The Weekly – The Bill Made My Jaw Drop

My eyes got large…

My horse trailer had two small lights out. One in the tack room and one in the main part where two horses travel. I’m thinking, this is an easy fix. I’ll drop it off at the trailer place and pick it up next week prior to my trip over the mountain. Don’t you love it when you get stuff done? When you drop off the dry cleaning, stop at the post office and all those other mundane tasks that can swallow up a day? I didn’t think another thing about it until they called to ask if I wanted LED lights instead of what was there. “Cost?” I inquired. I’m on a budget after all and didn’t want this small job to balloon. “Only $2 dollars more.” So I told them to go ahead…When I got the bill (and remember this is a used two horse trailer that the outside and blinker lights worked fine on… it was for $521.95!!!!!!  I’ve not gone in to talk with them, I haven’t picked it up yet – they aren’t even open Sunday and Monday  (Why should they be when they charge so much for so little???) Oops – did bitterness just leak out of my fingers? Forgive me. When I go in I will ask for a detailed explanation, I will also put it in context that my Jeep just had a new wiper engine, a replaced battery (exchanged actually) and two front shocks replaced for only $350 including labor… and see what they say. It really doesn’t matter if they reduce it, though I have my hopes up! What matters is the lessons I want to share with you. What did I do to contribute to what I consider being grossly overcharged?

  1. I assumed. That it was a small job so a smaller price. I also assumed they would not charge double what the auto mechanic I use charges for labor. ASSUMING is not smart!
  2. I didn’t get a quote for the work.  Had I asked them for a quote, or checked their labor prices I would have gone elsewhere, or at least explored my options.
  3. I was focused on the task, NOT the result. Dropping off the trailer was my focus, not what I wanted, nor the cost. I dropped it off to give them ample time to work on it but other than that didn’t do my own due diligence and this is the biggest lesson of all.

When you are embarking on anything – asking – “What do I want as a result?” is going to help you in various ways. Here’s hoping I learned these lessons well, since they cost me $521.95 to learn, but hey, who’s counting? (Apparently me…)Let me know what techniques you use to ascertain you aren’t overcharged.

Blessings, Shawna

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