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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    4

    Default No Estimate Given for Repair, Do I Have to Pay

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Wisconsin

    Recently I was inquiring about getting a hitch installed on my vehicle. I left my vehicle with the dealership on a Saturday, leaving very clear instruction to call me with how much this was going to cost.

    The service advisor said he would call me back Monday morning and let me know how much everything was going to cost.

    Monday morning I never herd back from the service advisor, so I called him in the afternoon inquiring about the cost for getting a hitch & wiring installed. At this point he told me that the manager of the dealership said they would install this for no charge. At the time I thought it was rather strange, but figured sure! Go for it.

    Later in the day I went to the dealership and picked up my vehicle, signed the delivery sheet, and picked up my receipt and went on my way.

    Now, two days later I get a phone call, it's the dealership saying I have to pay for this now.

    I never would have agreed paying $400 to have this done. I'm not sure what I can do at this point. I feel like I am being ripped off.

    With the estimate of $0 prior to the work being done, and having a receipt showing no charge, nothing due upon picking up my vehicle - is there anything I can do?

    I don't think I should have to pay for this as gave me a estimate of free.

    Any Advice Appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1,988

    Default Re: Shady Service Department

    Quote Quoting Wells32
    View Post
    With the estimate of $0 prior to the work being done
    There was no estimate of $0, there just wasn't an estimate, no reasonable person would believe the work is free.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Shady Service Department

    By chance, do you know somebody that works at the dealership?



    Wisconsin does have a law requiring specific approval for any work done over $50.


    Repair Authorization Required


    A shop may not perform any repairs that the customer has not authorized. The customer may
    give the repair authorization in person, by telephone, or by any other form of communication
    (such as leaving a note with the shop). Before starting any repairs whose price may exceed $50,
    the shop must record the repair authorization in writing on a repair order (see below).
    Written Repair Order
    Before a shop starts any repairs whose price may exceed $50, the shop must prepare a written
    repair order. If there is face-to-face contact between the customer and the shop, the shop must
    give the customer a copy of the repair order before starting the repairs. The repair order must
    include all the following:
     The name and address of the shop.
     The name and address of the customer.
     The model, make and license number of the motor vehicle.
     A firm price quotation or estimate for the repairs, if required (see below).
     The estimated repair completion date, if required (see below).
     Notice that the customer is entitled to receive or inspect replaced parts (see below).
     A description of the repairs authorized by the customer.
     The date the repair order is written.
     The signature of a shop representative.
    due to that, you have a fair argument if your approval was not obtained prior to the work. I suspect you can be compelled to return the hitch and associated wiring to the dealership. Unjust enrichment comes to mind.


    and at with a quote of $400, the only people being ripped off is the dealership. I don't know what you thought it might cost but $400 is definitely not unrealistic to have a hitch installed.


    Something really smells about this situation. I see no reason to leave the vehicle for an estimate to have a hitch installed. They figure out the parts needed and the labor needed and add that up and viola` you have a quote. If they found something unusual, they could always contact you if the costs would have increased and get an authorization for the additional costs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Shady Service Department

    The exact wording of the service advisor "We are installing this free of charge per the sales manager".

    I had been having some troubles with my speedometer and had to return to the dealership multiple times to get it straightened out. I figured this was some kind of good faith gesture for all the time & trouble I had gone through.

    And Yes. I did get a estimate of $0. Otherwise I would have never agreed to have this done at the dealership.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The main reason I dropped off the vehicle was to get my speedometer replaced. While it was at the dealership for this repair; I inquired about getting a hitch installed.

    I left clear instruction with the service advisor to call me with a quote before they did anything in regard to installing the hitch. He said he would call me back Monday morning. I never received a phone call in the morning, so around 2 PM I called him. Inquiring about the hitch and the progress of my repair.

    This is when he informed me that they were going to install the hitch free of charge per the sales manager. So I agreed to this, I figured it was because of the inconvenience of all the headache with my speedometer. This was the 5th time I had been to the dealership because of this, always getting some excuse why it was not fixed. Still at this point it's not fixed and I am told they are on backorder.

    Kind of sad for a new vehicle - but through it all I have been very patient considering everything.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Quoting Lehk
    View Post
    There was no estimate of $0, there just wasn't an estimate, no reasonable person would believe the work is free.
    The exact wording of the service advisor "We are installing this free of charge per the sales manager".

    I had been having some troubles with my speedometer and had to return to the dealership multiple times to get it straightened out. I figured this was some kind of good faith gesture for all the time & trouble I had gone through.

    And Yes. I did get a estimate of $0. Otherwise I would have never agreed to have this done at the dealership.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    By chance, do you know somebody that works at the dealership?



    Wisconsin does have a law requiring specific approval for any work done over $50.




    due to that, you have a fair argument if your approval was not obtained prior to the work. I suspect you can be compelled to return the hitch and associated wiring to the dealership. Unjust enrichment comes to mind.


    and at with a quote of $400, the only people being ripped off is the dealership. I don't know what you thought it might cost but $400 is definitely not unrealistic to have a hitch installed.


    Something really smells about this situation. I see no reason to leave the vehicle for an estimate to have a hitch installed. They figure out the parts needed and the labor needed and add that up and viola` you have a quote. If they found something unusual, they could always contact you if the costs would have increased and get an authorization for the additional costs.

    The main reason I dropped off the vehicle was to get my speedometer replaced. While it was at the dealership for this repair; I inquired about getting a hitch installed.

    I left clear instruction with the service advisor to call me with a quote before they did anything in regard to installing the hitch. He said he would call me back Monday morning. I never received a phone call in the morning, so around 2 PM I called him. Inquiring about the hitch and the progress of my repair.

    This is when he informed me that they were going to install the hitch free of charge per the sales manager. So I agreed to this, I figured it was because of the inconvenience of all the headache with my speedometer. This was the 5th time I had been to the dealership because of this, always getting some excuse why it was not fixed. Still at this point it's not fixed and I am told they are on backorder.

    Kind of sad for a new vehicle - but through it all I have been very patient considering everything.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,081

    Default Re: Shady Service Department

    Quote Quoting Wells32
    View Post
    The exact wording of the service advisor "We are installing this free of charge per the sales manager".

    I had been having some troubles with my speedometer and had to return to the dealership multiple times to get it straightened out. I figured this was some kind of good faith gesture for all the time & trouble I had gone through.

    And Yes. I did get a estimate of $0. Otherwise I would have never agreed to have this done at the dealership.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The main reason I dropped off the vehicle was to get my speedometer replaced. While it was at the dealership for this repair; I inquired about getting a hitch installed.

    I left clear instruction with the service advisor to call me with a quote before they did anything in regard to installing the hitch. He said he would call me back Monday morning. I never received a phone call in the morning, so around 2 PM I called him. Inquiring about the hitch and the progress of my repair.

    This is when he informed me that they were going to install the hitch free of charge per the sales manager. So I agreed to this, I figured it was because of the inconvenience of all the headache with my speedometer. This was the 5th time I had been to the dealership because of this, always getting some excuse why it was not fixed. Still at this point it's not fixed and I am told they are on backorder.

    Kind of sad for a new vehicle - but through it all I have been very patient considering everything.

    - - - Updated - - -



    The exact wording of the service advisor "We are installing this free of charge per the sales manager".

    I had been having some troubles with my speedometer and had to return to the dealership multiple times to get it straightened out. I figured this was some kind of good faith gesture for all the time & trouble I had gone through.

    And Yes. I did get a estimate of $0. Otherwise I would have never agreed to have this done at the dealership.

    - - - Updated - - -




    The main reason I dropped off the vehicle was to get my speedometer replaced. While it was at the dealership for this repair; I inquired about getting a hitch installed.

    I left clear instruction with the service advisor to call me with a quote before they did anything in regard to installing the hitch. He said he would call me back Monday morning. I never received a phone call in the morning, so around 2 PM I called him. Inquiring about the hitch and the progress of my repair.

    This is when he informed me that they were going to install the hitch free of charge per the sales manager. So I agreed to this, I figured it was because of the inconvenience of all the headache with my speedometer. This was the 5th time I had been to the dealership because of this, always getting some excuse why it was not fixed. Still at this point it's not fixed and I am told they are on backorder.

    Kind of sad for a new vehicle - but through it all I have been very patient considering everything.
    Call and ask to speak with the sales manager...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Shady Service Department

    Quote Quoting llworking
    View Post
    Call and ask to speak with the sales manager...
    Working on communicating with him. I sent a rather lengthy letter to him, at this point I am only communicating with this dealership via snail mail. Thinking this will protect me from anyone playing the "he said - she said" crap.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Shady Service Department

    It sounds like "We are installing this free of charge per the sales manager" may have been in reference to the speedometer repair.

    What repairs were described on the documentation you received when you picked up the vehicle?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Shady Service Department

    The Hitch & Wiring were referenced in the quote for the Hitch, wiring & labor as no charge. I went and spoke with a local attorney and got the answers I was looking for. And as I suspected, with all of the documentation that I have I am not liable for paying for this.

    Thanks for the constructive feedback.

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