AN INTER-UNIVERSITY CONSORTIUM TO IMPROVE THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION
Confidential Information for Frances Litchfield, Dentist
You have been a steady customer at Jim Eazer’s garage for as long as you have owned a car, and your family has been a customer for as long as you can remember. Eazer’s garage is convenient to your house, Jim has always given good service, and up to now you have always gotten special treatment from Jim Eazer in the form of fast service and reduced bills.
You own a five-year old Japanese Merxedes with 75,000 miles on it that you bought two and one-half years ago for $5,000. One week ago you took the car in …show more content…
Jim Eazer and you think you will have to be a tough bargainer not to end up looking pretty silly.
In preparation for your meeting with Jim, you called the consumer affairs bureau for the metropolitan area to find out about standard industry practices. You found out that most garages these days charge customers a flat fee for a job based on a signed written estimate, and require a signed repair authorization form before beginning work. The estimate is based on retail parts prices and estimated labor times (which are usually, but not always, on the generous side) given in any of several "Standard Manuals" (such as Chilton’s), modified by the mechanic's informed judgment. The older the car, the less reliable the time estimates because the likelihood of rusted and frozen bolts goes way up. Customers are generally warned of this orally and in the fine print on the repair authorization form. When such complications occur, the customer is charged above the estimate a flat fee for the additional work, based strictly on the manual estimate for, as an example, drilling out a frozen bolt. If after a job is begun, it appears that substantial work beyond the scope of that authorized on the repair form is required, the