We can’t name the specific Jeep dealership where Andy recently brought his car, but can offer his story as a cautionary tale. His experience confirms what we all secretly fear while speaking to service representatives: anyone who doesn’t source their own parts and have their own copy of the service manual is pretty much screwed.
I brought my Jeep in to get the rear axle seals replaced. I scheduled an appointment for Wednesday morning , and was quoted a price of $350. They didn’t even put it up on the lift until Thursday morning. At 9am Thursday, they call me to tell me my rear axle bearings need to be replaced, at a cost of $225. When pressed where that figure came from, the service representative [P] quoted me an OEM price of $75.46 per bearing, and trailed off on how that added up to $225.
I told him not to proceed, but that I would purchase the parts from a local supplier myself. I found them for $22 each, and proceeded to drop them off, handing them to Patrick, who checked with the technician to ensure the parts were correct. They were, and I was on my way.
They finished up at about 3pm, and I want to pick it up. They charged me for one bearing and two snap rings, even though I brought them the parts. [P] said that the technician had decided to use one of their bearings (their OEM $75.46 bearings) instead of the one I brought. When I told him that was unacceptable, he slinked away to see the shop manager, and left me waiting.
Ten minutes later, I was summed to see the shop manager, who said that it didn’t matter if I brought the part or not; it only mattered that the OEM part was installed. This is where the lying begins. He tells me that the job took 4 hours to do. The shop manual lists it at 1.1 hour per axle. He tells me that the bearings had to be replaced because it is impossible to remove them without breaking them. The shop manual details the process of safely removing them without breaking them. Once I called him out on these lies, he quickly agreed to reduce the total price to the original quoted price.
I didn’t lose money, and ultimately was not overcharged. But it was only because I knew what I was talking about that I wasn’t. I felt cheated and lied to. As I was leaving, I told the shop manager that I felt that the entire process was miserable, and he said, “I agree.”
Of course he agrees. He was unable to cheat me out of several hundred dollars. An honest person would have replied, “I’m sorry.”