Every business has them, right? By stating these policies we feel that we can give you, our potential client, a set of basic expectations. It helps us define who we are and how we do things and we want to share them with you. Remember, our number one goal is to act in your best interest and to work with you to navigate the ins and outs of maintaining your car. These policies help us to do just that.
It's best to plan ahead, everything goes better that way. It's a universal law. Let us know 2-3 days in advance of your visit. This allows us to prepare the time and resources needed to give you the level of service we like to provide. However; we understand that life is full of the unexpected and we do reserve time in our schedule to account for it. Please understand that we will always make our very best effort to accommodate emergencies, but same day resolution may not be possible. So, if you are in need of service there are a number of options:
1. Call and set up an appointment, choose an opening in our calendar.
2. Email us to set up an appointment. Please note that response to your email request will not be immediate. It's tough to work on cars and monitor our emails at the same time. This is the option for those who prefer a more laid back approach.
3. Emergency . . . it's 20º below, your car won't start, and you have to be somewhere right now! Let us take care of the car, you take care of getting to where you need to be. Our industry affiliations often times allow us to assist you in the most timely fashion. Instead of waiting 30-minutes to an hour for a tow truck, give us a call and let us make the arrangements. You can go about your way knowing that we have your back.
4. After hours drop off. You can park on 6th Ave NW in front of the shop. There's a key drop box in the front entry. Please fill out the envelope thoroughly, place just the key we need to work on the car in the envelope and drop it through the slot. We'll give you a call ASAP when we return to work.
5. Drop your vehicle off during regular business hours and see what happens. We'll do our very best to see to it between appointments. This is a good option for people with multiple cars, or who will be out of town for a few days.
Diagnosis and Repair
Determining the cause and nature of a failure is arguably the most important aspect of what we do and we take pride in doing it well. How can we fix anything properly unless we know what's wrong and how it happened? Makes sense, right? This is diagnosis. It is typically the first step in our process. It requires years of experience, an international team of industry experts, and incredible technical resources. Often times diagnosis requires the disassembly of a larger assembly in the interest of confirming a component failure. Generally speaking we will ask you to commit to a one-hour block of diagnostic time. It affords us the latitude required to be thorough. If we don't use the whole hour, we don't bill for it. If we need more time, we'll let you know. Only after a proper diagnosis has been performed are we able to accurately suggest a repair strategy. Repair most often times requires different equipment and techniques, as well as a different team of parts and technical resources. It is considered a separate from the diagnosis but an equally important part of the process involved in getting you and your car back on the road. Any work performed on your vehicle at Werkstatt is done by a trained professional and as such is subject to a fee. For example, there may be a fee for diagnosis and a fee for repair depending on the circumstances.
You will always be provided with an estimate before any repair work is done at Werkstatt. That's the law around here. We will help you make decisions regarding the maintenance and repair of your vehicle but we will not take the liberty of making those decisions for you. There may be instances, based on our relationship with you, where we will take liberties such as replacing a tail lamp bulb, or replacing a small perishable component that is part of a larger job. We do so in the effort of providing you with the best service we can.
Estimates will be based on known factors. If we have the vehicle at the shop and have been given the opportunity to inspect it we have a much better chance at being accurate in our estimating process. There are instances where an estimate is simply not possible due to the scope and or nature of the required repairs or requested modifications. In this case, if mutually agreed upon, the estimate will be “time and materials.” Please, do not be offended if we do not offer estimates over the phone or through an email. We just know that it's not in your best interest to do so.
Fees are based on an industry standard system where by a client is charged according to established time requirements for completing the service or repair. Factors not included in the established times will be taken into consideration such as age of vehicle, component corrosion, cleaning of assemblies before and after repairs, etc. and will be factored into estimates in the interest of accuracy. There may be instances when we suggest a mutually beneficial modification of a fee schedule in the interest of efficiency and value.
Is it ever acceptable? Would you bring flowers to the florist to have them arranged? That would just be silly. Of course there are exceptions to every rule. For example, if you need the supercharger replaced on your Mercedes Benz W125 by all means, bring the part. Please.
We use quality parts from trusted resources. It is our policy to not use parts supplied by the client. There are a number of reasons for this;
It puts everyone in a bad spot if the part is wrong, or if it fails.
We want to be able to ensure a quality repair.
If a part that a client supplies fails, despite the fact that we didn't recommend or purchase said part, we still hold liability for the failure. Nice, huh? That's the legal system for ya.
Loss of margin
As antiquated as the system is, we are subject to the traditions of the industry; “parts and labor”. The bottom line is the bottom line as they say and we have to keep an eye on it like any other business. Profit is what keeps this world spinning and if we don't make a profit we simply won't be here to help you in the future.
We need your help
Communication is the key to any good relationship. It's our responsibility to make sure that you understand and are involved in our process. We welcome your curiosity. Please feel free to ask questions when you have them. We try our best to communicate as thoroughly as possible but we may not hit on the bit of information you would like to have. Just let us know, don't be shy.
We have an “open shop”. You're always welcome to be in the actual shop to visit with your mechanic or to view the progress on your car but please wait for a staff member to escort you. It might look straight forward, but if you walk through the wrong area at the wrong time things can go wrong pretty quickly.
Please arrive with at least ¼ tank of fuel. If during service we are required to refuel the vehicle there will be a nominal charge above the cost of fuel.
Please arrive with a reasonably clean car. Please remove all dirty diapers, pets, loaded guns, fast food refuse piled over 12-inches high, unmentionables of any sort, paraphernalia, perishable foods, and valuables. Believe it or not, we've run across all of these items and more over the years and it just makes things uncomfortable.
Please leave us with just the keys we need to work on the car.
Please have current vehicle registration and insurance documents with the vehicle.
Werkstatt guarantees work for 12-months or 12,000 miles unless otherwise stated. Comebacks are a worst case scenario for us, but they happen from time to time. We take a lot of pride in what we do, and we hate to see our clients inconvenienced. We'll do everything we can to rectify the problem and make it as easy as we can for you. Please let us know if there is an issue that seems out of order with any of our work. We need to know. Abuse, tampering, neglect, or failure to adhere to recommended maintenance schedules will void any warranty.
Refusal of service
There may be times when, despite our best efforts, we find that we are not able to offer the level of service a potential client needs. In that unfortunate case we will graciously decline service. Please note that we will not practice outside of our scope of expertise. Requesting that we engage in activity that we determine to be immoral or potentially illegal?... that will just get you kicked out.