Do we consciously apply our contract negotiation training courses of B2B to B2C for spend on automobiles, furniture, appliances, and major repairs? Buying and selling of automobiles is a favorite topic. Most of us buy only a handful of cars in our lifetimes.
A poor experience with dealer service a decade ago prompted me to source alternatives. Others are national or regional chains specializing in batteries, tires, transmissions, etc. However, the best are often the many small independent community oriented shops whose service is better and prices are lower than their larger competitors. 100 or so fee pays for a computer scan. Many dealers would waive the fee if the work was subsequently performed. Many chain shops now impose this diagnostic fee as well. The fee is designed to make you do the repairs at the diagnosing shop to avoid wasting the fee.
Not only is this fee odious, recognize that it generates the basis for upsell of many services. A problem for the motoring public is that today’s vehicles are high tech, computer controlled precision equipment. 565, what do you do? My advice is to avoid this scenario by sourcing a local independent shop in advance of your need for repairs and maintenance.
Despite our best efforts, good planning sometimes meets the unexpected. Recently, I was driving my daughter’s 2007 Jeep Patriot because she had my favorite car, a 1999 Subaru Forrester with manual transmission. An aggressive semi driver forced me up onto a concrete median, shredding the driver side tires and damaging the aluminum rim wheels. Fortunately, there were no bodily injuries but this incident began the B2C rodeo. 450 for two tires and alignment. I balked, suggesting I would drive with flats across the street to a competitor. Maybe that was not the best I could have done but getting back to business was more important at that moment.
I demanded that they send a picture of the ruined rims to verify the damage. 350 for a new replacement. The repair shop matched the price. It had no shame about willingness to gouge the customer so it is always caveat emptor with new suppliers. All of these recitations above are familiar to us. How we manage them differs. Apply your professional training to your personal pursuits and you will serve yourself well.