Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

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Butch Moore
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Joined: 11/20/1999 - 1:01am
Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

How on earth could it cost $21.84 in incidental shop supplies to change a fuel level sensor? And what do you want to bet their hourly rate for labor didn't go down when they started charging extra for shop supplies?It certainly sounds like a scam to me.[ 07-21-2005: Message edited by: Butch Moore ]

Butch Moore
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Joined: 11/20/1999 - 1:01am
Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

My wife went in to Ellsworth today to get some warranty work done on our car. When she got the bill, there was a new “Shop Supplies” fee. She was told that the state now [b]mandates[/b] that they collect a 12% surcharge on the labor costs to cover the cost of things like rags, cleaning up spilled gas, etc. She asked what law required this, and was given LD 831 as an answer.Here is the amended version of LD 831 that passed:

quote:H.P. 590 - L.D. 831

An Act To Clarify the Law Relating to Motor Vehicle

Repair Posters

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 29-A MRSA §1801, sub-§5 is enacted to read: 5.__Shop supplies.__"Shop supplies" means small parts and
materials used or consumed in the process of repair, including,
but not limited to, nuts and bolts, electrical wire, rags, tape,
brake cleaners and other items maintained as inventory.

Sec. 2. 29-A MRSA §1802, sub-§2, as enacted by PL 1993, c. 683, Pt. A,
§2 and affected by Pt. B, §5, is amended to read:

2. No liability without agreement. A customer is not liable
for a charge in excess of the specific amount designated in
accordance with subsection 1 without further specific oral or
written agreement. A repair facility shall charge a customer by
using the same labor rate per hour and shop supplies calculation
as is used in any estimate the repair facility provides.

Sec. 3. 29-A MRSA §1802, sub-§3 is enacted to read:

3.__Shop supplies.__A repair facility may bill for shop
supplies calculated as a percentage of labor or by other
calculation, if disclosed to the customer, as a single line item.

[url=http://janus.state.me.us/legis/LawMakerWeb/externalsiteframe.asp?ID=2800... page[/url]

Is it me, or is there nothing here about the state mandating this additional charge? And of course, it was not covered by the warranty so it had to be paid out of pocket.

Anonymous
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

Why legislate this. Do they really have so much free time?
If these are the laws being created, why are we having special sessions?
This is absolutely crazy.
:mad:

Country
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Joined: 05/31/2005 - 12:01am
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

Could be the shop lied to make a few extra bucks - or it could be in their infinite wisdom the legislature did mandate this? Something to do with Baldy twisting some legislator's arms to close the deficit?

Anonymous
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

The bill does not mandate anything. Here is the explanation from the bill: This bill clarifies that motor vehicle repair facilities may charge a fee for shop supplies. This bill requires that the repair facility provide notice that a fee for shop supplies is
being charged if the repair facility charges a separate line item for shop supplies, permits a repair facility to bill shop supplies as a percentage of labor or by other calculation as a
single line item and requires the repair facility to explain shop supplies upon request. I would find a new repair shop.

Butch Moore
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Joined: 11/20/1999 - 1:01am
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

The legislature passed something, but I don't see how it [b]mandates[/b] them charging an additional fee. If it does, we need to talk with our legislators.Mike, what is this stuff?

Butch Moore
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Joined: 11/20/1999 - 1:01am
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

That's what I thought George. I've already put in a call to the service manager for an explanation, but haven't received a call back as of yet. Is it illegal for them to make the claim that this is a state mandated fee that they have to collect?

Butch Moore
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Joined: 11/20/1999 - 1:01am
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

BTW, I usually do my own work, but this was a warranty job.

woodcanoe
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Joined: 02/22/2005 - 1:01am
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

Butch you need a new garage. I am going to ask you when I see you again which place it was but I bet I know. Its probably the place that charged for wheel alignments they did not do.The cost of rags and various tools used in a job should be included in the hourly rate. I never charged my customers for paint brushes, rags, tools etc. I cover that with my regular rate.When any garage does warranty work they will find any way they can to make you pay for whatever in order to make something on it. Extended warrantees are particulary gruesome in this regard. For the most part I do not think they are worth what they cost. I can't believe the state would "mandate" this unless they somehow figured to make a dollar or two out of it somehow.Keep us posted!

Anonymous
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

I don't know if it is illegal, but it is certainly dishonest.The bill was sponsored by Rep. McKenney, who is both sensible and conservative. He also used to run a garage. He must have been trying to address some problem for garage owners. Maybe prior it was unclear under prior law if they could legally charge a fee on a percentage basis.

landry
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Joined: 07/25/2002 - 12:01am
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

Apparently once again the state legislature has screwed We The People. But we do not get any loving.
Bud

Anonymous
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

Did you read the bill, Bud?

Calvin
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Joined: 05/15/2001 - 12:01am
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

I can see where this COULD be an expense but it could be convered in the shop rate also. ( That $65 per hour isn't all going home to the mechanic's wife). Rather than trying to figure every nut, bolt, rag, wire, etc. a percentage can be used, however, I see nothing MANDATORY here.
Where's "know-it-all" George?

Melvin Udall
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Joined: 05/01/2002 - 12:01am
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

Ditto....65 to 70 dollars an hour should cover rags and washers.For years I had an item on my bills called "GIC," and I eventually noticed it was a percentage of labor and parts. I think I was told it was "Garage incidental charges," intended to cover non-allocable costs.In other words, it's overhead on top of overhead. On top of general and administrative costs. Or, additional profit.And it sells. Try putting a charge of 10 or 12 percent on that says added profit.

Anonymous
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

This should be fine if a garage wants to make that charge. We can all choose what garages to frequent and which to avoid. I have trouble with the legislature wasting time to even discuss this. Much less the waste of taxpayer dollars to put this on the books.

Butch Moore
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Joined: 11/20/1999 - 1:01am
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

At $70 an hour, I should get all the rags I can carry! This looks like yet another scam, and I intend to discuss this further with the service manager, if he calls. If not, I'm going to find the name of the owner of the dealership and see where that gets me (most likely doing my own work again).Woodcanoe, yes, it's most likely who you think since you know what kind of car it is and where it was purchased. Highway robbery!! Does this mean my attorney can charge me extra for all the paper he uses when he files things for me? How about doctors - can they charge me extra for the paper towels they use when they wash their hands?

Anonymous
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

quote:Originally posted by Butch Moore:
[b]Does this mean my attorney can charge me extra for all the paper he uses when he files things for me? [/b]

Some do charge for things like postage and copies. I think professionals should charge what they need to charge and what the market will bear and not nickle and dime their customers/clients.

Earl Nickerson . Jr
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Joined: 11/24/2002 - 1:01am
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

Alot of the bigger impersonal shops have been doing this for a few years....Like VIP and Tire Warehouse in Belfast.I have also HEARD that the larger volume type dealers are doing it as well.You just need to find a small reputable shop like Herrick's Garage in Rockport and stick with them.It's easy ...Just go to the local coffee shop or diner and ask around.And yes this was a shameless plug for a good friend who is a great and HONEST mechanic. :D

Doug Thomas
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Joined: 08/29/1999 - 12:01am
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

This Bill came before the Transportation Committee, and the intention was if a garage is going to charge for shop supplies they are supposed to post it where you can see it before you authorize any repairs.I don't like the idea of an extra charge for shop supplies, it ought to be part of the labor rate, but if they are going to charge you they need to let you know before hand. It has been a hidden charge at some shops in the past.Butch, If I were you I would find a different garage. What they told your wife isn't true, 12% is outrageous, and it should have been part of the warranty claim not billable to you.

EJ
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 1:01am
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

Doug and All, it allows a repair shop to charge for these items as a % of the labor charge. Probally stated in their paperwork (Giving the repair shop the bennifit of the doubt here).Ed

Country
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Joined: 05/31/2005 - 12:01am
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

I can't understand this. In my steel shop I don't charge extra for anything. It's all covered by the hourly rate.

Michael Vaughan
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Joined: 10/22/1999 - 12:01am
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

quote:Originally posted by Butch Moore:
[b]
Mike, what is this stuff?[/b]

Doug has provided the best answer on this, I suspect this may well have gone unchallenged and under the hammer.But hey, there are some real liberal mechanics out there, and those who may be working in government road equipment maintainance shops.You know, permatex gasket cement...$1100 a tube, box of rags...$30,000, Kitty-litter/Oil-dry...etc.This stuff really starts to add up.

Butch Moore
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Joined: 11/20/1999 - 1:01am
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

Doug, the only reason I went back there was for the warranty work, and since they’re the only one around… I think you’ve made a good point about the shop supplies fee being part of the warranty. I’m going to ask why it isn’t.George, how do I find out if what she was told was illegal? Obviously it’s unethical, but if it’s more I want to alert the appropriate authorities (for whatever good it’ll do).Mike, I laughed my butt off when I read that, and then stopped to think how someone might actually believe that if they’ve never done any of their own work. :eek:

FXSTC
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Joined: 11/13/2003 - 1:01am
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

It's neither illegal or unethical. The shop must disclose it, that's all. We charged customers an additional $50 "hazardous disposal fee" if they didn't drain the fluids out of their engine before they brought it in for a rebuild (motorcycle shop). No one complained, and business is stronger than ever!PS - $70/hr doesn't come close to covering the costs of running a professional operation, especially in Maine, should be more like $100/hr.

Anonymous
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

quote:Originally posted by chuck:
[b]It's neither illegal or unethical. The shop must disclose it, that's all.[/b]

You don't think it is unethical to say that it is mandated by the state when it is not?

attic owl
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Joined: 04/12/2000 - 12:01am
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

Let the buyer beware. Here is more government piling on yet another bit of junk law on us. How many of the 20 to 30 thousand laws and rules with the force of law here in Maine (let alone Federal Law) do any of you know? No wonder some service managers can claim it is by state madate and get away with it. It's disgusting. Caveat emptor ought to be the watchword.

Anonymous
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

quote:Originally posted by attic owl:
[b]Let the buyer beware. Here is more government piling on yet another bit of junk law on us. How many of the 20 to 30 thousand laws and rules with the force of law here in Maine (let alone Federal Law) do any of you know? No wonder some service managers can claim it is by state madate and get away with it. It's disgusting. Caveat emptor ought to be the watchword.[/b]

It has been said "You cannot govern an honest man, so you must make so many laws that no man can remain honest."
I don't know who said this and I probably have the wording wrong, but it is true

Gaffer
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Joined: 12/11/1999 - 1:01am
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

Butch:
I would contact the Consumer Div. at the State Atty. Gen'l's office and make a formal complaint. After a couple such complaints are followed up on the garage might have second thoughts about this scam.

Anonymous
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

It's not a scam
they do it all over the country.
Someone got the brite idea at some point,
and people have been willing to pay.
Now it is more an more widespread.

attic owl
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Joined: 04/12/2000 - 12:01am
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

It seems to be merely a directive to repair shops that they have to notify patrons if they are going to charge that fee. It is a waste of paper. Let the shops anounce it if they are going to charge it. Let them refrain from notifying if they aren't. It is yet another intrusion into private enterprise.

Butch Moore
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Joined: 11/20/1999 - 1:01am
Re: Mandated "Shop Supplies" fee on auto repair?

quote: You don't think it is unethical to say that it is mandated by the state when it is not?

That's the part that bugs me the most George. It's one thing to charge it, and another to claim it's mandated by the state.Thanks for the advice Gaffer. I may just do that.

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