• Report: #203409

Complaint Review: Just Brakes

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  • Submitted: Fri, July 28, 2006
  • Updated: Mon, March 05, 2007

  • Reported By:dallas Texas
Just Brakes
4329 Lemmon Avenue Dallas, Texas U.S.A.

Just Brakes ripoff Bait and Switch tactic at Just Brakes Dallas Texas

*Consumer Comment: My experience with JB

*Consumer Comment: Oh, what I meant to say about the brake prices

*Consumer Comment: Oh, what I meant to say about the brake prices

*Consumer Comment: Oh, what I meant to say about the brake prices

*Consumer Comment: Oh, what I meant to say about the brake prices

*Consumer Comment: Very nice response Ben...

*Consumer Comment: Some interesting comments from my mechanic today.

*Consumer Comment: I agree, James

*Consumer Comment: Nobody ever gets the $99 special

*Author of original report: The point is the bait-and-switch.

*Consumer Comment: I'd still like to see....

*Consumer Comment: I guess so

*Consumer Comment: I guess so

*Consumer Comment: I guess so

*Consumer Comment: I guess so

*Consumer Comment: That's easy Wayne

*Consumer Comment: Am I Missing the Point?

*Consumer Comment: A waiver means nothing

*Consumer Comment: You are right

*Consumer Suggestion: How About a Liability Waiver?

*Consumer Comment: That's easy Jim

*Consumer Suggestion: Which begs the questions . . .

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Here is how Just Brakes uses a Bait-and-Switch tactic to rip you off: They advertise a $99 brake special. Then they will find something wrong and tell you it is illegal for them to perform the brake special without also performing all the additional repairs they found because it is a safety issue and you may kill someone if your brakes fail.

They are supposedly worried you will blame them for the brake failure and sue the company. If you ask them to go ahead and just do the brake special they refuse and send you on your way. This wastes your time and is a clear bait-and-switch deigned to get you in the door and charge for expensive brake work, or nothing.

James
dallas, Texas
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/28/2006 02:37 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Just-Brakes/Dallas-Texas-75219/Just-Brakes-ripoff-Bait-and-Switch-tactic-at-Just-Brakes-Dallas-Texas-203409. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

My experience with JB

AUTHOR: Patrick - (U.S.A.)

I once went to Just Brakes back in 2003 when I had to have a brake job done immediately due to pads worn to the studs. I usually do my own brakes, but this time I didn't have the time, and I knew that I would need at least one new rotor as well.

I went in knowing I would pay more than $99 because of the rotor. But what I was not prepared for was the $600 bill they tried to stick me with. I think I finally got them down to like $350 in the end. The real kicker was the $60 they charged me for "hardware". You know, those little metal clips that are probably about $3 per set. This was on a 1999 Ford Taurus with anti-lock brakes and 4-wheel disc.

This past weekend I did a brake job on my 1990 Honda CRX Si. All it needed was a pad slap on the front as one pad had gotten down to the pad wear indicator. The discs were perfectly smooth and did not require turning (and are still in spec). I spent a grand total of $41 for a set of Raybestos semi-metallic pads, and had the job done in 45 minutes from start to finish.

One thing's for sure, I'll never set foot in another Just Brakes (or Value Brakes, Brake Stop, etc) ever again.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Oh, what I meant to say about the brake prices

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

Like what Ben said about his mechanic... that at those prices it isn't worth doing it.

So maybe our prices are a little higher for our brakes, or any other job. But our prices are based on what we need to make to cover our cost and make a profit, no extra work needed.

So while our brake jobs maybe 140, you know that we wont be selling you additional work in order to make a profit.

That is what many people need to understand. That higher price may not actually be higher when you are done, cheaper prices rarely end up cheaper when the work is done. If the price is high enough for the shop to actually make a profit, they don't have to sell you extra, unneeded, work. When you go in for a low, cheap, price they usually find a way to build your bill back up so they can make a profit.

(Like when you buy a car and get the 3,000 dollar rebate, the dealership finds someway to work that money right back into your loan, sneaky)

Does that make sense? I have a hard time explaining stuff, that is why my posts are always so long! Sorry to everyone that I drive crazy.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Oh, what I meant to say about the brake prices

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

Like what Ben said about his mechanic... that at those prices it isn't worth doing it.

So maybe our prices are a little higher for our brakes, or any other job. But our prices are based on what we need to make to cover our cost and make a profit, no extra work needed.

So while our brake jobs maybe 140, you know that we wont be selling you additional work in order to make a profit.

That is what many people need to understand. That higher price may not actually be higher when you are done, cheaper prices rarely end up cheaper when the work is done. If the price is high enough for the shop to actually make a profit, they don't have to sell you extra, unneeded, work. When you go in for a low, cheap, price they usually find a way to build your bill back up so they can make a profit.

(Like when you buy a car and get the 3,000 dollar rebate, the dealership finds someway to work that money right back into your loan, sneaky)

Does that make sense? I have a hard time explaining stuff, that is why my posts are always so long! Sorry to everyone that I drive crazy.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Oh, what I meant to say about the brake prices

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

Like what Ben said about his mechanic... that at those prices it isn't worth doing it.

So maybe our prices are a little higher for our brakes, or any other job. But our prices are based on what we need to make to cover our cost and make a profit, no extra work needed.

So while our brake jobs maybe 140, you know that we wont be selling you additional work in order to make a profit.

That is what many people need to understand. That higher price may not actually be higher when you are done, cheaper prices rarely end up cheaper when the work is done. If the price is high enough for the shop to actually make a profit, they don't have to sell you extra, unneeded, work. When you go in for a low, cheap, price they usually find a way to build your bill back up so they can make a profit.

(Like when you buy a car and get the 3,000 dollar rebate, the dealership finds someway to work that money right back into your loan, sneaky)

Does that make sense? I have a hard time explaining stuff, that is why my posts are always so long! Sorry to everyone that I drive crazy.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Oh, what I meant to say about the brake prices

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

Like what Ben said about his mechanic... that at those prices it isn't worth doing it.

So maybe our prices are a little higher for our brakes, or any other job. But our prices are based on what we need to make to cover our cost and make a profit, no extra work needed.

So while our brake jobs maybe 140, you know that we wont be selling you additional work in order to make a profit.

That is what many people need to understand. That higher price may not actually be higher when you are done, cheaper prices rarely end up cheaper when the work is done. If the price is high enough for the shop to actually make a profit, they don't have to sell you extra, unneeded, work. When you go in for a low, cheap, price they usually find a way to build your bill back up so they can make a profit.

(Like when you buy a car and get the 3,000 dollar rebate, the dealership finds someway to work that money right back into your loan, sneaky)

Does that make sense? I have a hard time explaining stuff, that is why my posts are always so long! Sorry to everyone that I drive crazy.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Very nice response Ben...

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

I think it pretty much sums up all of the issues here.
People just need to know a little about their vehicles, and what a reasonable price to pay for quality work is.

I don't think anyone has every gotten the 99 dollar special, it's a scam without a doubt. Although 99 dollars per axle is possible, if you use lower quality parts. Again you are right though, the shop does need to do additional repairs to make it worth while.

I always see people online talking about brake prices and often see people say that it should be between 70 and 100 dollars an axle. That made me wonder if our prices are too high, on average we charge about 140. Some cars are obviously less, while some large trucks are about 180. We have never done it for less than 100. Although I think it could happen if you used cheaper parts.

We charge an hour labor and the pads. If you used 20 dollar pads I guess it could happen for under a hundred bucks. But the pads we use are the best we have found. So I really haven't figured out if our prices are inline, as so many other people say it should be much lower, and I see the Midas advertisements also. Our customers have never complained and haven't come back complaining about squeaks or other problems. I just know that we do a good job, use good parts, and stand by our work. We don't try to up sell stuff that is not needed, and don't pressure people into buying more.

We don't really know what other shops charge for work, but we know what we need to charge to be able to stay in business and be there for our customers.

We have a Consumers Affair Department (Ca) and I don't know if we have a Just Brakes. It seems the place with the most complaints is EZ Lube. The Bureau of Automotive Repair (part of the consumer affairs) sends out a newsletter to shops and I always seem them in there, along with Econo Lube and Tune for tons of violations at lots of different stores in the state.

I have never heard of Just Brakes until I came on this website. We have a Midas though, and other chain stores. I always think of those shops as "stores" not really shops. It's like when I call my computer guy he will come and fix what I need, like my network. But when I called the nerd guys before (I think it's best buy, or one of those stores) and told them what my problem was, they wanted to sell me a package. A package of what? I just wanted one thing fixed, I don't need anything else. I think those chain stores tend to opperate the same way, they want to sell packages of work even if that isn't really what you need.

Anyhow there is a website for an automotive shop in Florida, I think, that the owner says he tells customers that if they bring in a bill for the 99 dollar brake special, and they actually got it done on their vehicle for that price, he will pay their bill.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Some interesting comments from my mechanic today.

AUTHOR: Ben - (U.S.A.)

It just so happens that I was picking up my 2002 WS6 Trans Am from the shop today. For of all thing....brakes, and its 45k checkup.

My only real brake issue was that the emergency brake was "soft". Which ended up only needing adjusting.

Now this car is by no means "common". Its a cheap-mans vette. When it needs work, its usually much higher than the average car. Nor is this car reliable by a long shot. Its a muscle car to the core and it makes you pay for every bit of it. I've been the only owner, it only sees the pavement on weekends in good weather. The bulk of any real milage has been done in single long shots from the SF Bay Area to Southern California a few times to see my folks. Long freeway driving is what the car was made for. City streets kill it.

Thus this car is not a great example, but an example none the less.

The shop that I take it to is a "mom'n'pop" place I take all my cars, and my company vehicles. Its very small, and in a commercial zone with 3 other car shops, and a Firestone shop as well. All of these shops work with each other to some extent. An example being, when my car was at 33k it needed brakes all around. I decided to get new rims, new tires, the brakes, and have the calipers painted (its a thing people do just for looks :P). My shop did everything, except the alignment since they didnt have the equipment. They sent the car down 100 yards to the Firestone shop to have that done. It was mentioned on the invoice, but I never paid Firestone directly.

Its a nice setup I think. Ive never heard of anyone getting ripped off by any of the shops, and all my vehicles have been great.

Now I asked my mechanic about this whole brake "special" thing. This is basically what he said....not quoting here...just the basics....

100 bucks per axel alone by itself is unrealistic. Any shop that trys to do brakes and only brakes at that price would go bankrupt. Then he said "But what shops really ONLY do brakes?". He went on to say that most of the time people bring their cars in for several issues at once. As far as he was concerned you would make a little money at $100 but it would all depend on if other things were being done. He used my tires and brakes from 2 years ago as an example. It came out to around $125 per axel even for my bloated steroid-mobile. If he had done JUST that, for $125, it really wouldnt have been worth it too him. But he already had the car up on the rack (takes time),and had the tires off (takes time). So it wasnt a whole lot of extra man hours to do the brakes while the car was sitting there on the operating table. Thus I really got out of there for the price of parts most likely. Hes a good guy and I certainly wasnt going to cross the line and outright ask his prices for parts.

I think I spent just over $3500 at the time, with the alignment done at Firestone rolled in there. So at the time, the extra $250 or so was just a drop in the bucket.

I understand where people are comming from that shops need to protect themselves. I would never object to a shop saying "I wont do it..unless you let me fix these other things" when its an issue of safety. But I dont see that pattern here. That wasnt the experience I had back in 93. What we are talking about here is the shop "baiting" you into comming in over an advertised price. When you arrive they try to extort more out of you under the ruse that things are wrong....when they are not! I see shops saying you need more work than you really do, and using the EXCUSE that its a safty concern when its not.

Plain and simple, its unethical.

I also understand the issue of "cheap" customers. Personally, I dont look for the cheapest thing on the shelf. But I dont look for the most expensive. I also have some basic knowledge of automobiles. The vast majority of people in this country are NOT that savy when it comes to cars. I'm not aware of any place on earth that autoshop is required knowledge.

Regardless, if a place offers a $99 per axel special.....ITS A $99 SPECIAL!!

Someone is offering something they dont deliver. Cheap, stupid, smart, quality, shoddy......they just dont deliver.

I see these types of threads as doing 3 things....

Showing the people how to be smart about it. Telling them that a $99 special is a scam, and you wont get it.

Showing the people that you can avoid this hassle by not being so cheap. Dont even bother trying, the special doesnt exist. Dont complain. The $150 job comes with much less hassle.

Warning the entire universe that this particular company is a fraud. And anyone that offers a special such as this will never let you out the door without nailing for "other" things. Be they in need of repair.....or not. Bait and Switch.

My words of wisdom....

Find a decent "mom'n'pop" place thats capable of doing all wear-and-tear work (brakes, shocks, mufflers, basic gaskets, and fluid changing). Dont worry about massive overhauling shops unless you expect your car to explode soon. If you do need something so drastic then your basic honest shop should be able to refer you to someone else honest capable of major work (like complete engine rebuilding).

Keep your car up to date on its maintenence. That $30 oil change every 3000 miles will save you plenty when that car gets older.

Dont wait for things to break down. Learn just the basic lifespan of your wear-and-tear parts. If you know your shocks (example) have a lifespan of 30,000 miles, then plan ahead at that 30,000 and be ready to replace them, or just outright...do it. Dont wait for the things to totally fail. Breaking or broken parts can take other things with them.

When you do take your car to the shop, try to get many things done together. Like stated above. It may be cheaper to get multiple things done at once, than separate. A large part of the bill is labor hours. If the car is already on the rack, half taken apart, more power to ya. I'm not saying to wait until multiple things break tho!!! Plan ahead. Things wear out on a regular basis. If you keep up on it, you will know what is due. If you NEED brakes done now, and you expect your shocks have only 3000 miles left on them, or are already getting soft, get it all done! Throw in an oil change for the hell of it. Never can have too many of those! Best 30 bones you will ever spend every few months. It will pay off big in the long run.

Cheapest is not always best. Yes, you may find a good deal (like a $99 brake special!!). They are out there. But they are rare and dubious. Usually you will find that a "decent" price for honest work is not that much higher. If there is a huge difference, then thats just more fuel to show you that the cheap shop is a fraud.

Just my 70 cents on it.
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#8 Consumer Comment

I agree, James

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

The problem is, as long as the typical American consumer equates CHEAP with GOOD, it will never be done.

States that have effective Consumer Affairs departments, have none of these shops in them. Some will even go so far as to file RICO based charges against them, since the fraud they perpetrate is in fact, a "conspiracy". That is, the company trains it's people to "oversell" the work. "Upselling" is fine, and legal. "Overselling" is not. In Florida, it's illegal. The problem here is, the Dept of Agriculture is in charge of going after the scammers, and all that happens is they change their name. The owners are the same, as are the tactics. Use RICO based prosecution, and go after the owners, and all of their assets. Since they use their "Incorporation" as a means to an end, revoke the Incorporation, and sieze personal assets too. When wives and children are thrown in the road, this crap will end.

But in reality, as long as people fall for the "this place is 1/2 what EVERYONE else says the basic repair is worth" price, nothing will ever really be done. My shop is in a back alley, and I do very little advertising. Nearly 90% of my work comes from referrals. My shop is swamped with work. I close at 6, and leave at about 8...6 days/week. Even the ones who hate me, keep coming back. Why? Because they know I won't lie to them. They also know I am very reasonably priced(fair to both parties), and back up my work with my own reputation. The scammers are on the big, main drags, where they can get the drive up business. They also advertise heavily. They have to. They'd die of starvation id they had to do it my way. I eat very well, and have 3 homes.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Nobody ever gets the $99 special

AUTHOR: Lee Ving - (U.S.A.)

It probably costs more than that in advertising to lure the suckers in.

Whereas a dependable mechanic gets repeat business and referals, JB, etc. rely on a one-time only customer. So they take that customer for all they're worth. The JB business model isn't about satisfaction and repeat business. It's about bending you over and then replacing you with another sucker. The sucker pool regenerates on a daily basis, so they will never run out.

But answer this question: Why would anyone want a cheap brake job? In the scheme of things, $200 per axle isn't so bad for such a vital component now is it?
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#10 Author of original report

The point is the bait-and-switch.

AUTHOR: James - (U.S.A.)

That's right, Ben. As the originator of this rip-off report, I would like to hear how many cars actually receive the advertised $99 brake job. The ad says the special is for most cars. When you complain that they wouldn't provide the service on your car, they say well, see, your car was out of specs, so that's why you can't have the special. I submit that "most cars" coming in to have a brake job are out of specs, so most cars cannot get the $99 brake job and, therefore, the ad is false and misleading. I would like to see some governmental agency require Just Brakes to show records concerning how many cars actually get the advertised special. If a significant number do, then God bless them. If not, the ad should be yanked.
What do you all think?
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#11 Consumer Comment

I'd still like to see....

AUTHOR: Ben - (U.S.A.)

I'd still like to see if anyone, ANYONE has ever gotten this $100 (oops im sorry $99.99) brake special anywhere.

I have yet to hear of anyone getting it. Just Brakes is not the only one that uses this tactic. Just today here in CA Midas is offering a "$99 per axel special".

I really wonder just how many really get away with that special. It seems a little convienient that they use this "oh well we could get sued". I totally understand that they need to cover their ass. But it seems highly unlikely that every single person that comes asking for the special has "other problems" that would fall into this category. If we were to believe that, then we should all stay off the roads because there are zillions of unsafe cars out there.

At leastaccording to Just Brakes, every car they see is!

Highly doubtful.

Its going to take more than one "happy" customer to change my mind. This has gone on for years. In 93 someone tried this scam on me. Funny thing. it was $100 per axel then too. When I walked after they started ramping up the bill to $500+, I went to Midas of all places! And they did both axels for $150 and laughed at the invoice from the previous scam shop. Nice little 91 escort, no fancy brakes, had only 29,000 miles on it, I was the only owner, and I took good care of it.

So when that one mom and pop shop tried to say calipers, rotors etc. needed to be replaced, I was gone. I can see one rotor or caliper going out. Maybe with some bad luck, and I beat the hell out of it, two rotors and calipers. But lets get real! THREE rotors were "beyond specs" and couldnt be turned?? With only 30k in miles on it?? Riiiight.

Too bad Midas is now doing the same thing. I gave them 2 thumbs up back then. Cant wait to see how many Midas threads pop up in the next few weeks.
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#12 Consumer Comment

I guess so

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

No, the customer is not stupid, but they insist on going after the cheapest repair available, instead of a reasonalbe and logical cost.

I agree that those places should not advertise such low and impossible prices. It hurts consumers as well as auto repair shops.
One- People are lead to believe that the service can be done for that price, so ever other shop must be a rip off.
Two- No one will ever walk out paying that low price, they will be sold extra parts, or more expensive parts. Now they think all shops are a rip off.

If those places with the big advertising budgets would just advertise reasonable prices and quality repairs than the public would be aware of what it really costs. People would understand the cost of service and those shops would not have to resort to the bait and switch tactics they use.

CA and Florida do not protect shops more than consumers. Infact, in Ca at least, it is the Consumer Affairs Department that regulates auto repair.

I saw your other post and you basically said it yourself. You knew it was way underpriced and thats why you were willing to let the warranty go- because the parts and labor were more than worth 100 dollars. So how do you think they can do it for that price?
I understand that people should be able to believe an advertisement is true, but you also need to use your common sense as there are scams everywhere.

You ended up doing the repairs yourself, except the brake lines which were not needed, does that mean the other repairs were needed?
You used parts from Autozone, I don't know about Just Brakes, but we never use parts from autozone. Are our prices more, yes. Are they better parts, without a doubt. So comparing what you paid at autozone, to what you would have paid at a shop is not accurate enough to determine what type of profit they were trying to make.

I don't think that Just Brakes would give you the deal either way. But I can run an ad for a special on brake pads. If you need more work than that and you refuse to do it, I can rightfully refuse to do any of the work. Maybe they need to state that the offer is for vehicles in good condition that do not need more than brake pads. Most people do not need more than just pads, so why fill your ad up with a bunch of disclaimers that usually don't apply? Are they just supposed to assume that your vehicle is in such bad shape, and if so, why are you going in for a simple brake service anyway? If you have more problems, then you shouldn't even be looking for that service, you should be asking how much to fix whats wrong with my brakes. The advertised special doesn't apply to your vehicle because that's not what you need done!

You are right that you can do the work for much less yourself. There is no doubt about that. However, there are many people out there that cannot, or will not, do it themselves. They need a mechanic to do it. Way back when, there was a guy who could work on cars. All his friends and neighbors would hire him to work on their vehicles. He soon discovered that if people were going to hire him to work on their vehicles he was going to need a place to do the work. Of course he will also need some tools, equipment, etc. to be able to do the work. So he went out and got all of this stuff and opened a shop. Now he has bills, and if he wants to keep his shop open so that customers can hire him to work on their vehicles, he was going to have to pass these bills on to his customers. As more and more people bought vehicles, more shops opened up. As vehicles got more advanced, mechanics found they needed better tools, better equipment, training, insurance, etc.

Point being, if you take your vehicle into the repair shop, you are going to pay a portion of the overhead- which means it is going to be more expensive than what you could do it for yourself.
Shops exist because people want their cars fixed. In order for a mechanic to fix your vehicle he needs to have a lot of things...which costs money. Therefore he has to mark up the parts, and charge labor fees high enough to pay his bills. They aren't just marking them up to rip you off, it's what it cost to stay in business for the people who do want auto repair.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to repair brakes, but running a repair shop does take alot more knowledge than just knowing how to fix brakes. You pay for all of that when you bring your vehicle in.

As for the main point that they shouldn't advertise something that they will not honor I agree. But you are getting off the point with all your other comments about they should just do what the customer wants, liability waivers, california and florida, tripling costs, blah blah blah.
They didn't honor their advertisement for you because you needed more work (which you did end up doing) and they have every right to do so. They are smart enough to know that they will not be liable for anything if they do no work. And you think that is unfair. That is what most of your complaint is about.

If you had just complained that they advertise unrealistic prices, use bait and switch tactics, and try to upsell more repairs than you probably need, I would be in complete agreement. But you are mad because they wouldn't give you the unrealistic price for reasons that were not disclosed in the ad and because you could do it cheaper.
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#13 Consumer Comment

I guess so

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

No, the customer is not stupid, but they insist on going after the cheapest repair available, instead of a reasonalbe and logical cost.

I agree that those places should not advertise such low and impossible prices. It hurts consumers as well as auto repair shops.
One- People are lead to believe that the service can be done for that price, so ever other shop must be a rip off.
Two- No one will ever walk out paying that low price, they will be sold extra parts, or more expensive parts. Now they think all shops are a rip off.

If those places with the big advertising budgets would just advertise reasonable prices and quality repairs than the public would be aware of what it really costs. People would understand the cost of service and those shops would not have to resort to the bait and switch tactics they use.

CA and Florida do not protect shops more than consumers. Infact, in Ca at least, it is the Consumer Affairs Department that regulates auto repair.

I saw your other post and you basically said it yourself. You knew it was way underpriced and thats why you were willing to let the warranty go- because the parts and labor were more than worth 100 dollars. So how do you think they can do it for that price?
I understand that people should be able to believe an advertisement is true, but you also need to use your common sense as there are scams everywhere.

You ended up doing the repairs yourself, except the brake lines which were not needed, does that mean the other repairs were needed?
You used parts from Autozone, I don't know about Just Brakes, but we never use parts from autozone. Are our prices more, yes. Are they better parts, without a doubt. So comparing what you paid at autozone, to what you would have paid at a shop is not accurate enough to determine what type of profit they were trying to make.

I don't think that Just Brakes would give you the deal either way. But I can run an ad for a special on brake pads. If you need more work than that and you refuse to do it, I can rightfully refuse to do any of the work. Maybe they need to state that the offer is for vehicles in good condition that do not need more than brake pads. Most people do not need more than just pads, so why fill your ad up with a bunch of disclaimers that usually don't apply? Are they just supposed to assume that your vehicle is in such bad shape, and if so, why are you going in for a simple brake service anyway? If you have more problems, then you shouldn't even be looking for that service, you should be asking how much to fix whats wrong with my brakes. The advertised special doesn't apply to your vehicle because that's not what you need done!

You are right that you can do the work for much less yourself. There is no doubt about that. However, there are many people out there that cannot, or will not, do it themselves. They need a mechanic to do it. Way back when, there was a guy who could work on cars. All his friends and neighbors would hire him to work on their vehicles. He soon discovered that if people were going to hire him to work on their vehicles he was going to need a place to do the work. Of course he will also need some tools, equipment, etc. to be able to do the work. So he went out and got all of this stuff and opened a shop. Now he has bills, and if he wants to keep his shop open so that customers can hire him to work on their vehicles, he was going to have to pass these bills on to his customers. As more and more people bought vehicles, more shops opened up. As vehicles got more advanced, mechanics found they needed better tools, better equipment, training, insurance, etc.

Point being, if you take your vehicle into the repair shop, you are going to pay a portion of the overhead- which means it is going to be more expensive than what you could do it for yourself.
Shops exist because people want their cars fixed. In order for a mechanic to fix your vehicle he needs to have a lot of things...which costs money. Therefore he has to mark up the parts, and charge labor fees high enough to pay his bills. They aren't just marking them up to rip you off, it's what it cost to stay in business for the people who do want auto repair.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to repair brakes, but running a repair shop does take alot more knowledge than just knowing how to fix brakes. You pay for all of that when you bring your vehicle in.

As for the main point that they shouldn't advertise something that they will not honor I agree. But you are getting off the point with all your other comments about they should just do what the customer wants, liability waivers, california and florida, tripling costs, blah blah blah.
They didn't honor their advertisement for you because you needed more work (which you did end up doing) and they have every right to do so. They are smart enough to know that they will not be liable for anything if they do no work. And you think that is unfair. That is what most of your complaint is about.

If you had just complained that they advertise unrealistic prices, use bait and switch tactics, and try to upsell more repairs than you probably need, I would be in complete agreement. But you are mad because they wouldn't give you the unrealistic price for reasons that were not disclosed in the ad and because you could do it cheaper.
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#14 Consumer Comment

I guess so

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

No, the customer is not stupid, but they insist on going after the cheapest repair available, instead of a reasonalbe and logical cost.

I agree that those places should not advertise such low and impossible prices. It hurts consumers as well as auto repair shops.
One- People are lead to believe that the service can be done for that price, so ever other shop must be a rip off.
Two- No one will ever walk out paying that low price, they will be sold extra parts, or more expensive parts. Now they think all shops are a rip off.

If those places with the big advertising budgets would just advertise reasonable prices and quality repairs than the public would be aware of what it really costs. People would understand the cost of service and those shops would not have to resort to the bait and switch tactics they use.

CA and Florida do not protect shops more than consumers. Infact, in Ca at least, it is the Consumer Affairs Department that regulates auto repair.

I saw your other post and you basically said it yourself. You knew it was way underpriced and thats why you were willing to let the warranty go- because the parts and labor were more than worth 100 dollars. So how do you think they can do it for that price?
I understand that people should be able to believe an advertisement is true, but you also need to use your common sense as there are scams everywhere.

You ended up doing the repairs yourself, except the brake lines which were not needed, does that mean the other repairs were needed?
You used parts from Autozone, I don't know about Just Brakes, but we never use parts from autozone. Are our prices more, yes. Are they better parts, without a doubt. So comparing what you paid at autozone, to what you would have paid at a shop is not accurate enough to determine what type of profit they were trying to make.

I don't think that Just Brakes would give you the deal either way. But I can run an ad for a special on brake pads. If you need more work than that and you refuse to do it, I can rightfully refuse to do any of the work. Maybe they need to state that the offer is for vehicles in good condition that do not need more than brake pads. Most people do not need more than just pads, so why fill your ad up with a bunch of disclaimers that usually don't apply? Are they just supposed to assume that your vehicle is in such bad shape, and if so, why are you going in for a simple brake service anyway? If you have more problems, then you shouldn't even be looking for that service, you should be asking how much to fix whats wrong with my brakes. The advertised special doesn't apply to your vehicle because that's not what you need done!

You are right that you can do the work for much less yourself. There is no doubt about that. However, there are many people out there that cannot, or will not, do it themselves. They need a mechanic to do it. Way back when, there was a guy who could work on cars. All his friends and neighbors would hire him to work on their vehicles. He soon discovered that if people were going to hire him to work on their vehicles he was going to need a place to do the work. Of course he will also need some tools, equipment, etc. to be able to do the work. So he went out and got all of this stuff and opened a shop. Now he has bills, and if he wants to keep his shop open so that customers can hire him to work on their vehicles, he was going to have to pass these bills on to his customers. As more and more people bought vehicles, more shops opened up. As vehicles got more advanced, mechanics found they needed better tools, better equipment, training, insurance, etc.

Point being, if you take your vehicle into the repair shop, you are going to pay a portion of the overhead- which means it is going to be more expensive than what you could do it for yourself.
Shops exist because people want their cars fixed. In order for a mechanic to fix your vehicle he needs to have a lot of things...which costs money. Therefore he has to mark up the parts, and charge labor fees high enough to pay his bills. They aren't just marking them up to rip you off, it's what it cost to stay in business for the people who do want auto repair.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to repair brakes, but running a repair shop does take alot more knowledge than just knowing how to fix brakes. You pay for all of that when you bring your vehicle in.

As for the main point that they shouldn't advertise something that they will not honor I agree. But you are getting off the point with all your other comments about they should just do what the customer wants, liability waivers, california and florida, tripling costs, blah blah blah.
They didn't honor their advertisement for you because you needed more work (which you did end up doing) and they have every right to do so. They are smart enough to know that they will not be liable for anything if they do no work. And you think that is unfair. That is what most of your complaint is about.

If you had just complained that they advertise unrealistic prices, use bait and switch tactics, and try to upsell more repairs than you probably need, I would be in complete agreement. But you are mad because they wouldn't give you the unrealistic price for reasons that were not disclosed in the ad and because you could do it cheaper.
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#15 Consumer Comment

I guess so

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

No, the customer is not stupid, but they insist on going after the cheapest repair available, instead of a reasonalbe and logical cost.

I agree that those places should not advertise such low and impossible prices. It hurts consumers as well as auto repair shops.
One- People are lead to believe that the service can be done for that price, so ever other shop must be a rip off.
Two- No one will ever walk out paying that low price, they will be sold extra parts, or more expensive parts. Now they think all shops are a rip off.

If those places with the big advertising budgets would just advertise reasonable prices and quality repairs than the public would be aware of what it really costs. People would understand the cost of service and those shops would not have to resort to the bait and switch tactics they use.

CA and Florida do not protect shops more than consumers. Infact, in Ca at least, it is the Consumer Affairs Department that regulates auto repair.

I saw your other post and you basically said it yourself. You knew it was way underpriced and thats why you were willing to let the warranty go- because the parts and labor were more than worth 100 dollars. So how do you think they can do it for that price?
I understand that people should be able to believe an advertisement is true, but you also need to use your common sense as there are scams everywhere.

You ended up doing the repairs yourself, except the brake lines which were not needed, does that mean the other repairs were needed?
You used parts from Autozone, I don't know about Just Brakes, but we never use parts from autozone. Are our prices more, yes. Are they better parts, without a doubt. So comparing what you paid at autozone, to what you would have paid at a shop is not accurate enough to determine what type of profit they were trying to make.

I don't think that Just Brakes would give you the deal either way. But I can run an ad for a special on brake pads. If you need more work than that and you refuse to do it, I can rightfully refuse to do any of the work. Maybe they need to state that the offer is for vehicles in good condition that do not need more than brake pads. Most people do not need more than just pads, so why fill your ad up with a bunch of disclaimers that usually don't apply? Are they just supposed to assume that your vehicle is in such bad shape, and if so, why are you going in for a simple brake service anyway? If you have more problems, then you shouldn't even be looking for that service, you should be asking how much to fix whats wrong with my brakes. The advertised special doesn't apply to your vehicle because that's not what you need done!

You are right that you can do the work for much less yourself. There is no doubt about that. However, there are many people out there that cannot, or will not, do it themselves. They need a mechanic to do it. Way back when, there was a guy who could work on cars. All his friends and neighbors would hire him to work on their vehicles. He soon discovered that if people were going to hire him to work on their vehicles he was going to need a place to do the work. Of course he will also need some tools, equipment, etc. to be able to do the work. So he went out and got all of this stuff and opened a shop. Now he has bills, and if he wants to keep his shop open so that customers can hire him to work on their vehicles, he was going to have to pass these bills on to his customers. As more and more people bought vehicles, more shops opened up. As vehicles got more advanced, mechanics found they needed better tools, better equipment, training, insurance, etc.

Point being, if you take your vehicle into the repair shop, you are going to pay a portion of the overhead- which means it is going to be more expensive than what you could do it for yourself.
Shops exist because people want their cars fixed. In order for a mechanic to fix your vehicle he needs to have a lot of things...which costs money. Therefore he has to mark up the parts, and charge labor fees high enough to pay his bills. They aren't just marking them up to rip you off, it's what it cost to stay in business for the people who do want auto repair.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to repair brakes, but running a repair shop does take alot more knowledge than just knowing how to fix brakes. You pay for all of that when you bring your vehicle in.

As for the main point that they shouldn't advertise something that they will not honor I agree. But you are getting off the point with all your other comments about they should just do what the customer wants, liability waivers, california and florida, tripling costs, blah blah blah.
They didn't honor their advertisement for you because you needed more work (which you did end up doing) and they have every right to do so. They are smart enough to know that they will not be liable for anything if they do no work. And you think that is unfair. That is what most of your complaint is about.

If you had just complained that they advertise unrealistic prices, use bait and switch tactics, and try to upsell more repairs than you probably need, I would be in complete agreement. But you are mad because they wouldn't give you the unrealistic price for reasons that were not disclosed in the ad and because you could do it cheaper.
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#16 Consumer Comment

That's easy Wayne

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Most people ARE stupid. Sad, but true. To turn a phrase..."Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American Consumer".

Again...If EVERY other shop is telling you the repair is one amount for a basic 4 wheel brake job(nothing fancy, just a fast pad slap with the basic pads/shoes), and ONE...ONLY ONE other shop claims they can do the same repair for 1/2 what EVERY OTHER shop is telling you it can be done for, what possible reason can you come up with why that CHEAP price is even remotely true?

I'd love to hear(read) the logic pertaining to that.

I'm looking to but a house. EVERY house for sale in the neighborhood is going for $350K...except one. It's being listed at $175K. All have about the same square footage and property size. Can you tell me why that ONE house is not even going to be looked at by me? Can you?

I'll help you out. If EVERY other house is being sold at $350K, then I can assume they are all pretty much the same, and the condition of each is also about the same. The house selling for $175K has got to be a total dump, and there must be some serious issues with it. I don't even have to look at it to know this. It's what we call COMMON SENSE, here on Earth.

The shop up the road claims to do oil changes for $8.88. Put on your magic hat. Do you honestly believe you can get an oil change on anything for $8.88? Wait...it's even better. He'll also remove your wheels and "rotate" them for FREE.

YAY! FREE! I got mail!

Keep your hat on...Why is this price a complete and total scam? Again, I will tell you. It costs tha shop exactly $11.34 to purchase the oil and filter(5 qts NAPA 10/30, and a ProSelect filter). He also has to pay his mechanic to do the work. Let's pretend that's about $3 for an oil change. He also has to pay the mechanic to rotate the tires. That's worth about .3 hours, so the mechanic gets another $7 or so. At this point, the shop is selling $21.34 worth of work(shop owner's cost out of pocket) for $8.88.

Now, why do you think he's going to do that? Put the hat back on the rack, because I'll tell you. Once the mechanic takes off your wheels for your FREE rotation, you suddenly need a brake job. Figure roughly $200. Pay it or tow it away...your choice.

A shop down the road charges $99.95 for truck dual exhaust. Everyone else is charging $225-$350, depending on what muffler you want to use. Do you honestly think the $99.95 price is real?

I'm assuming your not a total doofus. Without being one, what kind of people believe those ads? It begins with an S...and rhymes with TUPID.
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#17 Consumer Comment

Am I Missing the Point?

AUTHOR: Wayne - (U.S.A.)

Jennifer and Robert,

I may be missing something here, but it sounds like you think the consumer is stupid to answer what they think is a ligitimate ad. When they found out they've been had, you seem to think they should simply go on to the next rip-off and try their luck there. Let's forget about the fact that a licensed business just tried to take our money. In Texas, we still hang people for stealing. It also sounds like the great states of California and Florida protect auto service businesses and not the consumer public. Do they actually believe that all auto service companies tell the truth when it comes to parts and service?

I am no expert mechanic, but I can can completely overhaul a brake system. And I do know enough to conclude that it is not rocket science. Mark up on parts is almost tripple their cost and surgeons charge less by the hour compared to what you pay Just Brakes. Most people I know working as mechanics in brake shops didn't even graduate from highschool and you seem to believe their opinion of what is best for my car is better than mine. I believe the point is simple. You run an ad that says you will do X for $. If other things might have to be done before X is done, then that possibility should be included in the ad.
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#18 Consumer Comment

A waiver means nothing

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

In our litigious society, a waiver is just one more piece of evidence the jury will use against against the evil business.

Florida does it the right way. have the work done according to what the shop feels is needed, or tow it off the property. When the vehicle is loaded onto a roll-back, or hooked by a wheel-lift, there is no more issue involving the shop.

I advertise a $149.95 4-wheel brake job. I can do them all day long, as 90% of the cars out there just need a "pad slap". The other 10% need more extensive repairs. In the case of JB, VB, BL, BM, etc(all the same parent Corporation), the reverse is true. They think 90% need more extensive repairs, and 10% need a pad slap. Of course it's a scam. Anyone with a registerable IQ can see that. If everyone else charges twice as much for the same repair, why even consider the one shop charging 1/2 as much as the correct price? Amazing.

The front pads alone for my Chrysler list out for over $110. My cost is about $70. Another guy trying to flame me in these threads used his car as an example, and actually proved my point entirely. His own pads cost as much as mine(he likes to stop too), and proved the advertised price is just flat out, plainly unrealistic. I use ceramic pads on all of my cars. I use synthetic fluids in all of them too. It takes the same amount of time to install the BEST parts, as it does the CHEAPest. Knowing that, what line of logical reasoning do you use to justify using anything except the very best?

Ruth's Chris, or Steakums? Fuddruckers, or McDonald's? Mobil-1, or Warren? Armani, or Men's Wearhouse?

The only two differences is price, and quality. Here's your helpful hint of the day. CHEAP does not equal GOOD.
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#19 Consumer Comment

You are right

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

They would go out of business if they honored the ad. so why even bother with them? It's obviously a scam and it's going to cost more than that to service your brakes properly.

If your brakes are unsafe, but would at least be safer after they worked on them, then how about fixing your brakes correctly? Worry less about the price and more about getting the work done and having a safe vehicle.

Unless of course you don't trust what they are telling you. then again, don't bother with them. I think if the word "brakes" is in their business name, they might be a rip off. At least it seems to work that way.

And Robert is correct about the liability issue. It's all or nothing. If the customer refuses to have the job done properly then nothing will be done and they will still sign a disclaimer that they refused to do the work (hopefully between the disclaimer and refusal to do work the customer will understand how bad their vehicle is). In some cases we will have their vehicle towed (our state doesn't allow us to make them get a tow truck if it is unsafe to drive, if we feel it is necessary we will have to pay ourselves)

As for just having the customer sign a waiver and do only the work they wanted. California has decided that customers are unable to make that decision for themselves! Lol. Even if the customer signs that waiver stating that the vehicle is unsafe and the shop is not liable, etc. the shop is liable. The shop knows the situation and is aware of how unsafe it is and I guess customers are unable to grasp the seriousness or danger of the situation themselves.

People really need to stop looking for CHEAP BRAKE deals. These are your brakes, the most important system on your vehicle and not the time to save a few bucks! How often do they need to be done anyway?
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#20 Consumer Suggestion

How About a Liability Waiver?

AUTHOR: Wayne - (U.S.A.)

If the excuse for not doing the advertised work is "it's a liability issue", then why not provide a Waiver of Liability if the customer insists on Just Brakes doing what was promised in the ad. At least my car would be leaving the building safer than it was when it went in. No one can convince me that turning the rotors, replacing the pads and shoes, repacking the bearings, and adjusting the brakes will make it any less safe. I'd sign the such a waiver anytime. But we know that won't happen because the ad is an obvious bait and switch thing anyway. They'd go out of business if they honored that ad. Hopefully some state Attorney Generals will put a stop to this obvious fraud. The one in Texas is already investigating Just Brakes and we may soon see some action. I suggest everyone filing complaints here should contact the AG's web site and submit their stories.
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#21 Consumer Comment

That's easy Jim

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

If the repair facility tells you what you need and you decline any part of it, the facility should just give you back your vehicle. If the customer doesn't want the work done as the facility requires(for liability reasons), there is no reason to continue.

Giving the vehicle back to the customer EXACTLY as it came in, absolves the repair facility of any and all liability. It's pretty tough to sue someone for doing nothing, and winning. Have the customer sign the work order showing they declined everything, and off they go. The instant the shop does ANY sort of repair on the brakes, they are held liable for it.

Florida allows me to hold the car until the customer provides a tow truck, if they refuse to do the job correctly. Most states do not allow this to happen. It pisses people off here, when the shop does it.

I get around this law by doing a visual, on the ground, without ever touching the car. A flashlight and mirror work wonders. If I find nothing abnormal, I go ahead and give a price right there. If I do find something odd, I work up a "worst case" estimate. If the customer declines at that point, I say "bye" and off they go. I still have not actually touched the car, so my liability for their stupidity is still ZERO. Also, since they have not filled out any paperwork for the parking lot inspection, they cannot make any claims against me. Without a signed work order, the Courts will dismiss the case before it goes before a Judge.

It's all about liability.

BTW, I have never been sued. My customers actually want their cars to stop.
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#22 Consumer Suggestion

Which begs the questions . . .

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

If the brakes are so bad that they are afraid of being sued by "just doing the special" then why wouldn't they be afraid of being sued because they didn't do anything at all?
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