Before I took my SUV to the Santa Clarita Pep Boys I called for a front brake job estimate. $185. When I showed up, they immediately scour my SUV for the up-sell by measuring the tread of the tires. Coincidentally, they have a 'buy three get one free' promotion. Just the brakes, thank you, just the brakes.
A few hours later I get a call from Martin Andrade, the manager. He tells me they didn't realize my SUV was four wheel drive and the new price will be nearly double. Now, my SUV has a 2' lift kit with giant off road tires and six PIAA lights on the front. Didn't know it was four wheel drive? I'm thinking, do I really want these people working on my car? I tell Martin to forget it. The price is too much and besides, I told the person on the telephone and the guy who checked me in it was four wheel drive. I'll swing over and pick the car up. No problem, he tells me.
When I show up, everything is completely torn apart. They had to completely take the brakes apart before they discovered it was four wheel drive? After a long heated argument Martin offered to do the brake job for the original estimated price.I made them put the car back together and took it to a local mechanic.
In hindsite, it's easy to spot their tactics. Low-ball the estimate on the telephone. If the upsell doesn't work when you bring the car in they try to find a reason to raise the estimate. If that doesn't work hold the car hostage by taking it apart.