The mood just somewhat got bitter by the end of the day today. There was this one customer who drove a Kancil, that came to my workshop just before we were about to close, asking for an oil and plugs change. My brother attended to the task. As soon as the job done I told the customer that the charge was RM15. And then his face suddenly changed, seemed some kind surprised and in a tone as if wanted to complaint, he said, and I quote “Worksyop sini kalu tukar minyak hitam sumer RM5…mana ader RM15???, tu India depan tu cas RM5 ajer saya kasi RM10 lagi kat dier”. And then my father overheard what the customer said as he was doing something at the back of the shop at that time and he tried to tolerate and said, “Ok la RM10”. As he was holding the money trying to give it to me he mumbled the same thing that it was supposed to be RM5 only.
And then I tried interfering their conversation (the customer and my father) and said “apsal pacik tak repair kat India tu ajer, apsal mari sini lak”, in a polite manner and then continue to said “dan dah bawak barang sendiri, sepatutnya RM15 ler”. And then the customer said “takperlar lain kali tak datang sini dah”. And in my mind I said, “kalau orang camni lenkali takyah datang pun takper”.
You see, normally we would charged RM10 for an engine oil and oil filter change and plus RM5 if the customer asked for a plug change to be included. And we would charged the same for those who bring their own spare parts for the same purpose. This goes on (the pricing) from back I was in high school, for about what, more than ten years ago?. And FYI my father started this business since 1979, and officially registered in 1986.
And what’s more? RM5? C’mon lar…It doesn’t even enough to pay for the worker’s salary even for one day (even my water bill for my house costs even more than that). We run a serious and honest business here. And we took the matter seriously regarding our work quality. Not some half past six workshop who doesn’t even have a business license (in Malay term, “repair kete bawah pokok”).
And yeah some customers claimed they are so clever that they got spare parts with such really cheap prices, so they demand cheap workmanships. Well reality check…cheap price spare parts meaning no quality spare parts!. We got this one customer where his timing belt snapped when trying to rev. It turns out he recently bought and change the timing belt just one week before and it (the belt that he bought) cost for about RM30 only…well there’s no timing belt with that kind of price except for the fake ones (murah nyer pasal…dah kene padan ngan muka).
Back to the workshop issue. Some of them even claimed that they had change the oil filter or other spare parts but actually used back the same part and kept the new ones at the back. Not being trustworthy at their work in other words, and then charge such low price to customers (stuff like this happens too). Try taking this into consideration…
Plus, mechanics in some workshops will not even entertain customers who brought their own stuffs (believe me or not, it’s up to you). They said if customers were smart enough to buy their own engine oils and oil filters, why don’t they change it themselves? Why bother bringing their cars to workshops?. Try taking this into consideration too…
The truth is, if the customer didn’t compare our rates with other workshops I wouldn’t even dream to write this blog entry right now. I really hated it when they do that, when they gave pitiful excuse like mentioned above (unfortunately there are more customers like this), when really their true intention was to withdraw the money from their pockets to spend as minimum as they could. I mean it’s OK for them to bargain for the price, we might take the consideration to lower the price a bit. But if the ones with attitude like that appear, there’s no use to “being polite” anymore!