Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sometimes “cheap” really means "expensive."

Our trusty 2001 Toyota Avalon needed a new set of tires, so I took it to Tire Warehouse in Kahului and got four new ones put on. I went there because our neighborhood gas station and repair shop here in Ha’iku, Toma Garage, doesn’t sell tires. And, besides, a tire is a tire and Tire Warehouse = cheap, right?

When I went to pick up the car, I was told that the brakes were in bad shape and I should have new brake pads right away. Fortunately, they had someone available to do the job right at that very moment. Their estimate was $712, including tax.

But something told me to run, not walk, to the nearest exit.

The next day, I took the Avalon and the Tire Warehouse estimate to Ralph Toma. He and his son Darryl do all the safety checks and other repair and maintenance work on our vehicles. Good folks. Salt of the earth. Completely trustworthy.

When I went back to pick up the car, their bill was $334, including tax.

Ralph looked at me and said, “Boy, I wish I coulda charged you what those guys were gonna charge!”

The thing is, because I trust him, he could have. Except that he couldn’t. Know what I mean?



Mike said...

Jim, yes, I know EXACTLY what you mean. That sort of behavior is why I consider a competent, honest independent shop to be a pearl beyond price.

When I was stationed at Scott AFB, it was the Lombardi Bro's outside the south gate. Here on the Virginia Peninsula, it's Bill Smith's on Jefferson in Newport News.

These guys deserve to be named - hope you'll forgive me for using your blog like this!

JIM LOOMIS said...

No problem!!