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Brake question

I recently had the rear pads & rotors done on my '88 5ksq at a local shop
that I like quite a bit.  The cost seemed reasonable ($220, incl. tax, an
oil/filter chg & some belt tightening).  I left the car there for 1/2 a day
and was supposed to pick it up at 5.  When I got in the car to leave, I
noticed that the E-brake was not engaged to park.  No big deal - every
mechanic seems to do that.  However, when I tried to set it, I got no
tension - no E-brake.  I went back in and was told that the mechanic had
just left.  However, if I came back in an hour, they'd see what they could
do.  Anyway, I came back and they told me that only 1 cable was good and
that the other needed replacement (they didn't have any in).  They set it so
that I at least had one cable working.  I was to return on another day
(convenient to me) and they'd replace the bad cable.  The comment was,
"Sorry about the mix-up...  He didn't attach the cable because it needed
replacing...  Come back and we'll take care of it...  Shouldn't cost much at

Is $120 for parts & labor "not much at all...?"  The cable was $30 (they got
it from a dealer) and the labor was $85.  Would it have been cheaper had
they done it at the same time?  Should I just be thankful I didn't have a
dealer do it for 3x the price?  Just what is involved in replacing the

As someone who can fix computers, but not cars, I thank you in advance for
your comments.

- Andrejs