RepairPal is your advocate for car care advice and guidance

Q: ripped-off? on 1990 Volkswagen Golf

I was quoted $120 for replacement of alternator, a/c and p/s belts. Went to pick up and bill was $330. No phone call, and I gave NO authorization for extra work. Difference seems to be $170 for "Repair broken bolt in a/c bracket to make belt fit." according to work order. Should I cancel check I HAD to write for repairs as owner is out of town until March 31st, and therefore was unavailable for me to speak with? And did I get overcharged?

Thank You,
Renai Nelson
Get a Repair Estimate
Guaranteed by certified locations nationwide. Learn more
RepairPal estimates are guaranteed at over 1,700 quality certified locations nationwide. Learn more
| |
Hello Renai. Don't cancel the check. Once you write a check for repairs you have made intent to pay, if you cancel the check it gets ugly as it is treated as fraud on your behalf. Laws are different in each state. Here in California you must inform the customer of any increase in price. The customer must sign a repair order on initial authorization of work and verbally approve work and prices afterwords. Its bad business practice not to keep the customer informed. In CA if the customer is not informed and has given authorization they legally only have to pay the price initially agreed on.
The Burea of Automotive Repair document is called "Write it right" outlines what legally obligates a repair order. Firstly contact your local Bureau of Automotive Repair and see where you stand legally. Better Buisness Bureau charge to open a case as too does a case in small claims court. Thats my advice to you from a customer point of view.
I cannot defend the garage not contacting you to say there has been a complication a bolt has stripped out broken off or is rusted and can't be removed. It does happen and in actual fact it happens frequently especially in areas where a car is exposed to rain snow and tough environment. It can happen, it does happen, its a no win situation for the fellow working on the car, the bolt wont now come off or on!
Its just rude that you were not called to be advised there was a problem and have the complication explained to you. Call the BAR.
The cost of the altertator itself was $120 dollars not including the labor. If you went to an auto supply store and purchased it yourself, it would be about ten percent less.
Didn't find what you were looking for?