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Old 23 June 2018, 20:08   #1
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When a service is not just a service that's needed!

Was very busy last week and took 3 engines in on Friday for 'service' (2-8hp) without vetting the customers and the current running state of their engines on the phone as I usually do as I was too busy for my usual 10min phone pre book chat, but I did ask every one of them if their outboard was running and all said ''yes" thus I wanted to at least know did it really need just a 'service' or was it a non runner and guess what all 3 were non runners! 9 times out of 10 during my booking in phone chat it transpires that the customers engine is not just in need of a service and once we get past that we can then discuss the estimated repair cost upon my eventually getting the facts and truth of the engines problem, Usually I run the engine upon its arrival, check the compression and drop the gear oil in front of the customer as I no longer entertain "oh dear old chap I didn't know the gearbox was creamed, how much will that be" when I call them midway through their 'service' of which I reply "I don't know but do let me know how much it was when you get it done" lol. As I return all engines 'serviced' (gear, engine oil, impeller, spark plug and fuel filter) to customers who have not been straight with me about the required repairs they knew were needed! all of today's 3 services (that I took in on good faith Friday and agreed to compleat today) run into out of hours repair rate as none of them we're just a service! My Saturday afternoon and evening was consumed for so called 'services' that were actually a combination of carb stripping and rewiring repairs that consumed my whole afternoon into the late evening.

So to the 3 sneaks who slipped past me on Friday, your engines are done, ready for collection tomorrow as agreed, your service prices are as agreed, however your repairs are charged at the weekend out of hours rate! And your all banned for life! As each one of you said when called this afternoon "oh sorry, I forgot to mention that, or ok but can you fix it right, and how much will it be then"

Be straight with your Marine engineer, there are almost no old timers left outside main dealers now and the new breed like me will not suffer nonsense! and like many new generation Marine engineers I pick and chose my work! The £200 to fix your engine (that will cost you £700 at a main dealer) doesn't interest me, like many Marine engineers i work for the enjoyment of the work, I often go above and beyond for a guy who is straight up and I like saving him £500 and getting his engine running sweet! This is what it's about for me, every now and then a customer gives me a phone call days or weeks after bringing me a non runner to sort out and they say "thanks lee the outboard is running sweet, i/we had a great time, thanks!) that kind of feedback goes a long way! And those customers are the ones I look after and when they say does my engine need a service after 6 months use from my last service I say NO but bring it over at the end of the summer and I will fog it for free And you know what 99% of those guys have almost always been ripped off with an engine or boat and engine package brought by them in good faith in the best of their marine experience which is often very limited from a jerk who knew he was selling something that had issues, I now freely vet and pre inspecting the future purchases for such customers and their friends for nothing as I hate the jerks out there in the boating world who like to think they can rip people off I now get several adverts and eBay listings forwarded to me everyday and I can smell the jerks every time lol, not been used since last year when I put it away but it worked fine then so it would probably need a service before use. . . NO what they really mean is I got it out to use it and it WONT start, I've done the usual like spark plug change but it still won't start so it's actually in need of diagnostic or repair, I don't want to pay to get it sorted so I will just palm someone off with it! Or it ran fine last time I used it but it might benefit from a service! What gets me is unfortunately there are many new boaters come in to pleasure every year and they are the ones ripped off as soon as they take up the inflatable boat interest!
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Old 24 June 2018, 03:04   #2
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How many <8hp engines get serviced in season purely for an engine hours reason...?

Can't be many that are hitting engine hours by early summer...so its either been sat in the garage for 10 months and now they realised its sunny and want to get out. OR its been sunny, they used it a couple of weeks and had a problem but want it to work this weekend.

If I take my car for a service on Saturday and they discover a fault - unless it is minor (i.e. fits into the remit of service anyway) - do I expect them to fix it on Saturday...? Probably not.
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Old 24 June 2018, 08:38   #3
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Did the customer request the engines were ready for Monday morning?
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Old 24 June 2018, 09:04   #4
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Lee - normally if someone posted a thread about their marine business I’d be pointing them to our Trade Membership rules. However, I just checked and we only need that for people who are “promoting their business” not those trying to scare customers away ;-)
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Old 24 June 2018, 09:53   #5
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Originally Posted by Poly View Post
Lee - normally if someone posted a thread about their marine business I’d be pointing them to our Trade Membership rules. However, I just checked and we only need that for people who are “promoting their business” not those trying to scare customers away ;-)
+1

If you've more customers than you want and would like to pick and choose who's engine you will and won't fix then I don't think I'd be queuing to be blessed by your service. 😟😕❓
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Old 24 June 2018, 13:13   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee1 View Post
Was very busy last week and took 3 engines in on Friday for 'service' (2-8hp) without vetting the customers and the current running state of their engines on the phone as I usually do as I was too busy for my usual 10min phone pre book chat, but I did ask every one of them if their outboard was running and all said ''yes" thus I wanted to at least know did it really need just a 'service' or was it a non runner and guess what all 3 were non runners! 9 times out of 10 during my booking in phone chat it transpires that the customers engine is not just in need of a service and once we get past that we can then discuss the estimated repair cost upon my eventually getting the facts and truth of the engines problem, Usually I run the engine upon its arrival, check the compression and drop the gear oil in front of the customer as I no longer entertain "oh dear old chap I didn't know the gearbox was creamed, how much will that be" when I call them midway through their 'service' of which I reply "I don't know but do let me know how much it was when you get it done" lol. As I return all engines 'serviced' (gear, engine oil, impeller, spark plug and fuel filter) to customers who have not been straight with me about the required repairs they knew were needed! all of today's 3 services (that I took in on good faith Friday and agreed to compleat today) run into out of hours repair rate as none of them we're just a service! My Saturday afternoon and evening was consumed for so called 'services' that were actually a combination of carb stripping and rewiring repairs that consumed my whole afternoon into the late evening.

So to the 3 sneaks who slipped past me on Friday, your engines are done, ready for collection tomorrow as agreed, your service prices are as agreed, however your repairs are charged at the weekend out of hours rate! And your all banned for life! As each one of you said when called this afternoon "oh sorry, I forgot to mention that, or ok but can you fix it right, and how much will it be then"

Be straight with your Marine engineer, there are almost no old timers left outside main dealers now and the new breed like me will not suffer nonsense! and like many new generation Marine engineers I pick and chose my work! The £200 to fix your engine (that will cost you £700 at a main dealer) doesn't interest me, like many Marine engineers i work for the enjoyment of the work, I often go above and beyond for a guy who is straight up and I like saving him £500 and getting his engine running sweet! This is what it's about for me, every now and then a customer gives me a phone call days or weeks after bringing me a non runner to sort out and they say "thanks lee the outboard is running sweet, i/we had a great time, thanks!) that kind of feedback goes a long way! And those customers are the ones I look after and when they say does my engine need a service after 6 months use from my last service I say NO but bring it over at the end of the summer and I will fog it for free And you know what 99% of those guys have almost always been ripped off with an engine or boat and engine package brought by them in good faith in the best of their marine experience which is often very limited from a jerk who knew he was selling something that had issues, I now freely vet and pre inspecting the future purchases for such customers and their friends for nothing as I hate the jerks out there in the boating world who like to think they can rip people off I now get several adverts and eBay listings forwarded to me everyday and I can smell the jerks every time lol, not been used since last year when I put it away but it worked fine then so it would probably need a service before use. . . NO what they really mean is I got it out to use it and it WONT start, I've done the usual like spark plug change but it still won't start so it's actually in need of diagnostic or repair, I don't want to pay to get it sorted so I will just palm someone off with it! Or it ran fine last time I used it but it might benefit from a service! What gets me is unfortunately there are many new boaters come in to pleasure every year and they are the ones ripped off as soon as they take up the inflatable boat interest!
I feel your pain if people would tell the truth to start with it would be a whole lot easier for everybody instead of handing in a engine for a service because its bolloxed
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Old 24 June 2018, 16:26   #7
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Best rule of negotiation - give them what they want but on your terms. You're missing out by taking this approach. Car dealers probably make more money out of 'servicing' than selling cars. Ring them, up and say xxx is broken cost will be yyy and can't get it ready (fixed and serviced) for the next zzz days. Bet not many will say no and come and take it away.
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Old 24 June 2018, 18:10   #8
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When a service is not just a service that's needed!

Im sick of it! People have come in the past and got their engine back after I say your not getting water flow because your water ways/cooling jacket is full of salt, to pull the head cover, dig out the salt and regasket it the cost will be a further £.... they say oh no I will just sell it lol

Like I say I try to get the whole truth in the service pre book phone chat, don't get me wrong I will fix anything no problem but just be straight, and then understand you won't get it back in 3 or so days if it's not just a service! Everyone wants their engines back in 2-3 days that's way I work on a 2-3 turn over, the 3 I took in Friday I said to each person in the days prior when they first phoned, so it's just a service right, it runs yes? Ok when you need it back? Like usual. . . Asap please. . ok bring it in Friday before 12pm as all my current jobs will be cleared by then and how about you pick it up Saturday by 12pm. . . Oh yes fantastic! Thus leaving me free after 12pm Saturday and clear to get straight on with Mondays intake on Monday (all pre booked late last week)
I've had every trick in the book and had many funny ones over the years. The best ones are stripped of heads from bolts from gearboxes, heads and cooling jackets they don't tell you they have done it when they done their own impeller and thermostat etc. I always give a pre service inspection with the customer, start the engine, compression test it and drop the gear oil in front of them, not only for my benefit but also for theirs! I find servicing boring, I enjoy working on customers engines with major issues who call up with honesty looking for help at a sensible price.
What annoys me is when a customer has had a crack at the problem and it's gone wrong major and they won't be straight about it! Ive had engines come in missing the float needle, the wrong carb, float, needle or jet they have fitted, Coil packs wired up wrong, the wrong coils or pre coils fitted, wrong spark plugs, CDI boxes they swear are the right one, gearboxes put back on wrong with the shifter now out of sink, even the wrong flywheel, but I have come to learn that many customers engines have just been brought by the customer and they tell me what the advert said "was working fine, needs a service" but they don't tell me that, they say it was working fine for them last time they used it! On occasion I have had to say stop messing about did this engine work for you the last time YOU used it and what have you done to it since then, the I get the truth. . . I just brought it, I tried to use it but don't work! Ahhhh the truth at last, I try to ask in the pre service call "have you had the engine long" but I forget lol.

Admin: I certainly am not looking for free advertising lol apologies if this came across as such, it's not, it's a plea to everyone. . . People. . PLEASE be straight about you engine, like all mine yours are properly old also, things break on all engines especially so on old ones! I break parts regularly!

A service is spark plug, fuel filter, oils, impeller. That's it! If your engine is not running it unlikely a service is that will sort it unless your spark plug has worn away or is cracked or your fuel filter is blocked!
I'm happy to pop of your carb, clean the bowl, needle and jets for free in your standard service charge if I have an idea that's the issue!

Grrrrrhhhh rant over lol

And I really do turn away many jobs! It's not BS!

Today's one, customers details and his boat censored, his probably a forum member! Don't know what was going on with my text auto spelling today lol. If you are a member, my apologies for being brief in the text but I get texts all day and even into the late evening and I only take on such work as yours if your a past customer or friend of one, Sorry.

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Old 25 June 2018, 00:54   #9
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I'm sure it's interesting but my brain gives up with two foot long paragraphs...
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Old 25 June 2018, 17:50   #10
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Originally Posted by Lee1 View Post
Im sick of it! People have come in the past and got their engine back after I say your not getting water flow because your water ways/cooling jacket is full of salt, to pull the head cover, dig out the salt and regasket it the cost will be a further £.... they say oh no I will just sell it lol
Well - ignoring that they may be dishonest what's your point...? If I take my car to a garage for a service and they say it needs a new exhaust and I say fine I'll just pay for the service and flog it on ebay... ...would I expect the garage to complain on a forum about me?

Quote:
Everyone wants their engines back in 2-3 days that's way I work on a 2-3 turn over, the 3 I took in Friday I said to each person in the days prior when they first phoned, so it's just a service right, it runs yes? Ok when you need it back? Like usual. . . Asap please. .
And there in lies your problem. You are letting the customer who it seems you have too many of dictate your timetable. I'd like my car serviced tomorrow morning at 8am. Can I collect it at 9:30?

Quote:
I find servicing boring, I enjoy working on customers engines with major issues who call up with honesty looking for help at a sensible price.
Its called business!

I'm guessing this is the same as many local car garages... treat customers well they keep coming back. Do the profitable boring jobs to fund the unprofitable interesting ones. They will come back to you for loyalty because you fixed the engine that should have cost £900 to fix for £300, so if you charge the same for the service as the big guys or a tiny bit less, they know if something extra is needed you probably aren't going to rip them off like the big guy does...

Quote:
Today's one, customers details and his boat censored, his probably a forum member!
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I don't understand... a potential customer contacts you about a leak and a service. Its out of area - fine. He offers to bring it to you and instead of saying "Really sorry - we are stowed out with work at the moment it would probably be 5 or 6 weeks till we could put the time needed into fixing this" you say what you said... Yes it might be a crock of sh*t but if you like a challenge...
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