White Horse

This weeks crazy story involves a friend who lives just a little too far
for him to bring his car to me every time he has an issue. At least that’s what
he thought, but is now revising his misconception.

About a year ago he, Ken, drove his car down to us and we fixed a few of the
major issues he had and I gave him a list of a few other items that needed
tending to. I figured he’d eventually bring his car back to finish the job.
He found someone do to the work closer to his home and thought he was getting
a cheaper price.  “Ha!” – you say? Yeah you’re right.

The saga begins when Ken runs out of gas and a prince on a white horse
comes to his rescue and brings him some gas. After filling his car up, he informs
Ken that he’s a mechanic and does work out of his home, therefore he can
save Ken quite a bit of money. Ken decides that this is the way to go. 
Ken begins the process by giving “the prince” his car and $700 to get
the parts. Over the course of 2 weeks he gives him more and more, to
the tune of $2500.  Finally the vehicle is finished and
ready to be driven. Ken meets “the prince” in the center of their little
town where the hand off is made. Ken never gets a receipt, an address
where the work was done and best of all “the prince’s” last name. They
shake hands and Ken drives home. The next day Ken gets in the car and
doesn’t make it a mile down the road before he is broken down. He tries,
to no avail, to get “the prince” on the phone and finally tows the car to
a local garage.  The garage owner has quite the chuckle when he sees
all the spray painted parts on Ken’s car and informs him he’s been completely
ripped off.


Now you may all shake your heads and say, “oh, that would never happen
to me” but the best part of the story is that Ken is no country bumpkin,
he’s a New York City Lawyer (I know most of you are laughing and
thinking “good”). When I questioned Ken about why he would fall for such
an obvious scam he had no real answer. He frankly didn’t know, but knew
that he hadn’t used his own good instincts, admitted he was trying
to take the easy way out and save a few bucks.  Let’s just call it what
it is, Ken was being lazy and cheap, just what any good con is looking
for in a mark. Of course the most annoying part for me is that even if
he had gotten all that work done at my shop, it would have
been less than $2500, way less. 

Moral: Trust your instincts, if it sounds too good to be true…you know the rest.
Oh yes, and don’t be lazy.

Questions: dontgetwrenched@gmail.com

About dontgetwrenched

Elayne Kling, was the owner of a downtown Manhattan auto repair shop for 25 years and recently in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, www.ZPAUTO.com. Elayne knows the particular ins and outs of the auto repair world and keeps up her blog because people will always need help navigating the potential pitfalls of that world. Due to the crazy NYC real estate market she has since closed down her shop and started a new business called Projects Unlimited Inc., helping other small businesses. www.projectsunlimitedinc.com
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