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(Post Link) post #1 of 34 Old 31-03-08 Thread Starter
fee
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is it cos i'm a girl?

just avoided being ripped off big style by my local (until now- trusted) garage.
I admit i don't know much about cars but the garage was willing to let me pay for a new ecu at £800+ insisting that it could be no other problem.
unable to afford this i got a good friend to tow the car back from the garage for me .... and managed to tow bump her into perfect working order!!
Have any other female drivers had this problem or is it because i just look stupid? I'm so angry - with myself for being naive and with the garage for taking advantage.

human behaviour is consistent in its predictability and predictable in its consistency

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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

Not just your gender Fee.: Anyone who appears less than knowledgeable, is likely to be ripped off, stitched up, by those unscrupulous sharks out there.:
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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

What ZF said....

Perhaps in future...you should use this line...slipped into the conversation, with any gargae..

My boyfriend/husband is a mechanic - he has prommised to sort the car but just hasn't had the time.....and suggested that you sort it and he will take a look when he gets a chance.


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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

I would write the boss of said garage a well balanced letter of complaint and see if they offer you some money of your next service or something.

Won't cost you anything and they have obviously been good in the past.
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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

When the wife takes her car in for whatever, leave a few MV chalk and talk lecture notes on the passenger seat, with a few Dynoscan printouts? My partner is HoD, so please identify faults and work carried out on paper please?
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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

garages will rip people off no matter what their gender.

Unfortunatly it is becoming more and more of an issue - I would still take the car to another garage and get it checked out to see what may have caused the original fault.

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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

Maybe they were trying to rip you off - maybe they were just wrong.
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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

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Maybe they were trying to rip you off - maybe they were just wrong.
bazza - they were trying to rip her off....

Fee has another post where she took her car in because of flat battery problems....they wanted to replace the ECU


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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

Without wanting to name and shame them, my parents live in Blackburn and I visit regularly - which garage was it so I can warn them off, and perhaps avoid a visit myself!?
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(Post Link) post #10 of 34 Old 31-03-08 Thread Starter
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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

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Without wanting to name and shame them, my parents live in Blackburn and I visit regularly - which garage was it so I can warn them off, and perhaps avoid a visit myself!?
Harry it's a garage in Great Harwood, i travelled the 8-10 miles rather than take her to a local garage because i know they deal with Alfas quite often. If you want to pm me i'd be glad to pass on the name of the garage to you.
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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

I'd agree with SSPalfa and take your car to your local Alfa independent who should give you a clearer idea of what's going on by hooking their Alfa Examiner (a computer that interrogates the ECU for historical and current faults).
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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

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I'd agree with SSPalfa and take your car to your local Alfa independent who should give you a clearer idea of what's going on by hooking their Alfa Examiner (a computer that interrogates the ECU for historical and current faults).
Guys fee already explained the fault - in her original post.

Flat battery that kept on draining....took it to what she thought was a friendly dealer to be told it required a new ECU...

Nige005 and myself advised that it was not likely to be the ECU and that the garage were pulling a fast one...

She got a mate to tow the car back for examination where it was an alarm system that was draining the bat....all is well and she is happy again....



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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

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Harry it's a garage in Great Harwood, i travelled the 8-10 miles rather than take her to a local garage because i know they deal with Alfas quite often. If you want to pm me i'd be glad to pass on the name of the garage to you.
Thanks Fee, appreciate that. My folks used to visit a couple of old brothers who ran a garage on Revidge Road but they retired a while back. I took my golf in there years ago and they showed me the worn clutch they replaced and gave me advice in a fatherly way - you could trust those guys alright!

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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

Its not just you Fee....I'm fairly savvy thanks to this great site and have had cars for years with few rip-off problems from garages..... then I get an Alfa and lets just say its a garage free for all.

Despite me hanging about in an easy going way ( I get on well with most anybody BTW sometimes buying them donuts/coffee etc and NOT distracting them, just to keep an eye on things, they ALWAYS wait till you leave, then start.

In addition to doing what WAS required, they remove certain parts from the car which were working fine and replace them with broken, wrong model or worn bits, then charge you for replacement S/H parts ( always in stock of course!!) & costed at NEW prices or send you on your way knowing you WILL be back to repair the NEW problem.

So far I have had this at THREE N London garages in 5mths of ownership, to varying degrees. I hate being billed for 3+ hrs labour & £68+vat hr, when they have spent maybe ~45mins on the car MAX and created a new problem with. After having my car very recently serviced and new brake discs put on for £520, its now as if the dampers and springs have been adjusted or softened so the car handles like a jellyfish. It was tight before it went in, as I used to get jolted over the plethora of local speed humps. Guess they want me to blow another grand to upgrade to Konis & springs and 3+ hrs of labour

TBH its almost put me off Alfa ownership, as some garages seem to capitalise on your deep affection for the Marque and it historical reputation for unreliability.
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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

This was an Alfa garage as well??

Thats very naughty, but i agree with others, they would do the same with anyone really but i reckon maybe a bit of sexism from garage as well. Just glad you never gave them the money can imagine how smug these cowboys are after they've ripped someone off.

Last edited by GranTurismo; 31-03-08 at 15:33. Reason: bad speed typing typo error's
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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

TBH its almost put me off Alfa ownership, as some garages seem to capitalise on your deep affection for the Marque and it historical reputation for unreliability.[/QUOTE]

Very true that..........terrible to say but yes some 'specialists' do this.
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(Post Link) post #17 of 34 Old 31-03-08 Thread Starter
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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

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Originally Posted by GranTurismo View Post
This was an Alfa garage as well??

Thats very naughty, but i agree with others, they would do the same with anyone really but i reckon maybe a bit of sexism from garage as well. Just glad you never gave them the money can imagine how smug these cowboys are after they've ripped someone off.
GT it wasn't an Alfa garage, just one that i know seems to deal with quite a few Alfas and was recommended to me by another Alfa fan. Found out today when asking about that the original owner 'left' the business last year for sunnier climes.
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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

Always a pain that one, they buy the business job lot name and all.............so they buy the premises and client list for a price, and the reputation.

So customer goes there thinking they'll be good..........
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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

There's a recommended garage sticky thread on the Alfa Discussions forum. Hopefully you'll find someone near you who is better recommended.

Not all garages are crooks... Many spend years building a good reputation it's just finding them if you aren't car clued up.
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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

Personally, I find that if you take a military styled approach at anyone who has the chance of 'ripping you off' or in any way 'cohersing' you into a position that they benefit from, you can take the upper hand.

Treat every situation such as this matter of factly and shy away from showing any emotion whatsoever. Take in and digest what they are saying and leave it at that.

If you give them any opening such as you saying 'Oh really???' etc this just gives them more of a chance to spout some more bull crap your way.

Just remember; The customer is always right. So if anyway you feel, like this scenario you speak of, that you are gonna be ripped off, end the conversation and leave. (With the car somehow!)

The English language is mans greatest tool for dealing with scum bags, as 9 times out of 10 their heads will fall off as they are that thick.
 
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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

My wife is a very confident & assertive person with a fairly high powered job but when it comes to garages she says they are still most definitely a man's world
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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

A bit strong Darren156,
WTH a military styled approach?
Upperhand, and shy away from showing any emotion whatsoever!
Did I miss something, are we at war?

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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty View Post
There's a recommended garage sticky thread on the Alfa Discussions forum. Hopefully you'll find someone near you who is better recommended.

Not all garages are crooks... Many spend years building a good reputation it's just finding them if you aren't car clued up.

Going by that list though, my nearest Indy (barr myself) is in Iceland (and not where crackhead Katona is).
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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

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A bit strong Darren156,
WTH a military styled approach?
Upperhand, and shy away from showing any emotion whatsoever!
Did I miss something, are we at war?

Don
Think you'll find it was an analogy and not a statment of fact from Darren..........

but now you mention it, sometimes it does feel like we are at war with SOME garages yes. It's within the garages best interests to gain a good reputation doing good honest work, clearly in the case mentioned this wasn't the case so it's correct to shame them. And i think we all know some garages are a bit 'male' orientated and can be a bit, nudge nudge wink wink when a 'bird' turns up, but they shouldn't be so arrogant to assume they can just take the Mic.

SOME Alfa specialists do trade on customers paranoia............. as was mentioned by other poster, its up to them to get their house in order. Every trade has bad eggs, you can't disagree with that.
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Re: is it cos i'm a girl?

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Originally Posted by 164milano View Post
A bit strong Darren156,
WTH a military styled approach?
Upperhand, and shy away from showing any emotion whatsoever!
Did I miss something, are we at war?

Don
With garages? Yes.
 
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