Phil has a very particular set of skills, skills he acquired over a long career, skills that make me a nightmare for the mechanically-illiterate. Essentially, with the help of dodgy mentors, he has fallen out of the scam tree and hit every branch on the way down.
Phil sits at a desk that makes a suburban meth lab look tidy. His phone rings and he hears the glorious blast of a greenhorn on the other end of the call. She is new to the area and looking to get her second hand Getz serviced.
She is just in luck as Phil has just made up a special offer on the spot, “glad you called today, luv, we have a special $99 service, you won’t find a better deal”. She is ecstatic at the thought of a cheap service and locks it in.
As she arrives at the garage, Phil circles the shitbox automobile like a greasy vulture. He can’t wait to feast on the sweet pickings of bullshit charges he thinks up. He tests the water, “any specific problems with the car, luv?”
She umms and ahhs about clicky noises and drives a nail into her coffin, “and I think that light sometimes comes on”. He notices she is gesturing towards the engine light. He is now salivating like Hannibal Lector at a liposuction clinic.
She returns later in the day and Phil slides a $450 bill her way. She almost goes into car-aphyletic shock. He quickly applies the epi-pen of sleazy salesmanship, “couldn’t let you drive out with old brake pads, luv”.
He then shows her a pit of oil he’d put on his finger, “and we found this dripping from your suspension, you wouldn’t have made it 300m if I hadn’t caught this, and then you’d be up for 4 or 5K easy, to be honest, I’d appreciate a bit of gratitude”. It’s a compelling case.
She walks out with a financial limp after copping the rogering sweet. Phil returns to his office to stare at a 1990 FHM poster of a broad with big norks. He bides his time until his next customer. Unfortunately, this customer comes prepared with a few safeguards.
He’s just after a wheel alignment and Phil tries on a similar act – however, he is after a bigger bite of the rip-off cherry this time. He calls the customer, “look pal, noticed your alternator is on the fritz, I’ll do you a special, $600 for a replacement today only”. The man kills Phil’s vibe when he asks for the extra works to be put in writing.
Phil is nervous about the paper trail but isn’t letting this fish off the hook. He “replaces” the alternator and slides a huge bill towards the customer the next day. Unfortunately, the customer is a bit savvier and asks for the old alternator.
After failing to find a similar part out back, Phil rattles off a bunch of excuses as to why he disposed of the old part and there is no chance of getting it back now. This isn’t looking good for Phil.
This customer is now suspicious and says he’s going to have another mechanic look at the car and will be making a complaint to Consumer Protection if there is any funny business. In a last-ditch effort to avoid another A Current Affair investigation, Phil tries to dazzle the man by knocking 10% of the bill.
No dice, Phil.
Documenting the Human Zoo is thirsty work, so if you enjoyed what you read how about buying Belle a beer, ay?