UPDATED 4/17/17: Bill called to speak with me and my husband about our concerns. He said steps had been taken to ensure that communication is improved. Bill quoted the regular price for their maintenance inspection as $99.95 and explained that their mechanics and technicians are highly trained, have invested thousands of dollars in their tools, are well paid for their work, and their services come with a 3 year warranty. We have no reason to doubt they do a good job, but simply wish the costs had been made clear from the beginning - we would have chosen to use a different shop for something as simple as an oil change and inspection. I have updated their star rating (200%) to 2 stars. ORIGINAL POST 4/15/17: From our recent experience, the rates at Car Care Clinic in Mount Vernon, WA are much higher than comparable work at other local shops. After sharing our concerns with Max to no avail, we will not be using their services again and cannot recommend them to anyone else. My husband first spoke with Max over the phone to ask about getting previous work records for a friend’s car – we just wanted to find out what work had been done in the past. Our friend is disabled and battling cancer and no longer able to drive. We wanted to help get her car ready for her daughter to drive cross-country. Max said he had a special price on a pre-trip inspection if done at the same time as an oil change, however no price was quoted for either. This was our big mistake in not getting a quote and having it put in writing. For an oil change on a 19 year old car we were charged $19.95 labor, $10 filter, $20 oil, $11.11 shop supplies, and $3.70 hazardous materials. In addition, we were charged $59.95 for a “maintenance inspection” – if this was a special price, what was the regular price?? With tax this totaled $135.31 for an oil change and inspection. To their credit, we did get a call from the shop to say that the rear brakes needed adjustment. Their quote for the service was $50 which they completed at a few dollars under. However, this did not make up for the serious lack of communication and high costs associated with the oil change and inspection. Many dealers and independent shops in the Skagit Valley offer an oil change for $29.95-39.95 oil and filter included, and free safety inspections. After paying $59.95 for the inspection at Car Care Clinic we were not even given a list of what they inspected or the results. My husband had to go back another day to request a printout. We had wanted to support a family owned business in the valley but sadly, will never return to this one.
Thank you for your detailed analysis and critique of our business model. We strive to glean usable insights from comments such as yours so that we can be a better and more customer oriented company. While our business model is not for everyone, we have found that it benefits the majority of the motoring public who are seeking to spend less money on repairs over the long term, while maximizing the value of their vehicles and maintenance dollars. In your case, while you weren't involved in bringing in your friend's vehicle or in communicating with the service adviser, there was clearly a point at which your husband found value in a detailed inspection to determine whether the vehicle was capable of making a cross country journey with a young driver. The inspection that he requested is the same as we would do for a Pre-Purchase inspection, for which we normally charge $125. As your husband explained, he brought the car to us because the lady who owned it had used us as her regular mechanic while she was driving, and had been very happy with the value of our repairs. Again, our model is not for everyone, but we believe that it serves value minded customers well.
- Mount Vernon