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Old 29.01.2015, 12:49
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Garage cheating on price

Hello everybody,
I have towed my car (Skoda Octavia mk1 1.8TSi 4x4) to a garage yesterday with faulty fuel pump (petrol pump). I know the pump costs here in Switzerland from 150 - 200 CHF with tax (new pump). The garage (not authorized Skoda service) wants to charge me 433CHF with argument that it is very expensive piece. When I told them, that it costs normally up to 200CHF, they replied, that I have to pay the bill. Is there any way to protect myself, please? Thank you very much for answers.
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Old 29.01.2015, 12:52
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Re: Garage cheating on price

If it's 433 inc fitting then that seems an ok price. If not, did they tell you the price beforehand?
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Old 29.01.2015, 12:54
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Re: Garage cheating on price

Labour costs 130CHF plus- so the price seems fair with fittiing, as said by Grumpy. Did they come and pick up and towed the car too?

We always ask about price first, and have an agreement with our garage that if there is any problem or more parts are required, etc, they always give us a ring first to discuss and agree before going ahead.
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Old 29.01.2015, 13:13
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Re: Garage cheating on price

Best protection is to always discuss the price beforehand, know exactly how much it will cost, then take it or leave it, your decision.

On the positive side, at least a lesson learned for next time.
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Old 29.01.2015, 13:28
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Re: Garage cheating on price

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Hello everybody,
I have towed my car (Skoda Octavia mk1 1.8TSi 4x4) to a garage yesterday with faulty fuel pump (petrol pump). I know the pump costs here in Switzerland from 150 - 200 CHF with tax (new pump). The garage (not authorized Skoda service) wants to charge me 433CHF with argument that it is very expensive piece. When I told them, that it costs normally up to 200CHF, they replied, that I have to pay the bill. Is there any way to protect myself, please? Thank you very much for answers.
Could you provide a split of the bill - labour and parts?

433chf doesn't sound too bad - it depends on the part used (prices vary depending on manufacturer) and assumes labour is included. AFAIK the Octavia is an in tank fuel pump: diagnostics - back seats out - remove - replace - seats back in - diagnoistics - road test.
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Old 29.01.2015, 13:45
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Hello everybody, thanks for replies.
The labor and the price of spare parts are splitted. They want 119CHF for labor, than 6CHF for cleaning and some 4 CHF for some other small job. Then there is the petrol pump itself (price for a spare part), which they want 433 CHF for. This price is stupid, because the pump (Bosch) costs maximum 210CHF new. If one buys VDO pump (cheaper mark), then it costs 150CHF. The problem is, that the guy told me yesterday, that he is not authorized to tell me the price, because his boss was not there. He took my phone number and called me today morning, that it is repaired (I expected he would first ask, whether I agree with price) and it all costs 433 + 119 + 6 + 4 =562 CHF. I was quite relaxed yesterday, because I knew approximate price. I expected to pay 350-400CHF, but not nearly 600CHF. I just do not know, whether one can discuss the price after it was put on the bill.

Another thing is, that I made the diagnostic myself. I brought the car with folded backseat and dismounted cover and told them to change the pump, because I did not have time to do it. So they got half ready car and the change itself is 20 minutes job (I agree, that they charge me for full 1 Hour, because, they had to buy the pump somewhere, order it). I just do not agree with the price of the pump. Can I ask them to show me the bill from shop, where they bought the pump?

Last edited by Ace1; 29.01.2015 at 13:51. Reason: Merging successive posts.
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Old 29.01.2015, 13:51
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Re: Garage cheating on price

Sounds like a proper rip off to me! I would just repeat my question and demand to see the actual price of the Bosh fuel pump.
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Old 29.01.2015, 13:52
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Re: Garage cheating on price

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Hello everybody, thanks for replies.
The labor and the price of spare parts are splitted. They want 119CHF for labor, than 6CHF for cleaning and some 4 CHF for some other small job. Then there is the petrol pump itself (price for a spare part), which they want 433 CHF for. This price is stupid, because the pump (Bosch) costs maximum 210CHF new. If one buys VDO pump (cheaper mark), then it costs 150CHF. The problem is, that the guy told me yesterday, that he is not authorized to tell me the price, because his boss was not there. He took my phone number and called me today morning, that it is repaired (I expected he would first ask, whether I agree with price) and it all costs 433 + 119 + 6 + 4 =562 CHF. I was quite relaxed yesterday, because I knew approximate price. I expected to pay 350-400CHF, but not nearly 600CHF. I just do not know, whether one can discuss the price after it was put on the bill.
Possibly a silly suggestion.... but could you ask the garage to show you their receipt for the part (presuming they've used a new pump that is; not something they'd have lying around in case one was needed so they'll have ordered it in from a suppliers), they'll add a small mark-up from the price they paid, but it should give you a better idea of if they're really trying it on.

Suggestion seems to have been thought of by the OP (two posts have now been merged).

Last edited by Anjela; 29.01.2015 at 13:55. Reason: Last line added.
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Old 29.01.2015, 13:54
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Re: Garage cheating on price

What is the cost of a pump direct from skoda rather than from bosh etc?
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Old 29.01.2015, 14:08
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Re: Garage cheating on price

Fuel pump or fuel feed unit?

The former, from Bosch has a UK retail price of 216 - which would be in line with the quoted 433chf

Did you ask for a quote for the work before asking them to do it? Without a quote how can you say they are cheating on the part?
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Old 29.01.2015, 14:09
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Re: Garage cheating on price

Why does anyone think that a garage will pass on their exact cost price onto the customer - of course it's subject to mark-up.

They probably don't go to the cheapest or official brand supplier, but will use an auto factor that they use day-in-day-out; that delivers parts within a few hours; that they have negotiated rates and credit with; and then will charge the customer a generic list price plus mark-up.

There is a very big disconnect between what something costs, what the garage pays and what the customer is charged.


It is very simple - ALWAYS ASK FOR BALL PARK COSTS, UP FRONT.

If you didn't, there ain't much you can do about it ....... apart from pay up and don't use that garage again.
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Old 29.01.2015, 14:20
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Re: Garage cheating on price

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Why does anyone think that a garage will pass on their exact cost price onto the customer - of course it's subject to mark-up.

They probably don't go to the cheapest or official brand supplier, but will use an auto factor that they use day-in-day-out; that delivers parts within a few hours; that they have negotiated rates and credit with; and then will charge the customer a generic list price plus mark-up.

There is a very big disconnect between what something costs, what the garage pays and what the customer is charged.


It is very simple - ALWAYS ASK FOR BALL PARK COSTS, UP FRONT.

If you didn't, there ain't much you can do about it ....... apart from pay up and don't use that garage again.
Agreed, although in this case the op DID ask about the price, and was put off for whatever reason. Why would the bossman need to be around for a price to be given?

I think you've been hosed, op…
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Old 29.01.2015, 14:29
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Re: Garage cheating on price

Look at another way:

- if a mechanic drove to the parts distributor and bought the part; you would be charged the cost of the part, plus man-hours to get it, plus mileage costs.
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Old 29.01.2015, 14:35
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Re: Garage cheating on price

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Look at another way:

- if a mechanic drove to the parts distributor and bought the part; you would be charged the cost of the part, plus man-hours to get it, plus mileage costs.
I find that very hard to believe in 2015 where basically any carpart can be ordered online and delivered in less then 24 hours.

Or am I missing something?
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Old 29.01.2015, 14:39
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Re: Garage cheating on price

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I find that very hard to believe in 2015 where basically any carpart can be ordered online and delivered in less then 24 hours.

Or am I missing something?
Yes - delivery costs.

My above illustration was just that - just to demonstrate that other costs are involved and added to the actual part price.

Why is anyone surprised?
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Old 29.01.2015, 14:43
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Re: Garage cheating on price

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Yes - delivery costs.

My above illustration was just that - just to demonstrate that other costs are involved and added to the actual part price.

Why is anyone surprised?
I reckon the OP checked online for a certain part - which was not the part required.

Searching for the part returns fuel pumps, fuel feed units and high pressure fuel pumps. The high pressure unit has a retail price twice that of the others.
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Old 29.01.2015, 14:47
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Re: Garage cheating on price

One is entitled to see the invoice of the article charged to the garage. It will have the full retail price (that you get charged) and then the discount the garage gets and has to pay the supplier (making their profit from you). They should be happy to show you they are not simply doubling their price!

(It`s also normal to have "cleaning" charges - that covers the rags and cleaning agents they use while working. Other small charges are for a bit of oil/petrol/tool damage/small stuff not big enough to itemise/etc or whatever else deemed necessary for their job).
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Old 29.01.2015, 14:49
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Re: Garage cheating on price

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Look at another way:

- if a mechanic drove to the parts distributor and bought the part; you would be charged the cost of the part, plus man-hours to get it, plus mileage costs.
I'm sure that isn't what happened though.

In my business I work on a trade + 10% rule if I need parts. For instance if I'm putting in a set of pickups in a guitar and the cost of the parts are 200 CHF then I charge 220 plus fitting. This is how things worked back in the UK. If I charged much more for the parts plus the time to get them plus fuel etc I would go bust.

Of course the garage has to make money but I'm sure the OP is being shafted here.
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Old 29.01.2015, 14:59
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Re: Garage cheating on price

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I'm sure that isn't what happened though.

In my business I work on a trade + 10% rule if I need parts. For instance if I'm putting in a set of pickups in a guitar and the cost of the parts are 200 CHF then I charge 220 plus fitting. This is how things worked back in the UK. If I charged much more for the parts plus the time to get them plus fuel etc I would go bust.

Of course the garage has to make money but I'm sure the OP is being shafted here.
I think garages charge more than 10%? More likely 20 to 30% with a further 2 or 3% for early settlement. Could be as high as 40%. So they can afford to give the customer some discount (as goodwill?)
No harm in customer asking for discount for cash settlement?
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Old 29.01.2015, 14:59
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Re: Garage cheating on price

I agree,
but the labor is charged separately on the bill and I do not object against the labor price. I just object against the price of the part which is indeed 200% of the retail price. I do not have even guarantee, that they fitted new pump there. My main question was, whether it is possible to handle the price with the garage after it was put on the bill or whether there is any legal tool to protect/defend myself if I see they used hugely overpriced item without asking me beforehand.
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