Auto Repair Insurance
Auto Repair: How Can They Screw Up An Olive oil Change?
"It's all about beating the time." This offer comes from a wise old service administrator, advising me on how to increase my income as a flat-rate specialist. If you've ever wondered why your vehicle doesn't get set correctly, or your entire concerns weren't resolved, you can blame, partly, the flat-rate pay structure.
Flat-rate simply means that your auto mechanic is paid a flat fee for a specific repair, regardless of how long the repair actually needs. In other words, if your vehicle needs a water pump, which compensates two hours of labor, and the auto technician completes the work in one hour, he gets paid for two.
In theory, this may work to your advantage. If the job takes longer, you'll still pay just the "predetermined" labor amount. In THEORY, not reality!
The flat-rate pay framework was created to drive productivity. It is rather effective. The flat-rate pay system promotes technicians to work solid, but it generally does not promote quality.
In terms of getting your car fixed correctly, the flat-rate pay structure has disastrous effects. Flat-rate technicians are constantly looking for shortcuts to conquer the clock to be able to maximize the number of hours they expenses. Experienced flat-rate technicians can expenses from 16 to 50 time within an 8 hour day.
It's these shortcuts and the breakneck velocity at which even rate technicians work that cause a few of the most idiotic mistakes. In the rapid-fire pace of any shop I've observed technicians start motors with no petrol. I've seen transmissions dropped, smashing into little items onto the shop floor. And I've seen cars driven right through bay doors--all in the name of "beating the clock."
Flat-rate technicians can get quite sophisticated with shortcuts. My favorite was the implementation of the 6-foot-long 2-by-4, which was placed under the engine unit for support while a motor unit support was removed. It made employment predetermined to take 1.5 time achievable in twenty minutes. A win-win, right? The tech makes extra cash; you get your car back faster.
Actually, in many cases the keeping this 2-by-4 harmed the oil skillet. Moreover, it triggered the car, your car, to balance precariously 6 feet in the air, as the technician manipulated the automobile lift to access your engine support.
This plan was abruptly discontinued when a technician's 2-by-4 snapped triggering the automobile to crash nose area down onto the concrete floor.
Sometimes the shortcuts create very delicate disturbances, which create problems overtime. An instant example: a vehicle had its transmitting serviced with a new filter, gasket, and smooth. During the treatment, the technician was able to save time by twisting the transmission dipstick tube just a little, in order to get the transmission skillet out faster. The vehicle was reassembled, and the specialist re-bent the tube back into place and off it went--no problems....
Six months later, the automobile came back with an intermittent misfire. The engine unit wasn't operating on all cylinders. After comprehensive diagnostics, it was found out that the transmitting dipstick tube experienced chaffed through the engine unit harness, intermittently grounding out an injector. Hmm, that's weird. Don't usually see that.
The high-speed environment and the next shortcuts demonstrate the devastating effects of the flat-rate, sales-driven pay framework on the grade of car repairs.
No wonder even an petrol change gets screwed up!
The indegent quality of work motivated by the even rate pay structure is disconcerting enough. Sadly, it generally does not stop here. The unwanted effects of flat-rate get exponentially worse, as it opens "wide" the door to rip you off!