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Horse Trailer Maintenance- am I being scammed?

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  • Horse Trailer Maintenance- am I being scammed?

    Hey everyone,

    I'm new to the forum but wanted to ask a question about some trailer maintenance I just received a quote on today. I own a 2008 Eclipse DLX horse trailer. It's a straight load 2 horse bumper pull. I bought it new and unfortunately have not gotten to use it as much as I would have hoped. It has under 2000 miles on it and I keep it in very good condition (ie: mats are power washed after every use, exterior is washed and waxed twice a year, its covered in the winter, etc).
    One area I have neglected is the mechanical maintenance part of the trailer, although for the very short trips it has made it has done well. Last week I brought it in to have the bearings packed and have an inspection done (some $99 special that covered all aspects I wanted checked out). I told the shop that if anything needed to be done other than the bearing to call me. Well today, I finally call to check after not hearing and I'm told it "only came to $650"!! My jaw dropped to the floor.
    I was told that there were 4 things done to the trailer: 1) the bearings were packed. 2) one of the "brake wires" in the back needed to be reconnected (YIKES!). 3) when the mechanic plugged in the electrical to check the lights he couldn't get the signal/brake/hazards to work. 4) the interior light in the trailer (above the horses heads) wasn't working.
    I am a.ok. with him fixing #1 and 2 on the list. My main problem is with the fact that when I dropped off the trailer all signal/brake/hazard lights were working perfectly (I would have told him if they weren't!). The second is that he charged me for the hours of labor he put into fixing the overhead light in the trailer and had he told me about I would NOT have had fixed. For the minimal use it gets and the fact I don't drive at night, I don't feel I need it.
    Unfortunately I haven't seen the price breakdown but I guess I'm looking for some general price points on what people have paid for these fixes. Also, am I liable for the labor he put in to a) fixing something that was WORKING (rear lights) when I dropped it off and b) that I would not have had fixed (interior light) had he called and notified me like I requested.

    Sorry this was long but I would appreciate any insight that you guys could provide....

  • #2
    You owe $99??
    What did you sign
    I had a transmission shop try to pull something weird on me, I had to send my husband to deal with it.

    Bad Bad people, it makes me furious.

    ok then $1.00 for hooking up the wire,


    • #3
      If you didn't authorize the work, you shouldn't pay for it. Mention the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General. Both are interested in people who do work without authorization, and then expect to be paid for it.


      • #4
        That sounds a little pricey. I think it is cheaper then $650 to get a WHOLE trailer re-wired!
        Derby Lyn Farms Website

        Derby Lyn Farms on Facebook!


        • Original Poster

          I definitely plan on mentioning the BBB and now will throw in the Attorney General. The worst part it that I actually bought the trailer from this dealer before they changed owners.

          I'm the type of person that knows in this tough economy if someone does the work, they should be paid fairly; however in this case he did much more than the was supposed to and is probably marking up each service a couple hundred percent to turn a quick buck.

          Thanks for the tips!


          • #6
            Agreed. Don't know about the value but this is BS! Without a quote and approval in advance (check what you signed) you should hold your ground on this BIG TIME!! This is very unprofessional and you are not obligated to pay this. I would get an itemized bill, then look it over, then tell them what you did not approve. That way you have the paperwork should you need proof later.

            The only thing you should pay right away is the $99 for the agreed work and keep your receipt for that. For the brake issue, I would get a competitor's quote or otherwise check the cost to determine what's fair before agreeing to pay. Broken light? $0!
            Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


            • #7
              A great forum for horse trailer answers is Horse Trailer World. Gard knows all there is to know about trailers and repairs. I got new breaks and my bearings packed for close to that.


              • Original Poster

                Funny thing- they never made me sign anything....

                I have no problem paying the $99 for the inspection, a fair rate for the newly packed bearings, and a small amount to reconnect a wire.

                We'll see how this goes tomorrow when I head down to pick it up!


                • #9
                  No No No!!! My shop repairs those types of things at minimal or no charge at all!

                  Also...after having all new brake assembly(s) installed...found that the last place that repacked the brakes had over done it, and ruptured the seals...it was a mess with goop all over the pads. etc...

                  You can repack your brakes yourself if it has the nipple ...all you need is the gun.

                  A good site for info is Horsetrailerworld.com in the future Go to the forums

                  Hope you have some recourse.
                  "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"


                  • #10
                    Is $99 just for the inspection? Is that really the going rate in your area?

                    You should not have to pay for anything that was done above the inspection and packing the bearings because that's what you wanted done on it. You specifically said to call for authorization. Obviously this isn't a place you can trust and I would certainly explain to them that you will not be back if that's the kind of service you'll get.

                    And fixing lights that weren't broke? wow. That's a low one. Definitely hold your ground on that, write the check for what you authorized and leave.


                    • #11
                      $650 for that is ridiculous. I agree with everyone else, you are getting ripped off. And in a particularly underhanded way since they didn't even have the decency to call you with a quote before doing the "work".


                      • #12
                        Yes, it sounds to me like you're being taken. I had a trailer window installed a while back (had previously purchased the window) and I was only charged $25.00 at the trailer dealer a mile away!

                        Several years back, I took a stock trailer to a dealer for an issue with an intermittently working turn signal. Was told it would probably only involve adjusting a wire connection...minimal charge. I said to let me know otherwise. When, I went back to pick it up, I was told some doohickey connector (sorry, details are sketchy, now) had been replaced...a $40.00 part. I asked to see the original part and after hemming and hawing the kid went to his boss...who proceeded to lambast the kid for HIS error...the part hadn't really been replaced. I'm sure the boss knew ALL about the deception, in fact, most likely authorized it, but needed a fall guy. I didn't pay for the non-existent replacement, nor did I ever go back.

                        I would not pay anything close to your $650.00 bill.
                        Is it me or do 99.9% of cowboys just look better with their hats on?


                        • #13
                          OK I went back are re-read the OP and I'm going to add... $650 for what you had done is a rip-off even if they had called you to get your approval. Your next thread on COTH should be about finding a reputable shop in your area!