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Author Topic:   Making Sense of Service Cost
rudy4444 posted 08-04-2015 06:17 PM ET (US)   Profile for rudy4444   Send Email to rudy4444  
[I] recently took a 1999 Johnson 25-HP outboard engine in for servicing because it wouldn't start. I am not a handyman so cleaning and fixing myself wasn't an option. The engine had been sitting in a garage the last few years and still had gas in it the whole time. The pump was rock solid. I figured the carburetor just needed to be cleaned out. The serviceman seemed to agree. He told me it would probably take a couple hours for which he charges $80 per hour. I was figuring repair would be a $200 job.

He finally calls me and tells me [the carburetor was] indeed the problem, the carburtor needed to be cleaned out, and my bill is $390. I then asked why so much. He says, "[the engine's carburetor] was so dirty I had to clean it three times, and then I put fresh [gasoline] in it."

I can't tell if he's jerking me around. To an experienced person, does this makes sense? What should I do or say when I talk to him? Any advice appreciated

jimh posted 08-04-2015 11:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If you want to get your outboard engine back, you should pay him the $390. If the engine runs well and the problem is cured, you should call him back and tell him you appreciate the good work.

I think the figures mentioned are in Canadian dollars.

wezie posted 08-05-2015 06:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for wezie    
Second Jims statement.
jimh posted 08-06-2015 08:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I think in Canada there are provincial and national taxes. I think in Ontario there is a "Harmonized Sales Tax" of about 13-percent. That suggests the mechanic charged $345-Canadian before taxes. With the exchange rate at US-$1.00 = CA-$1.32, that suggest the mechanic's charge in US-dollars was about $261.

If you get your outboard engine repaired for $261 and the repair actually fixes the problem, I don't think that is an excessive charge. I figure these days that any time you take a mechanical device to a service facility the minimum charge is going to be about $275.

If you go to a boat repair facility at the peak of the boating season, expect to pay top-dollar for the work.

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