wee sister shows he is not a good business person.

Why are you surprised? Why did you even use him in the first place?

I'd have kicked him to the kerb long ago.

VonHerrBurton Thu 28-Mar-13 16:32:46

Sorry, yabu.

Yes, if you had gone to Kwikfit or wherever it would have been done quickly and courteously - but a lot more expensively. Sounds really dodgy to me, I don't know why you would go to someone who is difficult to get hold of, never returns messages etc.

I bet he won't be as difficult to get hold of now you owe him money...

I'm afraid you'll have to pay up and never use him again. Its not a quote unless its written, its an estimate. Proving otherwise would be impossible. Yes, he should have specifically said it was an estimate, but he doesn't sound like the kind of guy who's big on details.

Salmotrutta Thu 28-Mar-13 16:43:37

The thing is - he's charging you only £5 more than the other garage.

So maybe he underpriced in error anyway originally. Or maybe he did an off-the-cuff estimate in his head.

You really need to see the itemised bill anyway to query it.

Why did you choose someone who is so hard to pin down anyway?

Salmotrutta Thu 28-Mar-13 16:44:18

Sorry - slight overuse of "anyway" blush

Was he quoting less the VAT or something??

goodbyekitty123 Fri 29-Mar-13 07:46:12

I really don't know in answer to where he got the original figure. I've used him before and never had a problem with the price. He is also my mums mechanic (she suggested him originally) - and has told me not to say anything because it will make things uncomfortable for her! Pah! AIBU that it pisses me off that she is still recommending him/recommended him to me even though she knows he is so unprofessional?
Its bloody annoying that this and various other things seemingly done to push me to my limit has happened while I am pregnant and far too emotional to deal with things rationally. I used to be very level headed but this is like having PMS for 9 bloody months. I did warn DH I will turn into a monster when I'm pregnant- he says never again.

StickEmUp Fri 29-Mar-13 07:47:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zwischenzug Fri 29-Mar-13 07:50:07

Oldest scam in the book, undercut all the competition and then once you've got the work jack the price up.

wannabeEostregoddess Fri 29-Mar-13 07:53:20

I know that a timing belt does not take 3 nights to complete if you are a trained mechanic and would not have taken my mechanic that long.

You know nothing actually OP. Timing belts are really awkward on some cars.

If you had taken it to KWIKfit you would have had a shoddy job done in haste by someone who isnt necessarily qualified.

Cars cost money. He might be flaky, but that doesnt mean dishonest.

StickEmUp Fri 29-Mar-13 07:59:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fanjounchained Fri 29-Mar-13 08:04:57

OH used to work as a mechanic..and this is his two cents. Irrespective of whether the job took longer, was more complicated than he thought, he has verbally confirmed that he would do the job for £180 and he should honour this.

I get what everyone is saying above about getting written confirmation etc, maybe my OH is one of the few honest ones out there !

Fanjounchained Fri 29-Mar-13 08:05:53

X post with Stickemup - not suggesting your hubby is dishonest !

StickEmUp Fri 29-Mar-13 08:12:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Blu Fri 29-Mar-13 08:15:59

Whatever the ins and outs of his method of communication, if he gave you a price he should either stick to it , call you to say 'it looks more complicated, more expense etc' and give you the option of proceeding or not, and he should have been clear about the drop off costs.

Have you normally driven the car there yourself? Did you ask for the drop off service after you accepted the £180 price?

At the very least you should get a proper break down if the costs, and I don't see why it causes difficulty for your mum to simply politely and professionally request an explanation of costs against the original price.

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