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What would you do?


jeanhoyle

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We had major repairs done on our RV. New roof, slide out awnings etc. Service advisor went over the bill with me before I signed on the dotted so they could charge our credit card. Two days later they call and say that they charged the wrong labor rate. Of course they did not charge too much.? They say that we owe almost $2,000 more and they would be glad to go over the bill to show where they charged the wrong rates.

 

What would you do?

1 pay them what they say

 

2 stand your ground that it was their mistake not mine, knowing that they would probably not stand by their work.

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I agree with the above post. However, I must ask, do you have your RV back in your possession? If not, it is possible for them to slap a mechanics lien on it. If you used a credit card instead of a debit card you could ask the card company to get involved, they take a dim view of potential scams.

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Sorry, but they went over the bill with you and explained the charges. If the Service advisor didn't realize they had used the wrong rates, that is his problem since you feel the rate was appropriate for the time spent and the work done. Period. Now, if there was additional work done that they forgot to bill, they should send you the bill.

 

Plus, knowing what you know now, that they are not an honest company (and honest company doesn't expect their customers to pay for their mistakes) would you want them to work on your rig again?

 

All of this assumes that you have your rig. If not, then you are at their mercy in getting the rig released. I also agree that you need to notify the credit card company that the company may try and bill again.

 

Barb

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Did they do good work? Was everything else to your approval?

 

Sometimes mistakes do in fact happen. I try to treat people as I wish to be treated. If that ends up a one way street, it wont be on my end, I can sleep at night. So if they did a really good job and you are so satisfied with the work that you would like to do business there again someday should the need arise, I would at least talk with them face to face and see what went wrong.

 

If it is a legit mistake, think about how you would wish to be treated if the shoe were on the other foot so to say.

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You have paid your bill and taken your rig. Since labor rates are hugely inflated and one is often charged the master mechanic rate for work actually done by the kid they hired last week, this is one area that I would be willing to renegotiate. If they failed to put some parts on the bill, and you have the parts, then I would feel that you have a duty to pay for those parts. I'm also not sure how they can say they didn't use the right labor rate - - did they have different rates for different jobs posted when you went in and got the estimate and the difference between the rates was explained to you.

 

The service advisor screwed up and his/her boss is probably mad but you paid the bill given and explained to you by the service advisor. Not sure how they feel this is your problem. An ethical company wouldn't have called you, they would accept that they made a mistake and review their procedures and practices to make sure it doesn't happen again.

 

Barb

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I guess I have a slightly different perspective on this question. Did you have a estimate/quote for the work? If so, were the charges you paid initially aligned with the quote/estimate or were they much less ($2000)? Was the labor included and broken out on the original estimate? If so, I would compare the estimated labor to the initial charges - if the charges are far less than the estimate, I would agree that there was a mistake and would pay the difference (with appropriate explanation). If the $2000 is above and beyond the estimate/quote I think I would push back on it - the degree of my push back would depend on the explanation of the overage.

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Yes we have our RV back in our possession.

 

The Service Advisor is the one who called and he said he would be glad to show exactly where they charged the wrong rate. Would that be the same as putting it in writing?

No going over verbally is not the same as it being in writing. If you decide not to pay and you say you have the rig in your possession I would notify credit card company they may try to bill more, why and do not pay.

 

Did they do good work? Was everything else to your approval?

 

Sometimes mistakes do in fact happen. I try to treat people as I wish to be treated. If that ends up a one way street, it wont be on my end, I can sleep at night. So if they did a really good job and you are so satisfied with the work that you would like to do business there again someday should the need arise, I would at least talk with them face to face and see what went wrong.

 

If it is a legit mistake, think about how you would wish to be treated if the shoe were on the other foot so to say.

Now if everything was as Deezl says then you can pay to keep them as someone to do business in the future. Even so I would at least talk to the service manager or even the dealer manager if done at a dealership. I would let him know of your satisfaction with the work done but feel the additional charge is not appropriate. In the end you have to do what you are comfortable with in regards to this. There is a lot of people who flat out could not pay the additional $2000 what then!!!!

 

I am sure this was not a cost plus government job. :D

 

Anyway good luck.

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That is a HUGE discrepancy. $2K!!! That is not a drop in the bucket by my standards at all. Two way's to handle it.

1) I agreed to your price and had a budget for it. Sorry but I simply can not pay this. You've not said $2K would hurt you financially so maybe this is not the route for you. It would put a dent in us.

2) Negotiate a payment that you are both comfortable with. I'd be looking somewhere between $1K and $1500.

I would not pay the full amount. They need to take some responsibility. Even if you plan to stay with them as a customer offering a lower amount should not affect the relationship. Heck, they'll make it back in the future!

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We did not get copies of the estimated bill. I guess that might be one mistake we made. We did sign and initial an estimate, but it only had ballpark figures on it, and they kept it. I do not remember labor rates being quoted. But when they start throwing close to $ 10,000 numbers i start to forget the minutia.

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I guess we will just have to talk with the Service Advisor, the Service Manager and the clerk that typed up the bill to find out what went wrong and why. Our rig is 10 years old (way out of warranty) needed a new roof and awnings. We had the funds for repairs but I would think that they should have some wiggle room as far as labor charges go. Would the factory pay an authorized dealer 100% for kind of work or a pre determined discounted amount?

 

We will see how it goes.

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When you picked up the rig & paid the bill you got a receipt that, in effect, says paid in full.

 

This puts you in the proverbial drivers seat. You can negotiate a fair addl compensation if you so choose. You can also blast their name all over the Escapees & IVR2 Forums - The mere threat of that should be worth a bit during negotiations. :)

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I used to have a small business and there was way more than one time that I screwed up and undercharged a customer. Some of those times ended up with me losing a lot of hard cash. I never even thought about calling the customer and asking him to come in a pay more because I misfigured the job. Personally, I think the repair shop is off base and you have no reason to go back a pay more. I'm no lawyer but my guess is the shop doesn't have a leg to stand on. I'd find another shop in the future as I wouldn't trust that one.

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I would think shop labor rates would be in the $80 to $120 range. If they undercharged by $20 an hour the total hours would have had to be over 100 hours - seems like a LOT of hours for a new roof and awnings! Now if they forgot to charge ANY labor for 20 hours of work at $100 per hour, that would make the $2000 explainable. But charging you $10 to $30 less than normal for their labor and it totaling $2000 sure seems like a LOT of hours.

 

Be sure to let us know how it all turns out. And if you feel you have been treated wrong, please post a review on http://rvservicereviews.com/ so others are warned.

 

Lenp

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I guess we will just have to talk with the Service Advisor, the Service Manager and the clerk that typed up the bill to find out what went wrong and why. Our rig is 10 years old (way out of warranty) needed a new roof and awnings. We had the funds for repairs but I would think that they should have some wiggle room as far as labor charges go. Would the factory pay an authorized dealer 100% for kind of work or a pre determined discounted amount?

 

We will see how it goes.

 

Just see what they have to say. If they get to be pointed and abrupt in attitude etc., just walk away and let them do the work to pursue the matter. No need to put yourself thru the anguish. But see what they say and make up your mind then.

 

If you can, do some searching, (you probably already have) on the company for any past history of this sort of thing. If any history shows up that they have a habit if this, it is likely a scam. If not, you'll just have to make up your minds when you see the advisor.

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What an interesting thread! You have proposed an issue that tells us much about those who respond as about the problem, in some ways. Part of the question is what you can live with. I did have an incident about a year ago that a shop charged us for labor to install an item from the dealer's store and failed to bill the item installed until several months later. It was a far smaller amount, but likely a similar percentage of increase.

 

While I would want some detailed explanations by the shop, and I might even ask that management get involved, I would also keep in mind several other things. I agree that you should have kept a copy of the estimate, but I'd bet that the shop could show you that document if you go back to discuss the discrepancy. Like several others here, I would expect that they provide a new service ticket with every detail listed on it and the proper price to be compared to the one that was presented when you picked up the RV. Another factor is the question of whether the total bill with the extra $2000 added in would still be in the general range that you were expecting? When costs run much above the anticipated ones, the shop should notify you before the work is continued, but if this is not beyond reason in price matters. Another thing to consider is if they have given you any warranty on their work as you are not likely to get any support if there is some future problem and you have refused to pay the adjusted price. You will probably not be welcome back for any work in the future if you refuse to pay the adjusted price.

 

While I would want the additional charges to be explained in detail, if they seem to be viable and reasonable, I personally would pay them because my actions reflect more upon me than anyone else. I doubt that they are trying to cheat you as most shops that would do that inflate the prices as they go and don't let you leave and then try and adjust things later. While a detailed explanation is in order, I believe that you should listen to what they have to say with an open mind. Most of us have made mistakes in our lives and it is well to consider what you might want if the situation were reversed.

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Well, you have a lot of good advice. I agree with the comments (1) ask to see the original estimate (2) ask to see where they got the rate you were charged and why it is different (3) how does the rate you were charged compare to what other shops charge. I suspect depending on the those numbers my approach would be to propose a settlement or pay the bill.

 

If you do not live in the state and have the trailer it makes it hard for them to do anything about it although it could impact your credit. I do not think it is as easy as some state. A mistake in calculating a bill is not necessarily binding on them. They could still sue. They may lose but it would be a pain in the ass for both of you. There are also doctrines of law relating to mistake of fact and unjust enrichment that may apply. Especially if you live in the state I would try to get it resolved. At least try to get all the facts and see what is fair. Don't feel forced to a quick resolution. Maybe come back here and run it by people.

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I agree with the above post. However, I must ask, do you have your RV back in your possession? If not, it is possible for them to slap a mechanics lien on it. If you used a credit card instead of a debit card you could ask the card company to get involved, they take a dim view of potential scams.

 

I feel like I should explain my earlier post. At one point I was a manager at a lumber yard. We would do estimates that sometimes exceeded $30,000+ for say a framing package. It was difficult, to say the least, to account for everything that would entail, down to how many pounds of nails, etc. We had computer programs to help us, and the estimators were expert builders in their own right, but occasionally they got it wrong. If the mistake was discovered before material delivery, we would contact the customer, explain the variance from the estimate and ask them how they wanted to proceed. If the mistake was discovered after delivery, we would NEVER expect the customer to pay the difference. We might explain where we went wrong to them, so they would understand that this might not be the price in a future order, but we would never demand payment. We screwed up, we took ownership of the mistake, and never went whining to the customer. Catching a mistake at the point of sale before money has changed hands is one thing, but attempting to collect more later on, is another. As a business manager or owner I don't think I could in good conscious do that. After all, the mistake was not the customers, it was mine. Personally, I think it a poor business practice to have even approached you with this.

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I generally agree with Chalkie but if they caught the mistake that they had overcharged after you paid. Wouldn't you as customer demand a refund. If you have a deal in place I think it is fair to ask the deal be enforced. This case is different because, at least at this point, the terms of the original deal are unclear.

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I generally agree with Chalkie but if they caught the mistake that they had overcharged after you paid. Wouldn't you as customer demand a refund. If you have a deal in place I think it is fair to ask the deal be enforced. This case is different because, at least at this point, the terms of the original deal are unclear.

 

Yes, I would want a refund and as a business man I would give the refund because that is taking ownership of the problem. I do agree that there are some details missing at this point.

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