My Ex-Mechanic

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by teflon97239, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. teflon97239

    Portland, OR
    Well-Known Member

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    I got a condescending *ss-chewing from my motorcycle mechanic/shop owner last week. No names because I don’t aim to defame the guy. I’m just wondering about something that bugs me.

    The bike was made in 1975 so most shops won’t touch it. My options are limited, bringing me to this. The scolding I got was because I had the nerve to tell him that it ran better before an expensive and unnecessary solid state ignition “upgrade” he talked me into. The original parts lasted nearly 4 decades, and it ran like a top. So direct replacements would’ve been fine.

    My offending accusation? “It backfires now, and it accelerated better when it still had points.”

    The lecture I got was about stale gasoline (which was fine a couple days earlier when I rode the bike there to get the implant). The implication in his rant? He’s an expert mechanic, and I’m an idiot and a complainer.

    Between that outburst and missing an obviously frayed clutch cable that broke 22 miles after he worked on my bars and controls (with carte blanch license to “fix anything you see”), he’s not my mechanic anymore. 2 strikes is plenty on a 38 year-old scoot that’ll still do over 100.

    Here’s my dilemma:
    I can let him figure it out on his own… or I can tell him that his snappy mouth and lack of attention to detail in a fundamental safety inspection just cost him a repeat customer forever.

    Sort of a fire-and-forget missile since I’m done with his attitude either way.

    I’ve never operated my own business. But if I did, I think I’d want to know that I had completely alienated a loyal customer with deep pockets. Or maybe if I were an A-hole I just wouldn’t care.

    So what’s the consensus here? “Officially” fire him, or just never go back?
  2. billdeserthills

    Cave Creek, Arizony
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Thing is you aren't gonna get what you wanted either way with your present plan. How about a third plan, this time tho you say what you want said, but in a way that will mebbe net you what you seek. Thing is you already said findin a guy to do the work isn't easy so you now have two good reasons to give my way a try. As far as the backfiring goes it could just be a timing adjustment is needed. You are gonna hafta find someone to fix all the stuff this guy just did, might be better to let him try again to adjust his mess.
  3. Bob D

    Bob D
    Oregon, Cascades
    Well-Known Member

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    I prefer to avoid the confrontation. His bad business is punishment itself. Also, almost every time I've had to deal with a privately-owned business, that kind of thing tends to do more harm than good. If it's a large chain with a good PR department, then one person's emotional response to your complaint won't dictate the actions of the business, but a privately owner doesn't have any checks and balances keeping them from starting a feud.

    Let his mistakes make themselves apparent to him, and don't recommend his shop to anyone else.
  4. jbett98

    NW Oregon
    Silver Supporter Silver Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Been down that road.
    Try and find a local bike club that rides your brand of motorcycle.
    Portland has a lot of bike clubs. Go to one of their meetings and ask around for the best mechanic.
    Sometimes you have to join up, but it opens up some doors that outsiders never get privy to.
    Plus, you meet like minded folks that have a vested interest in the same bike as yours.
  5. Sling Blade

    Sling Blade
    Yamhill County
    Well-Known Member

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    What make bike is it? I ask because if it is a BMW I can point you toward some good wrenches that work on older bikes.

    Wickiup Junction
    Well-Known Member

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    The bottom line is you own anything with wheels in that age category then you had better plan on 'wrenching' it on your own or as previously mentioned, aligning yourself with those who have the brand or trying to find a good 'indy' mechanic who really knows what he is doing with your brand (probably nearly impossible)
  7. Kelzebubba

    Fort Worth, TX/USA Public Outhouse
    Active Member

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    I would Yelp! it and let the world know he is an idiot. I had a guy work on the AC at my house and they busted my water faucet outside and left it running after it was broken. I came home (where it had been pouring water out for like 3 hours because my wife didn't know it was broken and was inside). I asked her why it was like that and she told me that she hadn't been out (I always watch the repair guys, sorry I don't trust them). I then called the owner of the company and he told me I was an F'n liar. So we had a heated debate, so I went to Yelp!, Google, and a few other review sites and gave him a scathing review. He then got on my facebook page and started cursing at me. I took screenshots and updated my customer reviews with his comments. Needless to say he sicked a lawyer on me for defamation and I emailed his lawyer the history of his messages on facebook and I never heard from the guy again. I even was nice enough to put in my review a request for potential customers to call him and inform him they were not choosing his business because of my review. I think he might have gotten a few phone calls.

    So... I would advise you not to turn a blind eye and do nothing. Everyone who gets poor service after this is on your head if you don't speak out.
  8. Redcap

    Lewis County, WA
    Well-Known Member

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    Officially fire this moron.

    This is why I do everything myself (unless it is something I don't have tooling for).
  9. Backwoods

    Middle of no where...

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    If you post a review do it on Google, they are the only ones that don't allow people to pay to have the bad ones go away and the good ones stay up to the top. Recommendations on having it be effective but not seem like a revengeful prick. Be as cool as you were on here. Just state what you expected from the work that was done, the effects, the response and any long term effects. Also wether or not you will give them more business. I hate to say "my friend" but my friend works for a company that helps with online reviews for business' and what is effective for customers and what isn't.

    You could also leave a flaming bag of dog crap on their front porch...
  10. Ramjet12

    Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I gotta go with Yelp on this. Obviously he's not that good of a mechanic if it ran worse when you picked it up.
  11. billdeserthills

    Cave Creek, Arizony
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Wow what an answer!
  12. Iceman04503

    Portland, or
    Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried ? I used to ride and whenever I need help with something, thats the forum I go to for help. Friendly folks with a wide variety of riders and bikes.
  13. notazombie

    Sweet freedom!
    Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    **Disclaimer** I'm a mechanic.

    I wasn't there so I can't speak to the tone of the conversation. If you were cool and calm you still have some options. Billdeserthills made some great points. If you aren't happy with the "upgrade" he sold you, then I think you should give him a call and let him know. Tell him you ran a tank of fresh fuel through it and it still runs the same. Tell him you just aren't happy with the results and you'd like to go back to points. You shouldn't have to pay for defective parts. Give him the opportunity to set it right. Be polite but clear about your expectations. Believe it or not, most mechanics prefer to look like heroes -- not talentless chumps. No one wants an unhappy customer. I'm not trying to make excuses for him but you may have just caught him on a bad day. We all have them.
    On the other hand, the guy may just be a diva or a hack. In that case he's already his own worst enemy. But I suspect if he's been in business for any length of time then he's probably not all bad. Going public (Yelp, Google, etc.) is more of a last resort in my opinion.
    Teflon, I don't know you or what your general demeanor is. You said the "implication" was that you're an idiot and a complainer. Is it possible that you were have one of those bad days too? I hope you kept your cool enough that you still have the option to try to get some remedy rather than just blast the internet with complaints. Good luck and let us know how it all works out.
  14. nwwoodsman

    Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer

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    Check craigslist. Always someone on there willing to work on anything and real cheap sometimes. They might even mow your lawn, recycle your pop cans and haul away yer scrap metal too.
  15. Kinvo

    New Member

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    I am going a different route and say call him. Explain to him that you hate to change mechanics but you refuse to be treated as you were by him when you are the paying customer. Perhaps he was having a bad day, got bad news, etc and now a cooler head will prevail and you get your mechanic back. If he goes off again then tell him you have no choice but to change mechanics and relay this information to others that ask you opinion about a good mechanic.

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