Ve Vill Brake You…

I used to sell new cars. This was back in the early 80s, but I know first hand what goes on at  a new car dealership… and to an extent  any car service center. This is one of many  true stories about cars and car repair that fall somewhere unknown on the scale of employee sales behavior.

Back in 2005  I stopped at a  Big Name Chain Muffler shop in Shrewsbury MA when I thought my brakes were making an odd noise and may have been very prematurely worn for a 2004 model car.  They do free brake checks, so why not take advantage of it?.  The mechanic put the car up on the lift, took off the wheels, and reported back with a skeptical look that the brakes were fine .  At this point he apparently made the assumption that if I would bring in a nearly new car for a brake job  I must be a gullible idiot.  He then suggested (with a perfectly straight face) I should have them take apart the entire brake assembly for each wheel and “lube up the parts” so they work to their best potential. The cost for this very needless procedure would actually have been more than the brake pad replacement I feared might be needed.

It was all I could do to not go up one side of this guy and down the other… did I really look like such an apple I would do what he was suggesting? How many people actually agreed to something like this? Since the car was still on the lift (and thus I was still in their care),  I kept my loud mouth tactically shut.

I considered writing the corporate HQ and relaying this obvious attempt at fleecing a customer into a needless procedure, but I was convinced in the back of my mind that a regional manager somewhere would actually give this guy an award for the best attempt at trying to turn a free inspection into cold hard cash.  The salesperson in me thinks this guy was wasting his time as a mechanic with gonads like this. The consumer in me thinks he ought to be in jail.


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