Avoid G&C Automotive for Auto Repairs, Unwilling to Help the Unemployed

by an Unemployed White Male on February 25, 2010

in American Culture,Business & Economy,Ephrata,Lancaster County

G&C Automotive in Ephrata should be avoided for your automotive repairs. This small, husband and wife, shop suggests that they do complete automotive repair. However, the principal and only mechanic specializes in Toyota and gives other makes only minor treatment. Generally, G&C is unwilling to go the distance in exploring and solving a perplexing problem if he doesn’t understand the make. Conversely, past garages I have used would persist in problem solving.

Additionally, this garage is unwilling to use refurbished parts in repairs of older vehicles, a means of significant savings for the customer. Their reason is that they cannot guarantee the item. However, most refurbished parts have a 30 to 90 day warranty. Then again using new parts guarantees more profit for the garage. I would not be surprised that G&C gouges the customer by inflating the profit margin.

However, my greatest complaint with G&C Automotive is that they were unwilling to amend their costs to help me as an unemployed person. The latest auto repair was going to be huge for my 14 year old vehicle, better than 800 dollars.  The owner’s wife, essentially the biggest hindrance at this shop, nearly insisted that I repair both rear brakes. However, only the left brake needed repair for inspection After protesting, and only after asking, did G&C agree to repair the single problem. This reduced the cost to slightly more than $500. Yet, to me, that was a still huge amount to pay.

Then I told her I was unemployed, and asked, as a help, if they would throw in the oil and lube job for free. “It would be a great help,” I said, and that only cost them maybe 30 or 40 dollars. Her response was abrupt and bitter. “We can’t do that. We’re hurting to because people are unemployed.” Yep, there it is again: those unemployed people are the problem.

Then I remembered two things. I recalled all the times I was there and she had gone to McDonald’s for take out for her and her family. My family does not go out to it unless Grandma is picking up the tab. Micky D is expensive, and can be over $15 dollars for three people each visit. That’s $75 for a five day work. G&C could easily skip a few Happy Meals to help out an unemployed guy.

The second recollection is more ironic. In November 2008, when the economy dropped like a brick, I needed a problem solved on the aforementioned car. I don’t recall what the problem was. However, the owner/mechanic checked the problem and solved it. When I came to pick up the vehicle, the owner said that there was no charge. (His wife was not there. If she would have been, I’m sure this story would be different.) I was surprised. He said it took, at the most, 20 minutes and there was nothing to it. I thought his offer was courteous and generous.

However, I thought I should do something considering the economy was going down the crapper. I was still working so why not help him out since the times will be getting tougher. I wrote a check for $25, with no expectation of future compensation or services. He thanked me, and I said, “As long as I can, I”l always try to help those he need it in hard times.”

As I said, I had no expectation of future benefit, let alone the fact that he would even remember what I did. So what goes around doesn’t always come around, and no good deed goes unpunished.

Fairly, the combination of average service made terrible by the spouse’s merciless bitterness towards me an uneployed person is what has finally put me off to G&C Automotive. In the future, we will be looking for a new mechanic. Wish us luck, an honest auto mechanic is hard to find.

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