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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Some advice if you please - my car recently went for some work at a garage who shall remain nameless as they provide an excellent service. I got a lot of work done for a good cash price.

However, the wheels on my car had just been refurbished and were flawless. They have plastic bolt covers which I was told were a pain to remove.

Upon washing the car, I noticed some scratches around one of the bolt holes and a couple of very small chips around two other bolt holes. Nothing major but, being a very 'particular' person, noticed the marks. I did ask that care should be taken with the wheels as they have just been done.

I photographed the wheel and sent the garage a very polite but have had no response apart from asking to send the photo again which I did. Perhaps I was just been overly fussy. Just wanted to know what anyone else's take on it would be.

I certainly don't want to fall out with this garage as they are nice people. Normally I do a lot of work myself with my father-in-law but, on this occasion, this was not possible.

I wasn't even going to mention it but my Mrs and another Alfa-nut friend said that I should. I guess (many of us) can be a tad 'British' sometimes and not mention these things.

Bit of a tricky one. As mentioned, I don't want to upset the garage as they have gone the extra mile for me but, equally, feel a bit annoyed at a lack of response.

Opinions and views appreciated as always.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Must be a 'sensitive' subject!
 

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There is no excuse, what so ever, for any garage to bodge a simple job like this. Wheel nut caps are very common and every garage should have the special tool (a bit like large tweezers) to remove them. Using, I assume a screwdriver is sloppy and bad practice, a bit like using a crow bar to remove a radio, instead of the proper extractors. However, assuming some garages employ Chimps I tend to do everything I can to avoid such issues such as clearly pointing out things like that and supplying the "tool" to do the job. How many of us have instructed garages how to correctly raise a GT and avoid damaging the sills?
 

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I started a reply yesterday - but ended up deleting it - I was only telling you things that you must already know and I began to feel I was being disrespectful. Of course the garage has no excuse for causing any damage to a vehicle in their care - and making the situation worse by ignoring your contact and prevarication is a disgrace. Speak to them, at least over the phone, to get things moving again.

The tone of your posting suggests you feel somehow "ahead on the deal" because of the good value cash transaction. And you fear to risk losing out on future "favours" if you make a stink. The cost to them to correct the damage you describe would be minimal - but only you know if the risk of losing their goodwill is too big a risk to take.

As I said above I would go on and ask them to return the wheel to the condition they received it in. If they are "nice people" as you say - then they will want you to be happy with their work.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Valid point guys. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't being too fussy. Pic attached of marks.

Let me know what you think.
 

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I don't think you're "being fussy" you paid good money to have your wheels refurbed precisely because you don't want those kind of marks. And they've damaged them while the wheels were still pristine - unforgiveable imo.

Now if they inflicted that damage on one of my wheels: I probably wouldn't notice among the kerbing, assorted scratching and pock -marks they've picked up over the years: but on a new finish, how could they expect you not to notice and not to bring it to their attention. The impact caused by the damage is relative to the condition of the wheel otherwise. It was a perfect wheel - and now its not.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't think you're "being fussy" you paid good money to have your wheels refurbed precisely because you don't want those kind of marks. And they've damaged them while the wheels were still pristine - unforgiveable imo.

Now if they inflicted that damage on one of my wheels: I probably wouldn't notice among the kerbing, assorted scratching and pock -marks they've picked up over the years: but on a new finish, how could they expect you not to notice and not to bring it to their attention. The impact caused by the damage is relative to the condition of the wheel otherwise. It was a perfect wheel - and now its not.
True. Just a shame as I really get on with them. A renowned Alfa specialist. Bloody frustrating and I've been really polite, just saying that I wanted to bring it to their attention and sent them the picture. Wish I'd spotted it on collection but the car was dirty as it had rained that day. I'd like to use them in the future as their expertise is superb and they did me a good turn plus I got some second-hand parts off them. The wheels are silver over black so not easy to fix but I darent ask for some money back. I'd be happy with £50 as a gesture of goodwill but don't think it will happen. I sent another email today to check to see if they'd received the photo but no response. I don't want to get into a phone argument so will send another email message tomorrow to find out what is going on. Certainly not what I expect and not a mature response - getting no response, that is!
 

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just thought I would play devils advocate here.

yes they are slightly damaged.

yes it's unacceptable

but speaking from experience its very difficult to have complete control over everyone that works for you, I assume one of the mechanics got a bit sloppy and did this...you will be dealing with management who will have no knowledge and may be told by the mechanic in question ''they were like that boss''

can you prove they were not like that when you went in? (not questioning your honesty here just stating that its hard to prove they were not) boss will side with his lads...

if you have a good relationship with the garage it is probably not worth jeopardising over what is Minor (very annoying and it shouldn't happen) but none the less very minor damage.

so you have two choices

pursue it get a small amount of compensation which will likely go straight on the next invoice they give you and risk damaging your relationship with them.

say nothing more but take note and have pics ready in the event it happens again.

I would personally take a view on it and make a point that the next time I take it in I would gently mention it and make it clear that as minor as it was you don't expect to see any more damage to your pride and joy.

its not what you want to hear I know but there is what should happen in all fairness ,and then there is what will happen.

good luck with it.:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
just thought I would play devils advocate here.

yes they are slightly damaged.

yes it's unacceptable

but speaking from experience its very difficult to have complete control over everyone that works for you, I assume one of the mechanics got a bit sloppy and did this...you will be dealing with management who will have no knowledge and may be told by the mechanic in question ''they were like that boss''

can you prove they were not like that when you went in? (not questioning your honesty here just stating that its hard to prove they were not) boss will side with his lads...

if you have a good relationship with the garage it is probably not worth jeopardising over what is Minor (very annoying and it shouldn't happen) but none the less very minor damage.

so you have two choices

pursue it get a small amount of compensation which will likely go straight on the next invoice they give you and risk damaging your relationship with them.

say nothing more but take note and have pics ready in the event it happens again.

I would personally take a view on it and make a point that the next time I take it in I would gently mention it and make a point that as minor as it was you don't expect to see any more damage to your pride and joy.

its not what you want to hear I know but there is what should happen in all fairness ,and then there is what will happen.

good luck with it.:thumbup:
Cheers. Probably what it'll end up being. It's a small outfit so not really a boss/boys set-up. I normally do work myself but this was a cam belt etc and I had no time. Am sure it was purely accidental but I did ask to be careful with the removal of the wheel which makes it more frustrating! See what transpires...
 

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Was this a blast and powder coat refurb, or a body shop rub-down, prime and spray? It won't help but the latter are very prone to chipping and wear and tear of a fragile paint coating that may not adhere too well.
 

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Just my two penneth:

First, the garage should at least have responded to you - no excuse there and yes, I agree with all comments - the damage shouldn't have occurred in the first place.
However, you mention that the garage have done you 'a good turn' and have looked after you in the past and you would want to use them again. In this regard, I agree with Joey - little point in damaging the relationship. Might I suggest that you simply call in and show them the damage, express your disappointment, avoiding awkward telephone conversations and see where it goes. Hopefully, you'll get an apology and perhaps a sympathetic tweak to your next invoice for servicing or parts. Face to face is more often than not the best way to resolve such issues.

Hope this helps
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just my two penneth:

First, the garage should at least have responded to you - no excuse there and yes, I agree with all comments - the damage shouldn't have occurred in the first place.
However, you mention that the garage have done you 'a good turn' and have looked after you in the past and you would want to use them again. In this regard, I agree with Joey - little point in damaging the relationship. Might I suggest that you simply call in and show them the damage, express your disappointment, avoiding awkward telephone conversations and see where it goes. Hopefully, you'll get an apology and perhaps a sympathetic tweak to your next invoice for servicing or parts. Face to face is more often than not the best way to resolve such issues.

Hope this helps
Chris
Yes, agree with this to a certain extent but, as they are not generally open on Saturdays, it's very hard for me to get there in the week as it's completely the opposite way for my journey to work. Will probably have to end up letting sleeping dogs lay. Our paths will cross in the future and I guess it will be more awkward for them rather than me.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Was this a blast and powder coat refurb, or a body shop rub-down, prime and spray? It won't help but the latter are very prone to chipping and wear and tear of a fragile paint coating that may not adhere too well.
A proper powder coat refurb.
 

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I recently washed my car and wheels, in doing so the rear tyre went flat instantly as the valve was weathered and split. I quickly put the spare on and drove to the nearest tyre fitters (kwik fitters) I waited half an hour then they popped the rim bead off, fitted a new valve and re-inflated the tyre (less than 5 mins). On handing it back the guy said "no charge, don't worry about it" I thanked him and shook his hand, thinking I would drop in later with something for the fitters to have on their breaks. But once home refitting the wheel I noticed that during this quick and simple job he had managed to scratch a 7cm line on the rim! :furious::censored::furious:

In my case it's VERY easy, I just vote with my feet and never go back. In your case its not so easy, finding an Indie near you for a start is one thing, but finding one that you trust is another. Everyone makes mistakes, we are human after all, but not replying to your email and photos? mmm not so good, perhaps they are thinking you are going down the line of a full wheel re-furb to correct the damage?
If it was me then maybe a phone call to say "this is the damage, I trust you and will continue to frequent your business, but please pass on to whoever did this to be more careful in future" I wouldn't ask for compensation either. They will feel bad for letting you down anyway (I would hope)
 

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There is no excuse, what so ever, for any garage to bodge a simple job like this. Wheel nut caps are very common and every garage should have the special tool (a bit like large tweezers) to remove them. Using, I assume a screwdriver is sloppy and bad practice, a bit like using a crow bar to remove a radio, instead of the proper extractors. However, assuming some garages employ Chimps I tend to do everything I can to avoid such issues such as clearly pointing out things like that and supplying the "tool" to do the job. How many of us have instructed garages how to correctly raise a GT and avoid damaging the sills?
Er .. yes i have !

Took the car in for new tyres, after some guidance they did jack it up properly, but this particular chimp made a mess of one wheel leaving 4 large scuff marks. At least they pointed it out to me and offered to pay for the damage.
They did cover the cost but it was an inconvenience then having to deal with the bodyshop to do the refurb.
They are usually very friendly and professional so i now have to decide if they will get any of my future business..
 
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