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  1. #1
    bimdizl
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    Strange Experience with Independent in Bellingham

    Many of us use independents to avoid the hassles with the stealers. But I had the shock of my life this week when the indy "european auto repair" in town that I have been using off and on since 1987 for my BMWs found out I was a DIYer and decided that I was not welcome in their shop anymore. Huh?! This guy told me that he understood why I might want to work on my car "to save money and get the satisfaction", but that this wasn't in the best interest of his business. Double huh??!! I told him my DIY work is limited, and that I would give him any serious repair work, but to no avail. I'm persona non grata. Has anyone been treated like this in a shop before? Whatever happened to "what's good for the customer is good for the business" attitude?


  2. #2
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    Member No: 35891 mwong is an unknown quantity at this point mwong's Avatar
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    That is odd!

    From what I have seen, independent shops have generally been supportive of DIY work. From a business perspective, I am sure they want to maximize revenue. Especially for the easy work like an oil change.

    I could see a problem if you got a bunch of free information and advice from them, then did the work yourself and/or bought your parts on-line for less.

    My experience has been the independent shop likes to see the owner take some interest in their own car. M.Wong
    E38 2000 740iL Orient Blue

    E39 2003 540i/6 Sterling Gray (European Delivery)

    E30 1987 325i Royal Blue (Passed on to a new family.)





  3. #3
    bimdizl
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    Re: That is odd!

    Thanks for the reply. Just for the record, I've never used this independent as a source of free information to do my own work. I've depended on my own knowledge, Bentley, and this forum/Bfest/E46 Fanatics for info. I certainly understand this shop's desire to maximize revenue, but to basically tell a customer of 17 years standing to get lost because he wants to do some of his own work is simply amazing to me! Thanks for the chance to vent. I needed it!

  4. #4
    Carlin 96/M44
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    Could it be that other DIYer, drop the bomb...

    by working/screwing the car up, and then blame the shop?

  5. #5
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    Well in that case...

    vent away! Especially after 17 years?!? M.Wong
    E38 2000 740iL Orient Blue

    E39 2003 540i/6 Sterling Gray (European Delivery)

    E30 1987 325i Royal Blue (Passed on to a new family.)





  6. #6
    bimdizl
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    Re: Could it be that other DIYer, drop the bomb...

    Maybe, but why tar me with the same brush? Our relationship had always been amicable, no disagreements whatsoever.

  7. #7
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    Or perhaps...

    They do not want their work scrutinized. Some well-meaning shops have dirty habits when it comes to car repair.

    I find dealer short-cuts that do not meet my standards and must be repaired after-the-fact. I have even found tools left in strange places.

    Fortunately my indy is willing to work with me.

    Tell all your friends not to do business with them and find a more reputable shop. I think they are hiding something.

    1991 750iL


  8. #8
    Peter S - 89 635
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    I agree. They don't want to be checked out


  9. #9
    Mark in Seattle
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    Try Harmony Motorworks

    I consistently hear great things about them. They haven't worked on my BMW (warranty), but they have done work on my SAAB and they did a great job on a pre-purchase inspection on an Audi I was considering.

    I have friends that swear by them.

    -Mark

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