• Report: #175577

Complaint Review: George Barton Auto Repair

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  • Submitted: Thu, February 09, 2006
  • Updated: Wed, July 23, 2008

  • Reported By:jacksonville Arkansas
George Barton Auto Repair
110 East Maddox Road Jacksonville, Arkansas U.S.A.

George Barton Auto Repair ripoff fraudulently quotes prices for car parts in order to make a bigger profit in Jacksonville Arkansas

*UPDATE Employee: A word from the Company

*Consumer Comment: Forget the markup, here's the real ripoff.

*Consumer Comment: Maybe he should get a bulk quantity discount

*Consumer Comment: I wouldn't install owner supplied parts.

*Consumer Suggestion: 20% mark up?

*Consumer Comment: Here's the best solution:

*Consumer Comment: Too much markup

*Consumer Comment: Just curious...

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The clutch in my car had gone bad, & I was referred to this company by a co-worker. I decided to see if this company could get me a good deal on the product I needed. George Barton found a clutch for me that would cost $269. The clutch was for a 2004 Hyundai Tiburon, but he told me that it would fit a 2005 model. He also quoted $350-$400 for labor. I accepted the deal. That took place on Thurs., Feb. 2nd 2006. I was told my car would be ready for pickup on the following Mon. or Tues. I received a call from one of Georges workers, Tim, on Wednesday informing me that the clutch they had purchased for my car did not fit properly, & that the only place they could find a 2005 model clutch was from the Hyundai dealership. I was told the clutch was being sold at the dealership for $340, & that the reason they had contacted me was to make sure it would be OK because of the obvious price difference. I accepted the deal. My car was ready for pickup approximately 6 hours later. When I arrived at Mr. Bartons shop to pickup my car, & pay for the repairs, I asked for a copy of the receipt he had gotten from Hyundai. He refused to give me a copy, citing that it was for his records for tax purposes, & that he didn't have a copy machine to make me a copy of it. I figured "no big deal", & asked to simply SEE the receipt. Again, he refused. At this point I knew something was wrong. I contacted the Hyundai dealership the next day, which is today (Thurs., Feb. 9th 2006). I asked them how much it would cost to buy a clutch kit for a 2005 Hyundai Tiburon GT. They quoted me a price of $252.04, which is exactly $88.04 less than what Mr. Barton told me he had paid for it. I also asked if they had sold a clutch of this kind to anyone the day before. I was told that they didn't. I asked the representative if he was sure. He said yes. Therefore, it is my belief that Mr. Barton fraudulently claimed to have bought a cluch from the Hyundai dealership in an attempt to overcharge me. I would like the difference back, plus tax.

Christopher
jacksonville, Arkansas
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/09/2006 05:55 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/George-Barton-Auto-Repair/Jacksonville-Arkansas-72076/George-Barton-Auto-Repair-ripoff-fraudulently-quotes-prices-for-car-parts-in-order-to-mak-175577. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 8Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

A word from the Company

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

To begin, I am the AP/AR manager for George Barton's Auto Repair. I was actually sitting at my desk when the conversation between Christopher and George took place. I observed the entire thing.

There were several other customers and employees standing around. It was in the afternoon when it becomes like Grand Central at the shop. When Christopher asked for the receipt repeatedly, other people were becoming unnerved. I think George was trying to end it so as to deal with the situation at another time. I did tell George I could copy the receipt for the clutch but he said not to. That is not standard business practice. Christopher left and that was the last we heard from him.

Here are the facts:

We absolutely purchased the clutch from the dealership.
We paid $240.88.
He paid $340.88.
Grease was $10.00
Labor was $350.00
2% supply fee was $14.02
Tax was $50.04
His total bill was $764.94

It took from Friday until Tuesday for the clutch to be delivered to us. By Wednesday, we knew the 2004 clutch did not fit, even though the parts store we used said it would fit on a 2005. So calls were made to locate a 2005 clutch. The Hyundai dealership was the only place that had it. Neither George or Tim told Christopher that the dealership price was $340. Tim was informing him that $340.88 was going to be the charge on his ticket for the 2005 clutch. All on that same Wednesday, we got the correct clutch and put it on. Christopher had his car that afternoon.

I can't dispute what the Hyundai dealership told Christopher, that they didn't sell a clutch the day before. However, we certainly did purchase it from them for $240.88, which is the wholesale price. I don't know why they would quote him $252.04. I can only assume that Christopher lied about his status as a dealer to find out the wholesale price of the part. If he had represented himself honestly, they would have given him the retail price.

As for the statement by Christopher that George would lie about the origin of a part in order to overcharge him. Our shop is the busiest in town and we actively do research to stay competitive price wise. Looking for substandard parts would not be worth the trouble. We rely on our companies ability to produce quality work in a timely manner. At a great price to boot!

And finally, to quote a previous responder to Christopher's original complaint:

When you go out to eat, and agree to the price on the menu, do you ask the owner of the restaurant for the invoice showing what he paid for the food? What about clothes? Gas from the gas station? grocery store? Pharmacy? Appliance store? What the shop owner did was simple. He asked for your permission to charge a higher price, and you agreed to it. This is what used to be taight (sic) in Government Schools as 'Capitalism'.
And...
I think Christopher should consider asking for some sort of discount based on repeat business. He has a one year old car that he burned up a clutch in. At this rate, any shop that gives him 'a good deal', will make up for it through quantity of work.

I don't even know what it's like to burn up a clutch, but I do like replacing them for people. My cars and trucks have never needed a clutch replacement, as they don't get abused. Of course, you can never explain to someone who tears them up what they are doing wrong...they know how to drive. They show it so well.

Thank you, Robert. Well said.

It is 2 and a half years later and we only found out about this posting yesterday from a long time customer who was concerned about the impact it may have on us. Clearly, it has had none. We have continued to have positive growth every quarter, even in the current market conditions. Word of mouth and return business is the best way to grow as a company. And a heartfelt thank you goes out to our loyal customers. Its been a great decade and we are excited to make the next one even better!

Jamie
July 23,2008
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#2 Consumer Comment

Forget the markup, here's the real ripoff.

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

All mechanics will mark-up the price of the parts. That's industry standard practice and I don't have any problem with it. Here are the two rip-offs I notice:

Quoted a price and then reneged. Christopher told them the correct model year from the outset. They needed to do the research and find out exactly how much the part would cost before quoting a price.

Said they would install OEM part from the dealer, but may not have. They claimed the part was only available from the dealer. Robert from Florida confirms that NAPA lists a clutch for this car. Other third-party suppliers probably have them too. Christpoher paid a premium price for "dealer parts," but likely actually got third-party parts of unknown origin.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Maybe he should get a bulk quantity discount

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

My typical mark-up on parts is about 60%, just like all other shops. Some parts are higher, some lower. Add in labor, and I get about an 80% profit margin on most jobs. It averages out. It keeps the doors open, and everyone paid each week.

I think Christopher should consider asking for some sort of discount based on repeat business. He has a one year old car that he burned up a clutch in. At this rate, any shop that gives him "a good deal", will make up for it through quantity of work.

I don't even know what it's like to burn up a clutch, but I do like replacing them for people. My cars and trucks have never needed a clutch replacement, as they don't get abused. Of course, you can never explain to someone who tears them up what they are doing wrong...they know how to drive. They show it so well.

Dodge Dealer had a guy with less than 1000 miles on a new Neon. Clutch could be smelled from 50 feet away. They did a "warranty" replacement out of kindness. They should have called it abuse and denied him any assistance. 1000 miles later, he was back. Clutch could be smelled from 50 feet away. But, he knows how to drive a stick. Ask him, he'll tell you that.

Sort of like the SRT4 Neon in the shop now. Kid blew up the engine. Had an aftermarket wastegate(increases boost from factory 4psi, to 11psi), a chip, intake setup, and of course...Nitrous Oxide. Scattered the guts of that little engine. Naturally, he claims he wasn't doing anything wrong(other than modifying the engine) and it just "happened". Nope, he knows how to drive too.

Christopher should ask for discounts on future clutch replacements. The mech will get faster and faster each time. Maybe he should think about some sort of "quick disconnect" for the transaxle.
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#4 Consumer Comment

I wouldn't install owner supplied parts.

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

If you're so cheap that you would bring your own parts to me, I would show you the door. You probrably buy crappy parts from the cheapest gyp joint you can find and they won't fit or last long, come without gaskets, and of course you'll want a lifetime warranty from me. As Robert is fond of saying, "Sometimes you have to fire the customer." Christopher, I don't think you were ripped off at all, and I think you were rude to ask to see the receipts. When you find a good mechanic, stick with him and don't second-guess him or insult him. You'll come out ahead.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

20% mark up?

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

Must have been a short career. Most automotive repair facilites shoy for a 78% gross profit margin on total services and the get this by running a 60% percent margin in parts. Sorry guys ..I know its hard for some one you to understand but it takes money to stay open and no company is in the game to just barley keep the doors open. every store my company opens up runs at around a million dollars after all the equipment is bought, real estate and other bells and whistles. My daily "nut" or break even point is around 2200 in profit and that just to cover daily operating expenses. Every car we touch comes with a great liability risk. From the simple oil change to major engine work every thing we touch we assume a risk. Simple formula..Sales + No profit + liabilty = closed doors.

As far as ripping people of. Let me tell repeat to you a great example of precieved value.

A man is on vacation in Florida and walks back to his room and hes hot and thirsty from being outside in the sun. On a table there is this cold bottle of water sitting in ice. On it there is a note from the hotel " This bottle of water was placed here for your enjoyment. Cost $ 10.00.
Now he thinks at about it and opens it up and drinks it. Was he ripped off? We all agree $ 10.00 fow a bottle of water is high. But He had a choice, he could have went to the store and bought a 24 pack of water for that price. But he didn't. He made the decison. Did the hotel rip him off??
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#6 Consumer Comment

Here's the best solution:

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

I feel Christopher is entitled to the $88.04 he claims he was overcharged. (However, since you're splitting hairs about this transaction, let's do some math: $340.00 - $252.04 = $87.96, not $88.04.) And he is entitled to a complete refund of all money paid! BUT, before George Burton Auto Repair submits this refund, they have to remove the new clutch and reinstall his old one. Then he can go to the Hyundai dealership where he'll be charged only what he thinks is fair, $252.04. I'm sure his total bill will be much, much lower than what Barton charged him. Not!

I knew where this was going when I read the first sentence: "I decided to see if this company could get me a good deal..." Read: I'll try to get it done on the cheap.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Too much markup

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

I have to disagree with Robert. When you consider that the CUSTOMER can buy the clutch for $252.04, that means the repair shop gets it for about 10 - 20% less. So if you average 15% discount to the garage, they paid 214.23 or so. They sell it to their customer for $340.00. That's about a 59% markup, which is a big ripoff.

What you should've done, and should do in the future, is call the dealer and check BEFORE authorizing repairs. Then, you can tell them that you will pick up the part for them, saving you over a $100 in parts!

I had a shop in California before coming to Jacksonville, and I marked up my parts about 20-25% or to retail price, which ever was more. I think that was plenty fair, and never had a complaint.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Just curious...

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

When you go out to eat, and agree to the price on the menu, do you ask the owner of the restaurant for the invoice showing what he paid for the food? What about clothes? Gas from the gas station? grocery store? Pharmacy? Appliance store? What the shop owner did was simple. He asked for your permission to charge a higher price, and you agreed to it. This is what used to be taight in Government Schools as "Capitalism".

From NAPA, the clutch kit is part number MU701781, and has a list price of $346.74. Sounds to me like he used a NAPA clutch set. You lucked out if he did.
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