View Full Version : Detailing

05-13-2010, 03:56 PM
Can anyone recommend a good detail service for my 2009 M3 in the Fairfax area?

John in VA
05-13-2010, 07:42 PM
Call Randy at Detail Authority - off 28 and Old Ox Rd./606.

05-17-2010, 08:25 AM
Thanks for the response John.

05-17-2010, 10:00 PM
I have a friend who works out of his home in Herndon that does excellent detailing work and paint protection. Contact Raja (703) 565-4508 and tell him I sent you.

06-19-2010, 09:05 AM
Call Randy at Detail Authority - off 28 and Old Ox Rd./606.

I DO NOT recomend these guys. I got a quote over the phone, made an appointment & had my car detailed by them. When I went to pick it up, they charged me more than what they had originally quoted me for. When I asked him why, he said that he forgot to tell me that the car fell under a different size category than he had originally told me. I asked him why they didn't call me 1st to let me know & he said that he forgot. I had to pay to pick up the car but I told him that I could not refer anybody else to him because of his unfair business practices & his answer was "I'm not worried, we have plenty of customers". Use them at your own risk.

06-19-2010, 10:16 AM
I'm not sure this sounds like unfair business practice, my friend. An effup, but not unfair business practice. Over the phone estimate is just that, an over the phone estimate, and you should always expect it to be more and not nickle and dime. If the quality was good you should not be complaining.

PS: if the price is so important to you prior to a visit, next time you call any place ask for a ballpark or a range and won't have to worry about "getting raped".

06-22-2010, 11:39 AM
On their flyers, website & everywhere else they state that they're going to call you prior to adding any extra charges. All I expect is for someone to let me know 1st before they charge me anything extra. That's not too much to ask is it?

06-22-2010, 12:31 PM
On their flyers, website & everywhere else they state that they're going to call you prior to adding any extra charges. All I expect is for someone to let me know 1st before they charge me anything extra. That's not too much to ask is it?

Not at all. I think that I wouldn't have been as level headed as you in that situation.

06-22-2010, 01:48 PM
On their flyers, website & everywhere else they state that they're going to call you prior to adding any extra charges. All I expect is for someone to let me know 1st before they charge me anything extra. That's not too much to ask is it?

What kind of money are we talking here? Please post figures. Some of you would rather have your knees drilled than spend another $5... He should have called you, but, I wonder how they got the vehicles confused. If you told them X5 and they priced 5 series, it's an honest mistake. So what. If he didn't call you and told you they got plenty of customers; that tells me you probably got on his nerves and you "got quit". Meaning the shop will look to keep you from coming back. They have a clean record on BBB and A grade on Angie's List with stellar reviews. Meaning it's you, not them...sorry.

Learn how to be a good customer and you will no longer run into such situations. Good service is NOT a commodity. Find a good shop with fair prices, not cheap prices, and pay what they want. They will take care of you. Don't be a cheap ass with a bimmer.

Nick325xiT 5spd
06-22-2010, 05:28 PM
Uber-Goober, assuming that MOTO's story is correct, you're full of crap here. Even if the customer is an ass, as you're implying, that's no excuse for bait and switch practices.

06-22-2010, 05:51 PM
Uber-Goober, assuming that MOTO's story is correct, you're full of crap here. Even if the customer is an ass, as you're implying, that's no excuse for bait and switch practices.

Good customers make good results, bad customers make bad results, even in a good shop. Don't think for one second that if you have a hand full of dollars you have a license to act as a jackass. There is that phrase: "customer is always right", but there is also: "because that customer is an asshole there is fine print". I smell BS with MOTO. I would not go as far as saying the guy is lying, but he is not telling the whole story. For a business owner to tell him what he did, Moto had to have done something...

For starters MOTO, post the numbers.

PS: every single shop I have ever been to has a sign that reads: "these are just estimates, please understand some things may cost more"...understanding this simple concept is the difference between a good customer and a numb nut...

06-22-2010, 09:15 PM
I am not saying what the guy did was right. All I am saying is that for a seemingly good shop to fire a customer, Moto must have done something. Anyone who has been in business for at least a year and the business makes money can categorize a customer after the first sentence over the phone or email. So if you start with: "I need a price, or I need a quote" you are not going to be considered desirable and they will make sure you don't come back. This tells them you care about the price first, but expect top quality. Cheap and quality will never mix. But if you research the shop first and know they are good and call and say: "when can I bring my car in for xyz?", now they know you are not a cheap ass. I personally don't care for switching shops, I believe in loyalty and can say that this has paid off for me in nice perks...

Customer wants good work, business wants money. Both parties need to be happy.

Nick325xiT 5spd
06-22-2010, 10:08 PM
Are you seriously advocated bringing the car in without asking for a price? Really?

06-23-2010, 01:07 AM
Are you seriously advocated bringing the car in without asking for a price? Really?

You make it sound like you guys go from one shop to another or shop every repair. Is this what you do?

The work needs to be done no matter what the price. Every good shop uses Snap On Shop Key or equal. All jobs at every good shop have the same uniform book labor unit assigned to it, because they are using the same software. Only variable is shop labor rate, and weather they are going to pad certain jobs with more labor. Me and my wife only deal with one BMW shop and if I drop the car off, I personally don't give a flying f**c about how much it costs as long as it runs right when it's done. I don't have time to dick around with it myself and would loose more money if I took off from work to do so. So when the owner calls me with a price I only want to know when I need to pick it up....and I trust the guy completely.

I don't want to be 60 and still looking for a shop or a detailer or whatever...

PS: my business is based solely on excellent reviews. I do not advertise and 95% of my customers, new and repeat do not ask for a price, they just want my company to do the work...so this is not a foreign concept.

Nick325xiT 5spd
06-23-2010, 10:41 AM
If I'm looking for a new service provider that I intend to use for the first time, I check around for reviews and then find out what it costs. Personally, the shop that I use all the time is myself. I outsource a few specialist services - like windshields (I'm quite happy with Virginia Glass and have used them for 3 windshields and 1 repair), or tint. You seem to be utterly confused about the difference between a single service provider that you have no existing relationship with, and someone that you've been dealing with for a long time.

As for the shop that you trust utterly, would it bother you if you discovered that they aren't doing work that they charged you for, or did a lot more than necessary? I can tell you that many shops around here are pretty staggeringly awful. I've seen some of the top rated ones a) not bother to do work that they've charged for and b) recommend work that is completely unnecessary. (Like an engine rebuild in a 911 Turbo - 25,000 miles later, it doesn't need it.) So yeah, the other variables in cost are "will you have to do it again?" and "is the job actually necessary?"

There is a lot to be said for establishing a relationship with somebody and running with it. The notion, however, that it's the customer's fault when a business pulls a bait and switch is just insane.

06-23-2010, 11:17 AM
I have been in business for myself for 10 years and have owned an auto shop before. I bought it when it was doing $150k a year and I took it to just over $1mil a year and sold it within 3 years for several times what I paid. I know a thing or two about business and customer service. What is your business experience, not counting anything your parental units cooked up?

I'm also not trying to wrestle away your crown of "yenta know it all", but believe me when I say, if a customer acts a fool, things will not go well even with a good business.

There are many bad shops, no question, but if you call a GOOD shop and come across as a cheap ass or a tire kicker or whatever, and you fall into a bottom feeder category, they will simply not want to deal with you again and you "get quit". It's a well known fact that senior citizens on fixed incomes are the biggest cheap skates followed closely by bmw owners. Always trying to get A grade work for 50% of the cost. You want 100% of quality, you gotta pay 100% of the price...

Point being: the way you act on the phone will determine the outcome of the business transaction, assuming we are talking about a reputable shop. I'm not blaming the customer, but it takes two to have a successful business transaction.

Nick325xiT 5spd
06-23-2010, 01:10 PM
My business experience is in real estate development. In a two person company, we've development around 600 or so multifamily units in DC. Since you have to ask.

Frankly, people like you are why I do my own servicing. In every business dealing I have ever participated in (a couple hundred million worth), it's been about how to deliver the highest quality product for the most reasonable price and to keep all parties satisfied. Are there tradeoffs at different price points? Yes, of course. On the other hand, (competent) people generally want to do repeat business with us.

...and as for customer service interactions, well, if you understand how DC condominium liability works, you'll see that it encourages an immense investment in customer service.

Edit: And I still can't quite see how it is that you don't want an explanation of what work your shop is proposing to do and an explanation of why it's necessary. I get that shops want to quit customers who are cheapskates and a pain in the ass to deal with. I really do. I just don't quite understand where this attitude of "you must trust the shop absolutely" comes from.

06-23-2010, 01:29 PM
I never said I don't want an explanation from a shop. But I'm not gonna twist the guy's arm if it is more than what I was expecting. Nor am I gonna shop it around, because I can tell the guy is not bsing around. I read some of the posts and as entertaining as the complaints are, I just don't see how poo hits the fan...but it's all right there: "I need someone who is good and cheap, or affordable, or reasonable". What is reasonable? Different places have different overhead...It's in that sentence where people have an expectation of high quality work for shit money.

What exactly are we arguing about here? I thought Moto's story didn't add up. You think I'm full of shit. In the mean time Moto, his numbers and the rest of his story are nowhere to be found.

PS: there will be a point in time when you get tired of laying under the car and have to go to a shop, then what...how do you review a shop?

Nick325xiT 5spd
06-23-2010, 02:20 PM
The same way that I review my other shops. Find ones that people like and talk to them.

06-23-2010, 02:23 PM
Are you saying word of mouth or this board?

Nick325xiT 5spd
06-23-2010, 02:33 PM
I'd talk to people and check on the boards. Most likely, I'd probably talk to fellow SCCA autocrossers.

06-23-2010, 02:53 PM
Although word of mouth is good, you are only getting a couple of perspectives. I personally think it pales in comparison to Angie's List which I consider to be the best service provider referral site. From a consumer point of view you read many reviews, 10, 20, 30...so you know exactly what you are getting in terms of quality and price. This is why I say I trust the people I deal with and I don't get screwed over.

From a business perspective, I know my business is better than anyone else in my field and the simple strength of my reviews puts me on top generating tons of business. Of course a bad business is not gonna be thrilled about reviews...

I understand some people don't want to pay to find service providers as they this it's all the same but it isn't. Instead they ask for recommendations on here and later complain. I don't get it, it's such a piece of mind.

Nick325xiT 5spd
06-23-2010, 03:14 PM
That's a good point. We found a very nice HVAC contractor via Angie's List.

06-24-2010, 05:27 AM
That's a good point. We found a very nice HVAC contractor via Angie's List.

I need some AC work done. Would you mind passing the name along please?

06-24-2010, 11:12 AM
That's a good point. We found a very nice HVAC contractor via Angie's List.

Truth of a matter is there is, there is no "nice HVAC guy", there is no Angie's List membership, there is just a lying sack of $hit schmuch who thinks he is a Yoda. Better luck next time, yes Nick?

Nick325xiT 5spd
06-24-2010, 10:07 PM
Wow. Taking it personal very much? J&P is the HVAC contractor. ( http://www.jandp.com/ ) The only complaint is that unlike many HVAC guys, they don't also do plumbing. We need a water line run in the kitchen.

And since you clearly want great precision, no, I do not have a membership. My girlfriend found them. That is why I said "we." Edit: OK, I was wrong - it wasn't Angie's List. She subscribes to Consumer's Checkbook.

But seriously, what the **** is wrong with you? Sorry I didn't respond to your post quickly enough for you. :rolleyes: Sorry that I occasionally disagree with you. Clearly, I shouldn't ever disagree with your vast experience.

06-25-2010, 05:25 AM

Contact Information
Contact: Norman Perry
(301) 669-7000
(800) 349-1110 (alt)
(301) 669-7999 (fax)

Service Information
Business Description: Certified Hvac Technicians, no subs used, free system evaluation, affordable pricing on replacement, on going technical advise on your heating and Air conditioning system.
Services Include: Heating & cooling repairs and replacement, in house duct work design and production, ventiliation, & indoor air quality, ongoing technical advise on hvac system, free consultation on repairs, air quality and replacement.
Operating Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30 AM-5:00 PM
In Business Since: 1969
On Angie's List Since: September 2007
Free Estimates: YES
Warranties/Guaranties: Yes
24 Hour/Emergency Service: Yes
Trade License Information: Yes, I am appropriately licensed for my trade

* Trade License Num: 2681
* Trade License Locale: Maryland
* Trade License Authority: Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation
* Trade License Expiration: 10/1/2011
* Trade License Description: HVACR Contractor License - Jeffrey A. Hosford

Bonded: Yes
Insured: Yes
All statements concerning insurance and bonds are informational only, and are self-reported. Since insurance and bonds can expire and can be cancelled, homeowners should always check such information for themselves.

Price B B
Quality B B
Responsiveness B B
Punctuality B B
Professionalism B B
Total Reports 7 7
Non-Member Reports 0 0
POH Nominations 0 0

* Reports Reports

* View Non-member Reports

Submit a Report
Filter Reports
A 6/1/2010 My a/c unit was blowing air, but not cooling. I called in the early afternoon and a technician was ...
View complete report!
A 3/16/2010 They had a good crew. They stayed here for six hours and did a great installation. They knocked ou...
View complete report!
B 3/3/2010 Returned from vacation to no heat. Made an emergency call. Dispatcher was a real person (much better...
View complete report!
B 2/28/2009 The technicians came out, and even though they were a little late they called to say they were on th...
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F 9/23/2008 A total of 4 J&P people attempted to diagnose the problem. I spent 15 minutes on the phone with anot...
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A 8/15/2008 The Tech did a good job on the oldest system. He cleaned the coils and internal filter. He checked t...
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A 9/10/2007 The company did an excellent job and they finished the job in a timely manner. They are very reliabl...

I certainly hope you put more effort into picking an auto shop when you need it, than you did picking an HVAC company. This is hardly good. I don't care how precise you are or whatever, but I knew you were saving face with your Angie's List post. You seem to have this need to have the last word no matter the subject, and be the "go to guy" for everything. You act like someone who spent his high school years getting shoved into lockers, college with his head in the book and now are trying to claim your 15. You seem to want to offer the best advice (nothing wrong with that, you are bright for sure) but if someone offers something better than you, you poke holes in it. Tire shop thread being a good example of this. Sorry, just my observation. By the same token I don't want to make it sound like I have beef with you, I don't have anything against you and certainly enjoy reading your posts on things I don't know.

You were trying to argue with me over something that I do, that I am very, VERY good at and you know nothing about. I admit, you got on my nerves because you were yapping without knowing any better. Your idea of customer service is vastly different from what it is in service. To sell a unit you only need 1 customer. To do service you need many every day, new and repeat. I knew you were not on AL because you carry yourself as any other cheapskate, and you think service providers are here at your disposal. And many are, but NOT the good ones. They screen customers like customers screen business. So I will say it again, MOTO didn't tell the whole story, and therefore I think it is irresponsible for people like him to bash otherwise good business when it's him who is the problem. Especially if we are not able to get the other side of the story. I agree that the way he got quit was not the cleanest, I would have done it differently, but there is more to that story than what he told.

5% of businesses are good, 80% are ok, but not good enough, the rest are bottom feeders. With customers 5% are good, 80% ok, but not good enough, the rest are bottom feeders. All businesses fight for the top 5%, but the top customers always go to the good ones. So if you nickle and dime your way around town and shop every job or act a fool don't be surprised if people don't call you back or return your email or tell you they are booked for 3 months. Business owners talk online like people do on this and other boards. Let me tell you, when I used to go to automobile association meetings, shop owners always talked about how to keep seniors on fixed incomes and bmw owners out. Not how to deal with them, how to keep them out. Having money in the bank and driving a fancy car does not mean businesses will trip over themselves to get to you. So when I see some of the complaints on here, all of this can be resolved by improving ones consumer behavior so that they can get in with a good shop.

At the end of this whole mess, my whole point is that there is a better, easier way, that makes dealing with service providers an enjoyable experience, but it takes two.

Nick325xiT 5spd
06-25-2010, 10:24 AM
My point, from the beginning, has been that your automatic attack on the customer is WAY out of line. What's very clear to me is that you have been very good at selecting customers you like and getting rid of ones that you don't. That's fine. MOTO may, or may not be telling the whole story, although quite frankly aside from posting the actual numbers, what he posted is fairly complete. They quoted him a price for his car over the phone, decided it was a different size class, and upped the price when he came to pick it up. I guess it would be much more credible if he had posted it completely anonymously on Angie's List, though.

Regarding J&P, well, it seems that on Angie's list there is ONE person that doesn't like them. On a different database, well, things turned out a little differently, since you're talking about a relatively small set of responses.

And as for you, well, apparently you suffer from small dick syndrome and get really really angry when someone doesn't agree with you. Get over yourself.

06-25-2010, 03:19 PM
you suffer from small dick syndrome and get really really angry when someone doesn't agree with you.

I see your sister has been telling you stories about me...

Anyway, I'm better off talking to a wooden indian.

1996 328ti
06-25-2010, 06:04 PM
Someone on the NCC board can reopen this if they choose but I don't think this is going anywhere so it is my suggestion to close it.