My sisters and I have had the same mechanic for years. Matter of fact, he’s the go to guy for my brothers-in-law, my sisters and I. So when my car battery reached end of life days ago, naturally I called on him to fix it. In addition, I had been stalling on doing a paint job for a while. I had decided to ‘collect all the bashings and scratchings’ first (if you drive in Lagos, you’d understand), and trust me, collect I did – the worst being the trailer driver that drove into me, came out of his car to take a look, walked back in (without saying as much as sorry) and drove off, with me rushing to catch up with him just to scream curses, but I digress.
Coincidentally, my sister’s battery kicked the bucket two days after mine and had to be replaced as well. She had also got her car painted days before. So in the past few days, we did two paint jobs and bought two batteries. After my car came back from the workshop, I looked through the pigeon hole to see a receipt from the battery shop. Turns out my trusted mechanic charged me 35% above the cost of the item! 35%! C’mon. Speaking absolutely, I had paid him N11, 500 whereas it was bought at N8, 500! That’s an entire N3,000 on each battery. N6, 000 on both! Then there was the cost of the paint jobs which I now know was definitely marked up too.
It hurts. I thought you were different. I’m generous with my tips and we’ve been your customers for years. I trusted you Oga. How could you go on and do this to me? To us? To what we had? I’m scarred for life now. How can I ever learn to trust again? How could you this to me?
Morale of the story is this: until you and I become a DIY aficionados – fixing plumbing, painting cars and houses, growing our own food, buying all we need ourselves, never forget that you will be ‘shafted’. Deal with it!