Well it finally happened; I warned you! Don’t shop on the phone!
You know when you think you are really negotiating a purchase well and you finally get the price you want for something you need? You’re convinced you outwitted the store personnel and that your “superior negotiating techniques” won you favor and allowed you to get that” too good to be true deal that you brag about to your friends”? “Hey guys, look what I did”, only to find out that you got ROYALLY Hosed”? Well, this is what happened to a very nice customer that came to see us this week. This started about 15 months ago where he got taken advantage of by the shop he went to. This is really more of a story about the shop he went to and how he got hosed by getting a price over the phone.
He told us he called our shop but we apparently wouldn’t give him a price over the phone for something that we couldn’t know until we actually diagnosed and inspected the transmission of his car. We don’t give phone quotes for this because price is almost NEVER THE PRICE and for rebuilding a transmission, it is IMPOSSIBLE TO KNOW THE PRICE BEFORE inspecting the inside of the transmission to see what parts went bad! He phone shopped and went to a transmission shop with over 15 locations here in the Metroplex that in deed quoted him a guaranteed price for a rebuilt transmission over the phone before ever seeing the vehicle. First Red Flag!
He takes it to them and after 3 weeks gets his car back. All is well until last month. His transmission is acting up and asks us to diagnosis and it is in fact a transmission problem. Now this is where it gets interesting. We pull the vehicle in and my installer yelps “I know that car”; saying that he installed that transmission at the place he worked at previous to our shop. He continued that he knows the other shop sold him a rebuilt transmission, but had him install a USED Junk Yard transmission. The customer thought he paid for one thing but got something else.
I can guarantee you that if this is the case, it is because of the phone shopping for a price and the fact that the other shop couldn’t rebuild the transmission for what they quoted the customer over the phone. Being stuck into possibly taking a loss on rebuilding the unit they just put in a Junk Yard transmission with a similar warranty and hope it lasted until the warranty expired.
Please, Please, don’t base your decisions simply on a phone quote for something the shop can’t possibly know; let common sense prevail. Find a reputable locally owned shop and build a business relationship with them. Your new shop may not always be the best price every time but it is well worth the tiny extra expense to have a place you can trust and it will save you money in the long run.