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I don't know about other people but the one thing I can't stand about having
my car worked on by a shop is being charged a separate fee for "shop
supplies." Around here (Phoenix, AZ), this generally runs from 3 to 5 percent
of the labor charge and in my opinion, it's nothing but a sleazy, slimy way to
increase the bottom line on a job.
Does a restaurant charge you extra for putting salt and pepper shakers and a
bottle of ketchup on the table? Does your tax return preparer charge extra
for the toner and paper used to print your tax returns? Does a taxi driver
charge you an extra fee over-and-above the per-mile charge for wear and tear
put on his cab? At $85 per hour, the rate charged by our local Audi dealer,
it's unconscionable to charge an extra 5 percent for a dab or two of grease, a
couple of tie-wraps and three or four spritzes of brake cleaner!
Unfortunately, it seems that even the independent shops have picked up on this
as well ... what's next? An extra charge to cover the cost of cleaning the
mechanic's uniform because he got dirty while working on your car? I'd much
rather see them raise their hourly rate and be honest about this than play
hide-and-seek with the surchages ... Mr. & Mrs. Six-pack might not know any
better but I do and it pisses me off, big-time.
(Gee ... looks like I'm having a bad day, huh?)