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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.

Gingefringe Fri 29-Mar-13 08:32:42

In this position I would send him a cheque for the original amount with a covering letter explaining that this was his original figure and if he wants the additional £65 then to kindly supply you with a breakdown and a VAT receipt.

If he's as disorganised and unprofessional as you make out he may not bother responding to you?

ParadiseChick Fri 29-Mar-13 09:47:42

What kind of car/age/model do you have?

What's his hourly rate?

Easy enough to phone a parts place, get a price for the part. Figure it out from there.

goodbyekitty123 Fri 29-Mar-13 11:35:48

I have no idea what the breakdown is as he hasn't put it on the bill. I guess that's my biggest issue as if there is a legitimate reason for the £65 difference then I can understand that, although he should have called/texted to check it was okay to proceed if it was going to cost more.

He hasn't done any extra work. He offered to pick up and drop off my car and not once mentioned extra cost. Although a £65 difference just to pick up and drop off my car is a lot if that is what has hiked the price up but I just won't know until he gives me a breakdown.

I've decided I'm going to wait for him to call me and explain my confusion about the price difference and get him to give me a breakdown. He can have his money but I won't be using him again and he needs to contact me first. Knowing him that won't be for quite a while so at least it gives me time to sort the extra funds.

As for my mum she is just getting on my tits at the moment as she'd be just as pissed off if it had happened to her. I'm not going to be rude to him so I don't see how it will affect her at all. I'm just not going to talk to her about it anymore.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Fri 29-Mar-13 11:48:03

If it was going to be more he should have rung and asked if it was ok to proceed.
Some cars you have to change water pumps as well when you do the timing. But he should have quoted for it.
My oh has a garage and unless its a long standing 'don't care, do it' customer he always rings to say its going to be more.

And yes some cars take a blooming long time as they are awkward to get to, others are in and out but again this should be reflected in the book time quoted

Walkacrossthesand Fri 29-Mar-13 11:53:50

Disappointing to lose a good, reasonable-price car fixer - they are worth their weight in gold. Perhaps - when you do manage to speak to him - you could negotiate splitting the difference between quote and bill, on the grounds that he should have contacted you to authorise it, you could refuse to pay the excess but you're prepared to be reasonable in view of good past history...,

charlearose Fri 29-Mar-13 12:39:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

goodbyekitty123 Fri 29-Mar-13 15:32:38

I didn't get any free M&Ms or diet coke. Now I'm really pissed.

BackforGood Fri 29-Mar-13 16:14:00

As you didn't speak to him directly in the first place, it may well be he did say "You're looking at around £x for the part, so at least £160" or "£160 plus VAT" or something, and that it's been a bit like Chinese whispers as the message has come through your Mum. I don't really think you've got any grounds for complaint if you agreed to him doing the job without that all being clear in the first place.
My garage usually can't tell me a price in advance, as, until they start looking at the problem, they don't know exactly what they will be paying out for, or how long the job will take. However, they were recommended to me in the first place, and then I've been using them for years and they've never ripped me off (and sometimes refused to charge me) in all those years, so I can work like that. If you only had £160, then you needed to have been clear when you did speak to him - when he picked up the car - exactly if the the £160 your Mum told you was an estimate or a definite figure.

ophelia275 Fri 29-Mar-13 17:19:57

Could the original quote have been pre-VAT? Presumably if he is operating legally he would have to add VAT to the invoice which would add 20% to the bill?

Floristneedsaname Fri 29-Mar-13 17:52:30

But VAT on a 180 bill would be £36, so doesn't explain the difference.

A quote is supposed to be a fixed price, unlike an estimate.

I'd send a cheque for 180 and use a proper mechanic next time.

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