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Huskie

Advice-poor wheel bearing job

Question

Huskie

To make a long story short-- I had my boat trailer wheel bearings repacked about a month ago at a local south Mn. shop. Last week on my 3rd trip of the year, total of about 1500 miles I noticed that one wheel was wobbly. When we pulled over and took a closer look, the bearings were completely gone. We limped it to a shop and they had to replace both wheel bearings plus get a machinist to redo the axle/spindle. 5 hours and 350 bucks later we were on our way. Obviously it could have been worse, the repair shop said another 10-20 miles and the wheel would of come off in the middle of nowhere or worse yet on a busy road. My question is, what recourse do I have with the initial shop that did the shoddy work. The people that did the repair said that the tabs on the remaining wheel were not bent or crimped properly. The boss will be back on Monday so I would like some advice if this has happened to you as a business or a customer. Still too long a story, thanks.

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Scott K

I would go into the shop that goofed it up, talk to the owner really nice, explain to him what happen. Stay calm! Most people will pay your bill, staying calm you will get more accomplished. If they dont pay the bill, just let him know you will lose you as a customer, you will call the BBB and you will take him to court, and you will tell everyone you know about his poor service! I would bet they would pay up!

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Sandmannd

I agree with the last post but take it a step further. If the owner doesn't cooperate (this only works if you paid via credit card) call your credit card company and dispute the charge. Save your receipt from the re-done job. You will have to fax that and a letter to your CC company explaining why you are disputing it. Get a letter from the company that did the new job saying what was wrong. You do this and you will get your money back. I've done it once before on a break job.

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Gus

No real advise for you but this might make you feel a little better. I had the same thing happen to a brand new trailer I bought. Made the first trip to the cabin and after I got there I noticed the wheel bearing was exposed on the shaft.. humm... yup that nut did not have the cotter pin in it and it had worked its way to the last threads before it was about to come off. Everything was shot. Good luck.

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DinkADunk

Make sure you document everything. Try to get the shop that made the emergency repair "...said that the tabs on the remaining wheel were not bent or crimped properly" to document what they found in writting or at least get the name of the technician that told you that. That bit of non-partisan, expert information will help you win a court case if it comes to that (sort of a slam dunk) . Then armed with some facts, calmly talk to the first shop and have them pay you for the fix. If they balk then dispute the charge with your credit card company, file a BBB complaint (really does work) and get your notes together for a small claims court case (if needed). The BBB complaint will probably take a couple of weeks to a month to work itself out and if you aren't getting anywhere file a claim with small claims court ($7500 maximum in Minnesota). I just went through this with Ultimate Electronics (BBB worked out well) and will probably have to go through this with Crystal Pierz Marine if they don't get my kicker working properly.

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Huskie

Thanks for the help, I have contacted the second shop that did the fix on the road and told them to expect a phone call from the first shop. Also, if I get nowhere I will get an opinion in writing from the tech. I meet with the owwner on Monday and will stay calm, explain the situation and ask that they repay me for the $350 bill caused by their poor work. His response will determine where I go from there, bbb or court. I will post the outcome, thanks again.

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Scott K

After you talk to him, he will want some time to check it out, just let him know then, thats not a problem, but you dont want to drag this out forever, because then you will need to take legal options, and that niether of you want that to happen. This way he knows your serious. Most places rely on word of mouth, and for $350 you can do alot aof negitive talking, which would cost him more in the long run.

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Huskie

I will have no problem with that, I will give them time to contact the other shop. I'm sure most places have run into scams from customers before. I even expect some lower offer at first as well, I'm a reasonable man but I expect the outcome to be fair also.

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Huskie

Well, I settled with the shop that did the poor wheel bearing job. At first they didn't think they should pay one cent for this mess because I did not call them when it happened so they could verify what was being done.(they are not even open on sat. afternoon and I do not know the owners cell) After some discussion, he was willing to repay me for the botched job that they did in the first place--40 bucks. He was not willing to call the shop that did the work. After mentioning the other alternatives, thinking BB and court, we finally settled at him paying about 2/3's of the bill but not all. If I would have carried through with everything, I could have done better, but for the last $100 that it ended costing me, it's not really worth the time and effort. I would've had to add to the claim our bar bill in Brainard during the 5 hour wait and $$$$ for mental anguish listening to my 2 fishing partners whine about the situation, which is continuing to go on I might add. He has lost me as a customer and a number of others will go elsewhere as well and his business will continue to make money anyway. Not happy but I can live with the outcome, thanks to those of you that responded.

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Scott K

I agree with you, he would have lost me as a customer also, not because of the poor service but because of the hassle to recover your loss do to his poor service. If he was to just payed you in full with no hassle, Im sure you would have left a happy customer, and returned with future service for him, now because of a $100 it will cost him, you and your friends as customers, and maybe a few bad words at the local bar!

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PierBridge

Sounds like a reasonable ending to me.

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DinkADunk

You made a good decision. At least you had enough information to make an informed decision and that improved the settlement.

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