Here’s an Idea for a Class-Action Lawsuit

Any lawyer types out there looking to score big? I have an idea for you: Automobile Repair Labor Pricing.

Did you ever notice that when you go to a dealer, or to a franchise shop like one of those muffler/brake places, how they charge labor? They have a computer that tells them exactly how much time the job will take. And they charge that. If the computer says a brake pad replacement will take 1.5 hours, that’s what they charge, no matter how much actual time it took. Most of the time, it takes considerably less. I’m sure sometimes it takes more, but I’ve rarely seen that. I’m pretty sure that time estimate is comfortably in the shop’s favor. What I have seen is my car on a rack for 30 minutes with no one near it.

Now, mind you, this would not be such a big deal if labor weren’t upwards of $90 an hour in my market. Meanwhile, my local independent shop does great work, and his labor prices are a fraction. Why? Because he charges me for the work done, not the work imagined. So, essentially, we are being charged for labor that is not being performed, and it is an industry-wide practice for dealers and franchises.

Some lawyer somewhere has a pretty big second home in the Hamptons waiting for him with this one.

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