The Consumer Cash Inn

There is a coachworks establishment  which is involved in the repair of damaged cars for a Porsche seller (amongst others). Some of the work they do requires the windscreen (or other glass) to be removed. The windscreen guys they were calling in were cheap. But the proverbial poo hit the fan when an old 930 nearly filled up with water after all the windows (which they had fitted) leaked water like they weren’t there. This is when they started to realise why their subbies could afford to be cheap.

Our customer had sold the car in question and embarrassingly for them, the problems occurred when the new owner took the car out for a drive on what later turned out to be a rainy day. The seller’s boss called me and explained the situation. We sorted the problem and whenever the Porsche seller (my customer) needs any of their cars glazed/de-glazed/whatever, I’m happy to now go to that bodyshop to do the work (understandably, he doesn’t want to chance a repeat scenario). The bodyshop guys admitted that the ‘other’ guys they were using weren’t very good and it’s only until they’d seen a Porsche being done correctly that they realised just how much the job really involved.

The boss of this bodyshop has since asked me to have a look at his own car which had its windscreen replaced by ‘that’ other company. It quite simply needed removing and refitting and the list of reasons why would be too long to list; besides, it would deviate from the purpose of this post (but it was quite a significant cock-up they had got away with until that point). I put everything right and showed him all the issues, and in the name of goodwill, he was charged a lesser rate (well, I also felt sorry that he had such a bad experience with these guys).

Fast forwarding to the present, the same guy – the boss of the same bodyshop – asked me to price up a windscreen replacement for a job they had in. I duly obliged. His response was quite incredible, “I can get it 25 pounds cheaper” and as it happened, it would be from the not-so-good windscreen company he’d been using before. Now this isn’t about my ability to negotiate a 25-quid difference and I’m certainly not interested in Dutch auctions especially on already discounted ‘trade’ prices. Yes, I’m in business and to remain so, I must be competitive to a point. What, or where that position really, and literally is the point: someone is having their car repaired at this guy’s shop and they are potentially having inferior/unsafe work done on it. The shop owner knows the guys replacing the windscreen are shoddy and are clearly not up to doing the job correctly, but in the name of retaining a larger margin – all 25 quid of it – he’s prepared to take a chance.

A chance which will only become clear when – like on his own car – wind howls into the car as a result of poor application of materials and improper installation of parts. Let’s hope for all involved, the car is not involved in a front end collision scenario whereby a deployed airbag is reliant on a properly installed windscreen to be effective in minimising injury to the vehicle’s occupants. He won’t have them work on his own car, but for his customers it’s all about the money he can make from them?

 

 

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